Sunday, February 25, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Sunday's letters: Global education funding yields big returns

Clinton's job well done | June 10, commentary

Education project yields big return

Nicholas Kristof's column about Hillary Clinton highlights a most important issue. He says, "She understood that educating girls isn't a frilly 'soft' issue, but a way to transform a country to make it less hospitable to extremists."

If you don't think educating girls makes a big difference, consider that the Taliban thought it was important enough to storm a school bus and attempt to assassinate a teenage Pakistani girl, Malala Yousafzai. The progress that they fear is exactly the progress we want to have accomplished.

The administration is surely very busy with important and urgent matters. So it isn't too surprising that some important matters that don't have evident urgency go to the back burner.

Right now one of these issues looms. The Global Partnership for Education, a multilateral fund with proven success, holds its replenishment conference June 26 in Brussels. The United States has a chance to make an important difference with a significant pledge of $125 million a year for two years. This money would come from funds already in our education budget and would merely shift them to the global partnership. It will also draw corresponding funding from other donor nations.

If we don't make more than the nominal type of pledge we have in the past, we will badly interfere with the education of children globally, especially girls and all children in the poorest and most fragile countries. With expanded literacy rates, these countries can rise from poverty to be stable allies and customers for our exports.

Ken Schatz, Tampa

Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Help put a stop to abuse

With over 4.7 million seniors across the state, it is imperative that we educate Floridians regarding the signs of elder abuse and exploitation. Elder abuse can come in the form of physical, sexual, emotional or psychological abuse, neglect, abandonment or even financial exploitation. In our last fiscal year, Florida had more than 40,000 reports of abuse and neglect. Nationwide, almost 90 percent of all elder abuse occurs in a domestic setting, usually by someone the victim knows. What's even more startling is that for every case that is reported, there are an estimated 24 cases that are not.

At the Department of Elder Affairs, our philosophy is that education is the key to prevention. Our programs focus on education and outreach to prevent abuse. We have 11 local abuse prevention coordinators throughout the state who provide information in their communities. We conduct presentations for seniors, family members, caregivers and any professional who may come into contact with seniors.

Our dedication to fighting elder abuse is marked today, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. At the Department of Elder Affairs, it is our goal to end all forms of elder abuse and to teach seniors, their families, friends and other caregivers to recognize any sign of abuse. If you are a victim or suspect elder abuse, please contact the elder abuse hotline at 1-800-962-2873 or the elder affairs helpline at 1-800-963-5337.

Charles T. Corley, secretary, Florida Department of Elder Affairs, Tallahassee

Cruz gives up his Canadian citizenship June 11

Constitutional hurdle

Since when can a person not born in the United States become our president? Has the law changed? Neither Henry Kissinger nor Arnold Schwarzenegger where eligible for the White House.

Jutta M. Teichman, Ruskin

Lack of leadership on Pier persists June 11, editorial

Tear it down, start over

All of us have heard the adage that a camel is a horse designed by a committee. Well, it now seems that the Pier "committee" is wasting its time in trying to develop a "camel" for our waterfront's future.

Forget it, people. The access road is almost a century old, the pyramid's structural condition is a life-safety issue, the current budget allotment is far short, and the mayor's time schedule is unrealistic.

Tear it down and start over. Clear our waterfront of that outdated excess. Let us see the shoreline clean, clear and unencumbered for a while.

Ronn Ginn, St. Petersburg

Society's fright meter | June 11

Guns create problems

As unkempt as it may be, there is no law against wearing your pants too large and low on your hips. I, and most reasonable people I know, am far more concerned about anybody, "average" or not, carrying a firearm openly in a location where there is no need to do so.

How do others know whether the gun carrier is a good person or a bad person? What is to stop someone who feels threatened in the vicinity of a stranger displaying a weapon from using deadly force and claiming "stand your ground" protection?

Hal Freedman, St. Petersburg

Baptists won't budge on gays | June 12

What about other religions?

