Go back to the classics | July 1, letter
Plenty of violence in the classics
The letter writer approves of censoring the novel Paper Towns to keep it from schoolchildren. She deplores the pornography it contains and wishes that young people could go back to reading "the classics" that her generation read. Just what "classics" does she have in mind? And do they present a world of which she would approve?
Some of the most revered novels — novels that have been treasured through many generations — are awash with violent passions: greed, hate and, yes, sex. They were never intended to preserve young readers' innocence. Instead, they mirrored all kinds of human problems. Think, for instance, of Treasure Island, Pride and Prejudice, The Scarlet Letter, Moby Dick, Jane Eyre.
When it comes to sex, one can find plenty of that in the Bible. Read the stories in the Old Testament. Would they be classic enough?
Abigail Ann Martin, Brandon
Hillsborough lacks transit leadership June 29, editorial
Transit education needed
I was pleased to see the Times editorial board address the public transit referendum for Hillsborough County. Your editorial correctly points out that the county working group has delayed releasing its proposal to the public, and that the ultimate proposal may shortchange public transit in favor of more roads. Unfortunately, your editorial could end up hurting badly needed public transit by placing responsibility for these developments on Hillsborough Area Regional Transit board chairman Mike Suarez, who is pressing for a more public debate and is advocating for the referendum to truly serve public transit.
The referendum can get on the ballot in 2016 if officials work together. But plainly they are not, and an editorial that simply exhorts them to sell a proposal to the public with 75 percent of revenue supporting public transit is unlikely to produce results. There is obviously an effort to keep the debate out of the public eye and to shortchange public transit. The Times should help bring these issues into the public debate. Otherwise, the result will be a referendum crafted without sufficient public input, and one unlikely to adequately serve public transit.
Pinellas County has the right idea. Adequate public transit is needed now more than ever, and the bay area will never reach its true potential without it. But reaching that point requires that both counties operate transparently and in the best interest of public transit.
Rick Fueyo, Tampa
Best careers for women range from IT to HR July 2
Seeing this article, I thought I was experiencing a flashback to the 1960s. While this topic might have had relevance after Betty Friedan published The Feminine Mystique, it seems antiquated today. In 2014, is it necessary to actually have a list of careers that women should pursue? Can we expect "Best Careers for Men" next week?
I couldn't believe the quote from Tony Lee, publisher of CareerCast: "As more women continue to enter the workforce, more careers are emerging to provide an equal opportunity to succeed." Should I infer from this that if a woman chooses to be a dental hygienist (one of the "best careers" listed in the article) she has a better chance of succeeding than if she chooses to be a dentist? What happened to success based on ability, not gender?
I was also astounded to see that none of the positions was higher than manager level.
It seems the article's underlying message to our young women is: "Don't pursue your dream. Pick a career that is primarily female and you'll have a better chance of succeeding. Don't even think about going up against those men!"
Bev Jester, St. Petersburg
Vinik is winning bidder | July 3
Tampa set for progress
Is anyone else getting tired of the almost daily crying and whining coming from the partners that make up Liberty Channelside LLC? Their lawyer attended the New York auction but Liberty declined to bid. How does the saying go? You can't win if you don't play.
This process is not just about the sale of an outdoor mall. Channelside is closely tied to the growth and improvement of the city of Tampa. It is an important link to downtown Tampa and Ybor City. An improved Channelside will be a catalyst for more investment and lead to an increase in city dwellers.
There is no doubt that Jeff Vinik has proved that he is a true civic leader and believes in the city of Tampa. It is time for the partners of Liberty Channelside LLC to show that they are civic leaders and care about Tampa by stepping aside and let progress happen.
John Robbins, Tampa
Republicans for rights | July 3, letter
The letter writer tries to simplify the vote for the 1964 Civil Rights Act by stating that more Republicans voted for the act than Democrats. While that is true, there is much more to the story.
When the vote is broken down by states that belonged to the Union during the Civil War and those that belonged to the Confederacy, the percentages change drastically. In the House 90 percent of members from Union states voted for the bill, while 8 percent of those from the Southern states voted for it. In the Senate the split was 92 percent to 5 percent. Geography was far more predictive of voting coalitions on the Civil Rights Act than party affiliation.
Ray Day, Spring Hill
Joy for Davion melts away | July 3
Hoping for tender mercy
I remember a movie staring Robert Duvall called Tender Mercies. As I have kept track of Davion's misfortunes, I cannot think of a better term to use.
I am sure that Davion has had his share of troubles — some he created, others were a result of being homeless after losing his mother. This is the time to create some tender mercies for Davion. As we know, when we help others we help ourselves. Let's hope that Davion can find some peace. I am not in a position to take Davion in due to health problems; I hope that there are others who can.
Sylvia Costello, Largo