Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Sunday's letters: Parents are children's first teachers

Parents should be asked questions, too | March 25, Bill Maxwell column

Parents are child's first teachers

Was Bill Maxwell sitting at the breakfast table when my husband and I discussed the responsibility parents must take to ensure their children are properly educated? Perhaps he was outside the window? Parents are their children's first and continuing teachers throughout life.

The Pinellas County school system provides formal education. Outside of that, how about family field trips, reading to your children and encouraging lifelong learning? Parents can volunteer at school and at after-school activities.

We shared family dinners. The tasks of setting the table, a prayer before meals, discussing the news of the day, sharing funny stories, admiring the positive accomplishments of other friends — all this was part of the educational process. These steps develop responsible adults and good citizens. Thank you, Bill, for expressing our thoughts so succinctly.

Norene Dagly, St. Petersburg

Parents should be asked questions, too March 25, Bill Maxwell column

Track parental involvement

This column suggests an excellent model for the "parental trigger" law. The law would remain the same: If a vote of parents equal to a majority of the number of students in the school voted for it, the school would be shut down in favor of a charter school. However, in order to be eligible to vote, the parents must objectively demonstrate parental involvement.

The criteria would be based on scientific studies, but could include such things as seeing to non-excused attendance, ensuring that homework is turned in, attending parent-teacher conferences, attending PTA meetings and the like.

This would cure the problem of charter school operatives getting uninvolved parents to vote. They would first have to get the parents involved in order for them to vote.

Ed Bradley, Lithia

Robyn Blumner column

A job well done

When I receive my Sunday Tampa Bay Times, I turn to the Perspective section and Robyn Blumner. Her articles of information, hope and worry are needed in this period of confusion and hatred. I thank her for her courage.

Her recent articles have produced name-calling responses from those who would put the pope in charge of morals, Wall Street in charge of money, Republicans in charge of regulations, and a gun in every pocket. She must be doing a fine job.

Reese Hodges, Weeki Wachee

Weigh more, pay more: Could the idea fly? March 24

Idea already in use

The idea of weighing passengers and their luggage has been implemented for well over 40 years in other parts of the world. For example, if you fly from Tortola, British Virgin Islands, to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, you and your luggage are weighed in order not to overload the small plane.

The metabolic argument is spurious simply because the law of physics doesn't care what your metabolism is. When you step on the scale, whether it's you or your luggage, the physical effort to get you off the ground is proportionate to your total weight. Weighing passengers and their luggage might even encourage folks to lose weight and get healthier in the process.

Peter Sontag, Clearwater

The difference between health care, broccoli March 29, commentary

Snark is uncalled for

In the arguments about what the government can force you to buy, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia snarkily asked, "What's the difference between broccoli and health insurance?" and stumped the solicitor general.

The answer is simple. If people don't buy broccoli, the price goes down. If people don't buy health insurance, the price goes up. And it continues to go up until it is so high that many people can't afford it any longer. It's disconcerting when someone who holds the fate of such an important issue as health insurance regards the key provision so flippantly. We can all get by without broccoli, but sooner or later we are all going to need health benefits.

Rick France, Tampa

A mandate alternative

I think the conservative justices are way off base. But perhaps the mandate should have been framed this way. You have a choice of carrying health insurance or posting a $50,000 bond dedicated to your future health care costs. If you remain healthy and never tap the bond, the money can go to your heirs and/or cover your funeral costs. This way you would not be forced to buy insurance, but you would be responsible for your own health care costs to some degree.

Kenneth Hinnenkamp, Safety Harbor

Pull plug on nuclear project | March 27, editorial

Nuclear risks too great

I applaud the Tampa Bay Times for speaking out on the proposed Levy County nuclear power plant issues through its excellent, informative articles by staff writers the past few months, culminating in a bold editorial Tuesday.

From a medical perspective alone, nuclear power and the resulting radiation and radioactive waste creates an unacceptable risk to public health and to the health and safety of future generations.

The Chernobyl catastrophe found a large increase in thyroid cancers in children and adolescents starting four years after that meltdown, and we've yet to see the cancers and genetic mutations that will result from the disaster at Fukushima.

Can we promise our children a better future? Maybe, but only if we get serious today about clean and safe alternative energy, and stop building nuclear power plants.

Lynn Ringenberg, M.D., Tampa


Wednesday’s letters: What constitutes a disqualifying event for Trump’s supporters?

Kavanaugh vows not to withdraw nomination | Sept. 25What should be disqualifying?As scandals pile up daily, I wonder about President Donald Trump’s supporters. What will be the event that pushes them as far as they can go? Recent accusatio...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Tuesday’s letters: Amendment 4 is a matter of reason

Amendment 4 will save taxpayers money | Column, Sept. 23 Amendment 4 is a matter of reason My lifelong Republican brother is a moderate, more mainstream thinker, not wedded to extreme right-wing orthodoxy, so I asked him how he plans to vote on Ame...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Monday’s letters: Dr. Robert Judson made great contributions to Pasco-Hernando State College

A pioneer in Pasco-Hernando education | Sept. 19Robert Judson pushed education forwardI had the pleasure of working with the late Dr. Robert Judson, the former president of what is now known as Pasco-Hernando State College, for many years. During...
Published: 09/21/18
Updated: 09/24/18

Saturday’s letters: We need stats that reflect our lives

We’re measuring the economy all wrong | Column, Sept. 18We need stats that reflect our livesMajor news outlets have uniformly declared the U.S. economy to be sizzling, on fire. This column was correct in wanting us to take a second, hard l...
Published: 09/21/18

Sunday’s letters: Inequality hurts democracy

We’re measuring the economy all wrong | Column, Sept. 18Democracy needs equalityEconomic inequality and the concentration of wealth have achieved levels beyond the comprehension of most American wage earners today. Income inequality has ri...
Published: 09/21/18

Friday’s letters: Florida’s workers aren’t reaping benefits of a booming economy

Scott didn’t put them to work | Sept. 16Florida workers not reaping the benefitsFlorida has just surpassed a GDP of $1 trillion. However, workers in Florida are not reaping the rewards. A new report released by anti-poverty organization Ox...
Published: 09/21/18

Thursday’s letters: For the sake of all involved, don’t rush the Kavanaugh vote

Delay Senate vote on Kavanaugh | Editorial, Sept. 18Don’t rush something that will last a lifetimeThe Senate Judiciary Committee finds itself in a sticky wicket. The committee should take a slow measured course of action. Trying to rush th...
Published: 09/19/18
Updated: 09/20/18

Wednesday’s letters: How home rule can help fight Red Tide

Red Tide on march | Sept. 18How home rule can help fight Red TideAt the end of 2005, as Red Tide ravaged the beaches and intracoastal waterways of Southwest Florida, volunteers from the Suncoast Sierra Club formed a coastal task force to begin de...
Published: 09/18/18
Updated: 09/19/18

Tuesday’s letters: Honor Flight restored my faith in America

Dogs are the best | Letter, Sept. 15Honor Flight restored my faith in AmericaJust as I was about to give up on our country due to divisiveness and and the divisions among its people and politicians, my pride was restored. As a member of the recen...
Published: 09/17/18
Updated: 09/19/18

Editorial cartoons for Sept. 18

From Times wires
Published: 09/17/18