It's interesting that the media has singled out Baptists and Mormons for their scriptural adherence without checking to see how other religions might weigh in on the subject of gay marriage. It's easy to throw stones at people trained to turn the other cheek, but it's not very gutsy reporting.

The Koran, like the Bible, also has a few things to say about homosexuality. I don't know exactly how Muslims feel about the subject, but why not send a few reporters to the Middle East and ask around? Sure, it might be more dangerous than mocking Baptists, but if you are looking to ridicule religious conservatives, why discriminate?

David Fraser, Clearwater

Hagel, GOP critics clash at hearing about swap | June 12

A plan for failure

President Barack Obama's foolish decision to release five high-ranking Taliban commanders for a man who appears to have walked away from his responsibility has all but assured our defeat in Afghanistan. Why would any young Afghan soldier continue to cooperate with America? Why wouldn't he turn his gun on our troops and assure himself a place in Afghanistan's future?

I suggest Obama never had a plan for victory, only a plan for our slow, painful failure.

Ronnie Dubs, St. Petersburg


Sunday’s letters: Slogans won’t ensure safety

LegislatureSafety requires more than slogansOn Wednesday, our Florida House passed House Bill 839 requiring all public schools to post the state motto, "In God We Trust," in a "conspicuous place." The day before, the same Florida House declined to ev...
Published: 02/24/18

Saturday’s letters: Preserve home rule in Florida

LegislaturePreserve home rule in FloridaOn behalf of the members of Business Watch, a trade association for government contractors, I would like to voice our dismay over the Legislature’s wholesale attack on home rule. As local government contractors...
Published: 02/23/18

Thursday’s letters: Second Amendment is outdated

Second AmendmentCongress can act on firearmsThe Second Amendment is outdated, since it is predicated on the need for a "well regulated militia." Militias are defined as civilian soldiers trained under the command of competent military leadership. The...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/22/18

Wednesday’s letters:

House Bill 21Opioid proposal merits supportIn 2016, Florida recorded 952 heroin-related and 1,390 fentanyl-related deaths. Four in five new heroin users began by misusing prescription pain medications, also known as opioids. Despite the widespread op...
Published: 02/20/18

Hernando Letter to the Editor for Feb. 23

Re: Hernando business leaders push to loosen development rules | Feb. 9; Re: Deny Brooksville mine expansion, planning commissioners say | Feb. 16Wish to register my opposition to both the draft of the new Hernando County Comprehensive Plan that elim...
Published: 02/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Making politics personal is one way toward reasonable gun control

The Parkland shootingMake gun politics personalAs an educator of 32 years, it encourages me to see our young people engaged after the horror at Stoneman Douglas High School. The tragedy at Parkland has awakened the sleeping giant that is the millenni...
Published: 02/19/18

Sunday’s letters: Congress must act on firearms

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Congress must act on firearmsIt’s time for Congress to be counted.The failure of Congress to act to: (1) limit access to assault rifles and (2) require meaningful background checks for all gun purchases is appalling.Surel...
Published: 02/17/18

Monday’s letters: Call it by its name: terrorism

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Call it whatit is: terrorismLet’s just call it what it is. It’s terrorism. No school in the country is immune. They all have procedures for sheltering in place or emergency evacuation from a shooter. It’s prudent to be pr...
Published: 02/16/18

Saturday’s letters: Payoff to porn star not front-page news?

Lawyer: I personally paid porn star | Feb. 14Where we’re at: This is 4A newsOnly under the Trump presidency does a story about the president’s lawyer paying off a porn star to cover up an affair with the president show up on page 4A. Never mind t...
Published: 02/16/18

Friday’s letters: Water quality too important to gamble on

State to update water rules | Feb. 10Don’t gamble with water safetyI wondered whether this front-page article was an early April Fool’s joke. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection "updated" its pollution regulations in 2016, with str...
Published: 02/15/18