St. Petersburg Times
Special report
Video report
  • For their own good
    Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
  • More video reports
Multimedia report
Print Email this storyEmail story Comment Email editor
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Your name Your email
Friend's name Friend's email
Your message

Let loans, not city, help Main Street Landing

Letters to the Editor
Published June 20, 2006

New Port Richey should not give free property tax or any monetary help to Ken McGurn and Peter Altman's Main Street Landing.

There are many companies that loan money that will oblige them. This city needs yearly cash flow. They started this venture; now let them find the money machine. Altman claims that many condos are spoken for. Do they have signed contracts on all of the spoken-for condos?

He says they will give the city profits from this venture. Do they have a crystal ball? We have one white elephant around our necks - let's not chance another. As your editorial pointed out, if the city is foolish enough to go along with this, get it in writing. Even a written agreement does not guarantee that the venture will not go belly up.

Please, mayor, council and city manager, don't be held hostage. If you still contemplate this, call a meeting for concerned citizens to voice their opinions!

Margret Billings, New Port Richey

New Port Richey should not set a precedent by helping developer

No, no, no! When will it stop? Once New Port Richey helps bail out Main Street Landing, every developer in town will want the same deal. Then how does the city say no? Just what do we tell the other developers? Why one but not the other?

Tax money, whether in the bank now or future funds, should not be used to bail out private, for-profit industry. Just saying we will only break even does not cut it. This project started out as a moneymaking venture. The owners' lack of proper planning or escalating costs is not the problem of the taxpayers of New Port Richey. Were they planning to share profits with all of the residents of New Port Richey when this started? Of course not, so we should not be held responsible for their poor planning.

I'm sure another developer could be found to take over the project at cost if Peter Altman and Ken McGurn would like to bail and break even. Of course, that other developer should have the new seawall reinspected, just in case.

William R. Liska, New Port Richey

Why is reporting on Port Richey happenings always incorrect?

Re: Plants pretty, but are they necessary? June 17.

Why is it that Port Richey readers are never entitled to accurate reporting whenever something is printed by your paper? Time and again, there is wrong information, and most times, misquotes - evidence of which appears in your reporting of the median beautification project that was unanimously passed by the current, and even the last, council.

Allow me to set the record straight: Margaret Moore is not a landscaper - she is a landscape architect. She doesn't till the soil or water the flowers. The irrigation system is included in the cost - she made that clear when questioned by the council. The plants are for year-round blooming, not only during some months.

While we applied for $150,000 for Phase 1, from Catches Restaurant to Ridge Road, there is an equal amount set aside for Phase 2, from Ridge Road to Red Lobster, which we have not as yet requested.

Moore's design includes the two phases, and if our budget will be stretched beyond what we want to spend, we will do only Phase 1 and wait for the unencumbering of the funds for Phase 2. A Florida Department of Transportation grant, for which I applied some months ago, has already appropriated the money and is prepared to do the same with the second $150,000, should it be needed.

It is not strange that some residents don't agree with the project. After all, it wasn't their idea. They demand things only in their neighborhood, like speed humps at a cost to the taxpayer of more than $41,000, when not even one-quarter of the residents in the area were canvassed. And although Point Pleasant Condo residents came forward with 38 signatures against the speed humps, they were quickly dismissed as not being a neighborhood.

However, for these people to get to their condo, they have to drive on the very streets that have these speed humps.

So you see, it's the same story. Their back yard and their idea, it gets passed. The new council has new ideas for everyone's benefit, it gets criticized. And as far as being into the budget process and "trying to impress people," that will come when the mileage is looked at carefully with a sharp eye toward reducing it and finding a way to make it happen.

"Doing for the people" is the motto of the new council. And, by the way, we'll be making many more improvements to the city - all of the city.

Now sit back and watch, and please report our activities correctly, even if it ruffles your feathers.

Vice Mayor Phyllis Grae, Port Richey

If Port Richey looks better, as it does now, then all else will, too

Re: Plants pretty, but are they necessary? June 17

Shame on Port Richey for trying to improve the looks of the city. What do you want, someone to say that things are looking better? Yes.

If there are so many other things that the money could be used for and we need it done now, then why didn't the last council do it?

If Port Richey is improved, everything around it will improve.

Judy Parisi, Port Richey

Stand-your-ground law doesn't prohibit justified prosecution

Re: Shoot-first law is showing results: bodies, June 15 letter.

Let's get one thing straight: Under our justice system, a person charged with a crime is considered innocent until proven guilty. The burden of proof is upon the prosecution, and Florida's stand-your-ground law firmly puts that burden where it belongs.

Law enforcement is not prevented from proper investigation in self-defense cases. But it must prove its case in a court of law. The accused must be provided with all pertinent information and evidence to defend himself from any criminal charges. A jury of peers will make the final decision after hearing both sides, keeping in mind that there can be no reasonable doubt of guilt.

The legal guidelines regarding self-defense and meeting potential deadly force with deadly force have not changed, except that there no longer is a duty to retreat from a place where one has a right to be. That means that criminal attacks on law-abiding citizens can be repelled with whatever force is necessary to protect the victim from serious bodily harm or death.

Letter writer Arthur Hayhoe seems outraged by saying, "Now with the NRA law, law enforcement and prosecutors have the law turned on its head; now they must prove the shooting was not justified!" First of all, it is not a National Rifle Association law. It is Florida law enacted by Florida's elected Legislature by overwhelming vote and approved by its elected governor. It's a law by and for the people.

It is the duty of law enforcement and prosecutors to enforce the law and prosecute lawbreakers. Can Hayhoe explain who else is supposed to do so? By no stretch of the imagination has the current law been "turned on its head."

The Orlando Sentinel reports that of the 13 cases cited, three people were charged, five were cleared and the other five "are under review." None of those charged has been tried in a court of law.

By the letter writer's standards, all law-abiding citizens who use lethal force to defend themselves from criminal attack are presumed guilty until proven innocent. Now that's progressive thinking.

Lee Hanson, Hudson

Let's not forget that law involves people who are of flesh, blood

Re: Shoot-first law is showing results: bodies, June 15 letter.

Letter writer Arthur Hayhoe raised some important points regarding the shooting death of Frank Labiento by Jacqueline Galas. New legislation passed in Florida has been the topic of discussion nationwide.

The National Rifle Association vs. Sara Brady. Ideologies, interpretations, legalese and endless dialogue are great for board rooms and pool halls. However, life and death exist in the emergency rooms and in the courtrooms.

Somewhere in all of the dialogue, in all of the discussions, in all of the banter about rights and legislation, we forgot that the recipient of a bullet is a flesh and blood being and the one who pulls the trigger is a flesh and blood being.

I do not frequent boardrooms or pool halls, but I am familiar with emergency rooms and courtrooms. From my limited perspective, I ask, why is a 23-year-old girl prostituting? Why is a 72-year-old man buying her services while holding a .357?

If there were no gun, we could finish this conversation. If there were no gun, there might be answers.

Peno Hardesty, New Port Richey

County must control growth before it looks like Pinellas

I hope the people of Pasco want to put a stop to uncontrolled growth. I support the county's comprehensive land use plan.

These greedy builders are out of control. Would you like to see Pasco end up looking like Pinellas?

Kathleen Jones, New Port Richey

[Last modified June 20, 2006, 11:26:55]

Share your thoughts on this story

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Subscribe to the Times
Click here for daily delivery
of the St. Petersburg Times.

Email Newsletters