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Letters to the Editors

Don't penalize gun shows with special laws

© St. Petersburg Times
published March 21, 2003

Re: Let's stop unregulated gun sales, March 19 letter

Editor: The letter writer never tires in repeating the fictional bugaboos of the so-called gun show loophole. He would have readers think there is a long line of criminals and terrorists at gun shows. Nonsense.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, a survey of 18,000 prison inmates in 1997 showed that less than 1 percent obtained their firearms from gun shows.

Nonimmigrant aliens are generally prohibited from purchasing or possessing any firearm. Law already prohibits any seller, licensed or not, to transfer a firearm to a criminal, minor or any other restricted person. All laws regarding firearm sales are as applicable at a gun show as any other place in the state of Florida.

Why, then, single out gun shows for special treatment? The writer should encourage the enforcement of Florida's comprehensive gun laws, instead of the infringement on the civil rights of law abiding citizens going about their legal business and interests.
-- Lee Hanson, Hudson

Krewe of Chasco is offensive

Editor: I have been a member of the West Pasco community for nearly 30 years now. I have attended numerous Chasco Fiestas. I have even marched in the parade as a den mother of a Cub Scout pack.

It has taken me a few years to gain the insight to appreciate the protest of the American Indian Movement toward the Krewe of Chasco. After watching the pageant last year, I am so pleased that our civic leaders decided to drop this blatantly racist event. As I stood on the sidelines during the Christmas parade and watched the Krewe of Chasco go by, I found myself feeling offended by the actions of the members of this prestigious group.

The members of the Krewe are adults play-acting like "Indians." They say they are honoring American Indians, but really what they are doing is acting out some sort of fantasy about a culture; and this activity does little to honor American Indians.

If members of the American Indian Movement say it is offensive, why not just believe that it is.

This shameful depiction of American Indian stereotypes by our civic leaders really is a disgrace. And I know that members of the Krewe can't see it, or feel that it is offensive, because it is not happening to them.
-- Laura M. Everall, New Port Richey

After 500 years, enough with the insults

Editor: After more then 500 hundred years of insults, massacres, land grabbing, mockery and continued violations of American Indian sacred rituals and religion; you'd think enough was enough. Not so for the white men/women of the Krewe of Chasco. Their perpetuation of this mockery goes on to this day. These people hold themselves out as the top 100 or 150 businessmen/women in the community.

I would assume most had finished high school and were able to recognize racial profiling and discrimination, especially when it is pointed out that their actions are offensive. Not so for the group in Pasco County nor the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors this childish and misguided behavior.
-- James L. Wright, New Port Richey

Verbal exchange out of context

Re: Bingo hall owner not giving up on debate, March 13.

Editor: This is in response to an article regarding a verbal exchange in the lobby of Port Richey City Hall between Debbie Priest and Molly Kolokithas. It was reported out of context.

The shouting that occurred in the lobby had nothing to do with city politics but had to do with a statement made by Mrs. Kolokithas in a heated moment that unfortunately referenced her own generosity toward Mr. and Mrs. Priest in the aftermath of the death of their sweet young son.

Debbie Priest is not a political person, she probably hasn't attended three meetings in the last two years. But she and her husband Jim are still going through the daily process of living with loss that few of us will ever have to bear. The neighborhood, in which Molly once resided, felt the loss not only because of the man Jimmy was becoming but because they hurt for Debbie and Jim.

All the neighbors joined together to do what they could, each in their own way and capacity. The raised voices that were heard during and after Molly's outcry at the City Council meeting came from two different aspects. Molly said that Jim did not come to her political defense after the financial gifts she had given after their child's death. Debbie on the other hand felt that Molly's outburst over the potential loss of her commercial bingo operation did not entitle her to use a past kindness as a right to malign her husband and drag Jimmy's name into the political fodder.

Molly has taken the potential change in the way the city will allow bingo operations as a personal affront.
-- Jane S. Hoster, Port Richey

Lupo unconcerned about public welfare

Re: Port Richey Knocking down houses is easy part, March 13.

Editor: City Manager Vince Lupo is only concerned about the money the city brings in, not the safety and welfare of the residents of Port Richey. Lupo had stated to me in front of Lou Barba, city code enforcement that the only reason that plywood is being put up on this condemned house is because I have a child; otherwise, he said he would do nothing.

My question is his ethics. If I were handicapped, elderly or just a single person, nothing would be done? What about safety and health issues according to city ordinance 309.1? It concerns me that he does not do what's best for the residents safety and health of Port Richey.

Employees of the city have biannual or annual reviews. How come Lupo hasn't had a review since July 2001?
-- Lisa Vayre, Port Richey

Lockdown was lesson for this adult

Editor: Last week I was a visitor at Marlowe Elementary when a lockdown occurred just as the children were ready for dismissal. I had come as an observer of the PLACE program which provides a safe learning environment both before and after school hours.

What occurred with the lockdown procedure gave me great pride in the security measures that are taken for Florida school children. Within 30 seconds of the lockdown being announced over the loud speaker, I saw every child in the after-care program taken to a safe place behind the school curtain where no one would have been aware of their presence. They continued to be quiet in a situation that called out for answers. Each teacher knew exactly what his role in the lockdown was; there was no fumbling for long ignored plans for this type of thing, which most adults believe will never happen anyway.

After the incident I sat and listened to the administrators answer each child's question about what happened. Children needed to be reassured at this incident that they were indeed safe, and that their teachers had the ability to provide this same protection quickly and completely.

Incidents such as this one from last week might happen only once in a lifetime; but as a Florida parent, you should be aware that your children are very well protected by very caring adults.
-- Larry DeBoer, Holiday

Let's push urban sprawl into extinction

Re: Dead panther.

Editor: I do not know why state officials are so surprised to see a big cat so far from its original habitat. What do you expect when the state is allowing asphalt to cover over every piece of land? Where are these animals suppose to go? It seems that there are laws to protect these animals but are altered when there is green involved.

I always thought Florida was suppose to be a beautiful state with wildlife all around. I have found I was wrong. All the commercials that show a picturesque Florida are only fallacies.

I am sickened by the fact the driver did not stop. I certainly do not place the blame on the driver; however, I do find the responsibility for this unfortunate accident needs to be placed on local, county and state officials who allow destruction and label it as progress.

An endangered species was killed. What is it going to take before they stop the insanity? Urban sprawl needs to become extinct in Florida.
-- Krista Dollar, Holiday

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