© St. Petersburg Times, published June 1, 2001
What is wrong with parents today? Why do they go into denial when their kids break the rules? Are they afraid that if they admit their child has done wrong and must face the consequences of his or her actions, it means they failed Parenting 101?
What part of "zero tolerance" don't we understand? Teachers and school administrators are not the enemy. They are there to educate your children, but with a desire to make it safely home to their own families at the end of a hard day's work.
Instead of accusing teachers and administrators of overreacting, maybe it's time to quit bellyaching and get behind their efforts to make and keep our schools a safe environment for everybody's children.
The fact is, all weapons or parts of weapons, whether real or toy, are banned from school property. We've all seen and heard the horror stories enough times now to get rid of the notion that bad things only happen to other people in other places.
Parents who are quick to jump to the defense of their children when they make bad decisions and choices are the modern-day Frankensteins who are creating tomorrow's monsters, who will one day turn on them and the rest of society.
Parents, it's time to train up your children in the way they should go, so when they get older, they shall not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).
-- Len Vivolo, Clearwater
Re: zero tolerance in schools.
I no longer have children in school. My older grandchildren are through college. But I think the Orwellian interpretation of the zero tolerance policy is one of the strongest arguments yet in favor of school vouchers.
-- Thomas A. Black, Dunedin
Re: Sports facility will be asset in lots of ways, letter, May 7.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What one person sees as a blighted site, others see as well-maintained athletic fields. I am referring to the proposed stadium site at SPJC and comments made in the above letter by Bill Horne, Clearwater's interim city manager.
The entire site with existing baseball diamonds and soccer fields always has been well-maintained. The only eyesore on the property is the construction storage containers which are now being removed. I'm sure credit is due the city for their removal.
The former landfill on this site was covered more than 30 years ago and it has been used as athletic fields for nearly 20 years -- hardly a blighted area.
I was glad to see Mr. Horne finally call this sports complex what it really is: a "multimillion-dollar entertainment facility" and further state it will be used for civic groups, high school sports, college sports, special entertainment events, etc. This is in addition to the Phillies spring training games.
This further supports our position that this type of sports/entertainment venue has no business next to a well-established residential area. It belongs in a commercial district. It should be part of Clearwater's downtown redevelopment plan where local merchants and businesses could reap the benefits and the taxpayers would get a better return on their investment.
The city has listened and addressed (within its limits) the neighbors' concerns, but the solutions to the problems are not always within the city's reach. One good example: traffic. The city's traffic study recommends major improvement, especially to the Old Coachman/NE Coachman intersection.
However, the county recently eliminated the Old Coachman Road improvement project because of the Penny for Pinellas shortfall. Therefore, the only road improvements by the city will be the necessary turn lanes at the two entrances to the stadium site. In other words, the traffic congestion that we already experience will only get worse.
I want to emphasize that we are not against the proposed sports/entertainment complex, only the location at the SPJC site, nor are we a small minority who feel this way.
Whether our property values would increase with a stadium next door is pure speculation. One thing for certain: Our quality of life will be adversely affected. We are fighting to preserve that quality and have every right to do so.
-- Thomas Scovill, Clearwater
Green plants have now been replaced in the beds bordering the Clearwater Marina and Coronado Avenue in Clearwater Beach. The original plants died from being buried in sand blowing from the beach.
Has a sand barrier fence been planned at the beach edge to eliminate this problem in the future -- and thus the additional expense in purchasing and manpower hours?
-- June and Jack Thrash, Clearwater