Sunday, June 24, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: This Children's Board member doesn't have head in the sand

Fix highly dysfunctional Children's Board 'family' | May 21, editorial

Parameters for the good of all

Your editorial certainly provided evidence that there is much work to be done by those of us associated with the Children's Board for all of the reasons you cited. What I found troubling about your commentary is your assertion that my comments about board members observing "parameters" would have one believe that I am trying to hide or ignore the issues we are facing. You also suggest that I am not exerting leadership that will confront the problems and seek solutions that will regain public trust, manage taxpayers' dollars in the most prudent way, and improve the morale, working relationships and conditions of the agency.

As a board, we recently approved a contract to have an outside organization come in to assist us with the very issues you described. If we want to ensure that the process is transparent and will lead us to solutions that will help change the culture, the working conditions and perceptions, we must be partners in that process. In no way is my head in the sand; I just want to do what is appropriate as a board member so that I won't be accused of micromanaging or be criticized for interfering with what we have paid experts to do.

"Parameter" isn't a bad word or a roadblock to stifle the work that must be done to make us the kind of agency the public expects and that we are obligated to deliver.

Doretha W. Edgecomb, member of Hillsborough County Children's Board

Fix highly dysfunctional Children's Board 'family' | May 21, editorial

Dissolve the agency

The editorial doesn't go far enough in calling for solutions to the Hillsborough Children's Board. The alteration of documents may be official misconduct, a violation of Florida statutes. This should be investigated and prosecuted, if true. The Times only suggests that "board members should take their heads out of the sand."

The real solution is to dissolve the agency, and the other children's service councils in the state that are highly dysfunctional. Deserving programs should be transferred to county planning. This would improve public accountability and greatly reduce the burden to the taxpayer.

Joe Weinzettle, Tarpon Springs

1% tax proposal is not in president's plans May 20

Obama can't be trusted

PolitiFact's "pants on fire" ruling on the statement "Barack Obama's finance team is recommending a 1 percent tax on all transactions at any financial institution" might be correct but should not ease anybody's concerns.

Obama's open mike moment with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev when the president expressed that he would have more flexibility after his re-election has proved that he is not transparent and can't be trusted. It pains me to think of the amount of flexibility the president will have in regard to taxes after the election. The only real evidence PolitiFact might have to justify the ruling is the word and promise of the administration. Forgive me if that does not make me feel better.

Steve Weinman, Lutz

Cost shouldn't be a deal killer | May 21, letter

Students, face reality

Haverford College student Kathryn Dorn says, "If students should only attend college when they're sure they'll be able to pay the entire tuition themselves, some students wouldn't be able to attend any institution, private or public."

The continued sense of entitlement versus something earned marches on. This administration's stance on student loans and the "difficulty" students are having repaying these loans is clear. The next great entitlement will be ridding these poor, unsuspecting students of loans. Taxpayers will once more be required to pay for someone else's gain.

Eric L. McShane, St. Petersburg

Why borrowing pays off | May 18, column

Greatest commodity

The authors of this column, two university professors, are knowledgeable about the advantages of more time and attention devoted to studies and classroom activities.

But there is another perspective.

Years ago I was a candidate for an important job. I did not get the job, but I became good friends with the headhunter who recruited me.

Once, at a lunch, I asked: "How many executives have you placed?" He said, "About 3,500." I asked if there was any common thread in the group.

He said, "About 80 percent worked their way through school. It taught them the value of money. But more importantly, it taught them the value of time."

Don Newman, Belleair

Water solution simple: Charge gluttons more May 17, column

Bottlers are the real hogs

I am always disgusted with water restrictions for citizens of Florida, when the major bottling companies suck millions of dollars of water from our aquifers without paying a cent.

They then resell the water to us, and across America, for a huge profit.

Florida gets nothing except watering restrictions and potential fines for using a fraction of the water the bottlers take from our water supply each day.

Michael Otto, Oldsmar

Tough on crime and hard on justice May 21, Leonard Pitts column

Warped Florida law

Marissa Alexander was sentenced by the state of Florida to a mandatory 20-year prison sentence for shooting the ceiling of her apartment.

She claimed to have done this to frighten her husband, who she said was threatening her.

I realize full well this was a serious incident, as someone in the apartment above could have been injured, or worse, killed.

At the same time, it occurs to me this is one more example of the lack of wisdom expressed in Florida law. Had Marissa had the foresight to shoot her husband instead of the ceiling, claiming the threat of imminent danger, she would probably be a free woman today.

Robert A. Shaw, Madeira Beach


Monday’s letters: College instructors need classes in active shooter training

Active shooter perceptions disproven | June 21We need active shooter trainingThe only guns that I had seen before coming to the United States of America were in glass cases in museums. When I came to America to get a Ph.D. in English at the Unive...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Friday’s letters: What a new Rays ballpark would mean

Rays exec hints at stadium timeline | June 15What a new ballpark would doThe Tampa Bay Rays 2020 organization is working diligently with local business leaders and civic organizations to rally support for the Rays’ new ballpark in Ybor City. The ...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Thursday’s letters: On immigration there has to be a better way

‘Zero tolerance’ ignites outrage | June 20Find better way on immigrationOver the years I’ve voted for candidates from both parties. My observation of the Trump administration’s policy on immigration is not about politics. It has to do with having...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/21/18

Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18