Saturday, April 21, 2018
Letters To The Editor

North Pinellas Letters to the Editor for Dec. 25

Kids' questions get answers, more

Here's something magical that happened this past week in my art class at San Jose Elementary School in Dunedin.

I was introducing my third-grade students to nutcrackers by showing them a YouTube video about Glenn Crider, the Nutcracker Man.

My students started to ask some intriguing questions, such as "What is the hair made of?" and, "How does he make sure the jaw is strong enough to break the nuts?" I told them that I would email Mr. Crider and ask. That was Friday afternoon. Within an hour or two, I received a reply. Here is his response:

"I am delighted that you have found us and are thinking about activity that teaches little folks about nutcrackers . . .

"As you may know, we are the only nutcracker manufacturer in North America and perhaps in the Northern Hemisphere!

"I will share this email with some of our business associates who may be as delighted as I am about this dialog.

"Time is short, so I must respond quickly . . . Santa is packing his sleigh as we speak and nutcrackers are a very important part of the Christmas holiday . . . We use synthetic fur (just like the fur that is on most modern teddy bears). In the old days . . . (over 100 years ago) and on most German nutcrackers, rabbit fur was used . . . We love rabbits and preFUR to use FUR that's not real!

"The jaws are made with plywood. Plywood (like most floors in most modern homes) is stronger than regular wood. The reason is because plywood is made with several layers (or ply) of wood with alternating grain patterns to add strength . . . That way, the nut does not stand a chance!

"Our nutcrackers are sold year round, but 80 percent of the sales come at Christmas time . . . That's because of the nutcracker's association with the nutcracker ballet that is performed by most ballet companies this time of year.

"Now . . . If you will send me your address, I will be happy to send along a sample of our work for all to enjoy with my compliments! Thanks for asking! Merry Christmas!"

We received the package on Wednesday afternoon. He sent us a pizza chef nutcracker, a ginger cottage and a ginger cottage ornament for each student in the class.

I have pictures to send, of all of us, with our gifts. This afternoon, I sent hand-drawn pictures of the nutcracker with heart-felt thanks.

What a wonderful Christmas memory for these students!

Stacie Little, Dunedin

Voters to get say on mass transit | story, Dec. 11

Mass transit plan not worth a penny

Count me out. We already have one of the highest (sales) tax rates in Florida at 7 percent. If all another penny is going to get me is transportation to Clearwater from St. Pete, that's a waste.

I would rather have a water taxi, a ferry service connecting the Pier, beaches, Rays fans, tourists and residents with points across the bay in South Tampa, (MacDill area), Davis Islands (Tampa Bay Aquarium), Tampa Bay Times Forum, a connecting bus/shuttle service to Raymond James Stadium, USF and the Museum of Science and Industry.

Now that I would vote yes on to raise taxes a penny. Clearwater to St. Pete? You're joking, right??

John Evans, St. Petersburg

Christmas made merry for seniors

On behalf of the staff at Home Instead Senior Care, I would like to thank everyone who helped with this year's very successful Be a Santa to a Senior program.

With support from generous shoppers, Beall's Outlet stores, JSA Healthcare, Community Bible Church, the YMCA of Palm Harbor and Shapes Total Fitness, we were able to collect more than 500 gifts for local seniors who otherwise might have been overlooked this holiday season.

We also would like to thank the many volunteers who shared their time to collect, wrap and deliver the gifts to 500 area seniors, many of whom struggle to make ends meet.

Thanks to all those who helped us brighten the holidays for our local seniors and truly making a difference in our community.

Julie Krol, Home Instead Senior Care, Clearwater


Saturday’s letters: Don’t weaken rules on fisheries

Florida fisheriesDon’t weaken rules on fish stocksMembers of Congress are proposing changes to an important ocean law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, that would adversely affect coastal states including Florida.Since it...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18

Friday’s letters: We owe it to our children to teach them history

If we don’t understand past, future looks grim | April 19, Daniel Ruth columnThe history we owe our childrenIt’s not often I agree with Daniel Ruth, but this article was spot-on. I’m not sure when the schools started ignoring Germany’s World War ...
Published: 04/19/18

Thursday’s letters: Gun research can save lives

Gun ownershipCommon ground: Find the factsThere are many areas in the current debate about guns and gun ownership where both sides must agree to disagree. But there is one area where common ground ought to exist. That concerns the need for continuing...
Published: 04/18/18

Wednesday’s letters:

Poverty and plenty in bay area | April 7, editorialStruggling poor are not a priorityI commend your newspaper for continuing to produce real and relevant news, particularly the recent editorial pointing out that a prospering Tampa Bay should not ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for April 20

Bar Association celebrates Law WeekPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1958, as the first Law Day to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Every year on this day, we reflect on the significance of the rule of law and rededicat...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Tuesday’s letters: Stop cooperating with ICE

Sheriff’s ICE policy blasted | April 10Pinellas should end partnership with ICEPinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri recently participated in a community conversation on his controversial agreement with ICE to voluntarily detain immigrants in the...
Published: 04/16/18

Sunday’s letters: The future of oyster production

Shell game | April 15Future of oyster productionThanks to Laura Reiley for an excellent synopsis of the current state of oyster production in Florida. The collapse of the Apalachicola oyster fishery is merely the latest example of the demise of a...
Published: 04/14/18

Monday’s letters: Public education is foundation of the nation

Voters beware of ballot deceptionApril 13, commentarySchools’ role underminedIt was with great pain that I read (not for the first time) that we must be aware of "ballot deception." Public schools were founded to make sure that future generations of ...
Published: 04/13/18

Saturday’s letters: Health Department should butt out

Judge: Grow pot, Mr. Redner | April 12Health officials should butt outThe Times reports that the Florida Department of Health filed an appeal to the decision allowing a man who is a Stage 4 lung cancer survivor to grow pot in his backyard for his ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/13/18

Friday’s letters: Open and shut: Enforce the law

Sheriff’s ICE aid policy blasted | April 10Open and shut: Enforce the lawPeople and institutions that insist on the using the euphemism "undocumented immigrant" do nothing but affirm their lack of objectivity by using such a phrase to support an ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/12/18