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Wednesday's letters: Services for children underfunded

Just take kids from abusive situations | Oct. 2, editorial

Foster care system under strain

Who could not be in agreement with the views of this editorial? Who could deny that saving the lives of children under supervision by state child welfare caseworkers is primary?

But the article needs a P.S. What was omitted is this: Where do we put the children after they are removed that is an improvement to their current situation? Where is the funding for advertising, training and support for a sufficient foster care system that can provide care and safety for infants and children?

As a retired protective services supervisor who worked for the Department of Children and Families for almost 13 years, I can attest that this problem has never been fully addressed, neither by the state of Florida when there was control and continuity before the decentralization of child welfare services, nor after its fragmentation. Years ago there was another arm of services for families called Voluntary Protective Services. Of course, this was one of the first services eliminated for financial reasons.

Not until our state leaders recognize that pre-crisis and diversionary programs are necessary components of the continuum of services at the outset, and that adequate temporary foster care is essential at the follow-up end of the spectrum, can the outcome for children be improved.

Janice Perelman, Brandon

Two Christians on their knees | Oct. 1, Perspective

Valuable context on protest

Thank you for at last getting Colin Kaepernick's backstory into the mix. Also, thank you for the clear comparison of Tim Tebow's and Kaepernick's religious heritage and practices. It makes clear that the problem is indeed race-related. Anyone who calls himself a Christian cannot, in clear conscience, side with one against the other as we are all created in God's image and likeness.

The most glaring factor the press has left out is that President Donald Trump and some of his rich friends tried to start a professional football league to compete with the NFL. The USFL failed miserably and went bankrupt. Trump sued the NFL and lost. He apparently will do anything in his power to damage the NFL.

Thus, he has stirred up an unfounded controversy using false equivalencies and flat-out lies, and again divided our country and failed at his job as president, which is to unite us.

Mark Schumerth, St. Pete Beach

When is the right time?

The anthem protests have seen many chiding players for "protesting at work," smugly noting that they are being paid to play football, so they should play football. Yet not long ago, some of these same people were praising Kim Davis, a county clerk in Kentucky, for protesting at work by flat-out refusing to do her job. Did she, an elected public servant, not disrespect our country by refusing to do her job? The bigotry and hypocrisy of those who are protesting players is stunning.

Many also seem to have missed the fact that there have been many protests against police brutality. And many people have been quick to condemn those protests, telling African-Americans that they are mistaken in protesting police behavior. The ultimate question is: When is it appropriate for African-Americans to protest? So far it seems the answer to that is "never."

Cyrus Newcomb, Treasure Island

Report: Tax plan rewards top 1% | Sept. 30

Roads, incomes crumble

This report is no surprise. What's astonishing is that so many who won't benefit still cling to Republican "trickle-down" fantasies in spite of four decades of contrary evidence. How will tax cuts for the rich provide for the huge investment in infrastructure we sorely need? Anyone traveling abroad in recent years knows that our public transportation, bridges, dams, airports, electric grid, etc., lag behind most developed countries.

Working class incomes advanced most during the 1950s through early '70s when the top marginal tax rate on the very rich was between 70 and 90 percent. Yet the United States managed to pay down its World War II debt while going to the moon, building record numbers of schools and creating the interstate highway system.

Those "conservatives" who claim the administration's tax plan favors middle class families are not only factually wrong, but they ignore the increased national debt and the outdated infrastructure that will be left for future generations.

Tony Branch, Madeira Beach

Trump launches Twitter attack on San Juan mayor | Oct. 1

Poor leadership skills

Anyone familiar with President Donald Trump's personal history knows that he has never experienced, fear, hunger or thirst as a result of a natural disaster or for any other reason. In response to outcries for help and some well-deserved criticism by Puerto Rican officials and residents that the relief effort, for the most part, has been poorly executed and is insufficient, the president said Puerto Ricans want everything "done for them."

This lack of empathy once again demonstrates that Trump may never be an effective leader because of a flawed temperament. True leaders inspire, give hope, and provide comfort in dire times by creating pathways to ease the pain and suffering. They do not disparage and place personal image above the victimized.

Jim Paladino, Tampa

Wednesday's letters: Services for children underfunded 10/03/17 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 3, 2017 4:59pm]
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