A search for solace, however small | Nov. 9, story
Where is accountability for driver?
What a sad and tragic story of Heather Whalley's death when she and her husband, Seth, were slammed by Aaron Rimar's van.
The accident may not have been considered a crime because all four drugs that Rimar had in his system were considered "at or below therapeutic levels." But add them all together and the sum is equal to what should be considered involuntary manslaughter.
Four potent drugs for a "shoulder injury" and not being under the care of a doctor? Just where did he get this concoction of meds?
Someone needs to be held accountable for Heather's untimely death.
David Lubin, Tampa
Why is he on the road?
I have just finished reading the results of our incompetent justice system concerning a young mother whose life was taken while walking on the sidewalk in the St. Pete Beach neighborhood where I live and drive every day.
Why is someone who has had 21 traffic citations even on the road? Who is the judge who has let this happen? He or she should be removed from the bench immediately. Someone needs to be accountable.
Shame on our so-called legal system!
Carolyn Sherwin, St. Pete Beach
History in the making | Nov. 9, Perspective
Presidential rankings in need of revision
How can you defend using rankings from the Wall Street Journal's historians?
Ronald Reagan was far from "near great." Iran-Contra comes to mind, and his second-rate appointees, some of whom ended up in jail. His appointments actually were worse than second-rate; Oliver North and John Poindexter were evil and did not protect Reagan from violating the Constitution.
Reagan also conditioned the public to accept his far-right ideas, which culminated with George W. Bush and which have proved to be invalid.
Please find more intelligent historians who know history and have good values.
Ann Stormzand, Bradenton
History in the making | Nov. 9, Perspective
Acts of leadership
Classifying Ronald Reagan as one of the "near great" presidents — in my opinion — is actually due to his great acting ability. As far as I'm concerned, former President Reagan was a far better actor than he was given credit for during his acting career.
I've watched many of the old movies he was in and would rate him as a very fine actor of his time. He was a natural and made it look so easy, just as he did during his eight years as president, which was as good as any Broadway run.
As far as President George W. Bush, though, who is currently among the "unranked," my hope is that he gets what's due, for not only leaving our country in an economic tsunami, but also in a tsunami of fear. In my opinion, our 43rd president is no Ronald Reagan. In fact, he is one bad actor. Therefore, I see only two fitting categories: one is with those ranking "below average" and the other is among the "failures." Nevertheless, it's not for me to decide. In due time, the pundits, historians, philosophers and all others who ponder the matter will find a place for President Bush.
JoAnn Lee Frank, Clearwater
The adults are back in charge | Nov. 9, Robyn Blumner column
A judgment too soon
While we appreciate the exuberance of Robyn Blumner's column, exception must be taken to her statement that Barack Obama "is a leader like Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt." That is an extremely premature statement, not worthy of an experienced columnist.
We can only hope that such proves to be the case, that President-elect Obama will be an outstanding national and world leader. However, at this point, he has not been put to any leadership test other than masterminding a brilliant political campaign.
To cavalierly compare unproven leadership to that of Churchill and Roosevelt diminishes those historic leaders. It also fuels those who think that the future president has been elevated to an unearned status. Let us be hopeful and positive but not get so far ahead of ourselves as to make premature comparisons with great leaders of the past.
Wayne and Elaine Johnson, Clearwater
Let comparisons soar
You should really give Robyn Blumner more space for her column. Last Sunday she only had room enough to compare Barack Obama, a man who had never even been in the Oval Office at the time of her writing, to leaders like Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
With adequate space she would have been able to compare him to George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Golda Meir and many others.
Thomas Varnum, North Redington Beach
How to fix a flat | Nov. 13
Grill the CEOs
Thomas Friedman's column on the idiocy of bailing out General Motors, Ford and Chrysler should be required reading for everyone.
I would like to see the Big Three CEOs in front of Congress explaining why Honda is doing just fine while they have failed miserably. Then put the head of the UAW up there, hand him a copy of the union newspaper and ask him to highlight all the articles on turning out a better product. There aren't any.
Pete Wilford, Holiday
Unbroken memories | Nov. 9, Floridian story
Stories of value
On behalf of the board of directors and the staff of the Florida Holocaust Museum, thank you for publishing this inspiring article in honor of the 70th commemoration of Kristallnacht. Lisl Schick is one of a group of very special, dedicated survivors who speak on behalf of the museum each week.
Please know that Lisl and so many of our survivors are available speak to school groups and organizations throughout the community. Each time they share their stories, those who meet them become witnesses who will remind others to recognize the inherent worth and dignity of human life in order to prevent future genocides.
Irene Weiss, board chair, and Carolyn Bass, executive director, Florida Holocaust Museum, St. Petersburg
"Lion's Paw" yet grips us | Nov. 9, Floridian
A special book
What a nice surprise to see Jeff Klinkenberg's article about The Lion's Paw in last Sunday's paper. I'm another teacher who read that book to attentive fifth-graders off and on for more than 30 years. They always loved it. And, yes, many times we had tears — usually from the teacher as well.
When I first read the book, I was teaching in Ohio and had no real understanding of the chapter concerning the oyster-shell road and the sand spurs. After moving to Seminole in 1968 I experienced both, and thus had a much better appreciation of that section.
I do still have my copy of the book (actually, it's my second copy; I wore out the first), and a beautiful large lion's paw shell to go with it. It was nice to learn I wasn't the only person who thought this book was special.
Mariellen Burkhart, Seminole