Letters to the Editor

MCC name change shows arrogance

Fifty plus years of history was swept away without so much as an opportunity for public comment. Such arrogance is appalling.

The Board of Trustees of the former Manatee Community College knew that the sweeping change in the name of the institution would be controversial. So, the trustees (perhaps their name ought to be changed to Un-Trustees) opted for the typical governmental response, which was to ignore the public.

Over 50 years ago citizens and leaders from Manatee County went to Tallahassee and despite stout resistance from south of the airport, brought back a junior college to Manatee County. The institution has consistently been one to be proud of. The community has likewise consistently demonstrated its support for the school and lauded its accomplishments.

The casual discard of the institutional identity is offensive and hurtful in itself. However, the permanent loss of the name is more. Shakespeare wrote that a man or woman’s good name is the “immediate jewel of their souls.” The loss is significant. MCC will, I am sure, continue to be a quality educational institution. However, as State College of Florida, it will be less.

David W. Wilcox, Esq.


Manatee weak mascot

I was saddened to learn that the Board of Trustees of Manatee Community College, without consideration of the community, have decided to rename the school and change its mascot and colors. It was announced on April 15th that our community school will henceforth be known as the State College of Florida and the mascot is now the manatee with blue and green as its school colors. What, may I ask, is wrong with the name Manatee College? What is wrong with the Lancers as their mascot?

I don’t know who was consulted, but I can tell you who weren’t: the athletes and the athletic alumni, the very people who most advertise the school. No longer will our athletes wear the royal blue and gold symbolizing the proud tradition of our Lancers. Instead, they will don blue and green sea colors and be known as the Manatees. The manatee may be an adequate symbol for an elementary school, but a school that strives to be competitive needs a strong symbol, one that denotes fierce, intelligent competition, perhaps a mako shark or a marlin. What student athlete would want to be compared to a fat, sluglike creature? What parent would want their son or daughter be called a sea cow? Dare I say, we may find our once proud tradition becoming like the manatee: an endangered species!

As the parent of a former Lancer athlete, now deceased, I am sickened to know that the proud tradition of his school is being swallowed up as if it never existed. I ask the Board of Trustees to reconsider their decision and also request any of the Lancer faithful register their opinions with the board.

Carol Friedman


MCC, good and bad

In response to “MCC is now State College of Florida: Name, mascot change” published April 16; I believe the name change is a good and bad thing for the school.

First, the good part: Changing the name is surely a great way to establish the new nursing program they are offering in 2010 and also establish the college as a state college in Florida. Also, even as a state college they are still keeping their open-door policy. It gives the college a fresh new look, away from that piercing yellow I used to see on my way to class.

Now, to the bad part: Not really but anyways, being a former student of MCC, the name change is funny to me. No other way to put it. It is sort of like a win-lose situation. Changing the name/becoming State College of Florida, a win; changing the mascot to a manatee, a loss. Even though no one seemed to know what a Lancer was, I would prefer that to a sea cow. This does not affect academics in any way, but I know former and current students feel the same way.

I hope in the end, the school only progresses after this metamorphosis to a state college, but it is one of those things people just have to get used to.

Steve Bowen


County water use OK

On April 16, a letter by Ms. Candy Chorman titled “Utilities office wasting water” was printed. We would like to commend Ms. Chorman for her participation and commitment to water conservation. She is absolutely correct when she says, “If we all work together we can conserve water and keep our drought level low.”

We would like to let Ms. Chorman and others know that Manatee County Utilities follows the regulations, works diligently to educate the community on the necessity of water conservation and enforces the current watering restrictions. If she had contacted our office when she first observed the watering, we could have alleviated any of her concerns.

The facility she references is at 4410 66th St. W., where reclaimed water is used for irrigation. Reclaimed water usage is not restricted. For conservation reasons, though, we limit our watering to the early mornings or late evenings. According to our water usage records, when Ms. Chorman witnessed the sprinklers running on a Saturday, it was for the purpose of repair and maintenance.

Manatee County Utilities adheres strictly to all watering regulations, but Ms. Chorman identifies an important distinction when she poses the question, “But if a utility company is perceived (emphasis added) to be breaking the rules, might others be more apt to do the same?” Ms. Chorman makes a very good point. Just as you were unaware of our usage of reclaimed water, many others are probably just as unaware. Manatee County Utilities will continue to promote, encourage and enforce water conservation with an even greater attention to public perception, as many residents also utilize reclaimed water and may be considered violators when they actually are practicing conservation.

Dan Gray, Director, Manatee County Utilities


Egg hunt gluttons

I was so excited to take my children to an outdoor Easter Egg hunt while visiting your beautiful state. Where we live, they would have hats and mittens on to hunt outside and believe me, picking up an egg with mittens on is hard to do. My kids were so jacked up to get on that field with what looked like thousands of eggs and fill their little baskets up.

Thanks to the Manatee County Parks and Recreation Department, there were more than enough eggs there so that every child in that age group, 3-4 years old, could have their fair share. I did, however, feel the need to tell my children to not go crazy and make sure every child had a chance. I had my son by the hand and he couldn’t seem to move quick enough to get an egg in his basket.

When I turned around it was with shock that I noticed that other parents on the field had grocery bags with them and were encouraging their child to dump out what was in the basket and run to get more. When it was all over, one child had her picture proudly taken holding up her grocery bag and Easter basket both filled to the brim while her mother was telling her what a great job she did. My youngest child had four.

Now, this letter is not about my child’s lack of eggs, it’s about parents teaching their children that it’s OK to take as much as you want without making sure others get a chance. Guiding our children toward social responsibility starts in these precious teachable moments. These parents should be ashamed of themselves. They made what should have been a fun event into a contest of who could get more. Sad, really.

Jennifer Fleming

Newfoundland, Canada