Wednesday, March 21, 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


Thursday’s letters: School safety requires funding

Constitution Revision CommissionSchool safety requires fundingThe Constitution Revision Commission should consider amending a proposal (45, 93 or 72) to allocate the necessary recurring funding for the new school safety mandates, separate from the ba...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Wednesday’s letters: Let the teachers decide on guns

Trump touts arming staff as key in plan for school security | March 12It’s the teacher’s call on weaponsPlease, let’s try an alternate view about guns in the classroom. First, it hasn’t gone unnoticed that the preponderance of letters about guns ...
Published: 03/20/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for March 23

Re: Residents object to solar farm | March 16, storyLakeland Electric has shown that residential customers can be incentivized to allow placement of utility-owned solar panels on their roofs. Likewise, business owners can be incentivized to allow...
Published: 03/19/18

Tuesday’s letters: It shouldn’t be this hard to fly

Tampa International AirportIt shouldn’t be this hard to flyI’ve given the train two tries now from economy parking at Tampa airport. It’s a lot of work. How silly to go down one bank of elevators, then take a good walk to the next set of elevators to...
Published: 03/19/18

Monday’s letters: Protect Floridians’ right to privacy

People push for changes at Constitution hearing | March 14Protect Florida’s right to privacyI attended the Constitution Revision Commission’s public hearing at USF St. Petersburg last week. I was there because I thought it was important to have m...
Published: 03/18/18

Sunday’s letters: Effort to stem pet cruelty pays off

Puppy millsEffort to stem cruelty pays offThank you to everyone who contacted their legislators, and a huge shout-out to the Tampa Bay Times for letting us know that state legislators were considering a bill to eliminate the hard-achieved gains on lo...
Published: 03/17/18

Saturday’s letters: Insurer focused on repairs, not fees

Citizens hit with $12.7M verdict | March 15Insurer’s focus: repairs, not feesCitizens Property Insurance Corp. has spent the past several years making sure that insurance proceeds for sinkhole repairs are used to restore a home and make it whole....
Published: 03/16/18

Friday’s letters: Put young people to work rebuilding infrastructure

Smart way to pay for infrastructure | March 13, commentaryMake rebuilding a youth project Raising gas taxes to pay for infrastructure may not be the best way to go. I suggest we re-invent the old WPA (Works Progress Administration) and draft high...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/15/18

Thursday’s letters: An alternative for giving: Breadcoin

Panhandling paradox | March 11Innovation in giving: BreadcoinPanhandling is destructive to the donor, panhandler and our community — a guilt trip that erodes personal dignity, respect and self-worth, making the recipient more beholden and entitle...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/14/18
Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Daylight saving timeDaylight bill is bad for businessI encourage Gov. Rick Scott to veto the daylight saving time extension bill. It makes no sense. It puts Florida out of sync with the rest of the country. Commerce will be affected. The entire Easte...
Published: 03/13/18