Thursday, March 22, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Monday's letters: Police need attitude adjustment

Not all equal in face of camera | May 23

Police need attitude adjustment

I couldn't disagree more with Chief Chuck Harmon that police officers running red lights isn't a "big deal." It only takes one to kill someone — maybe the officer, or a member of his/her family.

Perhaps the community would feel happier about its police force if its members were treated like those of Hillsborough: Fine them like any other citizen and forget about other disciplinary measures.

One official stated, in effect, that he hasn't time for such trivia. This attitude, that traffic violations are trivial, has permeated our police department as long as I've lived here, and it's disastrous.

Eileen O'Sullivan, St. Petersburg

Teachers' lax standards | May 22, letter

A lot has changed since '50s

Letter writer Richard Dimberio said: What happened between the '50s, when a graduate of a public school was prepared for either industry or higher education, and now? Industry and higher education have changed greatly since the 1950s. I didn't receive a very strong high school education and graduated in 1977. Fortunately, I enjoy learning and have two master's degrees, but obtaining my bachelor's degree was a bit rocky as I was underprepared. I find it hard to believe that Dimberio thinks his education from the '50s was as inclusive as education today. One thing schools had "back in the day" were more vocational options, and this is something that is needed today as not everyone is college material.

It's not that children are "too dumb to teach." Parents have opted to allow technology to babysit their children. Families are busy running their children to this game and that practice. Children watch DVDs attached to the headrests of their parents' cars instead of engaging in meaningful conversations, or everyone at the dinner table is texting instead of learning how to relate face to face. Technology and current parenting practices weigh heavily when accounting for children's inability to write a decent essay or comprehend what they read.

Educating students in the 1950s and '60s was different. Administration had more control over discipline. Parents didn't rush in bearing their rights and claiming their children never lie.

On the other hand, children were promoted from grade to grade whether they could read or not, and that was not a good thing. It was called social promotion. Schools today are trying to make sure students can read and write and comprehend before moving on to the next level.

Alison Meyer, St. Petersburg

Work for the money | May 24, letter

Tagging, not begging

I am writing in response to a letter from Maryjane Schmidt, who complains about young people asking for money outside supermarkets. We refer to the practice as "tagging." My sons attend a large public high school and participate in athletics. The school does not pay for much, as the budget doesn't allow for it. It is up to the booster clubs and players to raise the money to pay for team necessities. For example, our school provides two jerseys and one pair of pants for the baseball team. The booster club pays for the hat, socks and belt, as well as field rental, batting cage maintenance, baseballs and other equipment. In addition to "tagging," our booster club and players have had carwashes, hosted golf tournaments, worked Threshers games and city events at Coachman Park, sold cups, T-shirts, banners and program ads, worked numerous concession stands, and the list goes on.

Athletics provide lessons in teamwork, time management, discipline and perseverance. Boosters provide what the school cannot. The only way to do that is through fundraising.

Anna Gilman, Clearwater

Children's Board of Hillsborough County

Panacek is an asset

I am surprised and saddened to read the articles about the Children's Board of Hillsborough County.

I have had the privilege to work alongside Luanne Panacek for several years and have continually been impressed by her knowledge, insight, cutting-edge ideas and leadership.

As a member of the Policy Group for Florida's Families and Children, an organization that she chairs, I have personally witnessed her ability to lead a group of leaders, which is challenging at best. She does so with grace and strength, balancing the diverse interests, and shows respect for each member.

The Children's Board has a solid reputation of respect statewide and has pioneered many projects that others have followed. This is due, in large part, to the leadership of Luanne Panacek.

It is my hope that the community and the board recognizes the incredible asset that you have.

Phyllis Kalifeh, president and CEO, Children's Forum, Tallahassee

Scott's small talk leaves Spaniards tusk-tusking | May 25

One big metaphor

With all the humorists at the Tampa Bay Times, one would think your writers would have recognized that the King Juan Carlos-Gov. Rick Scott elephant story was not a gaffe by Scott but an intelligent and well-thought-out metaphor:

That he who tries to kill the elephant, the symbol of the GOP, will fall upon a bleak future, or break a hip, whichever is worse.

