Sunday, November 19, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: Properly fund public education


Rethink rule on class size | Sept. 7, commentary

Properly fund public education

This opinion piece asks citizens to consider rethinking the rule on class size. The writers provided data supporting their viewpoint that putting an end to the class size amendment makes economic sense.

The problem is that from its inception, the class size amendment was never properly funded nor implemented. In place of funding, districts have been awarded annual loopholes by our legislators in order to circumvent the will of the people who wanted smaller classes for their children. You can't really use data against a plan without having actually implemented the plan as it was intended.

There are too many organizations that think a business model for education is the way to go. Saving money is great, but neglecting to properly fund education is criminal because money saved on education is eventually spent on crime, drugs, prisons and other drains on our economy. Florida lags by thousands of dollars a year on per student spending compared to the average of all other states. If Florida wants young families and businesses to settle here, it must invest in education.

The op-ed authors think charter schools are a cheap alternative. Those that specialize in a certain condition such as autism may or may not be, but if they are taking tax money they must be held to the same account as public schools. Those that do not accept English as a second language students, Exceptional Student Education students or kids with behavior issues should not be entitled to any taxpayer money. It is the responsibility of each generation to educate all of the next.

The citizens of Pinellas County have always supported public education. Four times in the past 16 years they have voted in favor of a referendum tax that provides money for public education. Pinellas County commissioners have voted to help fund a nurse in every elementary school. Perhaps our elected leaders in Tallahassee need to listen to what Pinellas has been saying for years: Fund public education.

Mike Gandolfo, Palm Harbor

The writer is the president of the PCTA.

Hurricane Irma

No sign of utility trucks

First thing Monday morning I saw most homeowners outside with chain saws, blowers and rakes starting to clean up our neighborhoods. By day's end, yards and streets had much of the debris removed or in piles. What I did not see was a single Duke Energy crew working to restore power in southeastern Pasco County.

Traffic signals that were out Monday were still out on my way to work Tuesday. I still didn't see any Duke Energy crews, but what I do know from this morning's paper is that they have 8,000 extra lineman somewhere.

Frank Oliveto, New Port Richey

Newspaper made my day

Thank you to the Tampa Bay Times and your wonderful carriers. I was so happy Tuesday morning to find not only today's Times, but Sunday's and Monday's as well, in my driveway. That storm could have ruined even more than it did by depriving readers of our regular newspapers.

There are lots of behind-the-scenes hurricane heroes in our community. The deeds are big and small. Seemingly little gestures can make all the difference in the world. Most of us assumed that Irma would deprive us of our papers. You foiled that plan.

Thanks again to you and your carriers for taking care of your subscribers.

Kathy Betancourt, Tampa

Thanks for the effort

A big thank you to Times reporters, editors, columnists, photographers and distribution staff for wide-ranging reporting and accurate, touching writing about Irma. I was grateful to have Tuesday's paper on my driveway — along with Monday's tucked inside. Miracles come in all sizes.

Linda Schatz, Tampa

From Italy, reassurance

I want to thank you for the accurate coverage of Irma's passage in Tampa.

My daughter Barbara and my nephew are living in Clearwater and we were very concerned about their situation. Through your online edition, available for all readers, my wife and I got all possible information about actions taken by people and authorities to prevent personal damages. We were very relived when the storm left the Tampa area and we could again get in touch with our daughter. Thanks again.

Pierluigi Salvini, Milan, Italy

All U.S. in this together

I am dismayed by "Texans helping Texans" taglines associated with Hurricane Harvey, as by murmurs of "Floridians helping Floridians" now appearing in local TV news. My nephew, a California firefighter, spent days on a bus to arrive at Eglin Air Force Base after Irma to assist Florida. Americans are helping Americans.

Big government and small government advocates need to acknowledge one fact: We are one nation, not merely a collection of states. The entire purpose of government is to do for people what they cannot do for themselves. There are no "red" or "blue" states in disasters.

S. Engel Phillips, St. Petersburg

Trump was right to end program | Sept. 11, letter

We are a generous nation

This letter comparing Dreamers to criminals and suggesting that, like other criminal families, they are the recipients of ill-gotten "loot" was appalling and heartbreaking.

The letter writer is entitled to her opinion, but I'd like to believe that the inscription on the Statue of Liberty offers a more generous and truly American alternative to such mean-spirited and hostile ideas: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free …"

Bonnie Navin, Tampa


Monday’s letters: Doctors should speak up on harassment

Sexual harassmentDoctors need to speak upThe recent widespread recognition, followed by disapproval, of sexual harassment across many workplaces signals a paradigm shift in social attitudes toward abuse of power that is long overdue.The male-dominate...
Published: 11/17/17

Saturday’s letters: Reservoir project off to a good start

Lake OkeechobeeReservoir project off to good startThis year, more than 70,000 Floridians contacted their legislators to support expediting a reservoir project south of Lake Okeechobee. Another 150 business people, anglers, health care professionals a...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Sunday’s letters: Roundabout way to help the rich

Senate GOP’s tax plan to kill ACA mandate | Nov. 15Devious way to hurt middle classSo, let’s see if we have this straight. The proposed amendment to the Senate tax plan, to kill the individual mandate, will cause young people to not buy health in...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Friday’s letters: Stop laying blame on teachers

Hillsborough teachers are set to protest | Nov. 14Stop laying blame on teachersI am a veteran teacher, coming up on 30 years of service to public education. My mother was also an educator, clocking over 40 years of service in public education. Sh...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/16/17

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Nov. 17

Questioning fees draws snarky responseYou are probably aware of the new Pasco utility fees that became effective last month.Under the dubious title of "convenience fee" for making utility payments by credit card or e-check, Pasco Utilities adds $2.75...
Published: 11/15/17

Dollars need to stay at home if south Brooksville is to survive

As a member of the Moton High School Class of 1967, I grew up a poor but very happy child because of the love given to me by all. So all I had to do was be a child and not rush to be an adult.There were many black businesses along a four-block area o...
Published: 11/14/17
Updated: 11/18/17

Wednesday’s letters: Generosity makes all the difference

National Adoption MonthThe difference generosity makesAs a football coach, I always had to be ready to overcome unexpected challenges. With injuries, crowd noise and especially weather, the game plan is always adjusting to overcome adversity.Our stat...
Published: 11/13/17
Updated: 11/14/17

Monday’s letters: Moore is not fit for public office

Woman: Candidate pursued her as a teen | Nov. 10Moore is not fit for public officeIt is sad that Roy Moore, a self-professed religious man, is running for a Senate seat when he is clearly unfit for any job involving the public for so many reasons...
Published: 11/10/17
Updated: 11/13/17

Monday’s letters: Don’t fall for the tax cut ruse

Tax billDon’t take your eye off the ballThe rush is on. The Republican Congress is rushing to pass a modest tax cut for the middle class while giving corporations a massive tax cut. While taking away some of the tax deductions from ordinary taxpayers...
Published: 11/10/17

Sunday’s letters: End greyhound racing in Florida

Tom Lee wants to phase out greyhound racing | Nov. 8Put a stop to this cruel industryKudos to Sen. Tom Lee for shepherding a constitutional amendment to end greyhound racing in Florida. Greyhounds forced to race live in misery and frequently die ...
Published: 11/09/17
Updated: 11/10/17