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Friday, Oct 20, 2017
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Letters to the editor: Faster voting

Faster voting I have a suggestion on how to speed up the lines at polling stations. Don't use fine-tip markers for filling in the circles on the ballots. I knew who I was going to vote for and what my vote was going to be on the amendments, yet it still took me close to 10 minutes to black in all the circles with the fine-tip marker I was given. Shifting to either blunt-tip markers or mini daubers (like they use in bingo) would reduce the time required to cast a ballot considerably.
LeRoy Dennison Riverview Good grief Ah! Finally, Election Day has arrived, just in the Saint Nick of time for all those annoying political campaign ads to be replaced by even more annoying Christmas ads. Good grief, Charlie Brown! Ray Brown Tampa No springboard to success High school freshman used to be educated in language composition — like how to read and mark a text and how to use process of elimination, along with other techniques to answer questions. Too bad this is not the case any more. Nowadays, freshman are watching "Edward Scissorhands" instead of reading "The Odyssey" and analyzing camera angles instead of answering questions about passages from classic literature. Does this prepare them for college courses? Take it from me, a high school junior who is now struggling in her AP English language class — it doesn't. The villain in this is most definitely not the teachers; they have done nothing wrong. The problem is the curriculum they are forced to teach — mainly Springboard. Springboard consists of units that require students to watch movies and answer how they feel about what they saw. Last year I watched "Bend It Like Beckham," and I still am not completely sure when to use "who" or "whom" in a sentence. Now that I am in this college-level class, I feel very unprepared, and I can't help but feel cheated. I do love Johnny Depp, but he and director Tim Burton have not prepared me for college courses. I can watch their lovely films on my own time, but when I am in English class, I expect to learn English. I am sure I am not the only one who feels this way. I am doing my best to catch up now, but I felt like I should put my feelings out there. Maybe something will change. My life, of course, is not ruined, but I do wish I felt more prepared for the SAT, ACT and my college courses. Eleni Gast Odessa Raise deductibles Regarding "Exposing Obamacare's costs" (Our Views, Nov. 2): It is true that the Affordable Health Care Act does increase health insurance costs if employees retain the same deductible from year to year. But in order to keep their employees' health insurance premiums from increasing, all the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office needs to do is to raise the deductible. The premiums would basically stay the same, and there would be no additional insurance cost. We did this in my small business, and it worked fine for my employees. Thomas Reinhart Tampa Planning questioned The case of Valrico Academy explains why people are so unhappy with Hillsborough County officials and often choose not to vote. Valrico Academy recently opened on the corner where Boyette Road, Bell Shoals Road and Fishhawk Boulevard come together to make one of the most congested intersections in south Brandon. Before Valrico Academy opened it took 10 to 15 minutes to negotiate the morning and afternoon traffic, as a result of the intersection backing up traffic in all directions. Now, with the additional traffic associated with Valrico Academy, the traffic backs up in all directions for several miles, extending this time to 20 to 25 minutes. This has also resulted in significant frustration, with individuals often making cross-traffic turns after the light has changed, thus significantly increasing the potential for accidents. Why did Hillsborough County officials allow Valrico Academy to be built in this location? The academy could have been built several miles to the east on Fishhawk Boulevard on empty land next to several schools already established. This would have eliminated the possibility of congestion, which must have been identified as part of the environmental and traffic studies required to approve this site. The location of the academy to the east also would have made it much easier for the individuals from Fishhawk, who from the traffic flow appear to be one of the primary supporters of the academy. Second, now that Hillsborough County has allowed this to happen, what is the plan to alleviate the traffic congestion? The efforts to expedite traffic by the much-needed widening of Boyette Road have been effectively negated during the critical rush-hour traffic as a result of this decision. Finally, what is Prince Construction Co., along with the Hillsborough Sheriff's Office, doing to reduce the danger of individuals constantly running the red light at this intersection? Joe Bolick Brandon

The writer is president of the River Rapids Home Owner Association.
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