Monday, May 21, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Thursday's letters: There's no hope for public school system

Low fcat scores stun, upset many | May 15

Public school system is doomed

"Pathetic" is the only word for all these samples. Only 27 percent of fourth-graders passed the writing test under the original criteria. These students have gone to school every day for five years or maybe six, counting preschool. Sled and down are first-grade words. Have we stopped spelling tests? The concept of capital versus small letters is lost. I doubt they read or speak any better than they write. Of course, neither the Ph.D.s, teachers nor the unions are responsible for this debacle, and their answer is to lower the passing number. There is no hope for the public school system.

Lynn O'Keefe, Largo

Low fcat scores stun, upset many | May 15

Madness in the method

The FCAT is a sham that has gotten out of control. The reason it's not accurate or relevant is that not all students fit into one mold.

Teachers are tasked with giving instruction on this mess, which is not a true measure of their success. Most kids resent having to "do FCAT" in lieu of other classes. And the state keeps changing the test requirements and does not inform teachers of these differences in the FCAT. They should be more concerned with end-of-course testing. If the child fails, he gets no credit. It's just that simple.

Finally, this is yet another example of government intervention. Government needs to keep its nose out of the classroom as well as our homes.

Ron Gonzalez, Trinity

Simply dreadful writing

I attended a British grammar school many years ago. In those days the grammar school was post-elementary for students of greater ability. About 25 percent of children attended this type of school. We were expected to write an essay at home each week in script. Printing would have been totally unacceptable. I found the quality of the student writing examples that you published on Tuesday to be dreadful.

Brian Pasby, Floral City

Armwood football title in question | May 15

De-emphasize sports

The fact that Armwood High School accepted falsified documents so it could field a championship team should come as no surprise to anyone. Sure, it is great to have a winning team, but the dire need for better education trumps it. America wonders and worries about the lack of students pursuing studies in mathematics, science and electronics, and rightly so. Blame the students, their parents or the school, but above all we should be de-emphasizing sports and other "glamorous" distractions in favor of academic study.

Orfeo Trombetta, Seminole

College debt hobbles grads | May 14

Be smart from the get-go

Between mortgage debt and student loans, whatever happened to personal responsibility and repaying your debt? Why in the world would someone attend a private school when you can get as good (or better?) of an education at a state school for a fraction of the price, especially if you don't have parents or a trust fund to pay for it?

I applied only to two schools in 1976, Notre Dame and the University of Florida. Notre Dame was $15,000 for tuition, room, board, etc. UF was $3,000. As the oldest of five kids to a bricklayer and a housewife, it was a no-brainer. I went to UF, eventually receiving four degrees, an incredible education and manageable debt that was paid off within two years.

If your family can afford to pay for an expensive college, great. If not, it's no different from buying a house or car that you can't afford. Don't. Use the difference to buy your first home or start your profession. But don't cry about it later and ask the government for help.

Larry Heinkel, St. Petersburg

JPMorgan's meltdown

Arrests are in order

There need to be more consequences for the three JPMorgan executives than just stepping down. Their actions have hurt millions of Americans, and they should be arrested, arraigned and sentenced. Stepping down means nothing to these people. They're all multimillionaires, and the fallout from their actions will not hurt them as it will the average American.

Verne Humphrey, Clearwater

Back at ya, Bosox | May 14, letter

Back at ya, Rays fans

To the Rays fan spewing venom at the Red Sox Nation: Yes, your team has been beating us lately, but we still support our team more than you support yours. Yes, Fenway Park is a dump, but it sells out every game. Yes, the weather stinks there, but we still sell out every game. The Red Sox fans have historically been disappointed many more times than rewarded with success, but there is not a more passionate or more loyal fan base. Methinks that is why you hate us so much. If Rays fans tried to emulate us, the team may not have to leave the area.

