District revisits recess advice | Aug. 8
This is what 'recess' means
Why am I not surprised at the idiocy of the interpretation of the state's new "free play" or "recess" law? Consider the stupidity of keeping kids inside classrooms instead of allowing them some well-deserved sunshine and free play. That simple word "play" does not mean structured activities. Math and engineering skills should be taught in their respective classes with time for experimenting, not relegated to time that should be taken outdoors. If you're going to force students to stay in a classroom during this time, you might as well call it "study hall." The health of every student, no matter their grade, no matter their age, no matter their school aptitude, should be foremost in whatever curriculum is designed.
Harriet Browder, Clearwater
St. Petersburg mayoral primary
Why I'm for Kriseman
Four years ago, St. Petersburg chose bold, progressive leadership in my friend Rick Kriseman, and on Aug. 29, voters can cast their ballot for four more years of progress.
I've lived in St. Pete for nearly my entire life. I can tell you that Rick Kriseman is doing a great job. In just the last four years, St. Petersburg has a new vibrancy and vitality.
This might not have happened without Mayor Kriseman's dedication to making St. Pete inclusive to people from all walks of life.
From unique and thriving small businesses like those in the St. Petersburg Arts District to internationally renowned celebrations of diversity like the St. Pete Pride Parade, Mayor Kriseman has helped transform this city into a major cultural hub and destination for visitors and entrepreneurs from around the globe.
For example, the Kriseman Infrastructure Plan is the single largest investment in public works in our city's history. Under his leadership, St. Pete is averaging approximately 155,000 linear feet of sewer pipe repairs and replacement each year — the highest it's been in two decades. That's real progress.
With storms increasing in severity due to climate change, our beautiful city on a peninsula requires that kind of dedication to help our residents weather future storms.
Crime in St. Pete is also down significantly — thanks, in part, to Mayor Kriseman's commitment to providing our police officers with the resources they need to keep us safe.
St. Pete has also moved towards a living wage of $15 an hour, implemented paid parental leave for all city workers, and has taken strong steps to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
Mayor Kriseman has again and again demonstrated true vision.
I'm asking you to re-elect my friend Mayor Rick Kriseman so that the sun continues to shine on St. Pete.
U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-St. Petersburg
Ybor flock being studied | Aug. 5
Why the chicken adapted
So the professor from Michigan State University is studying how Key West and Ybor City chickens are "evolving." Not true. He is studying how they are "adapting," not "evolving." The terms are not interchangeable. The chickens always have been and always will be chickens.
JoAnn DiMaio, Tampa
Government leaks are long, honored tradition | Daniel Ruth, Aug. 8
National security at issue
Daniel Ruth failed to mention that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is specifically targeting national security leakers and the journalists and media outlets who publish national security documents. His historical account of leakers on non-security issues was interesting, but I want to know about national security leakers and the damage they have done to our country.
Patricia Jenkins, St. Petersburg
Miracle on the bridge | Letter, Aug. 6
The bus isn't better
Letter writer David Stanton noted that his commute was easy when Tropical Storm Emily cut traffic on the Howard Frankland Bridge and says buses would remove many cars from the road.
I've driven that bridge from Tampa to Largo every workday for 10 years. The commute would take me about 40 minutes on most days. Then I tried to ride a bus to work one day. That took nearly two hours, and I had to stand in the rain to catch the afternoon bus home, and then still had to ride my bike the rest of the way.
Maybe the writer can actually try riding the bus himself for a month and then let us know how well that's working for him. For those who want to ride a bus, just do it, and stop worrying about the rest of us. We'll be okay.
Brian Boyle, Tampa
The climate threat to Tampa Bay area | Editorial, Aug. 6
Sea change is local
Hillsborough County Commissioner Stacy White should be praised, not pilloried, for his pragmatic response to sea level rise. Why is it necessary to command an oath of fidelity to the global warming gods before one can help with a problem? Why does it matter what the cause is? Sea level is a localized problem with some areas more prone than others due to more subsidence and unique topography. Norfolk, Va., is an example and apparently Tampa Bay as well.
Kerry Brown, Treasure Island
HART slashes bus routes | Aug. 8
Bus cuts hurt seniors
HART director Katharine Eagan wrote that "we are aligning routes to better meet the needs of a changing community." The changes certainly do not meet the needs of Wimauma and Sun City Center. As this area of south Hillsborough is changing and developing at alarming speed, roads are clogged with more and more traffic, better and more efficient public transit is needed. These route changes are disheartening in particular to us senior citizens as it makes our lives much more difficult. Does HART realize it may put more pressure on us older folks to hazard driving on already dangerous roads?
Brigitte Callay, Sun City Center