Pinellas Safe Harbor
Work at shelter helps rebuild lives
The amazing men and women at Pinellas Safe Harbor homeless shelter deal with hundreds of people and are constantly bombarded with questions and requests from a part of our society that reflects the state of our economy. These are the homeless, jobless, displaced, broken and lost members of our community.
Amid the chaos, the workers keep order over the multitudes of people in need, as would a shepherd responsible for the health and welfare of his sheep. I use that biblical metaphor because of the unconditional love and tolerance in evidence.
The human services counselors, social workers and outreach groups work hard to reconnect people with society. The church community is, as always, present to help in any way possible, and the recovery groups are there for fellowship. All of these forces combined have developed into a social community.
Is is outside of mainstream society? Yes. But thanks to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, it is a safe and healthy community for those who want help getting back on track.
My own lesson from the Safe Harbor experience is that a community of people working together can save someone's life.
Bonnie Jean Richardson, Clearwater
Cut to streetcar subsidy is shortsighted Aug. 28, editorial
Streetcar's basic flaw
A minimum requirement for an effective transportation system is that it takes people from where they live to where they want to go.
In the morning, people want to get to work and school. In the evening, they want to come home. During the evenings and weekends, they want to get to shops, restaurants and bars.
The Tampa streetcar connects the business district of downtown with the commercial district of Ybor. Both downtown and Ybor are destinations. The streetcar is failing because it does not satisfy the most basic requirement of an effective transportation system.
Brian Willis, Tampa
Obama's unwise vow to veterans | Sept. 1, editorial
We owe them assistance
There are some veterans benefits that do need to be reviewed and reduced, but there are some that should be off the table. I refer to care of the combat-injured and disabled veterans who are coming home from Afghanistan and Iraq. They are people in their 20s who will need lifetime care for traumatic brain injury, lost limbs and posttraumatic stress disorder. We owe them that care.
Talk about supporting the troops becomes cheap when you object to paying for it. There are plenty of places to find the money. Why not tax the corporations? They're the ones making the money from our wars.
Richard Walker, Sun City Center
Take back the liberal arts Aug. 29, commentary
Toward a deeper education
Thank you for publishing this excellent article. It is my opinion that there has been altogether too much emphasis on technology — and earning money — where education is discussed. Both technology and money are important, of course, but we must never forget that both gadgets and money are means to an end.
The liberal arts give the student a glimpse of the richness of life, the endless diversity of its beauties, its sorrows and deep satisfactions. The TV and computer can often help us understand — and even appreciate — this awe-inspiring world, but they themselves are simply tools to our gaining this.
The authors of the article say regretfully that "what is being taught is no longer attuned to undergraduates looking for a broader and deeper understanding of the world." Years ago I had an instructor who said simply, "Art is what makes us human." Exactly.
Abigail Ann Martin, Brandon
Owners don't care
Why is the NFL the only professional sport with blackouts? How much is enough? What about people who cannot afford tickets — elderly, shut-ins, etc.? Are they not entitled to enjoy the games?
I had tickets to the Buffalo Bills for 18 years. Since moving to Spring Hill 10 years ago, I've been an avid Bucs fan. I'm alone now and can't even enjoy a Bucs game. The Glazers don't care about the fans.
Shirley Barrett, Spring Hill
We'll get to help pay Irene's bills | Aug. 30
Will they return the favor?
According to this article, "Florida was spared Hurricane Irene's wrath, but that doesn't mean homeowners here won't have a price to pay down the road." I wonder if this means the rest of the country will be helping people in Hernando and Pasco counties pay the exorbitant rates for sinkhole insurance.
Linda Mahoney, Spring Hill
Get our priorities straight
Hurricane Irene's damage to the eastern United States is estimated to cost at least $7 billion — about what we spend every month "nation-building" in Afghanistan. Which is more important?
Lou A. Murphy, Kenneth City
Vandals target Clearwater krewe's Gasparilla floats | Aug. 30
It's pirate behavior
I found the quote of the day by Kate Daley ironic. She asks, "How do you get to a point where you're so disrespectful, completely destroying somebody's property is fun for you?" Does she not realize that the Gasparilla festivities are all about celebrating destruction? The pirates vandalized towns, burned houses and stole property.
Arnulfo Silva, Palm Harbor
Bachmann: We're 'daddy dogs' of fuel Aug. 28
Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann's rant against the Environmental Protection Agency is scapegoating at its finest. She ignores the fact that the oil industry already possesses vast areas of domestic oil reserves under lease (62 million acres as of 2011) that are not being exploited. Why? They know that a dramatic increase in production would depress profits.
While Bachmann criticizes current law, even she cannot escape the law of supply and demand. The elimination of the EPA would not affect the price of oil at all (it's a world market), but it would allow the current domestic production to become far more hazardous to our environment. Her analysis and reasoning are reminiscent of an oil slick: miles wide but only about an inch deep.
Tom Carey, Clearwater
Technology's neutral gear Aug. 27, Reading file
Calculators are improving
While the TI-83 graphic calculator is still available, TI has updated graphic calculators. The TI Nspire CX, a new model, has more capabilities. In addition to a color display, it includes computer software capable of displaying spreadsheets. The display of solutions for differential equations can be seen in a 3-D format. It sells at about the same price as the original TI-83, less than $150.
Ralph Szwarc, Clearwater