Re: Hasty move on gifted left the parents behind | June 8 Times editorial
Gifted program costs misleading
We were very excited to read an editorial in support of the gifted center, specifically that the single-site program has merit and there is little doubt it will raise the bar and create a learning environment that is unprecedented in our county. As to the $700,000 to $900,000 price tag, it is not accurate to lump all costs, as done here, into the gifted pot.
Much of this total would be generated by these children regardless of where they attend school and whether they receive gifted services: Salaries, books, counselors, desks, etc., are costs all children generate.
As to the parental buy-in, we were advised Friday that the actual number of students enrolled is more than 200 and climbing, that there are 60-plus children on the waiting list to be tested, an initiative has been started to test all children who have scored 5's on the FCAT, and there will be public screenings offered during the summer months as well. It appears that any shortfall will be offset by new enrollees.
The gifted center is cause for celebration and thanks. And let us not forget that one of our wonderful magnets, Challenger K-8, can now dedicate its resources to offering an academically talented program (which, as the board stated, would have been adversely impacted due to space constraints had the gifted program remained there).
We look forward to the day our district offers additional full-time programs in other parts of our county. Let's build this one so we can justify another on the east side.
Donna Washburn, vice president on behalf of the board of directors, PAGES of Hernando (Partners Allied for Gifted Education and Support)
Re: No digital access in parts of the county | June 8 letter to the editor
County needs to spread the news
In a recent letter regarding online broadcasts of Hernando County Commission meetings, the author seems to state that BrightHouse Networks alone has the technology to provide us with high-speed digital service.
Even those of us who live in the boonies can receive digital high-speed broadband via satellite service. AT&T, Verizon and others are broadband capable. Anyone can receive it if only the County Commission would provide it through its Web site.
Perhaps the county has tied itself to some sort of exclusivity clause in its dealings with BrightHouse. But can you exclude a majority of residents from receiving public information if the technology exists and it is not too costly? That would be like giving news releases and information to only one newspaper.
John Saittis, Brooksville
Re: Beware of breathless blathering on blogs | June 8 column
Where were you, Mr. Glidewell?
Jan Glidewell takes on the role of protector for the likes of Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama in warning us about bloggers who spread "untruths." I'll begin by saying, Mr. Glidewell, that many, many bloggers are lucky to reach hundreds or maybe tens of thousands of people.
So, where were you when Dan Rather, who reaches tens of millions of Americans, came out telling us about how, through the use of doctored paperwork, that President George W. Bush was avoiding his National Guard duty? Where were you admonishing the Mainstream Media, or MSM, who jumped on that story like sharks on chum and spread it to millions more? Where were you when it was bloggers who exposed Rather for the partisan hack he and his media cronies were? Where were you demanding Rather be fired and held accountable?
Where were you when the MSM ruined the lives of those Duke University lacrosse players by spreading the malicious lies of their accuser? Where was all the solid reporting that would have shut this case down in days rather than months?
Jump forward a bit. Congressman John Murtha, D-Pennsylvania, accused many Marines of killing innocent Iraqis. He called them cold-blooded killers. The media frenzy that resulted from repeating Murtha's accusations filled thousands of newspapers and thousands of hours in the MSM outlets.
To date, virtually every single one of those Marines has been exonerated, acquitted or found not guilty.
Where were you, Mr. Glidewell, in demanding some accountability from Murtha? Where were you excoriating the media that reaches those tens of millions of people for the lies he perpetrated? It's people like Murtha, and self-righteous hypocrites like you who, if we were reporting World War II like the media minions report the Iraq War, we'd all be speaking Japanese or German.
You say fear is a motivator for getting things right. Why did the MSM not set these little examples right? Could it be because they know they have nothing to fear insofar as consequences because the MSM belongs to a cabal intent on ruining America?
Do us a favor, Mr. Glidewell; stay retired until you can say something sensible.
Vilmar Tavares, Spring Hill