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

Thrift store does not belong here

Published February 14, 2007


I respect the Salvation Army for the work it does, and I have supported the organization throughout the years. However, I do not support the choice of a location in Wesley Chapel for a retail store.

The Salvation Army stated this will not be a halfway house or ministry site. This does not mean the planned store will not attract the homeless or an unsavory clientele. Homeless people, begging for a handout, can be seen at the County Road 54 and Interstate 75 intersection every day. There are homeless people living in the woods around that intersection.

It is only logical that when the word gets out that a Salvation Army facility is located just down the street, the homeless will immediately be attracted to it. I have seen homeless people hanging around the Nebraska Avenue retail center in Tampa. I suspect they are not uncommon at the Hudson location. You can't honestly believe that they will not be hanging around a Wesley Chapel store.

What will this do to the community? It will endanger the residents of Lexington Oaks and Westbrook, and the planned elementary school a few hundred yards down the street, on the same side.

It will drive away potential upscale developers. Are there any upscale developments near the Nebraska Avenue or Hudson facilities?

It will negatively impact the area's image as a family-oriented community. Would you want to raise a family next to a Salvation Army retail store? Is there a Salvation Army store near your home?

It is difficult to understand how the Salvation Army could think this center would be a good addition to the community. They say the facility will provide jobs to area residents and offer bargain shoppers a place to purchase used merchandise. We don't want to develop jobs that pay minimum wage to adults in this area and we don't want to shop for used merchandise. We are looking forward to having new upscale retail outlets, not bargain used-merchandise outlets.

The "below normal retail prices," I believe, will result in our homes in Lexington Oaks and Westbrook being devalued. "Below normal retail price" will apply to the resale of our homes as well. The Salvation Army obviously is not concerned about the consequences of their plans on our well-being.

The Hudson facility is a cheap metal building, brightly painted red and white and not considered an up-to-date retail design. While it fits in fine with the U.S. 19 look, it does not, in any way, portray what Wesley Chapel is becoming. We do not want CR 54 to look like Nebraska Avenue or U.S. 19. The architecture of west Pasco building would fit in much better in Zephyrhills or Dade City, not Wesley Chapel. I believe a much larger customer base for the store exists in these locations than in Wesley Chapel.

John Easley, Wesley Chapel

Utility doesn't deserve rate hike

I am writing to express my objection to the rate increase that Utilities Inc. of Florida has requested from the Florida Public Service Commission.

This company has failed the water standard tests for the past six quarters. The smell and taste of the water is offensive. In addition, to try to improve the water's smell, they waste a horrific amount of water each and every week by egregiously dumping water from all the fire hydrants throughout this community of hundreds of homes, which reduces water pressure for hours.

To reward a company with rate increases when their product is inferior is unconscionable.

Gail Ellis, New Port Richey

GOP hard-liners' days numbered, Feb. 11 letter

Be honest about beef with Bunting

The letter writer should state his agenda instead of besmirching our local Republican chairman and his wife, Ann. The writer has issues with Ann Bunting in reference to the Beacon Woods Homeowners Association, and it would be much more honest of him if he would just state this. That he ties Ann so much to the Republican Party shows how out of touch he is.

Much to our discontent, Ann has not had the time to work with us all that much due to her position at the Beacon Woods Homeowners Association. Ann is not a board member of the local Republican Party. Therefore, she does not make the decisions of which she is being accused.

The East Pasco group lost its charter two years ago, not last year. The state chairman would have to have very good reason to remove Bill Bunting as Pasco chairman since he was elected by acclamation at the last election. And as for Ann criticizing him for supporting Gallagher, the last time I checked, freedom of speech was guaranteed to us by the Constitution.

The writer wishes Bill Bunting would be exiled, but since I am a very active participant in this party, I would have to say right now it is he who is exiled and he who may want to check into changing his party. He isn't doing us any good on our side.

Shari Kotsch, Pasco Republican State Committeewoman, Holiday

Timothy Carmack, Feb. 12 story

Bureaucracy does wrong to veteran

This story is enough to make a grown man cry. He gave his all and earned this sort of life to make a better one for these bureaucrats who can't even help him get an honest living at a time like this.

He has probably tried to get Social Security disability only to be told he is in a two-year wait to be seen by a Social Security doctor or a judge. Most of it is because the "government" officials or doctors won't admit there is a real problem and it is their fault.

What did he accomplish in Vietnam except to earn a life like this? In a case like this, he shouldn't have to wait for disability. He earned it and it should be automatic.

My daughter was diagnosed with MS eight years ago. But for a year, Social Security has been saying she could get "meaningful" employment until she can see a Social Security judge in two years. In the meantime, there are days she can't see well enough to drive or can't stand for more than 20 minutes.

It hits different areas on different days. What employer is going to hire someone who might have to leave after less than an hour of work on any given day?

As long as the bureaucrats can still stand and keep collecting their pay, not too many people care.

Donna Herrick, Port Richey

Timothy Carmack, Feb. 12 story

Country shows it doesn't care for vet

What a disgusting display of government policy. A man who spent five years serving his country has to be slid up stairs by his wife to enter his own home.

In a country such as ours, where homeless people have their tents slashed and removed and kids seem to get some kind of joy from beating or robbing them, I pray that Mr. and Mrs. Carmack never have to experience that. And, evidently, as sad as it seems, the only way to prevent that is help from people who care. Obviously the VA is not very concerned, and they should be ashamed.

Thank you for your service to our once great country, Mr. Carmack.

J.D. Richmond, Crystal Springs

[Last modified February 14, 2007, 07:43:16]

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