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EDUCATION CRISIS CALLS FOR ACTION

Teachers deserve better

C.T. Bowen column, May 15

This piece should have been printed on Page 1. Mr. Bowen wrote the clearest and most concise description of what is happening in Florida with regard to education.

Few people have been able to explain in easy to understand terms what and why our teachers and schools are having such problems. As Mr. Bowen stated, there is no educational agenda here in Florida.

We the citizens, parents and taxpayers must see the farce that our new governor has proposed and our Legislature has approved.

Our children are our future. Ask anyone and they will tell you how important education is and how important our children are to the future of this country.

Now put this into action. Please call or write and demand the our kids get at least the same kind of education we received, not some cut-rate schooling that will never prepare them for the 21st century.

Go to your local school and ask what you can do. Remember President John Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." Put this into practice. Ask what you can do for the children of Pasco. Please don't just nod and agree. Get up and do something.

Joan Shapiro,Hudson

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What happened to due diligence?

I attended the two meetings the Tanglewood homeowners held regarding the rezoning of the church property the reverend was planning to purchase with grants from Veterans Affairs and Pasco County Community Development for homeless veterans.

It was announced at the meeting the reason the church was going to be purchased was because two other sites were in a flood zone (on U.S. 19) and the VA would not provide the $493,000 grant in a flood zone. Additionally, it was stated there were Pasco County commissioners eager to go ahead with the plan and Pasco County Community Development had $400,000 set aside once the location was chosen. It was a done deal.

Here is my question: If the homeowners did not meet to study issues about the commercial rezoning impact in their residential neighborhood, would further investigation into this questionable organization have occurred? Why wasn't there any due diligence by the VA, Pasco County Community Development or the county commissioners before the money was earmarked for this organization?

Our veterans certainly deserve help, and I am sure these potential grants can be put to excellent use by reputable organizations.

Mrs. John Connolly, New Port Richey

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Act stupid, pay a price - May 15 letter

Motorcyclist's death is murder

The letter writer hit the nail on the head, but didn't go far enough. Law enforcement in west central Florida stinks. The young lady who escaped from the handcuffs and from the deputy's car, dragged the deputy across U.S. 19 and then caused the death of an innocent motorcyclist should be convicted of murder. Her escape actions were a felony. The motorcyclist's death resulted during and because of that felony. Therefore, his death is, by law, murder.

Too often, the local system, from the deputy or cop through the prosecutors and including the judges just can't seem to see the forest for the trees.

Alfred J. D'Amario,Hudson

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Young scholar heads to MIT May 15 article

Community plays big part in success

I want to thank Times staff writer Jeff Solochek for a fine article on Axel Martinez, one of our 2011 Take Stock in Children graduates. We congratulate Axel on receiving a full ride scholarship to MIT and know that he has worked very hard to earn this accomplishment. We also congratulate Axel's family and all of the dedicated education professionals who have worked with him throughout his years here in Pasco County's public schools. They are all part of his great success story.

Since its inception in 1996, the Pasco Education Foundation has served as the lead agency for the Take Stock in Children program and over that time we have seen more than 450 students successfully complete the requirements necessary to earn their Florida Prepaid College Scholarship.

One of the main goals of the foundation is to help kids succeed in school and offer deserving students scholarships to assist them in their post-high school academic endeavors. This year, the Pasco Education Foundation is awarding scholarships valued at over $520,000 to graduating seniors from Pasco's public schools.

These scholarships are made possible by the generous contributions of members of our business and civic communities! We thank them for their continued generosity and support for the Pasco Education Foundation. Together, we are making a difference in the lives of our students and our community.

Chip Wichmanowski

Executive Director

Pasco Education Foundation, Inc.

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