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August 20, 2000

Bill Maxwell
Academe respects Lieberman for his independent thinking
During last week's Democratic National Convention, voters learned a few things about Joseph I. Lieberman, Vice President Al Gore's running mate. As a former university professor who still has occasion to teach, I wanted to know what Academe thinks of Lieberman, where he stands on some of the important issues in higher education.

Diane Roberts
A Convention Diary
The Florida delegation hotel is located in that circle of hell reserved for citizens of a state governed by one of the Shrubbery. Rumor has it the Texas delegation is camping in a couple of unair-conditioned Quonset huts on Redondo Beach.

J. Howard Hinesley
Quality of education has become a matter of choice
Much has been said over the past several months about the School Board's quest for unitary status and the goal of eventually reducing the amount of forced busing created by our current desegregation court order. The school district stands today on the threshold of a new era in public education in Pinellas County in which the school a student attends will not be a matter of strict racial ratios but rather a matter of choice.

Times recommends...
Three for School Board
Thanks to a voter-approved amendment to the State Constitution, School Board races are no longer partisan. That means voters can focus on education credentials and not political parties and that all voters will get the chance to pick School Board members on Sept. 5.

Letters
Airliner checkups help keep them safe
Re: Boeing amendment places burden on air passengers, by Martin Dyckman, Aug. 13.

Martin Dyckman
State Tax Reform Task Force could use some luck
TALLAHASSEE -- Sixteen important people who have better things to do with their time than waste it embarked the other day on what many others figure to be a fool's errand: a two-year study of Florida's tax structure.

Susan Taylor Martin
Is anyone not involved in a class-action lawsuit?
I don't have silicone implants. I never used a Dalkon shield. I don't smoke, I didn't work at Publix, I've never driven an exploding Pinto or ridden on defective tires.

Books
Thrillers

RUNNING BLIND, by Lee Child (Putnam, $18.95).

A haunting novel of shunned souls
With the exception of John Steinbeck's 1952 classic, East of Eden, writers have been reluctant to revisit the story of Cain and Abel. But in his 780-page behemoth, The Royal Family, William T. Vollmann boldly picks up where Steinbeck left off, giving us a haunting novel full of murder, betrayal and shame. Using that primordial tale, he meditates on the yawning gap between the chosen and the dispossessed in contemporary America.

Aftermath of a ravaged world
As novelist T.C. Boyle imagines it, California in the year 2025 is rain-sodden, filthy, overpopulated and disease-plagued. There is no wildlife, no forest and the most exotic meal to be had at a restaurant is farm-raised catfish washed down with greasy sake.

Lives
FRANCOIS MITTERRAND: The Last French President, by Ronald Tiersky (St. Martin's, $29.95)

Margo Hammond
A hipper university press

Which of these titles do you think was published by a university press?

Feminists dissect the Clinton sex scandal
Once Richard Nixon was Washington's greatest gift to psycho-historians: the Checkers Speech, the White House tapes, the goodbye to his staff. Could anything possibly be more compellingly weird than the inner workings of Tricky Dick? For over a quarter century the answer to that question was an unqualified, "No." But not any more.  


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