Sunday, May 20, 2018
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


Monday’s letters: Focusing on the mental state of shooters misses the point

Texas high school shooting | May 18Criminals, angry people kill peopleSchool shootings are a distinctly American phenomenon. But shootings by people with serious mental illness represent less than 1 percent of all yearly gun-related homicides in ...
Published: 05/19/18

Friday’s letters: Putnam and Publix, two P’s lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17A pleasure to shop elsewhereMy family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye.Firs...
Published: 05/18/18

Saturday’s letters: For Florida to move forward, focus on a healthy and sustainable environment

Tampa’s future is bright | May 12Protect Florida, boost economyThis past year, Florida set another record-breaking year for tourism, welcoming more than 116 million visitors. While Florida boasts a unique quality of life and more than 1,300 miles...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Sunday’s letters: What conservatives stand for

How can conservatism survive after Trump | May 13, Nickens columnhed#6324 I think it obvious that traditional conservatism was squeezed out of the 2016 campaign narrative and has become a niche thesis owned by a small group of intellectuals. A gr...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Friday's letters: Putnam and Publix, two P's lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17 A pleasure to shop elsewhere My family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye. F...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 18

Re: Pasco panel okays Tampa Electric solar farm after five-hour meeting | April 9 storySolar farm offers many positivesThere has been much publicity regarding the proposed TECO Mountain View solar project slated for 350 acres in East Pasco that was r...
Published: 05/14/18

Thursday’s letters: Florida has arguably become the autonomous vehicle capital of North America

Autonomous vehicles in FloridaThe state for self-driving carsAlmost overnight, Florida has arguably become the autonomous vehicle capital of North America. In the last three months, Voyage, a self-driving taxi service, has begun service in the Villag...
Published: 05/12/18
Updated: 05/17/18

Wednesday’s letters: Florida’s Community Health Centers save $1.78 for every dollar spent

Florida’s Community Health CentersHealth centers are a great dealIf you gave someone a dollar and they gave you back $1.78, wouldn’t you consider that a fantastic deal? That’s the deal Florida’s Community Health Centers provide for the state’s citize...
Published: 05/12/18
Updated: 05/16/18

Monday’s letters: Good ideas to fix schools still require enough money

Another plan for faltering schools | May 9The right ideas, cash still neededThe administration of the Hillsborough County School District should be applauded for persistent efforts to find the right formula to improve educational results of stude...
Published: 05/09/18
Updated: 05/14/18

Saturday’s letters: Short-sighted prison cuts hurt society

Call to rethink prison cuts | May 10Short-sighted prison cuts hurt societyThe Florida Department of Corrections is dismantling successful substance abuse and re-entry treatment programs to fix a $28 million shortfall. The short-sighted action wi...
Published: 05/09/18
Updated: 05/11/18