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 Perspective: May 5, 2002
May 5, 2002

Botto case deserves comment
If this were a normal year, not the prelude to an election, the candidates for mayor and City Council in Tampa might have enough courage to censure the fire chief for abusing vacation time and misusing city equipment. But Chief Pete Botto is popular with the rank and file, and no one running is troubled enough to risk alienating the firefighters union. Its support, after all, can make or break a political campaign. The episode is another example of the poor state of professionalism and leadership in Tampa city government.

Unprotected children
The disappearance of a 5-year-old girl from state care is not an aberration, and casts a pall over an already-reeling child-protection agency.

Taking the long view
The newly updated Hubble space telescope is peering deeper into the universe and further back in time than anyone but the most starry-eyed astrophysicist might have dreamed. After a daring repair by astronauts in March, the Hubble's new Advanced Camera for Surveys is sending back ever more spectacular pictures.

Success in school begins in the home
Re: Ignoring racial politics in education, by Gloria Graves Holmes, April 28.

Martin Dyckman
Tough choices for voters in November
TALLAHASSEE -- There may be some tough choices on the ballot this November, and I'm talking not about the candidates but about ballot questions. None of the circulating initiatives has enough verified signatures yet, but it's not too soon to be thinking about how to vote in the event they do. So far, only three amendments are actually on the ballot, all proposed by the Legislature.

Robyn E. Blumner
Ashcroft's power to detain without charges continues without oversight
While acrid smoke from the wreckage of the World Trade Center towers was still lingering in the air, Congress and the Justice Department were haggling over broad, new powers that Attorney General John Ashcroft wanted -- needed -- to fight the terrorist menace and protect American lives.

Bill Maxwell
Can't blame Catholic Church's problems on the cultural elite
You try to ignore the ridiculous.

Philip Gailey
A way to win back Southern Democrats on the gun issue
Many Democrats will go to their graves believing Al Gore was robbed of the presidency in the 2000 Florida vote. But that's not the way Sen. Zell Miller, D-Ga., sees it. The former Georgia governor believes Gore narrowly lost the election to George W. Bush because he lost touch with the voters in the South, especially on gun control. Gore was only the third Democratic presidential candidate since the Civil War to lose every state of the old Confederacy. If Gore had won his home state of Tennessee he would be president today.


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