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Letters to the Editors

Auto dealers' show of pseudopatriotism a dishonor

© St. Petersburg Times
published April 15, 2003

Re: Stars, stripes and sales, April 8

Editor: After reading this article, we should all be thoroughly disgusted with the thin veil of false patriotism displayed by these auto dealers. Pasco residents have spoken, and the county responded by enacting an ordinance to improve our visual surroundings by eliminating the profusion of banners, balloons and flags sprouting around every business along our highways.

These dealers are perpetrating a scam on us by supposedly supporting our troops with American flags while they are really only trying to boost their sales. The article's picture shows a large monument-style sign with the auto manufacturer's name. If they have a quality product at a reasonable cost, sales will follow.

The banners shown are not really Old Glory but a banner using the elements of the flag (blue field, white stars, and red and white stripes). They should be deemed illegal and removed. The photo of the smirking sales manager just illustrates his attitude and that of those other auto sales patriots flouting the ordinance. In essence, they are saying, "We found a way to beat the system." How disgusting can they be to use our flag in such a manner?

With all their daily media commercials, weekly advertising in the newspapers in which whole sections are devoted to auto sales and their large monument signs, why do we need to be assaulted by flapping banners and flags? Do they really think that a flag will bring in another sale? Why not show real patriotism and obey the letter of the law that we citizens and our elected officials have enacted?
-- Dale Gottschalk, Hudson

A few stars and stripes do not make a legal flag

Re: Stars, stripes and sales, April 8

Editor: Page one of the Pasco Times, April 8, shows a picture and an article about an evasion of the new county sign ordinance. It alludes to the fact that as an exception to banners and balloons, American flags may be displayed. That may be so, but the photograph shows not an American flag but banners showing a field of 50 stars and seven stripes. This is a banner or bunting but not an American flag, which has a field of 50 stars and 13 stripes; therefore, these displayed banners and buntings are not exempted. I hope that the code enforcers are not misled by this display of false patriotism.
Donald E. Kenney, Hudson

Keep making a difference for a better Port Richey

Editor: Residents of Port Richey, we still need your voice. Thank you for your support and getting out to vote. We still need your voice to turn this city of Port Richey into an honest and respectable place to live.

Your voice does matter. Do not give up on the city of Port Richey just yet. With your voice and active involvement, the city can and will become the city everyone will know for the honesty and respectable city we really are, not the embarrassing political actions that some city officials have shown. Keep involved; this city is ours, and the future depends on us.

Thank you again for your support and taking the time to vote for the interest in our beautiful city of Port Richey. There will be three seats coming up in the 2004 election. We will make the difference with residents continuing our support.
-- Lisa J. Vayre, Port Richey

Water rules make it difficult for some residents to use less

Editor: We in Pasco County are on reclaimed water restrictions.

Until now, I usually ran my sprinklers manually when it looked like the yard needed it. I also could check for broken sprinkler heads, which really wastes water. Now I must set the timer to ungodly hours of the night. I will be watering 16 hours a week. I never ran it that many hours manually. I also will have to disable the automatic shutoff when it rains so that I won't miss the next scheduled day. So much for water conservation.
-- Tom Haley, New Port Richey

Speak up; don't let antiwar meetings continue at library

Editor: I am outraged that group of dissidents are using our public library for a free meeting place to protest the war and bad-mouth our president and the government. I feel this gives comfort to the enemy by discrediting our own government and breaks the spirit of the boys under fire and dying right now.

According to the rules of the library, there can be no discrimination because of politics, so they operate under the disguise of a "discussion group." But the only discussion has been to encourage dissension and contempt for our government and our elected officials.

A handful of members who have objected because it does not reflect their feelings have been ridiculed and taunted, and their opinions disregarded. They were subjected to enormous emotional stress to the point of having to leave the meeting.

It is a disgrace that tax money that built and supports the library system provides a free and safe haven for these anti-Americans to vent their hate messages.

I urge all of you taxpayers who do not want our tax dollars to be used for this purpose to call your commissioners and demand that the rules of the library be changed immediately and to declare political undertakings of any kind be forbidden to take place on county property.

Force them to take their protests to the street so everyone can see who they are and what they stand for.
-- Sylvia Wolan, Holiday

Competition or not, higher phone bills hurt retirees

Editor: Looks like our phone rates are going up because there's no competition out there to bring prices down. What a joke. I wonder who thought that one up. There are hundreds of bakeries, gas stations, hardware stores, food stores, shoe stores etc. I don't see prices going down because of competition; that's a myth. I wonder whose side the legislators are going to vote for on this bill? The taxpayer or big business?

Our phone rates are too high now. We don't need another increase.

How are retirees supposed to keep up on fixed incomes?
-- Nick Gavrilovich, Port Richey

If Wal-Mart is so bad, why does everyone keep going?

Editor: Regarding Wal-Mart stores. If you don't buy, they won't build.
-- Carole T. Schmitt, Port Richey

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