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Columns, Perspective

  1. Column: Community colleges keep Florida working

    Columns

    Florida businesses need an academically and technologically prepared workforce to succeed, which makes the strength of our higher education system a major factor in attracting new business to Florida. We are fortunate to have the Florida College System as the primary access point to higher education in Florida.

  2. Column: Despite a sharp price drop, gas remains expensive

    Columns

    The decline in gasoline prices over the last four months has been sharp and surprising. But for Americans wondering why their family budgets still feel strained, part of the answer is almost as surprising:

  3. Another voice: The 'humane' death penalty charade

    Columns

    When the United States at last abandons the abhorrent practice of capital punishment, the early years of the 21st century will stand out as a peculiar period during which otherwise reasonable people hotly debated how to kill other people while inflicting the least amount of constitutionally acceptable pain.

  4. Where's Tampa's big idea?

    Columns

    When Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik unveiled his $1 billion plan for the swath of undeveloped land he controls along downtown Tampa's waterfront, he reeled off a list of the things he had in mind: a medical school, a corporate headquarters, condos, a hotel with convention meeting space, shops and restaurants.

  5. Column: More fallout as middle class shrinks further

    Columns

    The middle class has been shrinking for almost half a century. In the late 1960s, more than half of the households in the United States were squarely in the middle, earning — in today's dollars — between $35,000 and $100,000 a year. Few people noticed or cared as the size of that group began to fall, because …

  6. Another voice: The college piggy bank

    Columns

    President Barack Obama has caused a furor with his plan to tax withdrawals from so-called 529 plans, a tax-advantaged savings account through which families save for children's college tuition. Annual contributions to 529s, often deductible from state income taxes, accumulate earnings tax-free and then — under …

  7. Column: Library visit, then held at gunpoint

    Columns

    Saturday evening, I got a call that no parent wants to get. It was my son calling from college — he's a third-year student at Yale. He had been accosted by a campus police officer, at gunpoint!

    This is how my son remembers it:

  8. Perspective: The world is not falling apart

    Perspective

    It's a good time to be a pessimist. ISIS, Charlie Hebdo, Crimea, Donetsk, Gaza, Burma, Ebola, school shootings, campus rapes, wife-beating athletes, lethal cops — who can avoid the feeling that things fall apart, the center cannot hold? As troubling as the recent headlines have been, these lamentations need …

    [ CAMERON COTTRILL | Times ]
  9. Ruth column: Don't be shocked by my campaign platform

    Columns

    Since I announced my intention to brood, meditate, mull and otherwise noodle around a potential, possible, maybe, sorta run for the Republican presidential nomination, the response from you, gentle readers, has been overwhelming, encouraging me to think, ponder and otherwise dawdle to the point of paralyzing inertia …

  10. About Sen. Joni Ernst and those bread bags (w/video)

    Perspective

    To give the Republican rebuttal to President Barack Obama's State of the Union last week, Republicans put forward freshman Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa. Her response started with a childhood memory that got people talking.

    Sen. Joni Ernst spoke about wearing bread bags on her feet. Iowans can relate.
  11. Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition: An early fog, a broken link

    Perspective

    Editor's note: The three members of the second Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition are filing weekly dispatches of their 1,000-mile, 10-week journey to highlight the value of keeping an open pathway through the state for wildlife. Here is the story of the second week.

    Joe Guthrie explores the headspring of the Chassahowitzka River before the team followed the river’s 5-mile journey downstream to the Gulf of Mexico. In 2013, Swiftmud led a restoration of the headspring that pumped out truckloads of sediment and sand. Nearly 4 tons of nitrogen were removed. Though the headspring is clear, the river is still plagued by toxic algae fed by polluted runoff.
  12. Column: You can't dance around topic of radical Islam (w/video)

    Columns

    I've never been a fan of global conferences to solve problems, but when I read that the Obama administration is organizing a Summit on Countering Violent Extremism for Feb. 18, in response to the Paris killings, I had a visceral reaction: Is there a box on my tax returns that I can check so my tax dollars won't go to …

    An Iranian demonstrator in Tehran last week holds a satirical poster cover mocking the French weekly Charlie Hebdo that shows the Paris rally but adds a portrait of the Islamic State group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, among the world leaders.
  13. Column: What's really in those McDonald's fries (w/video)

    Columns

    At this point the best McDonald's ad campaign might be no ad campaign at all.

    There are potatoes, plus 18 other things.
  14. Perspective: Essays after 80

    Perspective

    In 2001, Donald Hall, just 70 and yet to be named the nation's poet laureate or to receive the National Medal of Arts, published a poem titled Affirmation in the New Yorker. It began: "To grow old is to lose everything."

    At 86, the poet and author Donald Hall in unflinching in dealing with and writing of old age.
  15. Perspective: White privilege, heroin and a diploma

    Perspective

    I was a senior at Cornell University when I was arrested for heroin possession. As an addict — a condition that began during a deep depression — I was muddling my way through classes and doing many things I would come to regret, including selling drugs to pay for my own habit.

    Keri Blakinger is shown receiving her diploma from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., in December 2014. She was allowed to return to school after being released from prison for heroin possession.
  16. Wi-Fi at 35,000 feet: We're being ripped off

    Columns

    I'm at 35,000 feet, somewhere over the Midwest, and I've finally found something on commercial flights that's worse than airplane food: the Wi-Fi. It's so slow and unreliable that it shouldn't be allowed to call itself "Wi-Fi." Renaming it Airplane Dial-Up would be unfair to dial-up.

    New York Times
  17. Forget Miami, Tampa would be perfect home for Cuban embassy

    Columns

    Greetings to the Cuban government: Hola, you all come on up now, you hear?

  18. Hooper: MaryEllen Elia ouster was decided on Nov. 4

    Columns

    The Hillsborough County School Board taught a civics lesson with its dismissal of superintendent MaryEllen Elia.

    [EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
Hillsborough County school superintendent MaryEllen Elia listens to a supporter at the meeting Tuesday, Jan. 20. The board voted to fire Elia.
  19. Column: Turning back clock on public health progress

    Columns

    If you want to quantify the alarming impact of the antivaccine movement, this chart is a good place to start. It plots the cumulative number of new measles cases by month, for each year from 2001 to 2014.

  20. Column: Scott can't keep hiding from FDLE scandal

    Columns

    If all had gone as planned, the ouster of Gerald Bailey as commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement would have been a quiet one. It would have looked like a typical resignation. After all, Gov. Rick Scott had just been re-elected and he was making many new appointments to begin his second term.