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Letters to the Editors

Before casting stones, learn facts on the mentally ill

© St. Petersburg Times
published April 21, 2002

Re: Complex for mentally ill rejected, April 18

Editor: In the article, which states the opposition from one particular person who, in reference to the mentally ill, states in part, "I am for the mentally challenged people being able to live on their own, but there are safer places for that."

She obviously is not very well informed. There is a distinct difference between the mentally ill and the mentally challenged.

Mentally challenged are very loving and caring individuals who have no tendency toward violence. In the case of mentally ill, anxiety, depression and schizophrenia does not automatically make a person a danger or in the speaker's words "wacky."

In today's world, many people function normally thanks to modern medicine. Please check your facts before casting stones on others.
-- Paul and Lin Brown, New Port Richey

To the woman who was abused in car: Have courage to walk out

Editor: Last week, midday on U.S. 19 south of Main Street, we observed road rage. Not entirely unusual; however, this was occurring in the car.

The enraged driver was slamming his female companion's head against the dashboard, more than several times. We felt helpless until we realized another driver saw the despicable actions and tried to get the driver to stop. It worked: He turned his rage on him, trying to jump through the front window of his truck.

The purpose of this letter is not for the driver, but for his female companion. There is help out there for you! There are several private and government agencies that will protect you. There are churches that will take you in and provide for you. But please, have the courage to walk out today. You will find wonderful people who have walked in your shoes and can sympathize with your situation. We are concerned.
-- S. Campbell, Port Richey

New Port Richey library doesn't charge county residents fees

Re: City Council, use my tax dollars on sewer upgrade not laptops, March 22 letter

Editor: The Library Advisory Board for the New Port Richey Public Library would like to correct an error of fact which many Pasco County residents know already. The city library does not charge Pasco County residents who live outside the New Port Richey city limits any fee at all to get a library card, check out books, attend our popular computer classes, or use our other services.

They are treated exactly the same as city residents. In fact, the library participates in reciprocal borrowing agreements with 84 other libraries in a multicounty area through the Tampa Bay Library Consortium. This means that your library card is accepted at any of these participating libraries. It's almost like your Visa card!

Regarding computer training in the library: The library has taken a number of surveys to determine what our customers want at the library. In every survey on this issue, the overwhelming majority of respondents have said they want more opportunities for computer training at the library.

The library, in partnership with the Reading Assistance Program of the District School Board of Pasco County, offers adult literacy instruction. The library, in partnership with the Marchman Adult Vocational Education Center of the District School Board of Pasco County, offers GED instruction on Tuesday evenings. Both these partnerships have staffers assigned to the library from the school system.

Libraries have come a long way from the days of just checking out books. The library of today offers its community free access to the Internet, audiotapes, materials for the blind and physically handicapped, videos, DVDs, compact discs, IRS tax forms, specialized youth programming and other materials and services. The library is an information resource as well as a complement to the education system for all in the community.
-- Jeanne Rogers and Carol Pearson, Library Advisory Board

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