Friday, April 20, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: Government gets the job done

Boston Marathon bombings

Government gets the job done

I just wanted to say how thankful I am for all branches of our government. The Boston tragedy gave us a great glimpse what our taxes pay for. It also shows that a government "of the people, by the people, for the people" is how a government should work.

The last few days, I saw civilians and their government working together for a common cause. The results show just how intertwined the people and their government should be.

When I hear people talk about how bad our government is or act as though it's a separate entity from them, it makes me wonder who they really want to govern them.

Jeff Hibbert, Wesley Chapel

Lesson to the world

The major message sent to the world since April 15 is "united we stand." The events that took place in Boston and Watertown told the world that when you attack any element of our country, we will pull together and take you down.

The events in Boston, and how every element of law enforcement and every resident in the area worked as one to bring these events to an end, show that we will unite and fight to assure we win. We all need to say thank you to all citizens for sending a message to the world: Do not mess with the United States of America.

Rich Prestera, Treasure Island

Charter schools

Level the playing field

When managed properly, the innovation and environment of excellence evident in a well-run charter school produces stellar results. Superior student outcomes are the goal of any good district-run or charter school, but the one factor that often becomes an obstacle is funding. Although by design charter schools can and must produce better outcomes for less cost, there also must be equity in that arrangement.

A traditional district-run school receives local taxes to build schools. That funding is over and above the taxes it receives for educating students. In an attempt to level the playing field, the Legislature put into place a capital outlay fund to be divided among charter schools to help with facilities. The disparity between the two is an impediment to student success.

District-run schools generate $1,140 per student for facilities, which translates on average to more than $1 million per school. The 579 charter schools must share in a fund of approximately $55.2 million, which amounts to about $272 per student and an average of $95,337 per school.

We must stop arguing about charter vs. district-run schools and start focusing on what is best for students. By leveling the playing field and providing equitable funding for all schools, the long-running debate about whether district-run schools or charter schools are better will be decided.

At the end, the results are likely to be clear that a well-run and properly managed charter school will be better for some students, and a well-run, properly managed district-run school will be better for others.

The bottom line is that different learning environments work better for different students. Charter schools are here to stay. Let's fund all schools properly so that all children benefit and succeed. After all, that should be the goal of every public school, district-run or charter.

Jay Wheeler, chairman, Osceola County School Board; chairman, Four Corners Charter School Board; chairman, Central Florida Public School Boards Coalition, Kissimmee

Paycheck fairness

Bill would remedy inequity

How would you like to train someone just hired for the same job, who makes more than you do? It happens all the time to women. I worked as a computer operator earning less than the man I was training who had the same title. I spoke up and received an increase, but it wasn't the last time I ended up paid less than men doing the same exact job.

A smaller paycheck doesn't just impact your current circumstances. Social Security benefits are based on your earnings, meaning women can live in poverty for their entire lives.

When will the wage gap between working men and women close? The Institute for Women's Policy Research says not until 2057. According to the IWPR, "Women, on average, earn less than men in virtually every single occupation for which there is sufficient earnings data for both men and women to calculate an earnings ratio."

In the U.S. Senate, S 84, the Paycheck Fairness Act, will help victims of wage discrimination with more effective ways to challenge the practice. In addition, companies won't be able to stop employees from sharing details about their pay.

I urge everyone to write to Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio and ask them to co-sponsor this act. Let's keep our families self-sufficient by righting this wrong and achieving pay equity.

Elaine Togneri, New Port Richey

How soon they forget | April 19, editorial

Highlight money's role

Kudos to your paper for posting pictures of all the legislators who voted against background checks for gun buyers. The only thing missing was the amount underneath each legislator's picture showing how much each received from the NRA to vote the way they did.

It would be great if you would run this same article every day during the couple weeks leading up the Election Day. How dare they forget those angels in Newtown, Conn.

Paul Moczydlowsky, Largo

Portraits in cowardice

I applaud your editors' decision to simply juxtapose photos of the Sandy Hook murder victims with the 45 smiling, cowardly senators who voted against expanding background checks for gun buyers. One picture is worth a thousand words … although in this case it's 26.

Sara Baker, Tampa

Boy Scouts board calls for dual track on gays April 20

Dual track dilemma

As a lover of well-crafted public relations language designed to defend the indefensible, I look forward to the moment a few years from now when Boy Scouts of America has to explain to the public why its first gay Eagle Scout can't serve as a scout master as an adult.

Andrew McAlister, Tampa


Friday’s letters: We owe it to our children to teach them history

If we don’t understand past, future looks grim | April 19, Daniel Ruth columnThe history we owe our childrenIt’s not often I agree with Daniel Ruth, but this article was spot-on. I’m not sure when the schools started ignoring Germany’s World War ...
Published: 04/19/18

Thursday’s letters: Gun research can save lives

Gun ownershipCommon ground: Find the factsThere are many areas in the current debate about guns and gun ownership where both sides must agree to disagree. But there is one area where common ground ought to exist. That concerns the need for continuing...
Published: 04/18/18

Wednesday’s letters:

Poverty and plenty in bay area | April 7, editorialStruggling poor are not a priorityI commend your newspaper for continuing to produce real and relevant news, particularly the recent editorial pointing out that a prospering Tampa Bay should not ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for April 20

Bar Association celebrates Law WeekPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1958, as the first Law Day to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Every year on this day, we reflect on the significance of the rule of law and rededicat...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Tuesday’s letters: Stop cooperating with ICE

Sheriff’s ICE policy blasted | April 10Pinellas should end partnership with ICEPinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri recently participated in a community conversation on his controversial agreement with ICE to voluntarily detain immigrants in the...
Published: 04/16/18

Sunday’s letters: The future of oyster production

Shell game | April 15Future of oyster productionThanks to Laura Reiley for an excellent synopsis of the current state of oyster production in Florida. The collapse of the Apalachicola oyster fishery is merely the latest example of the demise of a...
Published: 04/14/18

Monday’s letters: Public education is foundation of the nation

Voters beware of ballot deceptionApril 13, commentarySchools’ role underminedIt was with great pain that I read (not for the first time) that we must be aware of "ballot deception." Public schools were founded to make sure that future generations of ...
Published: 04/13/18

Saturday’s letters: Health Department should butt out

Judge: Grow pot, Mr. Redner | April 12Health officials should butt outThe Times reports that the Florida Department of Health filed an appeal to the decision allowing a man who is a Stage 4 lung cancer survivor to grow pot in his backyard for his ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/13/18

Friday’s letters: Open and shut: Enforce the law

Sheriff’s ICE aid policy blasted | April 10Open and shut: Enforce the lawPeople and institutions that insist on the using the euphemism "undocumented immigrant" do nothing but affirm their lack of objectivity by using such a phrase to support an ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/12/18

Thursday’s letters: Focus on offender, not weapon

Use data to curb gun deaths | April 8, commentaryFocus on offenders, not weaponsThis article tiptoes around the issue: human violence. The authors point out that automobile manufactures were pressured by regulation and law to make automobile coll...
Published: 04/11/18