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

Park taking away from nature

Letters to the Editor
Published January 29, 2007


Excitement builds over giant park Jan. 24 story

Not all central Pasco residents are excited about the humongous new county park being constructed at Boyette and Overpass roads. Many of us are angry and frustrated. Park implies forest or at least trees, beautiful landscape, perhaps rolling hills, but the 120 acres has been both denuded (every tree, every stick removed) and leveled.

Okay, so they will probably come back and plant some shrubs, but there are far more problems. Once a pleasant country road, Boyette has become a traffic nightmare and danger to our children. My own child has often had to bicycle on this road to get to and from school, and has faced many hazards. I called the county about two years ago to ask if the planned park included bike lanes along Boyette. A dozen people could not answer the question. I got transferred from one office to the next, until the 13th person, in the planning department said, "Oh, yeah, well, that's a great idea, but no, bike lanes are not planned."

Many of us longtime residents have lived here because we wanted a rural, peaceful setting. The county has destroyed this ambiance with ridiculously poorly planned, nearly unregulated growth. There are housing developments every quarter mile, and just try going eastbound on State Road 54 from Bruce B. Downs Boulevard on weekdays between 3 and 7 p.m.

And noise pollution abounds. Wesley Chapel High's sports loudspeakers are easily audible at our home, though it is 2.5 miles away. So does light pollution: Glaring field lights in the park will outdo those from the car dealerships on 54 in making it impossible to see the night sky. The wildlife that was here 20 years ago is mostly gone, and newcomers barge in demanding we pave dirt roads, costing residents a fortune and bringing in more demanding newcomers.

People move here and then complain that there are no convenient stores or malls or good roads or parks, so why did they ever move here?

No, I am not an old crank opposed to change. But the greedy county, presumably making lots of money on development, should plan things better to retain the beauty and forests and peace that first attracted people to Pasco.

Nancy White, Zephyrhills

Civil War wasn't about slavery Jan. 23 letter

Facts correct but misleading

The letter gives some accurate facts supporting his beliefs regarding the cause of the war between the states. I would like the privilege of replying to some of his statements and assumptions of these facts.

The letter writer's opening statement of the war having little to do with slavery and more to do with economics and limiting federal control over the states is accurate. His opinion regarding the Union being viewed by the states as being of a voluntary status during that period is somewhat accurate; however, by 1860 this sentiment was largely favored in the south. The north did not share this view of succession that states could just opt out of the Union if they became disenchanted with it. Indeed the North went to war to keep the Union intact.

The writer stated 80 percent of the U.S. economy in 1861 was derived from the South - key word being "derived." By 1860 cotton cloth production was the leading industry in the U.S. Southern economic interests were of course the farming of cotton including (and most vitally) the institution of slavery. The South farmed the cotton and northern factories manufactured the goods "derived" from cotton and the labor of slaves. The two regions were dependent upon one another - the North needing the raw cotton and the South depending largely on the North for capital and manufactured goods. The assumption that the North benefited more from this relationship is true, but not the entire picture. As cotton planters in the South bought more and more land from small farmers, large plantations developed, supported by slave labor, making these plantation owners extremely wealthy.

His confusing statement regarding slavery lasting until 1880-1900 is somewhat disturbing. I'm not exactly sure what he is attempting to imply here. Is he implying 35 more years of slavery would have been no big deal? I believe 31/2 more decades of slavery would have had devastating consequences on the country and most significantly on African- Americans. His account of the Confederate Constitution prohibiting the further importation of slaves was true but laughable.

In 1830, there were 2-million African American slaves in the country and at the end of the Civil War in 1865 4-million were set free. Since children born from slaves were automatically indentured, further importation was not necessary as the slave institution by 1850 could sustain itself. Therefore this declaration of the Confederate Constitution as well as the letter writer's account of it is a moot point. If there were a shortage of slaves in the later years, it is because more and more slaves were escaping.

It might have not been the Confederate flag that brought us the slaves, however it was the Confederate bars and stars that flew to sustain slavery and preserve "the old South." It most definitely was the Confederate flag that was flown to divide a nation and cause the bloodshed that followed.

As for Robert Lee, he was a brilliant general and a man of integrity. Lee had serious doubts concerning the necessity for conflict and did not own slaves. However Lee chose Virginia over the United States of America, abandoning his oath for country, and for that serious error he deserves no proclamation.

Jerry Blomgren, New Port Richey

[Last modified January 29, 2007, 07:28:16]

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