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Dungy's remarks, libraries, and kids in cars: Letters

Dungy's remarks on Sam

So we find out that Tony Dungy is a wimp. The former Tampa Bay Bucs and Indianapolis Colts Super Bowl-winning coach said Michael Sam, the NFL's first openly gay player, would cause a distraction, and he wouldn't have drafted him.

Poor Dungy. He said he "wouldn't want to deal with all of it. It's not going to be totally smooth ... things will happen."

Tell it to the Marines.

Clearly, Dungy is no Branch Rickey, the man who integrated Major League Baseball with the signing of Jackie Robinson. This sure was disruptive to Rickey and Major League Baseball, and to Robinson; however, it was the right thing to do.

Dungy, clearly, is no Martin Luther King Jr., no Nelson Mandela. He's no Susan B. Anthony or Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who were instrumental in getting women the right to vote in this country. Nor does Dungy mirror Marion Motley, one of the first NFL players of color. Overcoming bigotry and narrow-mindedness was far harder more than half a century ago than it is today.

Progressive changes don't wait until it is convenient to do the right thing. The right thing to do is the right thing to do. If not now, when?

Choice EdwardsClermont

U.S. should speak softly, carry big stick

So the United States is the most powerful nation on Earth. Apparently, the rest of the world is not impressed.

Teddy Roosevelt had the principle "Speak softly and carry a big stick." Many Americans don't know what that means. It means when you draw a line in the sand, you mean it, and you take action if it is crossed. It means when someone threatens you, you don't back down. It means when the world faces a crisis, you take the lead. It means when you give your word, everyone knows you will keep it.

If you look through history, you will find that Roosevelt's principle works. When everyone knows that you will use your strength when necessary, soon you don't have to use it; just the belief you will is enough. Many of today's problems could have been avoided if the world just believed we would use our strength.

Dave Arms Winter Park

Don't lose sight of solar, wind power

The fact that Florida Power & Light Co. wants to cancel its conservation programs is explained by its annual profit — $1.24 billion in 2012 and $1.35 billion in 2013.

FPL cannot maintain its ever-increasing profits by having people switch to rooftop solar that can easily provide close to half their electricity. Every bit of wasted energy or avoided solar power is money in FPL's pocket.

Florida citizens need to demand that the state set high targets for distributed solar power and offshore wind. FPL should be spending hundreds of millions of dollars to implement conservation programs and figure out how it is going to integrate distributed energy resources into its grid, not scheming how to keep up its profit margin.

Kathy Freeman Melbourne

Good VA experience

I thought, as a recent user, it might be refreshing to say something positive about Veterans Affairs services.

I had an eye exam recently at the Lake Baldwin VA clinic. I had an appointment and did not have to wait too long to get started. I spent less than two hours there and was on my way. Everyone was courteous and took the time to educate me about eye care.

I think the problems with the VA are systemic at the upper levels — not so at the treatment level.

Allen ArthurOrlando

Libraries can give all kids a good start

The Sunday Sentinel's cover article "Early learning is key for poor children, experts say" raised the very real issue that kindergarten may be too late for kids who start their lives out in poverty. Babies born to homes with few books and to struggling parents start out with a deficit, and overcoming that deficit is critical to future success.

The well-written article referenced a handful of groups advocating for poor kids. However, parents and educators frequently forget about an often-overlooked resource — their local library. Regular story times and other programs, plus the chance to check out books, are all great resources for stressed parents under pressure to provide for their children.

Thankfully, these resources come at a great price: free. Parents should take advantage of all that's available to help preschoolers. These children's futures do not have to be at risk.

Mary Anne Hodel CEO, director, Orange County Library System

No wonder children are forgotten in cars

Another baby dead in a hot vehicle. How truly horrific and tragic.

Parents who do this will live with the horror and grief of being responsible for the death of their own child for the rest of their lives. I pity them. But I also feel that the level of modern distraction has increased the chances of a child being overlooked, with tragic consequences.

How many of the adults involved in these incidents were either on their cellphones as they parked, or were so eager to check their texts or social-media sites as soon as the ignition was turned off, that their attention was monopolized by the device?

It doesn't take much for electronic devices to capture our attention, so if the child is quiet, he falls off the adult's radar.

We see it all the time in all sorts of places: the adult focused on the device, while the child sits ignored in a stroller or walking along, trying to get the adult's attention.

This happens even when adults are spending quality time with their offspring.

The concept of multitasking is overrated.

Please, focus on what is truly of the highest worth — the children — and only on the device when there is free time.

Kristie BakerOrlando

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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