Thursday, November 23, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: Science centers help fill the gap


To educate for the future, pay now | Jan. 17

Science centers help fill the gap

This article concerning the cost of a STEM education was provocative to say the least. There is no denying that the consequences of ignoring the "STEM gap" are daunting, but the costs of filling that gap need to be addressed.

Science centers have often found themselves facilitating public-private partnerships that advance the community outreach needs of private enterprise, satisfy a need for quality STEM education and fulfill the organization's mission to advance science learning. One such example takes place at the Orlando Science Center.

The Orlando Utilities Commission wanted a community outreach program that delivered a water conservation and renewable energy message to children. A partnership was created that combined the commission's content expertise with the strength of the Science Center in delivering science concepts in an engaging way.

Now in its third year, this effort has impacted more than 20,000 fifth-graders in Orange and Osceola county school districts. Students now better understand these issues and have more positive attitudes toward science. Companies like Northrop Grumman, Siemens and J.P. Morgan Chase have also taken on STEM-focused projects with the Science Center.

While the cost of STEM education can be high, the burden of funding these programs does not need to fall solely on the school systems or taxpayers. Innovative companies, educational systems and organizations like science centers can work together to provide services that help ensure that future generations are competitive in a world economy.

JoAnn Newman, president and CEO, Orlando Science Center

Fiery fight for Florida | Jan. 24

Abramoff would recognize

Gingrich's debate reply

In Monday's debate, Mitt Romney tried to make the case that Newt Gingrich and the companies that he owned had received $1.6 million from Freddie Mac for lobbying and influence-peddling.

The Gingrich reply was that the payment was not for lobbying but for consulting. If Romney had only read Lucy Morgan's column ("Abramoff's harsh plan to clean up Congress") in Monday's Tampa Bay Times, he would have been able to effectively use convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff's observation that "congressmen know better than anyone how to get around a ban on lobbying. They 'consult.' "

Palmer O. Hanson Jr., Largo

Support for living wills

Something refreshing happened at Tampa's Republican presidential debate. Each of the candidates took a similar position on a hot-button health care issue.

The candidates voiced support for living wills that allow all adults to make health care decisions ahead of a crisis. These decisions are best made by patients, families and caregivers — not the courts, not the health care payers, and not bureaucratic systems.

Florida has long been a leader in this effort by offering a better option for families considering living wills: a document that focuses on the issues of comfort and dignity, and a document that is easy to understand and use. All Americans, regardless of political affiliation, can support improving end-of-life care and honoring patient decisions.

Paul Malley, president, Aging with Dignity, Tallahassee

Rejecting pipeline is an act of national insanity | Jan. 20, commentary

Don't ignore the aquifer

Robert Samuelson's diatribe on the Keystone XL pipeline misses a vital point. The pipeline was rejected because of its route over a very important aquifer. In fact, this route was strenuously objected to by Nebraskans (as in the people and the politicians), and that is why it was originally delayed.

It was delayed so that TransCanada could find another route and was killed because the 60-day deadline that the Republicans imposed allowed no time to find another route. If TransCanada can find another route, it can resubmit the paperwork and thank the Republicans for the added expense.

Where Samuelson came up with the idea that the administration killed it to stop tar sand development is beyond me.

Christopher Radulich, Apollo Beach

$288M for customers | Jan. 21

Forced into compromise

Kudos to Ivan Penn and the Tampa Bay Times for shining the spotlight on Progress Energy's attempts to bill customers for the company's mismanaging repairs at the Crystal River plant, as well as future costs for a proposed nuclear plant in Levy County. Only the utility's reluctance to face a public hearing has forced it to compromise.

Arlene Kline, St. Petersburg

Win some, lose some

So our $288 million refund will only cost us $5 a month! How lucky we are to live in such a fair and honest state.

