News in 90 Seconds: School grades, apartment fire and Brevard Zoo babies
FLORIDA TODAY’s Rob landers brings you some of today’s top stories on the News in 90 Seconds.
Rob Landers, Florida Today
Where will BPS book policies lead?
I am saddened by the recent “Class libraries may shrink” article, for fear that it will drive policies on reading.
I shudder that we are heading for non-teacher/non-researched dictates that will mimic the intrusion into writing when BPS assigned an essay to “prepare for the FCAT.” I assigned it after telling my students that I was asking for work that had no chance of improving their writing, but that I could lose my job if I did not assign the essay.
I attended my first Accelerated Reader Conference in 1996. I learned about read-alouds and about print-rich environments which boosted student reading: The availability of books piqued student interest and encouraged them to pick up a book and finally to read. I learned that self-chosen reading, not teacher-assigned books, was the better predictor of students’ increased reading.
I had zero control of after-school reading, but I had total control of the environment students faced in my classroom. Using what I learned, I built a classroom library with donations and thrift store and Scholastic purchases; I asked for books that students had outgrown.
The library reached 1,500 books at Central and Eau Gallie High. Any student could grab a book as needed: picture and chapter books, College Board books and student recommendations.
FCAT scores were always above 90% AYG and reading levels grew an average of one and a half years in all classes. Weekend tutoring close to testing weeks helped as well.
I want to cry.
Christopher Kit Adams, Melbourne
excellent county attorney choice
In today’s environment of continuous criticism, it is a pleasure to write about an outstanding public servant.
Mr. Morris Richardson has honored us West Melbourne residents with his dedication to “Truth, justice and the American way” for many years.
He is knowledgeable, hard-working, ethical and honest.
His promotion to county attorney leaves us with mixed emotions — sad to lose him, but happy for his deserved advancement.
Charles Settgast, West Melbourne
Let’s tally tourist spending statewide
A recent article in FLORIDA TODAY said that Brevard County is proposing to spend $10 million dollars to attract tourists. I have to wonder how much all the other counties in Florida are spending in hopes of attracting tourists, and is anyone coordinating just how much all these counties spend collectively?’
It might be that collectively, we are spending more than the tourists bring to Florida.
Thomas Johnson, Palm Bay
More: Election issues: Two candidates say Sheriff Ivey tried to get them to drop out, offered jobs in exchange
‘Not surprised’ by sheriff’s actions
I recently read in FLORIDA TODAY about our sheriff pressuring people to drop out of a race, offering jobs with the candidates Ivey was supporting, if they should win, at about $50K. The report said Ivey “has been accused of trying to influence elections outcomes before, as well as candidates.”
I have to say, I am not surprised.
After he “came out of the bushes” and walked up to the wife of a prisoner who had died at the Brevard County Jail, and hugged her after she had previously refused to meet with him, I knew we had a narcissistic, unethical person in charge of law enforcement in Brevard.
The word bribery was also used in this recent article. He must be voted out. If we don’t get back to honest people in our system, we are doomed.
The midterm elections are almost upon us. Congressman Bill Posey was one of the Republicans who voted to overturn our last election and take away our voice. He also voted on the Women’s Health Care Act and not to impeach and remove the most corrupt US president ever.
Are these people we/you want to represent us?
At the. We must vote these people out.
Donna Carroll, Rockledge
Trump’s move much more than a ‘fit’
In response to Mr. Riemondy’s recent letter, here is why we need the Jan. 6 committee
Trump “pitched to fit”? He knowingly felt his followers, with weapons (including AR-15s) to a violent attempted coup of our government. They stormed our Capitol fully intending to kill members of Congress and the vice president. As many Republicans in Congress called this a typical tour, this investigation is vital to our national security.
There were 10 investigations after Benghazi, all showing Secretary Clinton was guilty of no wrongdoing. Nine of those were a waste of money. By the way, Clinton granted the election immediately (no fit) and Trump had his transition resources that he denied to Biden. After our 17 Intelligence agencies found that Putin had gotten into our databases, she could have questioned whether the election was even legitimate. She did not. Many of us do.
Gore only asked for an investigation into known issues with ballots and then accepted the court’s decision. no fit.
Trump’s continued claims are being used by promising candidates to hand the 2024 election to Trump and this is threatening our democracy. Judge J. Michael Luttig, an ultra-conservative judge, said that Trump and his allies him are a “clear and present danger” to democracy.
