Today's Letters: School half-days are wasted days

Published May 6, 2007

Re: Schools' half-days are unnecessary burden April 22 editorial

I read with much interest your editorial about half-days in the Hernando County School District. Having spent 37 years teaching in schools in New York State, I agree with your position that eight or nine half-days for students is too much. It destroys the continuity that is so important in teaching.

There really aren't enough days to teach content, let alone all the other mandated things that the Legislature, school board, or arm-chair experts think we need to inculcate in our students. Teaching is a lonely profession as the teacher is by himself or herself all day and needs to exchange ideas, methods, etc., with colleagues. But at what cost?

In the school district in which I taught, there were no more than two half-days (two too many in my opinion) per year. Not much was accomplished from the teachers' points of view, but the administration thought they were useful. In subject matter in which each lesson builds upon the preceding one - math, science, foreign languages, for example - continuity is paramount. I taught French and being in class daily was absolutely necessary for the student; shortened classes were almost useless.

Pay the teachers more and let them teach. "You can't learn 'em if they ain't there."

William H. Underhill, Clifton Park, N.Y.


What board does Palmieri head? 

Re: Commission overcome by mob April 22 letter to the editor

Anthony Palmieri wrote a letter to the editor saying he was appalled by the "angry" mob that influenced the vote of the County Commission, pursuant to the Spring Hill fire issue.

I am appalled Palmieri does not have the gumption to say he is the chairman of our infamous Planning and Zoning Commission board, the rubber- stamping group that has helped create the blight on our landscape with started and not- completed developments. But then, maybe that is the reason for leaving out his position.

He says the county commissioners failed to live up to their elected responsibilities, and dumped it on we, the people. Well, his group has failed as non-elected appointees by ruling that a 1983 development of regional impact has to be upheld in 2007. That irrational decision is dumping on the County Commission, which has the guts to make decisions.

Commissioners Diane Rowden, Rose Rocco and Jeff Stabins made the correct decision. Let us, the taxpayers, decide. Since Palmieri's board is more clerk than commissioners, he might not understand that.

George Massey, Spring Hill


Precious water is draining away

To flush your toilet might cost you $6 per flush if your current toilet uses 2 gallons per flush. No joke!

If massive developments keep getting approved, especially with golf courses and high- density housing, this may be a low figure. Check out the lakes and rivers around Florida. Some lake bottoms are now being farmed. The only problem is they are running out of water for the crop. Water is needed for agriculture; if we don't have agriculture we don't eat well. What do golf courses produce that we can eat?

When saltwater starts coming up through our wells, it is too late to say let's go back and start over. I don't know the figures on the Floridan Aquifer, but the Ogallala Aquifer in the midwestern United States has been reported to be dropping by 18 inches a year, and only replenished at a half-inch per year. If we keep approving massive, water-consuming developments with multiple water-guzzling golf courses, our water will disappear and $3 per gallon will not be unrealistic. Think seriously about this.

Roy Clardy, Brooksville


Returning vets getting lip service 

Re: Voices rise in opposition to war April 24 story

Thank you, staff writer Tom Marshall, for reporting on the town hall meeting at the Pasco-Hernando Community College North Campus on April 23.

We had a good group of folks who were against the war in Iraq, and the retired Army speaker who was advertised as a proponent for the war believes it has been so incompetently mismanaged that it's time to get out as soon, and as intelligently, as we can.

I wanted to add a comment that Mr. Marshall left out: In the group discussion of how best to support the troops on duty and when they come home, a Korean War veteran, who has a chronic problem left from the war, was asked, "What kind of service do the veterans get from Ginny Brown-Waite?" He answered, "Lip service."

Jan Kalnbach, Brooksville


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