My job or my health
Florida’s already stingy unemployment benefits take another unneeded hit | Editorial, May 30
Your editorial on the state of Florida discontinuing the federal $300 benefit was spot on. I live down in Miami, and a number of fellow employees and I were cut from our careers in sales after more than 20 years with our company because of lack of business from COVID-19. I also have an autoimmune disease, which compromises my immune system and would jeopardize my health if I were to contract the coronavirus. I wasn’t ready to leave my job. I could have worked from home as my colleagues were doing. I wanted to work, but COVID prevented me from having contact with the general public and still does. The unemployment benefits from the federal government have helped me pay my bills and kept my head above water. Discontinuing these benefits is really going to hurt while COVID is still active. There are those of us who are affected by this discontinuation of this benefit because of health reasons.
Tim Walden, Miami
Best of both worlds
It’s time for celebration, angst for Florida’s Class of 2021 | May 26
With the school year coming to a close, a question is dwindling among schools everywhere, was online learning really that bad? For some students, online learning was a breeze and provided many benefits for the students. But for others, online learning was a huge change and became a struggle. No matter what side you are on, online learning had benefits toward society as a whole. With everything being digital, less paper was being used. This means in the long run, if we continue to use online learning sites like Canvas or Google Scholar, we will be able to save trees, which will benefit our Earth. So, if we can continue to use online learning technologies even as schools are transitioning back into face-to-face instruction, then students, and our society, will be able to achieve the best of both worlds.
Amelia Narcisi, Largo
The last mile
Florida should embrace Biden’s high-speed rail plan | Editorial, May 26
Mass rail transit checks all the right boxes, except the key one, which makes public embrace unlikely. Promoters consistently fail to address the determinant “last mile” issue. In Paris, rail delivers people to within 1,600 feet of their actual destination. We may lack comparable density and other feasibility factors. However, we can be creative with publicly provided or subsidized linked shuttles and ride-hailing services. That is, a system. Zooming from Tampa to Orlando is nice. Integrating actual point-to-point details in the plan makes it convincing. It also far better ensures the estimated ridership levels necessary to make the concept worthy of public finance and economically sustainable. Start with the last mile and build the system up from there. The plans we see are as if Amazon promised same-day delivery to the other side of town. The “if you build it, they will come” meme is movieland planning.
Pat Byrne, Largo