Thomas West, New Port Richey

Polytech looks worse up close May 24, editorial

Haridopolos in crosshairs

I was pleased to read the Times' endorsement of former Gov. Bob Graham's opinion that the Legislature's sudden creation of a new university, Florida Polytechnic University, violates the Florida constitutional amendment approved by voters just a few years ago. Because the Board of Governors is the party legally hurt by this folly perpetrated by Sen. JD Alexander and approved by Gov. Rick Scott, any member of that board could and should ask a court to "stop this nonsense," as you so well put it.

I want to add one thing that the editorial left out. Senate President Mike Haridopolos should definitely be one of those named in the legal complaint. He appointed Alexander chairman of the budget committee and kept him in office after it was well documented that he was using that office to force other senators to go along with his scheme.

I believe that the damage done to the state university system and thus to the state of Florida will be the major legacy of Haridopolos' term as Senate president.

Alvin W. Wolfe, Lutz


Friday’s letters: Think through assault weapons ban

Gun controlThink through assault rifle banI recently emailed a Florida state representative who had pledged, among other things, to ban assault rifles in the state. I asked him if he would ban the sale and transfer of these guns or ultimately make th...
Published: 03/22/18

Thursday’s letters: School safety requires funding

Constitution Revision CommissionSchool safety requires fundingThe Constitution Revision Commission should consider amending a proposal (45, 93 or 72) to allocate the necessary recurring funding for the new school safety mandates, separate from the ba...
Published: 03/21/18

Wednesday’s letters: Let the teachers decide on guns

Trump touts arming staff as key in plan for school security | March 12It’s the teacher’s call on weaponsPlease, let’s try an alternate view about guns in the classroom. First, it hasn’t gone unnoticed that the preponderance of letters about guns ...
Published: 03/20/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for March 23

Re: Residents object to solar farm | March 16, storyLakeland Electric has shown that residential customers can be incentivized to allow placement of utility-owned solar panels on their roofs. Likewise, business owners can be incentivized to allow...
Published: 03/19/18

Tuesday’s letters: It shouldn’t be this hard to fly

Tampa International AirportIt shouldn’t be this hard to flyI’ve given the train two tries now from economy parking at Tampa airport. It’s a lot of work. How silly to go down one bank of elevators, then take a good walk to the next set of elevators to...
Published: 03/19/18

Monday’s letters: Protect Floridians’ right to privacy

People push for changes at Constitution hearing | March 14Protect Florida’s right to privacyI attended the Constitution Revision Commission’s public hearing at USF St. Petersburg last week. I was there because I thought it was important to have m...
Published: 03/18/18

Sunday’s letters: Effort to stem pet cruelty pays off

Puppy millsEffort to stem cruelty pays offThank you to everyone who contacted their legislators, and a huge shout-out to the Tampa Bay Times for letting us know that state legislators were considering a bill to eliminate the hard-achieved gains on lo...
Published: 03/17/18

Saturday’s letters: Insurer focused on repairs, not fees

Citizens hit with $12.7M verdict | March 15Insurer’s focus: repairs, not feesCitizens Property Insurance Corp. has spent the past several years making sure that insurance proceeds for sinkhole repairs are used to restore a home and make it whole....
Published: 03/16/18

Friday’s letters: Put young people to work rebuilding infrastructure

Smart way to pay for infrastructure | March 13, commentaryMake rebuilding a youth project Raising gas taxes to pay for infrastructure may not be the best way to go. I suggest we re-invent the old WPA (Works Progress Administration) and draft high...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/15/18

Thursday’s letters: An alternative for giving: Breadcoin

Panhandling paradox | March 11Innovation in giving: BreadcoinPanhandling is destructive to the donor, panhandler and our community — a guilt trip that erodes personal dignity, respect and self-worth, making the recipient more beholden and entitle...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/14/18