Letters to the Editors
The Character First! program's a good idea
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 12, 2002
Editor: Re: Character training draws critics, Aug. 27 Times.
I am writing to clarify my quote in the referenced article because it created a negative impression of the "Character First!" program. This misconception was repeated in a subsequent letter to the editor when the quote was referenced again.
My quote contained the words "authoritarian and dictatorial" in connection with the "Character First!" program. This statement did not reflect my personal view of the program, but rather, opinions of others with whom I had discussed the program and who had concerns about implementing it in Hernando County government.
I personally believe the "Character First!" program would benefit any organization and could be used as an effective tool for employees to improve their own efficiency and effectiveness, not to mention having a positive effect on their personal lives. That is my opinion, which is exactly the opposite of the impression created by my quote.
Further, and most important, I regret that my statement may have implied any disrespect or derogatory opinions toward Sheriff Richard Nugent, who has effectively implemented the "Character First!" program within his operation. I commend him for his decision to bring a program into his department that increases awareness and sensitivity to the importance of demonstrating good character traits in our everyday lives.
Take pride, America, in Sept. 11 response
Editor: When we reflect upon the events of Sept. 11, 2001, it is impossible for one not to conjure up mental images of the utter horror and devastation wrought upon our people. On that day, we saw the face and felt the hand of evil.
But we also saw the extraordinary courage and goodness of people and felt their compassion through the outpouring of support and patriotism.
I am so proud of the way our community, while diverse in race and faith, came together as Americans, united in purpose and indivisible under God. While we have been successful in being a united community for many years, the events of Sept. 11, 2001, have served to draw us even closer.
And so, as we mark the one-year anniversary of the attack, let us renew our commitments to harmony in our community, strength in our nation and faith in our God.
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