Saturday, April 21, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Pasco Letters: School Board is too narrow-minded

Lacrosse teams fight for status | Feb. 19, article

School Board is too close-minded

While I understand the fiscal constraints that exist for the School Board of Pasco County, I take issue with the implication that this is a fringe sport and there is not demand or desire from other children to become part of this great sport.

Schools in Naples and Fort Myers, with which Pasco County can be compared for size and economics, have adopted this sport and are prospering. Their students see the benefit of having an FHSAA-sponsored team. They do this by putting the onus of the expense on the participants and have reaped the rewards through gate fees. The view of the School Board and athletic director Phil Bell is shortsighted and does not see the long-term benefit they will provide participants.

As club programs, the Wesley Chapel Athletic Association, Wesley Chapel Wildcats and Wiregrass Ranch Bulls have seen over 50 participants in our programs go on to play in college. These players are attending fine institutions they may not have been able to.

Since I was coach for the St. Leo Club Lacrosse team, they have gone from an also-ran program in NCAA competition to a conference stalwart under Coach Jorgensen's direction. Since St. Leo became the first Florida university to start an NCAA program, the growth has been tremendous. Florida Southern, Rollins, Florida, Jacksonville, Tampa and Florida Tech have all started programs. But alas, these programs are limited in their ability to recruit Pasco County student athletes to attend their institutions.

More colleges are sure to follow, but as long as we have a School Board unwilling to be creative and to allow this sport to blossom under their leadership, generations of students from Pasco County will never be able to reap the rewards.

I am willing to sit down with any of the board members and Mr. Bell to discuss the future. I have an equipment provider willing to give close to $100,000 of equipment to be used for startup programs. We have tradesman who can craft goals and nets for limited fees, and the WCAA and Tampa Tribe have willing educators who will support and train anyone who is up to the challenge of coaching this great game.

In three months, the nation will see the first full-length motion picture based on lacrosse. As the nation embraces this movie, and this sport, will the Pasco County School Board be able to answer the demand or will they just stick to the same comments? How many more kids have to be left behind, or have to transfer out of district in order to chase their dream.

Thomas FitzSimons, Wesley Chapel

U.S. students are relative slackers

It is interesting to me that locally consideration has recently been given to limiting the school week to four days.

In contrast, South Korean students study full time almost every day. Recently I read that South Korean authorities have employed "inspectors" to limit the activity of tutors who assist South Korean high school students in various subjects. They are to cease activity no later that 10 p.m.

Joe King, New Port Richey

Still arguing about birth control | Feb. 18, Barbara Fredricksen column

It's about freedom of religion, really

Nobody mentioned the important constitutional aspect of the debate. The current debate is not about birth control directly but a bigger issue: Whether the federal government should coerce Catholic hospitals, charities, and colleges to participate in health care plans that go against Catholic moral teaching.

In her column, Ms. Fredricksen fails to mention that the entire reason the birth control issue sprung up in the political debates is because of the Obama administration's mandate that employers, including religious institutions, participate in insurance plans that cover abortion-producing drugs, sterilizations and contraception. In other words, this is a debate about the free exercise of religion, which is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

The federal government is sadly expanding its power into the affairs of religious institutions, which is a violation of the First Amendment. That's the issue.

Ken Knapp, Wesley Chapel

Legislative attack on public health goes on | Feb. 22, guest column

Public health idea shouldn't be lost

I too have worked in public health for 33 years, and I support what Dr. Marc Yacht wrote about our clueless Legislature. When I began in 1979, we were an important part of the area's health care. We were truly community health providers. Our programs were some of the best in the country, and so many depended on us for our medication programs, our child care, our family care, including family planning and chronic disease care. With some federal subsidies, as well as some from the state, we supported so many.

We inspected mobile home parks, pools and restaurants and provided water testing and so much to everyone. We were truly public health workers. I venture to say we kept our county informed and educated about good health.

As a public health nurse, I and others like me cared for our new mothers, newborns, and as children grew, we saw them in our clinic. We did home visits to ensure these children had what they needed, and parents were supported in their quest to learn.

It was a wonderful system. But as funding was cut and facilities sometimes closed, services changed. I, for one, don't think it was for the better of the community. Public health is a concept that should not be lost to us.

Lilyan V. Dayton, New Port Richey


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