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Letters to the Editors

Sept. 11 marked by act of kindness


© St. Petersburg Times
published September 15, 2002

Editor: I kept my children home from school on 9/11. I just didn't feel right going on with our lives on this day after what happened a year ago to our nation.

My older daughter had read about the Knights of Columbus having people wave a flag on U.S. 19. Around 9:30 a.m., after their father came home from work as a firefighter/paramedic/driver engineer at Pasco County Fire Rescue, we went out searching for anyone waving the flag.

We found people in Hudson by Big Kmart waving flags and joined them. It was a rainy day and my younger daughter forgot her raincoat, so she was holding her flag while the light rain fell. A gentleman stopped in the parking lot nearby, handed her an umbrella and got back in his car and left.

This kind gentleman showed my children the true American spirit and I want to thank him. This random act of kindness on this day of remembrance will forever be in our hearts. Thank you for teaching my children a lesson they will never forget.
-- Cindy Smith, Bayonet Point

Judicial election coverage revealed the Times' bias

Editor: As a journalism graduate, I am always amused at what you present as news and facts, supposedly without bias.

The election of John Renke III must have really stunned you since a simple judge's race never merits your page one lead story.

You describe Renke as a virtually unknown New Port Richey lawyer and his defeated opponent, Declan Mansfield, as a respected criminal defense attorney. Now the adjective "virtually unknown" is negative, but the adjective "respected" is quite positive. You do this a lot in campaigns, particularly, if not always, against Republicans. And I expect more as we head toward November.

As John Renke's aunt, I know that he had the support of hundreds of community leaders and active citizens in the community who personally knew him, a fact you ignored.

Your headline on the story says John Renke III scores an upset over Declan Mansfield. Well, upset means one candidate, usually an incumbent, was expected to win. Did you have private polls suggesting Mansfield was the front runner? Since Mansfield lost before, why the word upset?

Do you see why your reporting can't be trusted? You can't seem to write a news story without a spin!
-- Judy Braak, Bayonet Point

Littering arrest was a waste of time

Re: Woman arrested after a stop for littering, Sept. 8

Editor: I don't know why someone would be arrested for littering if you look at Pasco's beautiful highways and byways. One would assume that it's normal procedure -- dumping your garbage out your window.

After the woman was stopped, she admitted she didn't have a valid driver's license and then tried to bribe the officer.

What's the big deal? She is arrested.

It is a waste of time. The following day she is released without posting bail. Wonderful. Scofflaws certainly are punished properly.
-- Marlene Whitney, New Port Richey

Inmate's letter never should have been mailed

Editor: It was alleged a letter, written by a detainee in a murder case, was sent from the Land O'Lakes Detention Center to the victim's mother. The Department of Corrections has very specific guidelines concerning the handling of inmate mail (Department Of Corrections Field Support Services Chapter 33-210). While it is true these guidelines apply to state inmates, the state publishes guidelines for the counties.

The thing I would question is why the letter was sent in the first place.

I worked in corrections in this county for 12 years. I don't know all there is to know, just enough to get myself in trouble, as the saying goes. Whoever was responsible for scanning that letter should have brought it to the attention of a supervisor when they saw the fictitious signature. A red flag should have come up. Considering the addressee, some investigating might have been in order.

Unless things have been changed, any citizen may call or write the warden of the facility and state that they do not want any type of communication with a particular inmate.

I believe that rule applies to pretrial detainees as well as sentenced inmates. I believe this is an important issue.
-- Lawrence Woelfel, Port Richey

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The Pasco Times welcomes letters from readers for publication.

Because of space limitations, letters should be of reasonable length (250-300 words maximum as a rule).

Letters may be edited for clarity, taste and length.

All letters must be signed and must contain the writer's address and telephone number. Addresses and telephone numbers will not be printed. Anonymous letters or letters with initials only will not be printed.

Send your letter to Pasco Times, 11321 U.S. 19, Port Richey, FL 34668.

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