Editor: I applaud loudly the wisdom and vision of the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Juvenile Justice, chaired by Rep. Gus Bilirakis, for reinstating full funding for the PACE Center for Girls Inc.
Clearly the decision reflects the concern for the future of girls in the state of Florida. Females are the fastest growing segment of the juvenile justice system nationally, and in Florida. It is a wise decision fiscally and ethically to fully fund PACE, a national model for successfully addressing the unique needs of girls. As a mental health professional, I see immeasurable value and positive impact PACE has on girls it serves.
We applaud our legislators for listening and acting on behalf of the voices of girls and of voters and seeing the critical role PACE plays in building the lives of girls.
-- Dr. Lois Mueller, Port Richey
Leaders are acting like children
Re: U.S. reaction to France.
Editor: Our U.S. representatives are acting like children. They seem to think we have a surplus of money to use foolishly.
-- Joanne McWethy, New Port Richey
Too much time on their hands
Editor: Have you heard about the multimillion-dollar lawsuit being launched by the New York Firefighters Union because so many children have chosen to 'masquerade' as heroes for Halloween? Or the suit initiated by the Vatican after certain comedians elected to don cassocks and nun's habits on stage? I haven't either, but we have heard and read about AIM's equally contemptible actions to bring Chasco Fiesta to a halt because a few people disagree with the practice of non-American Natives masquerading as Indians.
I attended Chasco Fiesta in the early 1960s, as a child of 4. The Indians fascinated me at that time, and that fascination grew as I did. I admired these people and wished I could be like them. As I grew older, those early Chasco experiences spawned my desire to learn more about this culture that seemed so different from mine. I learned that there were similarities and also distinct differences between tribes, just as there are between the races, genders, countries and continents.
As it has been said, "Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery." We tend to imitate those whom we admire. Children imitate those who have formed an impression in their lives: parents, teachers, firefighters, doctors, and so on. I would not want my children to emulate these particular Native Americans, nor would I want them to learn about their heritage from this rebellious bunch. I think that AIM of Florida has too much time on its hands, and are utilizing that time in an attempt to harass others into sharing their views. Their lawsuit is a blatant attempt to abuse our justice system, and that judgment in their favor would infringe on other's rights to express themselves freely.
-- Kathy Anderson, Holiday
Wal-Mart would make it worse
Editor: Many Land O'Lakes residents are looking forward to the arrival of a new Wal-Mart Supercenter in this area. However, I am having a problem with their first choice location in the triangle bordered by County Line Road, U.S. 41 and Dale Mabry Highway. The latter two are both major north-south arterial roads.
If it is true that the average Supercenter generates anywhere from 15,000 to 20,000 vehicle trips per day, then the traffic congestion will soon become a public safety issue. There are, at present, five northbound and five southbound lanes straddling that location. Rush hour backups are already starting to form. The 8,500-home Connerton and the already approved 10,000 homes in subdivisions on State Road 54 between U.S. 41 and the Suncoast Parkway have not even been built yet. Traffic in that funnel-shaped area where U.S. 41 and Dale Mabry come together can only get worse, even without the existence of the Supercenter.
Wal-Mart is a super-sized corporation with enormous corporate muscle. It, at times, appears to act as if it can always have its way on its own terms. Perhaps it is time that it acts responsibly toward the needs of the community. Maybe it is time they look at other sites in the Land O'Lakes area which would not create as much of a traffic congestion/hazard as would the present proposed site. There is plenty of land on the north side of SR 54 west of U.S. 41 up to the Suncoast Parkway.