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Jensen a solid Democratic contender in House race

Published May 26, 2004

Re: Democratic chairman in Pinellas quits to campaign, story, May 24.

The Times has criticized the Pinellas Democratic Party for not fielding viable candidates. Hopefully, Kevin Jensen will meet with the newspaper's approval in his bid for state House District 54.

Your article quotes Mr. Jensen as saying his resignation as chair of the Pinellas Democratic party will have no effect on the party. That's because, in his year's tenure as chair, he has strengthened the party organization to the point that it does not depend on any one leader.

In this past year, he has brought about greater unity than ever before. The Pinellas Democratic Party is better through his leadership, but no weaker for his moving on.

He is now needed by his party in another role. In his first state race two years ago, Mr. Jensen was unable to defeat his better-funded opponent. Now, Mr. Jensen will be less of an unknown to voters and has established a solid reputation within the Democratic Party. He will offer a worthwhile alternative to his opponent. Republican victory by default in Pinellas County state House races has been going on for too long. Mr. Jensen has been a factor in changing that. Mr. Jensen will continue to be a factor in changing that.

-- Philipp Michel "Mike" Reichold, Largo

Editorial's poor word choice did not preserve disabled students' dignity

Re: Alliance bonds students of two worlds, story, May 20, and School helps bridge a gap in our society, editorial, May 21.

The Alliance program at Carwise Middle School is a wonderful program. It is refreshing to read a story about the positive side of our schools. I also want to thank Times correspondent Terri D. Reeves for not using the word "retarded" at all in the article.

What I do find distressing is that the editorial regarding the Alliance, School helps bridge a gap in our society, used "retarded" seven times.

This is 2004. You may want to use such words as developmentally delayed, mentally challenged or mentally handicapped. After such a wonderful article, please give these mentally challenged students the dignity that they deserve.

-- Tammy Lewis, Palm Harbor

Commissioners should heed will of the people and not fluoridate county water

In June, the county will start adding fluoride to our water.

In 1976, this was put to the people in a public referendum and defeated soundly. There has been no referendum about it since then, but the county commissioners have taken it upon themselves to ignore the will of the people and take this action anyway. Who do they think they work for? Or do they think we work for them?

This should be stopped, and commissioners who ignore the wishes of their employers should be fired.

-- Kirk Bailey, Largo

County should seek public input and consent before making water decisions

Re: Fluoride being added to Pinellas County water.

I am amazed that Gov. Bush can ask the voters of Florida to revote on a referendum already passed, but our local County Commission takes unilateral action adversely affecting the health of Pinellas County residents. No voter input or consent. And they won't even fully explain their actions to the drinking public.

Some form of representative democracy we have here.

-- Scott Morris, Oldsmar


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[Last modified May 26, 2004, 01:00:46]

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