In the last 10 years, the number of part-time teachers (called adjuncts) seems to have increased dramatically in the community colleges of Florida.
This no doubt has reduced the operating costs for our community colleges. However, having adjunct teachers with few benefits inevitably leads to low morale, high turnover, less experienced teachers and therefore a poorer educational environment at the state's community colleges.
I have recently heard that some community colleges are now using nearly 70 percent adjunct teachers and that St. Petersburg College is one of them. The teachers at SPC also have never had any union representation. I think that is a contributing factor in low morale for the school's part-time teachers. I suspect this is a statewide problem.
The Florida Association of Community Colleges, founded in 1949, represents community college teachers and institutions in Tallahassee. Although this organization mainly acts as a lobbyist for the state's 28 community colleges, its mission statement clearly would allow it to do something to help those teachers who lack union representation.
I think it is time for the association to act to help teachers. The best way to do that would be to make the use of its member schools' intercampus mail by union representatives allowable and mandatory.
This would no doubt increase union membership. That, I think, would clearly be the best way to improve the working conditions and morale for the state's community college teachers.
Bob Snow, Clearwater
Approve tax to improve libraries
I want to encourage people to vote for the Penny for Pinellas on March 13. I feel very strongly about improving what is already a terrific library system. I utilize the Palm Harbor Library frequently. The library is the best around. It can only get better if the Penny for Pinellas is approved.
Think about your children and grandchildren. The programs at the library for adults and children are wonderful. Think what more can be done with more money: possibly longer hours, Sunday library hours, more parking, additional programs and, of course, more money for books, etc.
Please don't forget to vote and approve the Penny for Pinellas.
Marilyn Satinoff, Palm Harbor
Beach Day great for sports fans
Clearwater completes the triple: October (Jazz Holiday), November (Ironman championship), December (Outback Bowl Beach Day).
All three events are opportunities for Clearwater residents to enjoy, either as spectators or participant volunteers. Having personally been involved through the Clearwater East Rotary Club in these events, I've poured beer, served food and cleaned tables for athletes, tourists and, of course, you.
The Ironman championship will be here for the next four years, and I know of at least 2,000 volunteers who will be back again. The athletes from 35 countries were all superconditioned and were impressed with how the event was handled and the choice of venue.
Outback Bowl Beach Day will be held on Clearwater Beach behind the Hilton from 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 27.
If you are a fan of the college atmosphere, this is one of the best free venues in all sports. The two college team bands compete with cheerleaders and team mascots, along with the football players and coaches, conducting a pep rally on the beach. Events include skydivers, band concert, eating contest, tug of war, a flyover by the Red Baron biplane squadron and a sand sculpture that will impress you.
If you come out, look for me. I will be cleaning tables for the coaches and players on the veranda of the Hilton.
See you there!
John Wiser, Clearwater
Re: A month without water or food, story, Dec. 1
Use professional pet sitter if gone
Where were the owners of these four dogs, and why didn't they call in to check on their pets?
Use a professional pet sitter who has been referred to you by another pet owner. Clients and owners, call your pet sitter regularly if you are away for an extended time.
Another horrific situation that could have been avoided.
Judy Prescott, Palm Harbor