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Friday, Dec 19, 2014
Letters To The Editor

Letters to the editor: Candidate reply

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Candidate reply

Regarding “Shimberg, Snively and Meckley for School Board” (Our Views, July 19):

I noted with great interest that although the Common Core State Standards initiative took up about half the time we spent in our interview, there was no mention of Common Core in your endorsements.

That’s extremely surprising since a June Rasmussen survey of parents with children in grades K-12 found that 47 percent of the parents were opposed to further implementation of Common Core, and only 34 percent were in favor.

I want to help all students have better educational outcomes to improve their futures and the future of our community, culture and country. Jamming Common Core down the throats of parents who are opposed and students who are frustrated and bewildered isn’t the way to do that.

The way to achieve the best results for our students is to find ways to encourage parents to be more involved, not manufacture ways to push them away.

Terry Kemple

Brandon

The writer is a candidate for Hillsborough County School Board, District 4.

Bad rap earned

Another horrific tragedy involving a young boy mauled and killed by two pit bulls is why we need strict laws pertaining to them. The information in this letter came from www.dogbites.org and has been gathered from all 50 states:

“In a nine-year period, 2005 to 2013, pit bulls killed 176 people. This accounted for 62 percent of the recorded deaths caused by attacks from all breeds. ... Unlike other breeds, pit bulls frequently fail to communicate prior to an attack. They possess a lethal bite style, (hold and shake). A forensic scientist compared their bite to a shark.”

In your article it mentioned that pit bulls get a bad rap. Well, they have earned it. There are numerous myths as to why pit bulls are overly aggressive, but myth No. 1 on the dogbites website is the one supporters use all the time: “The outdated debate of ‘It’s the owners, not the breed.’ The slogan ignores the genetic history of the breed and blames the environmental factor on the hold-and-shake style. It’s the genetics that leave pit bull victims with permanent and disfiguring injuries. From 2005 to 2013, 52 percent involved family members. Nearly half of those killed in the first eight months of 2011 were the pit bull owners.”

On the website they list all 50 states — and the District of Columbia — that have dangerous dog laws. Every state, with the exception of Alaska, has more restrictions than Florida. Miami-Dade is the only county that bans pit bulls. This ban has resulted in a sizable decrease in dog fighting.

It’s time for Florida to step in and try to prevent another tragedy.

The state did so concerning large pythons after one killed a child.

Dave Serneels

Lutz

Tampa’s Disney

In a very well-written story, “Judge OKs deal cut by all sides in fight over complex” (July 22), the Tribune’s Richard Mullins describes in detail the events surrounding the Channelside deal that brings to conclusion what will be a sensational addition to the Tampa landscape. How many people come to a city, as did Jeff Vinik, purchase a sports team and instantly start giving back to the community?

At every Lightning game this most gracious man makes a $50,000 contribution to a local charity. This is unheard of! Vinik always knows how to say thank you.

Mullins says it best about this caring Tampa citizen: “The deal green-lights Vinik’s long-term hopes and dreams to remake the entire neighborhood into a gleaming mixed-use entertainment and shopping district around the Forum.”

When Vinik and his team finish this undertaking, it will be Tampa-Disney.

What vision. Channelside has been struggling for years, and Vinik comes along and turns a frog into a princess.

John Osterweil

Tampa

A salute to Norman Pallot

I have for many years enjoyed Norman Pallot’s opinions and his contributions to the national scene via our local newspaper. His opinions have been right on target regarding national and local politics and the direction our country is moving in. Norman, who recently passed away, was a member of the “Greatest Generation.”

He is an inspiration to our youths, and he is the reason I decided to serve my country during the Korean War. Those who served, and those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, can thank Pallot and those like him for keeping America great.

Thank you, Norman. I salute you and honor your service and contribution to America.

Ron Dakin

Spring Hill

Know the candidates

The Mike Wells you see signs for in Pasco County is not the Mike Wells you have known and elected for years as the county’s property appraiser.

It is his son.

The son is using the exact name and signage his father used. Is this a ploy to deceive the voter?

There are all kinds of disclosure laws for candidates, and there should be one that requires a candidate with the same name as an elected official (or past official) to clarify who he or she really is. Whether a person is qualified or not is up for you to decide. Be informed when you go to the polls.

Wil Nickerson

Holiday

Improve world’s water

In the next two months, Congress has the opportunity to improve the way it spends U.S. foreign aid on clean water, sanitation and hygiene programs so that countries with the least access become the priority. But the bipartisan bill that would do so is not yet a priority for our lawmakers.

Clean water is an issue that most of us don’t have to think about. We simply turn on the tap to wash our hands, take a drink or cook dinner.

But 748 million people around the world go without clean water, many of them children. This lack of access to clean water kills.

By amending the Water for the Poor Act of 2005 and responding to USAID’s new Global Water Strategy, Congress can ensure that the Water for the World Act will make better use of existing funding, strengthen accountability for programs already under way, and ensure the greatest impact on communities worldwide without spending new money or creating new bureaucracy. More importantly, it will save lives.

Christopher Benjamin

Largo

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