Sunday, July 15, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: Properly fund public education

Rethink rule on class size | Sept. 7, commentary

Properly fund public education

This opinion piece asks citizens to consider rethinking the rule on class size. The writers provided data supporting their viewpoint that putting an end to the class size amendment makes economic sense.

The problem is that from its inception, the class size amendment was never properly funded nor implemented. In place of funding, districts have been awarded annual loopholes by our legislators in order to circumvent the will of the people who wanted smaller classes for their children. You can't really use data against a plan without having actually implemented the plan as it was intended.

There are too many organizations that think a business model for education is the way to go. Saving money is great, but neglecting to properly fund education is criminal because money saved on education is eventually spent on crime, drugs, prisons and other drains on our economy. Florida lags by thousands of dollars a year on per student spending compared to the average of all other states. If Florida wants young families and businesses to settle here, it must invest in education.

The op-ed authors think charter schools are a cheap alternative. Those that specialize in a certain condition such as autism may or may not be, but if they are taking tax money they must be held to the same account as public schools. Those that do not accept English as a second language students, Exceptional Student Education students or kids with behavior issues should not be entitled to any taxpayer money. It is the responsibility of each generation to educate all of the next.

The citizens of Pinellas County have always supported public education. Four times in the past 16 years they have voted in favor of a referendum tax that provides money for public education. Pinellas County commissioners have voted to help fund a nurse in every elementary school. Perhaps our elected leaders in Tallahassee need to listen to what Pinellas has been saying for years: Fund public education.

Mike Gandolfo, Palm Harbor

The writer is the president of the PCTA.

Hurricane Irma

No sign of utility trucks

First thing Monday morning I saw most homeowners outside with chain saws, blowers and rakes starting to clean up our neighborhoods. By day's end, yards and streets had much of the debris removed or in piles. What I did not see was a single Duke Energy crew working to restore power in southeastern Pasco County.

Traffic signals that were out Monday were still out on my way to work Tuesday. I still didn't see any Duke Energy crews, but what I do know from this morning's paper is that they have 8,000 extra lineman somewhere.

Frank Oliveto, New Port Richey

Newspaper made my day

Thank you to the Tampa Bay Times and your wonderful carriers. I was so happy Tuesday morning to find not only today's Times, but Sunday's and Monday's as well, in my driveway. That storm could have ruined even more than it did by depriving readers of our regular newspapers.

There are lots of behind-the-scenes hurricane heroes in our community. The deeds are big and small. Seemingly little gestures can make all the difference in the world. Most of us assumed that Irma would deprive us of our papers. You foiled that plan.

Thanks again to you and your carriers for taking care of your subscribers.

Kathy Betancourt, Tampa

Thanks for the effort

A big thank you to Times reporters, editors, columnists, photographers and distribution staff for wide-ranging reporting and accurate, touching writing about Irma. I was grateful to have Tuesday's paper on my driveway — along with Monday's tucked inside. Miracles come in all sizes.

Linda Schatz, Tampa

From Italy, reassurance

I want to thank you for the accurate coverage of Irma's passage in Tampa.

My daughter Barbara and my nephew are living in Clearwater and we were very concerned about their situation. Through your online edition, available for all readers, my wife and I got all possible information about actions taken by people and authorities to prevent personal damages. We were very relived when the storm left the Tampa area and we could again get in touch with our daughter. Thanks again.

Pierluigi Salvini, Milan, Italy

All U.S. in this together

I am dismayed by "Texans helping Texans" taglines associated with Hurricane Harvey, as by murmurs of "Floridians helping Floridians" now appearing in local TV news. My nephew, a California firefighter, spent days on a bus to arrive at Eglin Air Force Base after Irma to assist Florida. Americans are helping Americans.

Big government and small government advocates need to acknowledge one fact: We are one nation, not merely a collection of states. The entire purpose of government is to do for people what they cannot do for themselves. There are no "red" or "blue" states in disasters.

S. Engel Phillips, St. Petersburg

Trump was right to end program | Sept. 11, letter

We are a generous nation

This letter comparing Dreamers to criminals and suggesting that, like other criminal families, they are the recipients of ill-gotten "loot" was appalling and heartbreaking.

The letter writer is entitled to her opinion, but I'd like to believe that the inscription on the Statue of Liberty offers a more generous and truly American alternative to such mean-spirited and hostile ideas: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free …"

Bonnie Navin, Tampa


Sunday’s letters: Stop burning of sugar cane near the Everglades

Florida’s land of black snow | Bill Maxwell column, July 1Don’t burn sugar cane, periodIn this column, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris King got a lot of things right about how sugarcane burning negatively impacts the Glades communities w...
Published: 07/11/18
Updated: 07/13/18

Saturday’s letters: The dangerous days before Roe vs. Wade

The reality of back-alley abortions | Column, July 11The dangerous days before RoeI am a 71-year-old retired nurse. I still remember when abortion was illegal and birth control was restricted to married women in the United States. In 1983, I set ...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/14/18

Thursday’s letters: The Rays’ Ybor City stadium will be magnificent

Rays’ big dream is small ballpark | July 11The new stadium will be gorgeousI had the pleasure of attending the unveiling of the Tampa Bay Rays "next-generation, neighborhood ballpark." I was blown away. As an 18-year resident of Tampa Bay, and ma...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/12/18

Wednesday’s letters: Let’s prepare Florida’s next generation for the jobs that have been created yet

Make Florida’s workforce globally competitivePrepare for jobs not yet createdIf you aren’t amazed by the speed at which technology is changing our world, just think back 20 years. Would you have imagined cellphones with the capabilities of a laptop c...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/11/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for July 13

Re: School meals for all students | July 6 storyParents should pay for their ownThat article really got me to thinking ... why can’t parents feed and care for their own children? When did it become others’ responsibility to do this? No one fed our th...
Published: 07/09/18

Tuesday’s letters: It’s great that Tampa’s Democratic mayor works with a Republican governor

Dems wary of Scott, Buckhorn bromance | July 8It’s not partisan to look out for TampaThe focus of a mayor should be on success in his jurisdiction, no matter the partner, for the citizens who live in his area of responsibility. Mayor Bob Buckhorn...
Published: 07/06/18
Updated: 07/10/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for July 13

Scaring birds with fireworks is a problemThe justification of buying fireworks to scare birds is the biggest problem with fireworks. My wife and I retired to a small pond across from a nature preserve. On a recent holiday, we were enjoying watching b...
Published: 07/05/18
Updated: 07/09/18

Monday’s letters: Let’s keep plastics out of the ocean now

Is a ban on plastic straws a step too far? | July 4 Plastic in oceanis not fantastic As a Tampa Bay native, I am thrilled to see a concerted effort to eliminate plastics pollution in the area, and encouraged to see small business and restaurant ow...
Published: 07/05/18
Updated: 07/09/18

Sunday’s letters: Keep the Rays in Tampa Bay

Ballpark site catches break | July 5Keep the Rays in Tampa BayLast month, the Tampa Bay Partnership led a delegation of nearly 20 Tampa Bay business leaders on a benchmarking trip to Houston, to explore the nationally recognized workforce develop...
Published: 07/05/18
Updated: 07/06/18

Saturday’s letters: Letter of the month concerns civility in public discourse

June letter of the month The winning letter addressed incivility in public discourseMud sticks to those who sling itI am an 83-year-old black, straight male. I lived with Jim Crow laws that deprived me of education, jobs, housing and service in publi...
Published: 07/02/18
Updated: 07/06/18