Monday, June 18, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Sunday's letters: A mother is a child's first teacher

Mother's Day

A mother is a child's first teacher

Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida, observed: "I was blessed to have a mother who recognized the value of education." How are children best trained to be responsible, mature, contributing adults? There is no question that a mother molds the child — comforts a sick child, wipes away the tears, gives so much but asks so little.

A mother is a child's first teacher. According to Sidney Ledson, author of Raising Brighter Children, "Whenever the question of educating children is raised, thoughts usually turn to school and to schoolteachers. But mothers are, and have always been, their children's first and most important teacher. What mothers teach, or fail to teach, intentionally or unintentionally, profoundly influences their children's entire lives."

Our mothers teach us values. Our mothers teach us how to behave. Our mothers inspire us. Our mothers encourage us to do our best. Mothers should be remembered and honored not only on Mother's Day but every day of the year.

Reed Markham, DeLand

For our health care, a new medicine | May 5

The human factor

I read with interest the column by Rick Homans and Stephen Klasko, and agree that the medical industry is headed in a new direction. What with electronic medical records, advanced methodologies of diagnosis using genetic materials, nanotechnology and robots in surgery, and the "iPad-ization" of health education, patients will find themselves on a medical journey, rivaling that of the adventure of a new ride at Busch Gardens.

What I fear is that the doctor-patient relationship, established over centuries of one-on-one time, of talking and listening, communicating cares and concerns, will be lost forever, notwithstanding what's already occurred thanks to the intrusion of insurance companies into the practice of medicine.

David Lubin, M.D., Tampa

Medicine and commerce

There were several words in this article that stood out: industry, entrepreneurs, profit.

Medicine is not an industry. It is a profession. It should not be entrepreneurial. It should serve and provide superior health care for all, not just for those who can afford high-tech care. Health care is not a commodity to be traded on Wall Street. It is not a privilege to be determined by the market. It is a basic right for all. That is not to say that it should be free.

Quite the contrary. It must be paid for, but in a rational way and not the wasteful way we are now doing it. The way we are financing medicine today is like an industry and it enriches the entrepreneurs and leaves millions without care. The Affordable Care Act addresses some of the issues of inequity but at a very high price and leads to thinking about health care, as the authors of this article do, as a "massive new industry" to be exploited.

The solution to the health care problems in this country is some variation of a single-payer system, which has proven to be successful in most industrialized nations. We should not be looking to cash in on the fact that health care takes up 20 percent of GNP but rather looking at ways to control and decrease this cost.

David A. Cimino, M.D., St. Petersburg

The era of walking on eggshells | May 5, Bill Maxwell column

Extremism on the march

The more I read about the religious intolerance taking hold in this country, the more I draw a parallel between it and Muslim extremism. And now we can't even tolerate the length of one class to hear a professor's explanation of his lesson and put it in proper perspective?

Edmund Burke said all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. Do not allow evil to triumph. Do not do sit by and do nothing. This intolerance is evil. It is corrupting.

We, the middle, independent thinkers not tied to one way, one party must stand up and declare "enough."

In politics, we must fight to have the best idea win, not any one party. And in religion, remember why the United States of America was born and why it is still so prized throughout the world. People of all religions may prosper; even those who have none must be respected.

Sue Johnston, Seminole

Inappropriate behavior

Bill Maxwell's defense of professor Deandre Poole's action to have his students stomp on Jesus' name on a piece of paper in the name of academic freedom and intellectual engagement is absurd. As someone who has taught at a community college, there are parameters of professional behavior that prevent a professor from crossing the line of disrespectful behavior for students' "sacred beliefs."

If this is the only example that the professor could find to demonstrate intercultural communication, he needs to re-examine his teaching methods and present an appropriate example of what he was trying to teach. Having a religious studies graduate degree, I must correct Maxwell's description that any religious scripture is "really just words on paper." Religious scholars ascribe to printed religious scripture a "sacred" aspect.

Pat Jenkins, St. Petersburg

No rich child left behind | May 5

It takes effort, not money

Do rich kids make better students? No.

Do kids with educated/concerned parents make better students? Yes.

What makes good students? Reading, musical instruments, travel, youth groups, camping, board games, cards, dinnertime conversations, a strong and stable married family to grow up in, and to know that you are loved and important.

Our family of four grew up on a teacher's income. We didn't have money, but we had everything else. All four graduated from public high school, all four graduated from college, and all four have had successful careers and marriages.

So let's tell parents to do their part, and our teachers will sure do their part, and we will educate our children.

Dixie Hardin, Dunedin

Perspective | May 5

A great section

Congratulations, your May 5 Perspective section was great. Normally I read Bill Maxwell's and Robyn Blumner's contributions every Sunday and love to discuss them with friends on Mondays while working out in Lake Vista Park. On Sunday I read every single article of the Perspective section with growing interest and compassion. I will especially start thinking about Connie Schultz's "call to women." Thank you all. You made my Sunday.

Ruth Defoy, St. Pete Beach


Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Friday’s letters: Freight trains are infrastructure that works in Tampa Bay

Railroads are infrastructure that worksFreight trains carry the loadCentral Florida is our state’s fastest-growing region. We’re on track to outpace South Florida’s growth 2-to-1 over the next several years. Great news for our local economy, but it n...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Charter schools aren’t the enemy

Don’t plug your ears when schools ask for tax | May 20, columnCharter schools aren’t the enemyAs an educator, I am astounded when I hear claims from school board members that charter schools take away funding from the local public school system. ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: Trump’s words insult our Canadian visitors

Trade disputes torpedo G-7 summit | June 10Canadian visitors are owed apologyLike many Pinellas County residents, I’m pleased that we receive thousands of Canadian "snow birds" as part-year residents. Not only do they enhance our economy, but by ...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/13/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for June 15

Opinion: Commissioners arrogant and incompetentMy wife and I live in Hernando County. As such, we are represented by a Board of County Commissioners where all the members manifest two common traits. Those traits are arrogance and incompetence.The arr...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18

Tuesday’s letters: Fewer guns would reduce suicides

U.S. under suicide watch | June 8Fewer guns mean fewer suicidesIt is a fact that deserves more attention, but got only one sentence in the article about the U.S. "suicide watch:" "The most common method used across all groups was firearms." I spe...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for June 15

New group to address real women’s issuesLast Saturday our Congressman Gus Bilirakis sponsored a "Woman’s Summit" at East Lake High School that was supposed to deal with women’s issues. Some topics covered were gardening, weight loss and quilting.Mayb...
Published: 06/11/18

Monday’s letters: Bring back the ferry, kick-start transit

Cross bay, but who’ll pay? | June 8Ferry could be a gateway to transitIt’s great news that St. Petersburg is committed to bringing back the world class cross bay ferry service. What a common-sense and practical thing to do in order to ease us int...
Published: 06/08/18
Updated: 06/11/18