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Letters to the Editors

Site for school doesn't offer kids safe environment

© St. Petersburg Times
published January 5, 2003

Editor: Re: Take a lesson from dealing with new schools, Editorial opinion Sunday, Citrus Times: I'm writing in response to the opinion written about the Renaissance Center.

I agree with some of the things you say; with others I have a bit of a problem.

The first thing I agree with is that a school must be in a place that makes sense. When picking a site you must take in many factors. Safety is one. Being so very close to a jail and Cypress Creek, a state facility for juvenile offenders, would be a safety issue.

The Renaissance Center is for children with behavioral problems. You're right; it is not a detention facility, but, by putting it so close to these types of facilities, the children might be classified as such.

We're suppose to be trying to help these students feel better about themselves, to motivate them in an environment conducive to learning, one where children will feel safe and secure.

The site selection committee itself brought up the concerns over the perception of its location next to the jail.

The staff from the Renaissance school also voiced concerns regarding the proximity of the property to the jail.

My concern is not what effect the children will have on the residents of the development but what the effects the inmates in the jail and Cypress Creek will have upon the children.

Our mission is to educate all students in a safe environment, and I believe placing this school at this site will not meet that goal.
-- Donna Jean De Simone, Lecanto

No sympathy for Thurman; Give Brown-Waite a chance

Editor: Re: Farewell to a valued problem solver, Sunday Citrus Times: In the Dec. 29 paper there was a big story on Karen Thurman's ouster from office. Shame on the Republican-dominated Legislature for redistricting her coveted territory.

I say hogwash! Thurman did it when she was in the Legislature. Did the people crying in their coffee at Dinner Bell's in Dunnellon forget this, or are they poor losers?

Thurman will get a far better pension than her constituents who are retired federal employees. Then-President Jimmy Carter castigated federal employees by having the Windfall Elimination Provision bill passed, allowing federal employees only 40 percent Social Security, even though they earned enough credits before federal service.

I strongly believe Thurman was booted out of office for her lax attitude on Clinton. She defended his disgraceful behavior in our White House. She followed the Dick Gephardt agenda and even voted against President Bush's programs after Sept. 11.

Do I feel sorry for her? Heck no. All politicians are expendable and have to put their voters first, not the party. Give Ginny Brown-Waite a chance, and I promise you she'll do an excellent job. Veterans' groups should invite Ginny to speak to their groups, as I know she's 100 percent behind them.
-- Richard Bradley, Crystal River

Time to stop extolling virtues of Thurman and start fresh

Editor: With all due respect, I have a message for the Times. Get over it!

After reading Sunday's articles, Problem solver's farewell bittersweet and County's seniors especially sad to see Thurman go, I am convinced the Times cannot forgive Rep.-elect Ginny Brown-Waite for defeating Karen Thurman.

After these articles, extolling Thurman's virtues, I expected the Times to recommend Thurman's canonization. If the Times doesn't get over it, I predict every three months for the next two years we will be reading a follow-up story about Thurman's search for a new job, her success or failure and how she is adjusting to life. That is not how you sell newspapers to a progressive readership.

Soon, you will be moving into a new building. At the same time, I suggest you turn over a new leaf. Do your readers a favor; deal with it and get over it.
-- Janey Baldwin, Brooksville

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