Letters to the Editors
Parental authority now little more than a notion
© St. Petersburg Times
published August 23, 2002
Re: Respect for teachers has declined while the job has gotten harder, letter, Aug. 11.
Letter writer Fran Glaros holds in her hands the ideals of my parents' generation, but it is simplistic to think that parents have any control over their children today.
When I was in school, the five words designed to strike terror into a student's heart were, "Bring your mother to school." Today the single mother must arrange time off, often at a loss of desperately needed pay; and her attitude is, "This had better be good."
Even if the teacher's point is a valid one, the parental disciplines exercised by our parents do not work today. Grounding? The child can walk out the door at any time, and the parent legally may not restrict him from doing so. A trip to the woodshed? That's child abuse. So is a good, old-fashioned spanking. No TV? No rap music? The little darling sees and hears what he wants at a friend's house when he walks out the door.
While at the friend's house he may learn all sorts of values that we parents hold abhorrent, but about which we legally can do nothing because parental authority is a thing of the past.
In fact, parents have been forced by a misguided legal system to allow children choices they are not mature enough to make wisely. Then, when children get in trouble, parents are blamed.
The sad truth is, if children choose not to buy into the system, there is not much parents -- or teachers -- can do.
Scientology a plus for Clearwater's downtown
Re: Why should downtown building escape taxes? letter, Aug. 5.
Here are a few facts about the economic scene in downtown Clearwater.
Several businesses have recently opened up downtown. Starbucks is doing so well, it has surpassed even the management's expectations. Welcomed additions to the downtown, the Chiang Mai and Greenbacks restaurants, are also thriving. Publix has opened a new supermarket downtown. Other factors which demonstrate that there is vibrancy in the economic life of downtown Clearwater are the new bridge and library, which are under construction.
The Church of Scientology is the largest taxpayer downtown. As an organization with more than 10,000 members who live in the Tampa Bay area and up to 1,500 at any one time who visit from around the world, the church contributes hundreds of millions of dollars annually to the economic life of Clearwater and some 170,000 hours in volunteer time to programs that get people off drugs, improve literacy and clean up the environment, to name a few. And the church is building an edifice whose beauty and stately presence are guaranteed to attract attention to the downtown.
I would like to extend a neighborly invitation to the letter writer and to any interested person to take a trip downtown and visit the church. We have Open House on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. which includes a comprehensive photo exhibit of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, as well as Sunday service at 11 a.m. in the historic Fort Harrison.
Please join us. I promise to answer your questions fully and completely. Call (727) 467-6860 for more information.
Clearwater must stop raising millage rate
Clearwater property taxes are unreasonably high. It appears that the Clearwater city commissioners think that the city should provide:
All the latest equipment for everyone and everything.
Personnel for all departments to the level they request.
Salaries that rival ones in the northeastern United States, not salaries comparable to industry in this area.
I was a resident of Massachusetts when the state was called Taxachusetts, and there was a taxpayer revolt (as there was in California). This could happen here in Clearwater/Pinellas County.
It is not government's right to increase taxes each year. Stop increasing the millage rate on our property every year. In your next survey, ask us about what we think of the constantly increasing millage rate rather than whether city employees are courteous.
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