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Letters to the Editors

Let's use gas tax to build, fix our roads

© St. Petersburg Times
published June 2, 2002

Editor: I believe an increase in the tax on gasoline will help build or fix roads in Pasco County. Look at the unfinished half mile of Little Road in front of Seven Springs Country Club. It is a huge bottleneck that no one seems in a hurry to fix.

When the Lotto was introduced in Florida, it was to enhance the Florida school system. The state of Florida soon began to cut back on other sources of money for schools. The Lotto should not replace other state money.

I would want to see Pasco enact a ruling that it will not cut the money to pay for roads. That the new taxes will go to build roads. Although no one wants to pay more for gasoline, the price of gasoline on the east coast is much higher.

It would be nice to have an overpass on U.S. 19 at Ridge Road.
-- Raymond McKenna, New Port Richey

Taxpayers lose in plan to boost gas tax by 2 cents

Editor: The county commissioners are considering adding another two pennies per gallon to our gas taxes.

The first penny would be to fund a maintenance crew and for street lighting. Why can't we afford this in our current budget?

The second penny is for right-of-way acquisitions and initial paving of those roads. Proposed roads are either CIP (part of the county's Capital Improvement Plan) or non-CIP. Builders must donate the right of ways for proposed roads within the property. If any of those roads are part of the CIP, the county refunds the impact fees for the property used for those donated roads because, theoretically, there will be a public use.

If the roads are non-CIP, then builders must donate to develop the surrounding property but get no impact fee credits. Here's the rub as I understand it. To acquire a right of way with this penny, the county has to make that road a CIP road where it ordinarily would not have been so designated and the builder gets the impact fee credits. Without this tax, the builder wouldn't get credit for the impact fees. This penny would not only increase our taxes, it would result in lost impact fees. We get a tax increase, and the builders get a tax rebate.

The hearings are 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at the West Pasco Government Center and 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 18, in Dade City. We don't need any more taxes.
-- Ann Bunting, Hudson

Theater scene in Pasco has come far in 29 years

Editor: Almost 29 years ago my husband and I became involved with the Richey Suncoast Theatre, the only one in the area. The participants, many of whom had never been in a theater, made up in enthusiasm what they lacked in talent. Today, the theater has progressed amazingly.

At one time, a young man walked in and blew our socks off with his talent. Now, Jimmy Ferraro owns the Angel Cabaret Theatre with its innovative, professional productions, beautiful decor and delicious buffet.

With my driving now being limited, this pleases me to no end as it is nearby. Now along comes a school for the performing arts, a stone's throw north. I have long been impressed with Tim and Lori Ericksen and their wonderful rapport with young people. Anyone who has seen their productions at River Ridge can attest to that.

My little corner of Pasco County, you surely made it after all.
-- Kay Russo, New Port Richey

Columnist's reviews are inaccurate and negative

Editor: My husband and I have attended a number of shows at the Angel Cabaret Theatre and never fail to be thoroughly entertained by the performances and pleased by our total dining experience. No complaints. We have, however, been very puzzled by many of the subsequent reviews given by Barbara Fredricksen.

We have found ourselves taking issue with many of her comments and cannot understand the inordinate level of undeserved negativity directed at the cast and/or production itself.

Her review of the Angel's current show, You Know I Can't Hear You When the Water's Running, is an example of her almost malicious style of writing. The show is good. She apparently recognized that fact and overall gave a good review but, as in the past, seems determined to find fault.

Her opinion of the opening minutes is not accurate nor a reflection of the audience's response.
-- Noreen Loupis, New Port Richey

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