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Need bus drivers? Make kids behave

Letters to the Editor
Published August 9, 2006

The search for more school bus drivers continues, with promises of better pay, better hours, better maintenance of equipment, etc.

The main cause of the driver shortage has not been addressed: discipline.

I am semiretired, interested in some sort of a part-time job to give me something constructive to do, get me out of the house for several hours a day and if there's a couple of bucks in it, fine.

I have been licensed as a truck driver, trained as a heavy equipment operator and bus driver in the service and have a clean driving record. I would love to drive a school bus.

What stops me?

The dangerous distractions caused by a few punks make it difficult to concentrate on driving in Pinellas County's horrendous traffic. The threat of lawsuits from any attempt at discipline. The threat of bodily injury from some of the older punks (I can't call them students; students are there to learn). All of these scenarios scare the hell out of me.

If you want me to drive one of your buses, after training and indoctrination, sit me in the driver's seat of a well-maintained bus and give me someone to, almost literally, ride shotgun and to have enough authority to enforce discipline and watch my back.

Money and benefits are secondary to the above. Solve the discipline problem, and you'll have people lined up to drive!


Robert F. Turner, Dunedin

Developers should leave, not residents

Re: Relocation pro lobbies Seminole, July 30.

Instead of a "relocation specialist" for displaced mobile home residents, why not "relocate" some of those developers to, say, Mars or Venus or any number of other places? Then they would have no problems with people and they could redevelop to their hearts' (and wallets') content.

Keep up the good fight, Leo Plenski. Do not let them wear you down.

F. Hatchett, Largo


First Friday leaves lasting impression

On the first Friday of every month something quite amazing happens on Central Avenue between Second and Third streets in St. Petersburg. Several thousand people gather on the blocked-off street to dance and socialize to celebrate the end of the workweek.

What makes this special is that all of the diverse elements of the city mingle in momentary harmony. Blacks, whites, Latins, gays, the old, the young, the homeless, dance together in a true display of democratic equality without the usual stratifications that separate everybody from each other.

For a short time, the American dream of unity championed by our greatest poet, Walt Whitman, is realized on that street in St. Petersburg. Is there any other place in America that this is happening?

Terence Brown, St. Petersburg

[Last modified August 8, 2006, 22:01:45]

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