Mike Lang, Seminole

Massacre before our eyes | May 14, letter

Stay out of war

In response to Mark L. Grantham's letter, I am truly sorry for the loss of your friends in Syria, but we have been getting ourselves involved in other countries' business for too long. Let them fight their own battles. Bring our men and women home. I lost a brother in World War II. That was enough for me.

Evelyn Teta, Brandon

Who's flagged by voter checks? | May 13

Shades of Jim Crow

I am concerned that the recently raised claim that thousands of illegal immigrants are voting in Florida elections is just an excuse for the Republican-controlled state Capitol to add further restrictions to the voter franchise. Will people in the future be required to provide proof of citizenship at the polls, especially if they happen to have a Hispanic or foreign-sounding surname? Shades of Jim Crow. Voting is not a privilege — it is a right!

Sandra J. Gander, Bradenton

Gov. Scott's chief of staff resigns after year May 13

Scott had to know

You mean to tell me that Gov. Rick Scott knew nothing about his chief of staff, Steve MacNamara, giving no-bid contracts to friends? Unless maybe Scott had his eyes wide shut, I find it difficult to believe.

If it weren't for the investigative work of Mary Ellen Klas of the Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau, there would still be dirty little deals going on in Scott's office. It's as bad as nepotism and a disgrace to our state.

JoAnn Lee Frank, St. Petersburg


Tuesday’s letters: If you don’t like the Electoral College, then amend the Constitution

The popular vote | May 20, letterIf you don’t like it, amend ConstitutionA recent letter supports the idea that a state should be able to change its Electoral College vote to match that of the national popular vote winner as opposed to the result...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Proposed TECO Solar Plant As a 21-year resident and property owner, I am writing in opposition to the proposed Tampa Electric Company solar plant tin rural northeast Pasco County.The solar plant will be .2 miles from my home. It will run 1.4 mile...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Monday’s letters: Focusing on the mental state of shooters misses the point

Texas high school shooting | May 18Criminals, angry people kill peopleSchool shootings are a distinctly American phenomenon. But shootings by people with serious mental illness represent less than 1 percent of all yearly gun-related homicides in ...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/21/18

Friday’s letters: Putnam and Publix, two P’s lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17A pleasure to shop elsewhereMy family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye.Firs...
Published: 05/18/18

Saturday’s letters: For Florida to move forward, focus on a healthy and sustainable environment

Tampa’s future is bright | May 12Protect Florida, boost economyThis past year, Florida set another record-breaking year for tourism, welcoming more than 116 million visitors. While Florida boasts a unique quality of life and more than 1,300 miles...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Sunday’s letters: What conservatives stand for

How can conservatism survive after Trump | May 13, Nickens columnhed#6324 I think it obvious that traditional conservatism was squeezed out of the 2016 campaign narrative and has become a niche thesis owned by a small group of intellectuals. A gr...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Friday's letters: Putnam and Publix, two P's lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17 A pleasure to shop elsewhere My family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye. F...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 18

Re: Pasco panel okays Tampa Electric solar farm after five-hour meeting | April 9 storySolar farm offers many positivesThere has been much publicity regarding the proposed TECO Mountain View solar project slated for 350 acres in East Pasco that was r...
Published: 05/14/18

Thursday’s letters: Florida has arguably become the autonomous vehicle capital of North America

Autonomous vehicles in FloridaThe state for self-driving carsAlmost overnight, Florida has arguably become the autonomous vehicle capital of North America. In the last three months, Voyage, a self-driving taxi service, has begun service in the Villag...
Published: 05/12/18
Updated: 05/17/18

Wednesday’s letters: Florida’s Community Health Centers save $1.78 for every dollar spent

Florida’s Community Health CentersHealth centers are a great dealIf you gave someone a dollar and they gave you back $1.78, wouldn’t you consider that a fantastic deal? That’s the deal Florida’s Community Health Centers provide for the state’s citize...
Published: 05/12/18
Updated: 05/16/18