Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Archive

No profiling, just enforcing rules

Re: Driver faults profiling for license snag, story, Nov. 14.

Wasn't the coverage of this a little over the top? Or at the very least, important details got buried in paragraphs on the jump page. Why devote more than 50 percent of the section front to the story and include as the tagline, "They wouldn't dare say racial profiling, but what the hell else could it be?" Maybe the answer is: It was a slow news day.

It would seem the story was not about profiling, but about strict enforcement of rules implemented after the bombings of 9/11. Andrew Kalathas apparently was denied a license for failure to have proof of citizenship and for failing the eye exam (on the first try). He was given a temporary permit. He returned the next day with a birth certificate and a license was issued.

Given the incidents of 9/11 and identity theft, it is reassuring to know rules are being enforced. That's the story.

In spite of the problems it might cause, we should require everyone to renew their driver's license in person, retake the eye exam at each renewal and retake the driving test at every other renewal. That might get a few of the unsafe drivers off the road without the risk of discriminating against any particular demographic group.

Richard Glenn, Tarpon Springs

Crackdown long overdue

on issuing drivers' licenses

Re: Driver faults profiling for license snag, story, Nov. 14.

It is about time that the state of Florida cracked down on issuing drivers' licenses. Andrew Kalathas, age 73, should have been questioned about renewing his license. We cannot continue to issue drivers' licenses by mail. And we certainly should not let people register to vote when they get a driver's license. Thank you to the woman who had the guts to question Mr. Kalathas. She did her job instead of being politically correct.

Joan Mills, Safety Harbor

Dismissal of Safety Harbor

teacher would be huge loss

Re: Schools seek teacher's dismissal, story, Nov. 6.

I am a graduate of Safety Harbor Middle School. I am 17 years old and in the 11th grade at Countryside High School. I, like so many others, had William Sutschek for my teacher (two years and for two separate classes). The things I am reading in the paper about him are nothing but exaggerated lies and rubbish.

In all of my years of school, I would honestly have to say that he was one of my favorite teachers. He was unique. He didn't give you just the dry facts, but made learning humorous and interesting at the same time.

Now I hear he is kicking chairs and all these other things as well. No. I know for a fact that hasn't happened as it was written. He is a visual teacher, not violent, and I think if all his students were given a chance to voice their opinion, they would agree with me.

If he is laid off, it would be a huge loss to the school system. I am disappointed that more students or parents didn't write on his behalf. If his dismissal sounds foolish to anyone else out there, then please do what I did and send in a letter expressing your outrage at this injustice to the St. Petersburg Times, Safety Harbor Middle School or superintendent of Pinellas County Schools, Dr. Howard Hinesley.

Warren J. Austin, Clearwater

Recognition richly deserved

for housing services official

Re: She's the foundation of housing triumphs, editorial, Nov. 13.

Thank you for giving Isay Gulley the recognition for all she has done for our community.

As state representative for District 54 in Pinellas County and formerly an assistant city attorney for the city of Clearwater, I had the opportunity to work with Isay Gulley and the Clearwater Neighborhood Housing Services on several community projects.

Isay Gulley always has the best interests of the community in mind, and her dedication to affordable housing and her upbeat attitude are contagious.

Isay Gulley is a modest woman, but her friends will tell you she is a special person and deserves our recognition. I am proud to be just one of many to thank her for all she has done for the Clearwater community.

Rep. John Carassas, District 54

School Board winner thanks

voters, shares vision of future

Thank you for the support you gave me in my campaign for the Pinellas County School Board. Your vote of confidence, your kindness, your enthusiasm and your willingness to help in any way you could meant a great deal to me. Words can never truly express my sincere appreciation for all your help.

My vision for the Pinellas County school system is one that embraces change and promotes equal educational opportunities for all of our children. I will do the very best job I can to help make our school system a district of educational excellence.

I look forward to working with the board members, all school system personnel, parents, students, the community and businesses, to help make our school system one of the best in the country. I believe that if we unite our energy, our knowledge and our talents and work together, we will have a win-win team for education.

I also believe if we make a greater effort to listen and get to know each other, we will find this great community of ours is a truly diverse family that loves all of our children and will work hard to ensure an education that will encourage every child to reach for their stars and be the best they can be. We came together to help me win this race. Now let's stay together to help our school district win the race in providing quality programs in education that will meet the needs of all of our children.

I invite all those candidates who ran for the School Board in the primary and in the general election to share their ideas and suggestions with the board. You ran because you felt a desire to help make the school system better. Please stay involved; the system can always use a helping hand. Pinellas County, let us be the best we can for the benefit of our children. Thank you again for all of your help and support.

Mary Brown, St. Petersburg