Veto anemic school budget | May 14, editorial
Don't cut special needs program
House Bill 7069 includes $30 million to pay for 3,000 scholarships for students with conditions such as spina bifida, Down syndrome and autism. I hope Gov. Rick Scott will not take these scholarships away from these children with special needs.
The Gardiner Scholarship has been life-changing for my son. Using it, we are able to send him to a special needs-centric school that customizes his education to his strengths and weaknesses in a small classroom environment. His future is brighter than ever because of this scholarship.
By his past actions in supporting the Gardiner Scholarship and bills to strengthen primary education opportunities, Scott has shown his dedication to empowering Florida students with special needs to work toward their goals of higher education, employment and independence. I hope he continues to support these critical initiatives, because students with special needs are a valuable, vibrant and active part of the Florida population.
Kristine Benson, Clearwater
County forbids new puppy shops | May 18
No excuse for abuses
In spite of all the publicity about buying puppies from pet stores, people are still wooed by cute little pups. Cute little pups who are outrageously overpriced and often ill.
We bred and showed German shepherds for over 20 years. Not all the pups were show quality. After keeping the litters for 12 weeks we had a pretty good idea what pups to sell as good quality pets. Also by that time, any health issues were likely to have surfaced.
We sold our pups with a one-year guarantee against health problems. Bring back the pup and money refunded. If the buyers wanted to keep the pup in spite of the problem, we refunded the money and allowed them to keep the pup.
This is a perfect solution for pet stores. If they were required to give a money-back guarantee you can be sure they would use reputable breeders as a source. There is no excuse for the existence of deplorable puppy mills.
Marilyn B. Signer, Lakeland
Trump accused of leak | May 16
Security at stake
President Donald Trump may have used classified information during his discussions, which is appropriate for the president. The anonymous leaker of the notes from the meeting has caused serious damage to the security of the country by disclosing the meeting notes, in my view an act of treason.
If the leaker was concerned, he or she should have alerted the CIA, DIA or NSA, which by law are required to notify the Senate Intelligence Committee of a serious breach. This process would have determined any damage to the United States and advised the president of its conclusion. The unsubstantiated accusation by those who place their hate of Trump above the security of this country is very disturbing.
Ronald Hall, Lutz
Too much bully; too little pulpit | May 17, commentary
Idea is 65 years too late
Republican media consultant Adam Goodman's column suggests how President Donald Trump might go about becoming the commander in chief for which a restive public yearns.
The president would no more accept his wisdom than an obstinate 5-year-old will listen to his parent to come to the table, sit still, eat his dinner and engage in meaningful conversation.
Margaret Mead said children must be taught how to think, not what to think. Regrettably, in the president's case, it is too late for that.
Bruce Lowitt, Oldsmar
Lessons from the WannaCry hack | May 18, commentary
This editorial states that "tens of thousands of computers were not up to date, allowing the malware to spread." True enough. However, keeping Microsoft operating systems updated is a constant struggle and often beyond the average user.
After the WannaCry hack, I decided to come to grips with an ongoing problem on my Windows 7 system, where the 29 updates would not install — staying at 0 percent installed for about five months.
I researched and jumped through all the hoops. I cleared the cache but the update process was hung up. I stopped the update service, ran Microsoft's repair tool, restarted the service and the update still hung up. I made sure the update program had in fact been updated. It had. Finally, I ran update for about 10 hours. Eureka — I now had fresh updates to install. Would they install? After three tries they finally did — 24 hours after I started this whole convoluted process.
Since updating is so crucial to security, it needs to be a seamless process with few bugs — not so with Microsoft update.
Margaret Gates, Largo
Constitution Revision Commission
I attended the public hearing for the Constitution Revision Commission on Wednesday at Hillsborough Community College. Information about the commissioners and red and green cards were issued upon arrival. The purpose of the cards was for the attendees to show their support or disapproval of the speakers. I was disappointed that the commissioners were either talking to each other or staring at their laptops throughout the speakers' presentations. This event was touted as "Floridians Talk, We Listen," however the commissioners did not appear to look at the speakers nor did they look to see the audience reaction via the cards.
Linda Reed, Tampa