Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Tuesday's letters: Creating new university is premature

Veto Florida Polytechnic | April 15, editorial

Creating new university premature

As Florida state legislators, we are bound by our Constitution to balance our budget annually. For the last several years, we have done so without raising taxes or fees on Floridians. It is our duty as elected officials to uphold the principles of limited government and sound fiscal policy in these tough economic times. Therefore, I must express my opposition to the split of USF Polytechnic into the 12th state university.

Senate Bill 1994, relating to Florida Polytechnic University, would draw funding away from the other state institutions, which are struggling due to our continuous cuts. Additionally, due to the lack of accreditation, I believe this split is grossly premature. The inception of a new state university can only be as successful as the proposal that creates it. If USF Polytechnic is to become an independent university, it should only be done by the benchmarks proposed by the Board of Governors.

This legislation was a hasty attempt at pleasing special interests without consideration for the students attending USF Polytechnic. More specifically, SB 1994 will cause increases in tuition that will be balanced on the backs of our future leaders. During fiscal uncertainty, we need to ensure that incoming students have the funding and tools necessary to lead this state in years to come.

State Rep. Larry Ahern, District 51, R-St. Petersburg

A case of racial divide | April 16

Move beyond talking points

Once again Eric Deggans has addressed the heart of the Trayvon Martin case. He clearly notes the need for the media to stop its excesses and to start attempting to educate all involved in the racial issues. This point was also expressed by Bill Cosby in an interview on CNN. He noted that the bigger question has not been addressed: What was George Zimmerman doing with a gun, and how was he trained to behave with it?

It would be nice if the Al Sharptons and others could step back and start to educate the people they are addressing to look at the root causes of the overall problem and develop programs to address them — not just get people on both sides overreacting to talking points.

Rich Prestera, Treasure Island

Let system work, in public eye | April 13, editorial

Rushing to judgment

By calling the Trayvon Martin death an "avoidable killing," it sounds like the newspaper's mind is already made up. It was a poor choice of words.

William Schiffner, Dunedin

Board speaks out against bigotry April 16, letter

Get to the real issue

In this letter Hassan Shibly mischaracterizes his opponents and puts words in their mouths. In all the proceedings at the Hillsborough School Board regarding this subject, the supporters of the Education Coalition never once asked for a policy "censoring all advocacy groups from visiting our public schools to speak on relevant topics."

We need to put emotions aside and focus on the issue raised by the supporters of the Education Coalition. That issue is: Representatives from organizations who are linked to terrorism do not belong in our schools.

Kenneth Roberts, Apollo Beach

Hillsborough schools stand up for tolerance April 14, editorial

Guest speakers, with limits

As a public school student, I think guest speakers should be allowed in classrooms, but with limitations. Visitors can give students new perspectives on what they are learning, but the speaker should not be allowed to go beyond educating. Speakers should be required to present what they are going to say to the teacher beforehand, and the teacher should verify that what the speaker is presenting is in line with the curriculum.

Visiting speakers must be informed that they are not to persuade, but only to state the facts to the students. Guest speakers are a great way to keep students intrigued and well-informed.

Emily Burk, Seffner

Controversy isn't over

This controversy has not ended. We will continue to contact the School Board and attend meetings until this issue is resolved.

The Times is the one spewing hate by saying we are intolerant of different cultures and using intimidation tactics. We are not about hate at all. I am very tolerant of other cultures, except for terrorists, and there is more than enough information available that shows the Council on American-Islamic Relations has connections to terrorist organizations.

We are not a small group, and as people learn the truth about CAIR, more and more are joining in the effort to keep them out of our schools. We did not demand that Islamic speakers not be allowed to speak in our schools. We demanded that CAIR not be allowed to speak. We even offered up other Islamic groups to speak in our schools that are not known to have ties to terrorists groups.

It's a sad day in America when citizens are vilified for caring about the safety of our children and our country.

Debra Benoit, Tampa

From Obama, smoke and mirrors yet again April 16, commentary

Conservative sighting

Was it a UFO? Was it a anomaly? Certainly it was a rare sight.

An op-ed article by a true conservative, Charles Krauthammer, graced your paper on Monday.

It does my heart good to know that you are actually aware of any conservative opinion writers. It is a rare occurrence for you to print any other opinion than what liberals have to offer.

Rick Rager, Hudson

A vote Obama has to recoup | April 16

Look at the whole picture

If I were in Ed Marke's shoes, I would think twice about voting Republican. It took eight-plus years of Republican rule to get us in the mess we are in today, but he expects President Barack Obama to get it cleared up in less than three years. This is unrealistic.

I am not in agreement with all of the president's actions, but when you look back to all the blockades he has run into with the House Republicans, you really have to think twice.

Celeste Plourde, Port Richey


Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Friday’s letters: Freight trains are infrastructure that works in Tampa Bay

Railroads are infrastructure that worksFreight trains carry the loadCentral Florida is our state’s fastest-growing region. We’re on track to outpace South Florida’s growth 2-to-1 over the next several years. Great news for our local economy, but it n...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Charter schools aren’t the enemy

Don’t plug your ears when schools ask for tax | May 20, columnCharter schools aren’t the enemyAs an educator, I am astounded when I hear claims from school board members that charter schools take away funding from the local public school system. ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: Trump’s words insult our Canadian visitors

Trade disputes torpedo G-7 summit | June 10Canadian visitors are owed apologyLike many Pinellas County residents, I’m pleased that we receive thousands of Canadian "snow birds" as part-year residents. Not only do they enhance our economy, but by ...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/13/18