Editor: The crusade by a few residents of Beacon Woods continues against the planned Wal-Mart Supercenter on U.S. 19 in Hudson. Nearby residents who responded to a Wal-Mart mailing are overwhelmingly in favor of the store. Any and every smoking gun is being put before the public and our elected officials by the doomsday voices of a few Beacon Woods homeowners.
First, it was potential increased crime, then it was store traffic cutting through the neighborhood, now it is an additional 10,000 vehicle trips a day on U.S. 19, and the highway's traffic capacity standards.
This new store will not generate an additional 10,000 trips on U.S. 19. They are already on U.S. 19 either heading from the Hudson/Bayonet Point area to the Wal-Mart at Ridge Road or the one in Spring Hill. In many ways some of the congestion on the southern stretch of U.S. 19 near Ridge Road will be reduced.
Take a ride along U.S. 19, Little Road, the Suncoast Parkway, and the major east-west roads in the county and see that development is here. It does need to be planned, controlled, and managed. The western section of the county is being suburbanized/urbanized. We are no longer farms and ranches. It is time to move forward with the Wal-Mart in Hudson and other planned developments.
The few vocal critics of the Wal-Mart Supercenter need to work with county staff, the property owners, and developers to achieve the best solution possible to their concerns. From what has been reported in the Times to date, Wal-Mart has been more than accommodating and trying to work with the Beacon Woods community.
It's about time this project moved ahead and those obstructionists trying to place every obstacle in the way of any development need to recognize the world around them is changing and if they can not deal with it, then they need to move on.
-- Dale Gottschalk, Hudson
I'll give you a penny to fix flood-prone Phelps Road
Editor: Whoopie! They want another penny for Pasco. If they would use it to fix Phelps Road, we would be for it. However, we all were unable to use this road from U.S. 301 to Fort King Road for seven months. Water was flooding it, making it impassable from June to December.
Yes, they have put a few loads of dirt on it to shift water from going into some properties. But, that is not solving a thing and wasting money and time of taxpayers.
I told a supervisor if they would cut a hill down and put runoffs into the ditches on U.S. 301 it would answer the problem. His answer was it would be too expensive to cut the hill down. Just how expensive was it to cut the hill down near Wal-Mart?
I and others have been living here for 10 years and have been waiting to see our road fixed.
-- Eugene Klimaszewski, Zephyrhills
Tax Collector's Office should be convenient
Editor: I purchased a vehicle Jan. 2 in the hopes of doing all the necessary paperwork in one day, not having to take off time from work to go to the Tax Collector's Office for registration transfer. Upon arrival at the Tax Collector's Office, I found a notice in the windows saying it was closed Jan. 1-3 in observance of the New Year.
That's one holiday, three days off on the taxpayers' dollars.
I left work two hours early to get done what should have been accomplished on Friday, Jan. 2. The office was so crowded there was standing room only. I had to wait an hour and a half before my number was called. The clerk told me that the computer was down; she could not help me.
I asked, "How long it had been down?" She replied, "About an hour and a half, this time." I asked why no one made an announcement to that effect and she had no reply. How many taxpayers wasted hours this day because no one had the courtesy to tell us there was a problem with the computers?
I wonder if Mike Olson ever considered dividing his staff in three so that the Tax Collector's Office could be open 24 hours. A government office that would be open for the convenience of all taxpayers, what a concept!
-- Dave Rowe, New Port Richey
Zephyrhills bought a bill of goods in new skate park
Editor: I am 24 years old and have had the opportunity to see skateboarding come from a hobby/sport/leisure activity and take rise to a huge marketing scheme focused on what? Money. Kids buy all the cool stuff they see on TV and get brainwashed into thinking what's cool and what they have to have.
Skate wave is a company that has acknowledged this growing industry and is bent on marketing and making money. Their skate parks are clown shoes compared to all of the new concrete parks and new designs of parks that are all in the same price range being built in Tallahassee, St. Augustine, Orlando, and Sarasota to name a few.
I'm tired of cities wasting their money. The company told Zephyrhills that if it didn't buy $75,000 worth of ramps before Jan. 20, the price of steel would go up 25 percent. Does this mean that the price to make cars is going to go up 25 percent as well? No, they wanted to make a sale and Zephyrhills bought into it.
I hope some other skaters out there will ask Pasco County to not grant any money to support this new skate park in Zephyrhills, and to go to the real skaters to find a solution for a better skate park. We can all come together with city, county and state grants to build a wonderful park that won't be put to waste in five years.
Instead of focusing on the old school theory of skate parks as ramps and boxes, these concrete parks are all about flow, transitions, and pushing people's skill levels to unlimited potentials. Communities have come together to build complexes that will challenge and entertain skaters for years to come.
-- Abraham Stewart, Port Richey
Community events made possible by dedicated few
Editor: The West Pasco community enjoys many opportunities to assemble and support efforts to improve our quality of life. There was not one weekend in December that folks did not gather in Sims Park to enjoy its beautiful serenity along the banks of the Pithlachascotee River.
Here at Greater New Port Richey Main Street, we did our share over the last few months to entertain, educate and showcase our city. It is no small feat to produce weekend events that include the size and scope of a Founders Day or a Main Street Holiday. Working with a staff of two part-time employees and one full-timer, we could not accomplish what we do without the devotion of our very committed volunteers, members and sponsors.
The names of companies that you see on banners at Main Street events represent individuals that have made commitments to this community that should not go unnoticed. Because it is only through the consistent, faithful and generous cooperation of those folks that the events in our community take place and can continue to take place. We encourage you to call upon those companies when you are in need of their services and to thank them for their community mindedness.
Every nonprofit organization comes to rely on the generosity of their faithful sponsors to one degree or another and quite frankly, they could not operate without that commitment. One such sponsor is BFI (Browning Ferris Industries), which operates big blue trucks that you see hauling trash in and around Pasco County. Every time you are at an event, notice the trash containers strategically placed next to food vendors, Port-O-Lets or along parade routes. Each one of those containers represents a sizable contribution from a company committed to this community. Mike Post and his staff have faithfully sponsored events for the Main Street organization, quietly, efficiently and courteously.
Since early 2003, Mike has committed to the recycling effort that the RESORCE (Recycle and Educate to Save Our Resources for a Clean Environment) club and Main Street have devoted themselves to, making every Greater New Port Richey Main Street special event a recycling event.
Our hats are off to Mike, who has honorably committed himself to us at Main Street, to his community and to you.
-- Judy DeBella Thomas, New Port Richey
Waiting to get toy for a tot should not take two hours
Editor: Toys for Tots a program that is designed to make Christmas a little happier for the less fortunate, needs some restructuring.
For many years, living in New York, I would drop off a toy to Toys for Tots. This year living in Florida, my 18-year-old daughter had a baby of her own. With no support from the baby's father, the funds she has for the baby's needs are very limited. In the waiting room of the Department of Children and Families, another client suggested she sign up for Toys for Tots to receive a Christmas gift for the baby. Since no children were allowed to be present at pickup, I was authorized to go at an assigned date and time.
I arrived at Gulf High School Dec. 2 for my appointment. It happened to be a very cold day here in Florida and there was a line of at least 300 people trying to keep warm.
I was told there was a two- to three-hour wait. My heart went out for these people who had very little and needed that gift for Christmas.
What was taking so long? Paperwork? Is it that hard to hand out a gift to the needy?
-- Agnes Albanese, New Port Richey
[Last modified January 16, 2004, 01:33:00]