Friday, September 21, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Monday’s letters: What should happen to those who failed to keep Jordan safe?

Why was Jordan back
with mother? | Editorial, Sept. 7

Why wasn’t guardian heeded?

As a former guardian ad litem in Hillsborough County, I was hit hard by the death of Jordan Belliveau. Florida continues to have issues with children dying in the care of the Department of Children and Families. But not every case had a volunteer guardian ad litem assigned to it as there are simply not enough guardians to go around. This one did. The one thing I was told while serving as a guardian was that I had to protect the best interests of the child and that the state and courts would always listen to me because I knew the case and the family better than anyone. Fortunately for me and for the children in my care, that was true. But in Jordan’s situation it was not. I am sick about this needless death and angry at the system that failed him.

My question is, since the state has the mother in custody, charged with murder, what action will be taken with those people in the "the system" who overrode the guardian? Will the state bring action against those culpable in Jordan’s death as well as against the person who killed him? Perhaps that is needed to send a message to everyone involved with the care of those who cannot speak for themselves and make a difference in the future.

Jerry Rosen, Lutz

The case for case workers

I’d like to take a minute to counter the narrative that case workers are to blame for the tragic death of Jordan Belliveau. I have worked with hundreds — maybe thousands — of case workers over the past 20 years, and I have never met one who took the job for any reason other than to help children. The case workers I know are up late, knee-deep in tragedy and jumping from one crisis to the next. They do their best to protect, nurture, support and heal children despite low pay, little appreciation and all the blame when something goes wrong. The system does make many mistakes and falls short often. But this is due to lack of funding and resources — not lack of effort and commitment by the case managers. We as a community, must demand more resources for our families, agencies, and the dedicated people who save children every day. Remember, there are many more instances in which children are rescued from abusive situations, sheltered carefully, and reunified or adopted safely — but those stories do not make headlines.

Marlene Bloom, Tampa

Audits clear taxes for ballot | Sept. 7

Pull together on tax votes

The Hillsborough education referendum is urgently needed to address critical issues created by the refusal of the Legislature to adequately fund our public schools. Despite significant underfunding by our state, our Hillsborough public schools have consistently achieved impressive results, setting an all-time graduation rate record, closing achievement gaps and ranking at the top of the Nation’s Report Card. Under Superintendent Jeff Eakins, the district has reduced costs and turned around a large budget deficit. Our children need us to invest in them since the Legislature refuses to. Our county needs thriving public schools to maintain property values and make us competitive to attract large corporations. The transportation and school referendums should not be "us against them." A strong public education system benefits our entire community — we are in it together and should support each other accordingly.

Alisha Stephens, Tampa

Comments

Saturday’s letters: We need stats that reflect our lives

We’re measuring the economy all wrong | Column, Sept. 18We need stats that reflect our livesMajor news outlets have uniformly declared the U.S. economy to be sizzling, on fire. This column was correct in wanting us to take a second, hard l...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Monday’s letters: Dr. Robert Judson made great contributions to Pasco-Hernando State College

A pioneer in Pasco-Hernando education | Sept. 19Robert Judson pushed education forwardI had the pleasure of working with the late Dr. Robert Judson, the former president of what is now known as Pasco-Hernando State College, for many years. During...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Sunday’s letters: Inequality hurts democracy

We’re measuring the economy all wrong | Column, Sept. 18Democracy needs equalityEconomic inequality and the concentration of wealth have achieved levels beyond the comprehension of most American wage earners today. Income inequality has ri...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Friday’s letters: Florida’s workers aren’t reaping benefits of a booming economy

Scott didn’t put them to work | Sept. 16Florida workers not reaping the benefitsFlorida has just surpassed a GDP of $1 trillion. However, workers in Florida are not reaping the rewards. A new report released by anti-poverty organization Ox...
Published: 09/21/18

Thursday’s letters: For the sake of all involved, don’t rush the Kavanaugh vote

Delay Senate vote on Kavanaugh | Editorial, Sept. 18Don’t rush something that will last a lifetimeThe Senate Judiciary Committee finds itself in a sticky wicket. The committee should take a slow measured course of action. Trying to rush th...
Published: 09/19/18
Updated: 09/20/18

Wednesday’s letters: How home rule can help fight Red Tide

Red Tide on march | Sept. 18How home rule can help fight Red TideAt the end of 2005, as Red Tide ravaged the beaches and intracoastal waterways of Southwest Florida, volunteers from the Suncoast Sierra Club formed a coastal task force to begin de...
Published: 09/18/18
Updated: 09/19/18

Tuesday’s letters: Honor Flight restored my faith in America

Dogs are the best | Letter, Sept. 15Honor Flight restored my faith in AmericaJust as I was about to give up on our country due to divisiveness and and the divisions among its people and politicians, my pride was restored. As a member of the recen...
Published: 09/17/18
Updated: 09/19/18

Editorial cartoons for Sept. 18

From Times wires
Published: 09/17/18

Monday’s letters: Are we paying for the wrong kind of military today?

$1 trillion here and there | Letter, Sept. 16Are we buying the right defense?I am weary of politicians of all persuasions handing our military a blank check — in particular the conservatives who rail against budget deficits and want to cut discre...
Published: 09/14/18

Sunday’s letters: Many laws increase our liberty

‘General welfare’ includeshealth | Letter, Sept.15Someone will pay for itMany politicians are making Medicare for All the cornerstone of their campaign. Many think tanks even say the government will save money, but they neglect to say how.Medicar...
Published: 09/12/18
Updated: 09/14/18