Letters to the Editor - July 1


Published: Thursday, July 1, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at 5:25 p.m.

Private, public schools are different

The Alachua County Legislative Delegation's (Speaking Out, 6-27) rationale for supporting and expanding school vouchers is difficult to comprehend. They say it's to provide options so students may benefit from different educational settings.

Here's what is different: Public schools are required to hire certified teachers. Private and religious schools are not.

Public schools are required to follow prescribed curriculum standards. Not so for private and religious schools.

The public system mandates courses students must pass to graduate. There are no state-mandated graduation requirements for private and religious schools.

Public schools must administer the FCAT exam. Private and religious schools do not.

If unregulated schools are a good choice for students, why doesn't the Legislature deregulate our public schools?

If lawmakers persist in believing private and religious schools are an important option, then hold them to the same standards and regulate them as they do public schools.

Susan Bottcher,

Gainesville

The right to speak, clap, boo and hiss

Reading The Sun's accounts of recent city and county meetings, it looks like Mayor Craig Lowe and County Commissioner Cynthia Chestnut have landed upon a strategy to quash all dissent under the guise of pleasing Miss Manners.

I don't think this will fly well with many of their constituents, who are being bled dry to support the appetite their "representatives" have for spending projects above and beyond basic services.

This isn't North Korea, Russia, China, Iran, Cuba or Venezuela (yet.) We don't have to sit there silently, like programmed robots, and listen to disingenuous speeches and silly sound bites from the people who are supposed to represent us, without response. We can still speak, clap, boo and hiss.

This is America, for crying out loud!

Kathy Benton,

Gainesville

The biggest threat of all creatures

I had to laugh when I saw The Sun's Web page poll on June 24. The question, of what native Florida creature am I most afraid, left out the most fearful; other humans.

All the candidate animals listed at least have a natural tendency to avoid us, whereas the crimes inflicted on us by others are done so with intent.

I hope someday to live in a world where every child is a wanted child, and every child is a cared-for child, and that those children grow to have more respect for fellow humans. That will go a long way in easing fear and making our world a better place.

Dan Shields,

Gainesville

Time to opt back in

Driving out to Cedar Key to join Saturday's Hands Across the Sand effort, I prayed for a traffic jam; a long line of people carpooling to stand hand in hand in solidarity.

Traffic was light, but my prayer was answered by 100 or so people stretched along the beach.

I was overwhelmed by the feeling that we have no notion of the magnitude of what we have done. We've pierced earth's heart and shot ourselves forward into a future we cannot comprehend.

We all have our reasons for opting out of the "political" process, but in doing so I turned my back on the Gulf. It's time to opt back in.

We need to get to know the people who speak for us; not just what they say but what they believe. We need to stop worrying about what goes on in their personal lives and pay attention to what they are doing in our names.

Renee Zenaida,

Gainesville

Bad news: You haven't seen anything yet

The Sun's June 24 article on the BP oil spill showed the effects on the beaches of Pensacola Beach. I recall a singer in the 1950s who always started his shows with: "Wait a minute, wait a minute, you've not seen anything yet."

I'm afraid this is what is going to happen to the beaches of Florida and all the Gulf states.

In another article the British prime minister asked President Obamba how much BP will be required to pay for this mess. What happened to whatever it costs?

Larry Moore,

Gainesville

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