Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Superintendent's support of magnets is election-driven

Magnet support is election-driven

I am completely flabbergasted by the school administration's sudden interest in magnet schools and in giving parents options.

During this tough economy that superintendent Heather Fiorentino continues to hide behind, Hernando County schools managed to build a couple of K-8 schools and a new magnet school. Perhaps readers noted the magnitude of the difference between us and other counties on magnet schools.

I used to sit at the superintendent's staff meetings so I have some firsthand knowledge of what was discussed. Repeatedly, I brought to her attention the Bill and Linda Gates Foundation and the experimentation being done with small schools and redesigning America's antiquated high schools; not because I thought we should jump in head first, but because I thought a little experimentation might be a good idea. All to no avail. I was rebuffed at every turn.

School Board members and I visited the Nature Coast Technical Center in Hernando and a K-8 school where we heard accolades from parents, teachers and administrators alike. It was amazing watching how middle schoolers assisted their younger siblings before and after school and how the building design provided age appropriate separation during the school day. Again, at staff meetings K-8's were dismissed as an idea built on convenience and with no positive value. I asked about a magnet school but was told that was just a gimmick for bringing middle- and high-income kids into low-income neighborhoods.

We have a couple career academies that seem to be making some good progress but they remain unavailable to kids across the county. Nor do we have anything that remotely approximates some of the magnet schools you will find in the Tampa Bay area such as the East Lake High School Engineering Academy. We have had the capital and intellectual resources to explore these options for years but have done very little.

Now, we have an election looming and suddenly the superintendent realizes parents want to be heard and want options for their children. Our relationship to parents is a very important dynamic that should be nurtured on a daily basis. It is a dynamic that involves listening, educating and mutual respect. It is not something that should only happen eight months before a political primary.

Ray Gadd, Land O'Lakes

New pain for those who need pains pills | Feb. 12 article

Pain pill buyers should have proof

I was very surprised to read that someone was able to pick up someone's medications without having to provide identification and proof that they were authorized to do so. If I have ever had to have someone else pick up my medications, I have always given them my ID, a note, and I called the pharmacy to let them know someone else was picking it up and that they would present proof of that.

I have never had a problem and I think that it should be a standard policy of every pharmacy to require proof of who you are and who you are picking up for by requiring ID if possible and/or written instructions.

An added precaution would be to have a form that the person signs like you do already for insurance purposes. Simple and easy, although it does mean some extra steps for pharmacy personnel. It will save time, money and possible lawsuits in the long run and no one will have to do without their medication.

Rachel E. Wright, Zephyrhills

Drug raid finds gun stockpile | Feb. 11 article

Firearms cache is tip of the iceberg

No one who lives in this part of Florida should be surprised when law enforcement finds numbers of non-sporting weapon associated with the drug trade for sale.

It's going to get much worse. In October 2010 the NRA/Republican Firearms Preemptions law Florida Statute 970.33, voted for by every Republican senator and state representative, became law. This law made it illegal for any local government to ever again pass any controls on firearms. The destruction of all gun control laws has been a goal of the NRA and their Republican supporters since 1987.

The backlash has been swift and vocal all over Florida by individual, local governments and even law enforcement that local government should have the right to pass gun violence prevention laws to protect public safety.

My organization is working with dozens of angry citizens, property organizations and farmers that can no longer post or control firearms on or near their lands or communities, and they are mad and willing to fight this law. In Hernando County , commissioners felt they had to let a kitchen table gun dealer set up in a residential area regardless of zoning restriction or they would be in violation of this new NRA law. This has opened the floodgates for anyone to ignore zoning law and sell guns out of their home.

Arthur C. Hayhoe, Director

Florida Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Inc.

Ticket puts crimp on food budget | Feb. 9 letter

Traffic light timing is unfair

I agree with the letter writer about these practices.

I had to pay a ticket myself on Dec. 30 for $162 that took place at the very notorious U.S. 19 and Gulf Drive, New Port Richey

I have read articles about this intersection. It appears that the timing of those lights is poorly set up, in favor of New Port Richey, of course.

You can fight it, but if you are still found guilty, which would probably the case, then the fine goes to $240.

I would like to see them give all that money back to the people, especially the ones ticketed at U.S. 19 and Gulf Drive.

Michael Cabral, Holiday

Ticket puts crimp on food budget | Feb. 9 letter

Traffic ticket was writer's own fault

To the letter writer who can't buy food because she had to pay a ticket, what a crock.

She blew through a red light. Stop whining. Own up and pay.

I, too, am on Social Security. What is the big rush? She should have enough common sense, at her age, to obey the laws of this country.

Tom Hobbie, Holiday


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...
Updated: 2 hours ago

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

Thursday’s letters: Bill protects pharmacy customers

House Bill 351Bill protects pharmacy customersWe all need the protections provided in Florida House Bill 351 to ensure pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, are transparently operating with patients. Currently, PBMs are not regulated by the state and o...
Published: 02/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: The ocean is no place for amateurs

Youthful dream sinks in two days | Feb. 12Ocean is no place for amateursFirst of all, let me say I am sorry this couple lost their boat and I do applaud their adventurous spirit. However, I have spent over 20 years at sea and would like to commen...
Published: 02/13/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Feb. 16

A vote against Pasco’s jail bond issueThere are two stories on the front page of the Feb. 9 Pasco Times that drew my attention.The top headline reports that the Pasco County commissioners are discussing submitting a $185 million bond issue to the vot...
Published: 02/13/18