How can one parent subject the entire school system, and literacy itself, to his decision of what should and should not be read? Has he read these books? Over 400 of them? Or, over 5,000 titles “scoured from the internet”?
If any Florida student read over 400 books in a high school career, this would be a big vocabulary boost and a fantastic preparation for further education.
Perhaps such overzealous parents could simply scour the internet to figure out how to home-school their own kids, and leave the rest of us alone.
Roger Roach, Pinellas Park
EV tax proposal
What’s a fair Florida ‘gas tax’ for electric vehicles? | Editorial, Aug. 18
I enjoyed your recent editorial about electric vehicles and the gas tax. I having driven an EV for five years. It certainly does not seem fair not to support road construction and maintenance via the gas tax. Therefore, we will need a workable road funding solution during the transition to electric vehicles.
A per-vehicle flat tax doesn’t seem to be the answer, as some states have implemented. Your editorial infers that factors such as vehicle weight and especially mileage driven should be considered in the tax assessment. For example, a retiree who drives a few thousand miles should not pay the same tax as an Uber driver who may drive tens of thousands of miles.
To implement a new EV tax system, Florida should consider implementing a “roads tax” on the purchase of vehicle tires. To keep things simple, a portion of the sales taxes garnered from vehicle sales should be allocated to road construction and maintenance. Moreover, tax rates based on tire classes could be used to assign tax rates for consumer cars and light-duty vehicles, commercial fleets, and large heavy-duty trucks, trailers, etc. A road tax could be collected at the point of sale, just like sales tax.
Implementation would also require safeguards to ensure compliance and penalties for non-compliance. Such details can be left to regulators and administrators.
Jim Kunzman, Tampa
EVs are not better
What’s a fair gas tax for EVs? | Letters, Aug. 20
To the letter writer who says EVs are better for our roads, I would like to point out that they are at best neutral. While I agree with all the points she makes, EVs weigh more, sometimes hundreds of pounds more, than similar sized internal combustion vehicles. It is proven that the heavier the vehicle the more stress it places on our roads, especially asphalt, thereby causing faster road surface deterioration resulting in more frequent repairs. To produce the amount of asphalt — a petroleum product — required to repave a highway creates a lot of impact on the environment. In regard to how to fairly make up for the lost gas tax revenue to maintain our roads and highways, well that is truly today’s conundrum.
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David White, Clearwater
Keep Pinellas SunRunner bus open and safe for all | Editorial, Aug. 23
There’s an old saying to the effect that if a horse were to be designed by a committee, it would probably end up looking like a camel. Similarly, the SunRunner bus line in Pinellas County is an enormously expensive, unnecessary duplication of pre-existing public transportation that most inconveniently takes up its own dedicated lane on the road. The bus is neither wanted nor needed by the beach communities it purportedly serves, and in fact, has become a liability (See recent stories about homeless people arrests in St. Pete Beach). It’s a good thing that it will now charge full fare to partially pay for itself. Eventually, a phase-out of the bus would be desirable. Then its inherent problems will go away.
John Gill, St. Pete Beach.
Trump mug shot during speedy booking at Atlanta jail shows scowling former president | Aug. 25
How sad for Georgia that despite the fact that millions of Americans still have serious questions about fraud in the 2020 elections (including in Georgia), prosecutors there decided that it is criminal to hold such an opinion by charging former President Donald Trump. Please bear in mind that they have now officially made Trump a martyr which will only boost his popularity and force him to run to finish the job he started.
Whereas we have so many domestic problems and crises (e.g. Maui fires) in this nation that need solving, our leaders have chosen to focus on persecuting a former president to try to prevent him from running again, instead of letting the American people decide. This only wastes precious time and money and only polarizes our nation further.
Georgia’s leaders should be deeply ashamed at this witch hunt and circus which will not end well. Many freedom fighters such as Martin Luther King Jr. similarly had mugshots taken of them. It only made their movements stronger.
Michael Pravica, Henderson, Nevada
Careful what you wish for
Singer says politicians ‘weaponized’ his song | Aug. 27
Gov. Ron DeSantis repeatedly said that he was going to send President Joe Biden back to his basement during the recent first Republican debate. This was based on President Donald Trump accusing Biden of hiding out in his basement during COVID and not campaigning. DeSantis must not realize that Biden beat an incumbent president who is currently way ahead of DeSantis in the Republican primary polls right now. DeSantis also must not realize that Biden won even though he supposedly campaigned while hiding in his basement.
V. Brock, St. Petersburg