Public schools need the money
I have always voted for the Pinellas County School referendums in the past, thinking the public schools needed the money. I have always trusted the local school administration to put the money to good use. This time, even the Times editorial failed to convince me the cost is worth it. If this referendum passes, I fully expect to see the Florida Legislature simply deduct an equal amount from state funds earmarked for the Pinellas County school system and give it to private schools. That is what our Legislature has done with the money generated by the Florida Lottery and it is what it has been doing in recent years. At one time public education accounted for over 30 percent of the state budget. It is much less now and it gets lower each year. Why should voters approve more bait and switch?
Dan Sparks, Redington Beach
Florida is not New York
Why, DeSantis, why? | Letter, April 26
I am sorry that people, including the Tampa Bay Times, are so negative about Gov. Ron DeSantis. Things in Florida are not nearly on the disastrous level of New York City and do not seem to be trending there.
Why shouldn’t the beaches be reopened on at least a limited basis? I think those that say this are either never going to go or maybe are high risk to go anywhere. We even heard recently that fresh air and sunshine are good for you.
I am glad that Mr. Alzali feels safer back “at home” in Pennsylvania. I feel safe in Florida. And I have confidence that DeSantis knows more than we do and will do the right thing to bring us back to normal life. There are many people suffering because of the shut down of businesses. They are important, too.
As Mario Cainas says, we need more positive news.
Ruth Mahoney, Riverview
Why not scientists?
Autumn’s expectations | Perspective, April 26
What was troubling to me as I read this commentary was Florida Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Mark Wilson’s assertion that government leaders will need to meet with “chambers of commerce, economic developers and job creators.” I would have thought that he would have also included scientists and first responders.
Tomas Negron, San Antonio
Page needs more diversity
Autumn’s expectations | Perspective, April 26
Did you really think it’s appropriate to provide only the thoughts of white male “thought leaders” on the front page of today’s Perspective section? With their photos no less? Did it occur to you that including people of color and women might provide a wider range of thought?
Elizabeth Corwin, Tampa
DeSantis takes moderate, rational approach
Stay-at-home orders to ease on Monday | April 30
I applaud Gov. Ron DeSantis and his rational, moderate approach to managing the COVID-19 outbreak. Reasonable and effective measures such as frequent hand washing, masks and social distancing are, in my opinion, the factors driving down the spread of the virus in Florida. And contrary to those still calling for complete lockdown, I think Floridians are more than smart enough to take those precautions. Indeed, the facts point to our successful approach given that there are some 1,200 deaths in Florida, as of Thursday, as compared to New York, where deaths are over 23,000. Finally I note that the national debt is now approaching the GDP. Without rational, creative, innovative leadership at the local, state, and federal level, I think the ham-handed approaches that too many advocate will soon realize a depression and spiraling inflation that will be crushing.
Kenneth Jezek, Tierra Verde
Remember the bright spots
Bright Spots | Floridian, April 26
Thank you Tampa Bay Times for Sunday’s four full pages of “Bright Spots.” I read with tears in my eyes of corporations paying groceries, business owners forgiving rent payments, businesses giving away their production plans to other companies to produce PPE items, and of course,... all the everyday people who sought out others to help with food, money, deliveries and big hearts. I have seen these people as well and know of their deeds and desires to help more. This morning’s paper was also a bright spot giving us hope. I think we’re going to make it.
Ed Brown, Tarpon Springs
Why wearing a mask should be mandatory
Should you wear a mask while shopping?
I am a senior citizen in good health. Respectful of the damage COVID-19 can do, I wear a face mask whenever I enter a store to buy groceries — once or twice a week.
Yesterday I was shocked on entering my favorite small produce market to see about seven people in the store (a clerk, two serving food, and four customers) with not a mask in sight. I shopped quickly but did not feel safe. Next time, I’ll shop elsewhere.
I suspect many others feel the same as I do. Smart retailers who want their business back quickly will think carefully about the safety needs of their most vulnerable customers.
Carol Machael, Clearwater
More died than in Vietnam
Fla. deaths spike by 83 | April 29
It is time for a reality check. The number of Americans who died from this virus in three months has outnumbered the total of Americans killed in over ten years in the Vietnam War. Imagine how many more will die if we don’t take the necessary precautions. Stay sane, stay safe.
Walter Hansen, Largo
No more deficit spending
I’m not happy about all this deficit spending and I think it’s time we tax the wealthy for their fair share as they should be taxed.
James Dina, Dunedin