Education the best poverty-fighter | Oct. 5, commentary
Wakeup call on education's value
This article was a wakeup call for anyone unaware of the benefits of education. It especially makes us mindful of children who are left behind around the globe. We have our work cut out for us in Florida with an inadequate education system, and children all over the world — especially girls — are desperately in need of more support.
I'm hopeful that the new president of the World Bank, Dr. Jim Kim, will help to make up for a lack of support of education in developing countries. He seems to be motivated to do so. I learned from a Dartmouth student that while Kim was president there, he told folks, "The world's troubles are your troubles."
Indeed, we are all linked, and putting children in at least primary schools should be mandatory. Under new leadership, the World Bank should use its money to effect change so that an education is possible for all.
Charles Delp, Tampa
Insurers call the shots
Mitt Romney and the Republicans keep talking about how the president would "put in place a board that can tell people ultimately what treatments they're going to receive." I don't know what kind of insurance he has had, but I have never had a health care plan that did not have such a provision — but it was a group at the insurance companies who decided. These were large insurance companies and large group coverages.
Co-workers complained about procedures ordered by their doctors that insurance would not cover. I had a procedure postponed because when I showed up for it the insurance company was still considering whether my doctor was right or not. Doctors have complained that insurance companies blocked their treatments.
Why do people think this is a devious plan to deny coverage?
Alice Smith, St. Petersburg
It's a knockout and Obama was terrible Oct. 6, letters
It's only the first round
Remember the "Rumble in the Jungle," that famous boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman? Foreman came out fists flying, seemingly having his way with Ali, who stayed on the ropes and appeared to have little ammunition to fight back. Think of the first debate between Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama as that fight, and it's the first round.
By the sixth round, Foreman was exhausted, having spent all his ammunition early and not being too effective. Ali took some hits, but he had plenty of stamina in reserve and knocked Foreman out in the eighth.
I believe these debates may be similar to that fight. Romney came out guns blazing, throwing hard but somewhat inaccurate punches. I think that Obama is saving his ammunition for the later rounds and Romney, having come out aggressively and strong, has thrown his best punches.
Ron Thuemler, Tampa
Officials get red-light shock | Oct. 5
Lack of transparency
First, it was St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster's plans for the Rays' stadium, and he was apparently the only one who knew what they were. Second, he played hide-and-seek with the expenses for the Republican National Convention. Now, it is the red-light cameras that only he, and one of his loyalists on the council, knew anything about.
The mayor has said that he was a successful lawyer prior to becoming mayor. His style might work well in the legal arena, but in a collegium that includes a mayor and City Council, he needs to demonstrate better leadership. For a man of his stature, his lack of transparency is confounding.
Willie J. Day, St. Petersburg
Museum, restaurant envisioned | Oct. 6
Great idea, wrong location
The nonprofit Two Red Roses Foundation does have the biggest and the best collection of furnishings, paintings, art glass, tiles, ironwork, pottery, textiles and woodblocks from the American Arts and Crafts period of design. Any city in America would be the talk and envy of every other big city in America to have these objects on permanent display in its own museum.
However, to take over public park space in the recently redesigned Curtis Hixon waterfront park would be wrong. Have city officials not discussed the adaptive reuse of some of the few remaining, beautiful empty buildings still standing in downtown, i.e., the W.T. Grant, Woolworth or Kress buildings?
That would make sense and except for the intended upscale waterfront restaurant, we would probably all be happy and still the envy of every major city in America.
John C. Herrmann, San Antonio
Dubious park plan in Tampa Oct. 6, editorial
Park is poorly planned
This criticism of the proposal to put a museum along the edge of Curtis Hixon Park is way off base.
I work in a tower adjacent to the park and am often struck by the fact that the park is virtually always vacant. The issue is that a big, open expanse of lawn doesn't effectively serve as a magnet for human activity. It is only used a handful of times a year for weekend events. It's frankly a bad park design.
What's needed is a variety of interconnected activities along the entire waterfront, including museums and interesting green spaces. Good design generates real attraction for people to use the space.
If you think the financial equation on the museum is not right, that's fine. But just trying to protect a badly designed park is shortsighted.
Mark Johnson, St. Petersburg
Healthier yet hungrier | Oct. 5
Let them eat
So the football players are hungry? Of course they are — they are teenagers in a growth spurt expending excessive calories playing football. My question is: Why can't the parents pack them a healthy, high-carb lunch?
When my nephew played football at Largo High, his mother bought hoagie rolls, a variety of lunch meats and cheeses, lettuce, tomato, etc., and packed him a suitable lunch for an active teenage boy. The lunches gained so much attention that the other football players offered to buy the ingredients and have her make their lunches too. These lunches were so much healthier and actually considerably less expensive than what the schools served.
Barbara Walker, Clearwater