The grandkids will hate us | Column, Sept. 19
Marching for action on climate
Intensifying storms, fires, heat waves and floods of the climate crisis confront us with increasing frequency. Communities least protected from the effects of fossil fuel extraction and climate pollution are hit first and worst by impacts and disaster. Human rights and the survival of future generations require real solutions at the local, national and global levels. Youth, indigenous peoples, workers and people of color are rising to the forefront of this most important social movement, demanding climate action and justice across America. Friday will kick off a week of climate action, with people coming together in more than 2,500 places around the world to demand action at a scale to match the crisis. At noon on Friday in St. Petersburg there will be a climate march at City Hall. Others will gather at City Hall in Tampa later Friday evening. This is the pivotal moment for transformative climate solutions.
Cathy Harrelson and Tim Martin
Harrelson is president of the St. Petersburg Sustainability Council, and Martin is conservation chair of the Florida Sierra Club.
Sprowls as speaker good for Tampa Bay | Editorial, Sept. 18
Give USF its due
As a top research institution, the University of South Florida has been underfunded by the state too long. We trust that incoming House Speaker Chris Sprowls will work to correct that deficiency. Your thoughtful editorial reminded me of the most recently published National Science Foundation university rankings: the University of Florida ($801.4 million, No. 25 in the country). USF ($557.9 million, No. 42). Florida State ($282.9 million, No. 82) and the University of Central Florida ($233.7 million, No. 98). USF’S portfolio is indeed impressive, and our Legislature needs to recognize that.
Kathy Betancourt, Tampa
The writer retired as USF associate vice president for government relations in 2011.
Tiered stormwater fees proposed | Sept. 19
Paving the way to runoff
Finally, one of the Pinellas powers-that-be recognizes concrete does not necessarily mean progress but does mean more runoff. Wait, didn’t that same powers-that-be tear down trees leading to the new St. Pete Pier and put in pavement? Which new stormwater rate tier would St. Petersburg fit into?
Sue C. Lewis, Gulfport
Is college worth it? | Column, Sept. 19
Schooled by college costs
This column clearly described the financial burden suffered by college graduates whose job choices don’t provide the means to repay an absurd amount of student debt. As a baby boomer, I blindly subscribed to the philosophy that a college degree was necessary for my children, and that any debt incurred would be easy to pay with the salaries they would no doubt earn. I was mistaken, and in hindsight mentally lazy, to push this idea without critical thinking. For many students, college is a four-year vacation from reality, to be paid for with onerous interest for the rest of their lives. I wish I had given wiser advice to my own children. We need to rethink the entire higher education system.
Susan Sumnick, Riverview