Thursday, November 23, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Pinellas Letters: Nice guy or not, Tarpon Springs administrator broke rules


Re: Rally to keep administrator | Story, May 31

Nice guy or not, he broke the rules

What concerns me is that it is considered a minor infraction to "give excused absences to 18 kids without evidence, allowing some of them to skip final exams." And apparently, it is a minor infraction to name "a physical education assistant a head coach in a way that broke a county rule."

Tarpon Springs High School assistant principal Wayne McKnight may be a nice guy, but a person in authority who breaks rules is not a good example for our children.

Is it okay for our children to break rules at home or in society, even for good intentions? I am shocked that he was not fired, especially for giving out excused absences. What other rules has he broken for which he has not been caught?

Just the two examples cited in the article show me that Mr. McKnight is irresponsible in some of his judgments and shows favoritism. Was every student at TSHS allowed to break rules? Was every teacher and administrator allowed to break rules? No, the rules were broken for some, but not for all.

Although my children attend TSHS, I do not know principal Clint Herbic or Mr. McKnight, but I back Mr. Herbic in this case because he is standing on principle. Sometimes being nice does not equal being right.

Lisa Benitez, Tarpon Springs

Re: School move angers many | Story, May 30

Popularity always creates jealousy

After reading this story, I can't help wondering if Tarpon Springs High School assistant principal Wayne McKnight is losing his job because of his popularity with the students. Sadly enough, even as adults some folks continue to harbor grudges and as a result will act out poorly.

Perhaps it is out of jealousy that principal Clint Herbic is dismissing McKnight, despite McKnight's being with the school for about 10 years. Let's hope that superintendent John Stewart can shed some light on this perplexing situation. After all, they are all adults and should be able to put aside their petty differences for the good of the students as well as the school.

JoAnn Lee Frank, Clearwater

Re: Pinellas schools to reshuffle computers Story, May 30

Save funds; use kids' technology

Once again, Pinellas County schools can't see the forest for the trees. While they debate how best to allocate 93,000 computers, many of which are already obsolete, they spend time and money paying administrators to roam the school hallways in an attempt to confiscate as many student cellphones as possible.

Back when cellphones were actually used for phone calls, banning their use on school property made sense. However, probably close to half of the students are now walking around with a mini computer in their hands. Throw in iPads and laptops and I'm quite sure at least half of the middle and high school students have ready access to more computing power than at least half of the district's 93,000 computers. Yet the students are not allowed to use these at school.

Keep in mind that these are the very tools that will be essential to the student's success in both college and the workplace.

Seems to me that the solution is simple. First, eliminate all of the computers that are used in classrooms, thereby saving millions every year. Next, use that savings to buy a sufficient number of iPads to put in the classrooms for any students that don't already have either an iPad or a smartphone. These iPads should come equipped with all of the necessary textbook information, thereby saving millions on textbooks each year.

Finally, get rid of or reassign the employees that seem to delight in the number of cellphones they can confiscate each day.

I realize that this is a far more complicated solution than merely reallocating existing technology, but if the district is serious about preparing students for the future, it is time for them to move their thinking into the current century.

Scott Stolz, Tarpon Springs

Prayer for injured military member

This Memorial Day meant something so much more to me than a nice long weekend off. My nephew, Pfc. Bobby C. Bernier, was stationed in Afghanistan since November. He was part of a platoon of guys that were on the front line fighting for our freedom.

On May 18, he was fighting and was attacked. He now is fighting for his life at Brooke Army Medical Center's Burn Unit. The hospital is located in Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas. Bobby has burns over 40 percent of his body. He is stable as I am writing this, and his wife, Jessie, and child are with him.

I am so proud of this family from Florence, S.C. I continue to pray for them and the rest of the platoon — others were also burned and two have died. Flying the USA flag now is so much more than a "nice thing to do."

Marie Povey, Clearwater

Re: Ron Jon store ready for business on beach Story, May 26

New Hooters isn't worth celebrating

It astonished me to read staff writer Anne Glover's celebratory article on the new "Ron Jon store with a Hooter's on top" as it prepared to open on Clearwater Beach.

Does she (and by implication, your editorial staff) not realize the disgust that many readers feel when the objectification of women (based on a female body part) is celebrated as a wonderful type of family beach entertainment?

Who is kidding whom? Until such establishments are removed, Clearwater Beach will not be seen as an inviting family atmosphere. (It's) where our daughters, sons and mothers are insulted by the operating premise of businesses such as this.

Kathleen Kimpel, Clearwater


Friday’s letters: Find private investors for a new stadium

Opening offer from Rays on stadium sounds too low | Nov. 17, editorialFind private investors for stadiumThe Rays "offered" to pay 18.75 percent of the costs? How outrageously presumptuous to say that they offered! Put another way, they demanded t...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Thursday’s letters: Tax plan won’t help wages

Tax billThis won’t help stagnant wagesThe unfair tax proposal that cuts taxes for the rich and most powerful and cuts the ability of working people to claim any comparable deductions is no more than another greedy power grab by the rich and powerful....
Published: 11/20/17
Updated: 11/22/17

Wednesday’s letters: Breaking down health data

Don’t let news on blood pressure raise yours | Nov. 17, commentaryBreaking down health numbersThank you for publishing the timely commentary by Dr. H. Gilbert Welch on blood pressure. The point he makes about relative risks versus absolute risks ...
Published: 11/20/17
Updated: 11/21/17

Tuesday’s letters: Disgraceful tax proposals

Tax billDisgraceful, harmful proposalsThe very fact that the Congress of the people of the United States would propose, not to mention pass, the current tax bill is nothing short of disgraceful. What sort of representatives of the people support cutt...
Published: 11/20/17

Monday’s letters: Doctors should speak up on harassment

Sexual harassmentDoctors need to speak upThe recent widespread recognition, followed by disapproval, of sexual harassment across many workplaces signals a paradigm shift in social attitudes toward abuse of power that is long overdue.The male-dominate...
Published: 11/17/17

Saturday’s letters: Reservoir project off to a good start

Lake OkeechobeeReservoir project off to good startThis year, more than 70,000 Floridians contacted their legislators to support expediting a reservoir project south of Lake Okeechobee. Another 150 business people, anglers, health care professionals a...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Sunday’s letters: Roundabout way to help the rich

Senate GOP’s tax plan to kill ACA mandate | Nov. 15Devious way to hurt middle classSo, let’s see if we have this straight. The proposed amendment to the Senate tax plan, to kill the individual mandate, will cause young people to not buy health in...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Friday’s letters: Stop laying blame on teachers

Hillsborough teachers are set to protest | Nov. 14Stop laying blame on teachersI am a veteran teacher, coming up on 30 years of service to public education. My mother was also an educator, clocking over 40 years of service in public education. Sh...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/16/17

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Nov. 17

Questioning fees draws snarky responseYou are probably aware of the new Pasco utility fees that became effective last month.Under the dubious title of "convenience fee" for making utility payments by credit card or e-check, Pasco Utilities adds $2.75...
Published: 11/15/17

Dollars need to stay at home if south Brooksville is to survive

As a member of the Moton High School Class of 1967, I grew up a poor but very happy child because of the love given to me by all. So all I had to do was be a child and not rush to be an adult.There were many black businesses along a four-block area o...
Published: 11/14/17
Updated: 11/22/17