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Thursday, Jun 21, 2018
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Letters to the editor: Candidate reply

Candidate reply

Regarding “Re-elect Luikart to Pasco School Board” (Our Views, July 23):

As a physician, I hope to bring medical expertise to the board. My review of policy that has health implications would be very useful. I am a strong advocate for public schools and the protection of resources. Florida ranks among the lowest in the nation for public school funding. I would advocate for enhanced funding, not adjusting to cuts.

Further hemorrhaging of public school resources continues with charter school growth and voucher credits. I advocate for effective accountability for charter schools — certainly a closer eye on curriculum and staff. I am concerned that many have relationships with legislators and contractual agreements that suggest conflicts. These relationships should be investigated. Although charter schools are supposed to be governed by local school boards, the Florida Department of Education can overrule concerns, and it has. Over one-third of charter schools have closed while new ones open. Where’s the money? Why have they closed?

Would I use the seat as a bully pulpit? I certainly would. There is a deliberate effort to privatize our public schools. Quality public education’s survival is at stake. I am running to “change the mindset” and add a different voice to the Pasco County School board.

Marc Yacht, M.D., MPH


The writer is a candidate for Pasco County School Board, District 5.

Candidate reply

“Our Views” for Pinellas County Commission, District 4, seem to be based upon “who will support a transit initiative ...” Voters have the final decision on Greenlight Pinellas. The plan increases the sales tax to 8 percent for 30 years. During my walks and visits with people throughout District 4, the majority do not support Greenlight Pinellas and are frustrated because their elected officials are not listening to their views.

My campaign is about serving the people and improving communications among residents, businesses and governmental agencies. Having worked for two Pinellas County commissioners and three county administrators provided me with unique qualifications to “hit the ground running” and provide citizens with a county commissioner who will listen and help make Pinellas County government one we can be proud of and respect.

“Wanda Listens” continues to be the major focus of my campaign.

Wanda Kimsey

Tarpon Springs

The writer is a Republican candidate for Pinellas County Commission, District 4.

We need to dazzle

Although I am in no position to render an opinion based on my finances, because we all know how the power of money speaks, the artist’s rendering of the hotel/condo project Jeff Vinik would like to build along Channelside is symbolic of a monolithic structure, with no real eye appeal to the strollers of the improving Riverwalk. It adds no real architectural complement to the relationship between the Riverwalk, the Forum, Channelside or the enticement of tourism, viewing it as a structural beauty one would wish to visit as part of our tour of Tampa.

Why is it that we cannot build amazing sights that dazzle our contemporaries? Think Sydney Opera House, (albeit, smaller scale), Dubai’s Burj Al Arab, the Dali Museum — you get it, right? Can we appeal to Vinik, whom we are now looking up to because of his love of Tampa, to make us stand out because of our uniqueness and not because maximum space must be utilized? I understand the turnaround of investment, but does not an increase in the numbers who want to be here lend a greater return? Assure Vinik that we welcome his transformation to Tampa’s riverfront, and we will be there to support it. But let’s think out of the box. Although I am not resourceful for getting this message to where it needs to be heard, we need to share our voice with those who make these decisions. We are, and will continue to be, an awesome city.

Edwin Martinez


Establish new tradition

Same-sex marriage is often in the news. Even though there will always be some whose religious or moral beliefs are against it, I would say the vast majority are more “live and let live” when it comes to personal lives. I’m pretty sure no one would deny that every couple in a committed relationship should have the same legal rights and responsibilities. The problem lies with the word “marriage” and its centuries-old tradition of one man and one woman.

One would think same-sex couples would rather have a special word to indicate their own special relationship. There would, no doubt, be far less controversy if they were united instead of married. Have a unity ceremony, a unity reception, etc.; be partners instead of Mr. and Mrs.

With all due respect, I find it awkward when a man introduces the man standing next to him as “my husband” or a woman refers to “my wife.” Partner describes the situation perfectly without having to be told who is who in the relationship. It would be wonderful if we all would live with an attitude of acceptance and tolerance. Perhaps a step in that direction could be achieved if same-sex couples established their own tradition rather than destroying the one that has existed thousands of years and is dearly treasured.

Sandra McKendree

Palm Harbor

Compromising faith

I was disappointed and surprised to read where U.S. Rep. David Jolly announced that he supports the right to same-sex marriage and was in agreement with a recent court decision in Monroe County affirming the same. I was surprised because Jolly professes to be a Christian and approves a decision that is diametrically opposed to his Christian values and is identified in Scripture as sin.

Certainly, all Christians are required to obey all civil laws as long as those laws are consistent with Scripture, and since most of our laws are predicated on our Judeo-Christian values, they are consistent. However, the court decision approving same-sex marriage is not, and that apparently creates a problem for Jolly and many Christians. That problem is whether to compromise our Christian values and go with societal trends or adhere to our heritage and faith and oppose compromise and acceptance. It appears Jolly has decided to compromise his Christian faith by supporting a lifestyle that is inconsistent with Scripture. Compromise may serve the congressman well in his political efforts, but it’s disastrous in matters of faith.

Glenn N. Musselwhite


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