This is the time to invoke the 14th Amendment and clean house.
Susan Termini, Merritt Island
Breaking down who’s who in parties
In response to Jack Ward’s recent letter, we do need only two viable political parties.
Right now we have four parties, two Republican and two Democratic.
The Trump Republican Party spreads lies and conspiracies. They act like small children, not grown-ups who are leading our country. Trump didn’t win. Accept it and move on.
The other Republican conservative party seems to be almost non-existent right now. They are afraid to stand up and do what they are supposed to do. Do we want our children to see a female member of Congress shooting a gun at someone on TV or a man shooting at what he calls RINOS?
The Democratic Party has the Bernie Sanders wing. Then we have the old-time Democrats who have been trying. But each side cancels the other side out or Manchin cancels them out. Biden tries to accommodate both, but it gets harder and harder.
I do not believe the problems in our urban areas are the result of any failed Democratic policies leading to poverty, misery, crime, etc. Remember, it was the Democratic Party that gave you Medicare and Social Security, which help all of us, not just the poor. The Republicans want to tax the poor and help the rich; the Democratic Party wants to tax the rich and help the poor. It’s just a stalemate out there.
So what can we do? Go out and vote for the best candidate who is truthful and honest in what he says and will help the people.
Kay Fiorentino, Merritt Island
Constitution doesn’t mention abortion
The decision of the Supreme Court to send the issue of Roe v. Wade back to the states is neither good nor bad, no matter where you stand on abortion, because the Supreme Court did not strike down Roe v. Wade. It merely sent the decision to the states for legal resolution.
The Supreme Court justice who wrote the majority’s opinion on June 24, 2022, stated that the Constitution makes no reference to abortion and that no such right is implicitly protected by any Constitutional provision.
A brief reading of our rights as expressed in this document shows his statement to be true. Abortion was never a matter for the federal government. Therefore, we must conclude that according to the written law of the land, we the people of each state have to decide what to do about the issue of abortion. Since all powers not specifically assigned to the federal government are under the jurisdiction of the states, federal government has no authority to interfere with the decision and governance of the states in the matter of abortion
Perhaps it is long past time that we all investigate for ourselves, find out exactly what an abortion is, and what happens when the abortion is performed, then make this investigation — including ultrasound of the pre-born child — a requirement for every individual, male female/man or woman, considering this procedure. Then and only then will women have true freedom of choice.
Choose carefully. Our lives, the lives of our children, and our civilization depend on it.
Sylvia Sharpe, Doug Sharpe and Paula Estridge are members of the Brevard Republican Executive Committee.
Abortion edict: It’s really about control
No one I know is enamored with abortion. I don’t know a single person who thinks it is their favorite thing to do. But in search of intent to change settled law, there is something else afoot…
If it were really about babies, they would push for improved prenatal care, family leave, early child care and education, healthy school lunches, reestablishing child tax credits, etc.
If it were really about avoiding unplanned pregnancy, they would push for better health education and contraceptive access instead of trying to take them away.
But it’s not about babies or health at all. It’s about control of women. It’s about the goal of holding women down. The Sen. Cruz admitted in his typical “saying the quiet part out loud”, it’s really about those “overeducated women …”. The old white Republican men know it is women that move society forward socially and economically — and they want it stopped.
Mary Hillberg, Merritt Island
‘Money should not determine our vote’
Every time we open a letter or open our email we are bombarded with requests for money for every candidate running all over the country. At the same time we keep hearing about the vast sums being donated to Republican candidates.
Money should not determine our vote. We need to educate ourselves about the qualities of the candidates. Once we decide which people are to lead our government offices, we can ignore their ads and money campaigns.
I am getting so tired of hearing Democrats don’t stand a chance this November. We have enough people who are decent citizens, who believe in the Golden Rule, which is almost universal in every religion.
Democrats, on the whole, are more empathetic; believe everyone should be able to live their lives the way they want as long as they are not hurting others, and generally, just want peace in the world.
That’s why Republicans have so much power. They seem to love the chaos and hatred our previous president encouraged.
So please get out and vote in the primaries and in November and show the world America is not completely owned by the rich. Republicans are against gun control, reproduction rights, biological differences, universal health care, working on climate change and so many other things that make life worth living. If they win again we will lose our country, the opposite of what Trump said in his speech dele on Jan. 6.
Ruth Ceike Meier, Melbourne