Ronald Foster, Clearwater

Court backs dismissal of Taj Mahal case Jan. 18

Not a moot point

Not on the front page, but just in back of the obituaries was an item stating that the Florida Supreme Court has approved the state judicial ethics panel's dismissal of its case against former chief judge Paul M. Hawkes. The reason? They found this to be a moot case now that the judge has resigned.

According to my dictionary, moot means "a matter of no importance," and this I do not understand as the judge is still drawing on state retirement benefits even after the people of Florida were led, against their knowledge, into supporting the building of a $49 million courthouse.

This is not a moot point to me. Monies were wasted, and there should be some compensation.

Peggy Bernard, Oldsmar

Florida's economy turning around Jan. 22, commentary

Numbers don't lie

How can Gov. Rick Scott state with a straight face that "there is no better way to judge the direction of Florida's economy" since he took office than by consulting job creation figures? He promised us 700,000 jobs, as I recall. He states that 140,000 jobs have been created.

And "prioritizing transportation"? Really? He refused $2.5 billion in federal aid for high-speed rail just to snub the president.

Christopher J. Gerber, St. Petersburg


Friday’s letters: Find private investors for a new stadium

Opening offer from Rays on stadium sounds too low | Nov. 17, editorialFind private investors for stadiumThe Rays "offered" to pay 18.75 percent of the costs? How outrageously presumptuous to say that they offered! Put another way, they demanded t...
Published: 11/21/17
Updated: 11/22/17

Thursday’s letters: Tax plan won’t help wages

Tax billThis won’t help stagnant wagesThe unfair tax proposal that cuts taxes for the rich and most powerful and cuts the ability of working people to claim any comparable deductions is no more than another greedy power grab by the rich and powerful....
Published: 11/20/17
Updated: 11/22/17

Wednesday’s letters: Breaking down health data

Don’t let news on blood pressure raise yours | Nov. 17, commentaryBreaking down health numbersThank you for publishing the timely commentary by Dr. H. Gilbert Welch on blood pressure. The point he makes about relative risks versus absolute risks ...
Published: 11/20/17
Updated: 11/21/17

Tuesday’s letters: Disgraceful tax proposals

Tax billDisgraceful, harmful proposalsThe very fact that the Congress of the people of the United States would propose, not to mention pass, the current tax bill is nothing short of disgraceful. What sort of representatives of the people support cutt...
Published: 11/20/17

Monday’s letters: Doctors should speak up on harassment

Sexual harassmentDoctors need to speak upThe recent widespread recognition, followed by disapproval, of sexual harassment across many workplaces signals a paradigm shift in social attitudes toward abuse of power that is long overdue.The male-dominate...
Published: 11/17/17

Saturday’s letters: Reservoir project off to a good start

Lake OkeechobeeReservoir project off to good startThis year, more than 70,000 Floridians contacted their legislators to support expediting a reservoir project south of Lake Okeechobee. Another 150 business people, anglers, health care professionals a...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Sunday’s letters: Roundabout way to help the rich

Senate GOP’s tax plan to kill ACA mandate | Nov. 15Devious way to hurt middle classSo, let’s see if we have this straight. The proposed amendment to the Senate tax plan, to kill the individual mandate, will cause young people to not buy health in...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Friday’s letters: Stop laying blame on teachers

Hillsborough teachers are set to protest | Nov. 14Stop laying blame on teachersI am a veteran teacher, coming up on 30 years of service to public education. My mother was also an educator, clocking over 40 years of service in public education. Sh...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/16/17

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Nov. 17

Questioning fees draws snarky responseYou are probably aware of the new Pasco utility fees that became effective last month.Under the dubious title of "convenience fee" for making utility payments by credit card or e-check, Pasco Utilities adds $2.75...
Published: 11/15/17

Dollars need to stay at home if south Brooksville is to survive

As a member of the Moton High School Class of 1967, I grew up a poor but very happy child because of the love given to me by all. So all I had to do was be a child and not rush to be an adult.There were many black businesses along a four-block area o...
Published: 11/14/17
Updated: 11/22/17