Today's Letters: Loss of a lively spirit felt by many

Published March 9, 2007

We saw the notice in the obit column: "Henrietta Boyd, 98, died Saturday."

She was Tetta to all who knew - and I must say, loved - her. She was our dear friend.

We'd known this marvelous lady for about 10 years. Most folks, who didn't know what a vibrant person she was, would only think, "Oh, there's a woman who died at 98." But there was so much more to her. She would have been 99 on June 10. In December, she referred to herself as "98 1/2."

She took the time to make new friends, and each one felt she was interested in them, and she was. She didn't sit in a chair all day moaning, though she had some health problems. She did line dancing when she could, played cards with her friends, went to church and helped fold the programs. She used to call out numbers at bingo at her church's pancake breakfast, but had been scaling down somewhat because of arthritis and other problems.

Tetta never complained. She remained upbeat through surgery, sad family problems and other happenings that would have sent some into a depression.

What an example of how to live! I know we certainly learned a lot from her. I'll miss her terribly, but am so glad she made it five years ago to our 50th anniversary party. She danced with friends of ours, and everyone was delighted with her spirit. What a woman, and what a friend. Godspeed, Tetta.

Vee Dayton, New Port Richey

Eliminate busing, let children walk March 8 letter

Walking to school not safe for kids

Parents in today's society do not have the capability to walk with their kids to school because both parents usually have to work in order to make ends meet. Furthermore, have we already forgotten about Jessica Lunsford and Carlie Brucia? We cannot allow children to walk to school alone! Maybe 20 or 30 years ago it would be possible, but not today.

In addition to the risk of being kidnapped, there are also the crazy drivers to consider. If I had children, I would never allow them to walk to school.

About a year ago, Chasco Elementary was going to stop busing the kids in one of the apartment complexes off San Miguel Drive and make them walk instead. If you have ever walked on San Miguel, you know how dangerous it can be, even for an adult. Luckily, those kids are still able to be ride the bus to school.

In today's society, the solution to more exercise for young children is not to make them walk to school. There are other alternatives to consider, such as family walks in the evening, playing sports, or simply not watching as much television. Lastly, putting the responsibility of transportation on the public transportation system is not going to increase exercise, and it is definitely not more economic. The government is responsible for public transportation, and the government is responsible for the school system. And, this "solution" would lead to young children riding on the bus with complete strangers.

Jessica Marlette, Port Richey

Eliminate busing, let children walk March 8 letter

Willing to pay for silly suggestion?

The suggestion is a prime example of the inept attitudes that are causing so many problems in our public schools and in society in general. I would be willing to support the writer and his baseless ideas providing he is willing to pay out of his own pocket the cost of all the sidewalks that we would need to meet his plan and, of course, all the extra schools.

Unless he is willing to provide reasonable solutions to problems, maybe he should adhere to the old adage of thinking twice before speaking once.

Eric Johnson, Shady Hills

Substitute system has problems

I have a college degree in mathematics, which is desperately needed in the substitute teacher program. Many of the schools in the states up North, where I once worked as a substitute teacher, require substitute teachers to have a college degree, but not here in Florida.

I also used to be a substitute teacher here in Pasco County and would like to again, but only if some of the problems in the way the Pasco School District runs the program are corrected.

Substitute teachers are discouraged from making suggestions mainly because principals are offended when a substitute teacher questions how their schools are run.

If all of the teachers in the Pasco School District followed a few minor procedures, all the classes would be run in a similar manner. And if all of the schools ran the substitute teacher program the same way, it would be a huge benefit in helping a substitute teacher be much more productive.

Unfortunately, what usually occurs quite often is that a substitute teacher is basically a babysitter for the class. This frequently occurs because many teachers feel that they can run their classes any way they want to, which makes it very hard for a substitute teacher to come into a class and be productive.

Without creating a few simple procedures in Pasco schools that teachers and principals could follow to help make the substitute system more productive, the existing system will continue to have a shortage of quality substitute teachers.

Before I retired, I was a systems auditor and would go out to companies all over the United States. It was amazing how a few minor procedural changes can make a system run better and cause employees to become more productive and happier with their jobs.

Paul Schmidt, Bayonet Point

No more excuses for not recycling

The fact that Pasco rates fourth in the state for recycling is appalling, especially knowing that the only reason the county got that rating was because of all the construction-site waste.

Stop all of this nonsense about why Pasco County can't get a residential recycling program going. If the environmental benefits aren't enough to push this forward once and for all, then look at the economic benefits. The thousands of U.S. cities and companies that recycle don't do it because it's a nice thing to do. They recycle because it makes economic sense. In the city of Pittsburgh, recycling is mandatory for every resident, business, office and institution. Why? Because of the revenue generated from recycling!

Most people would be willing to recycle if bins were provided. Yes, we know the blue bags are very reasonable, but the fact remains that most people are not using them. Plus you can't put newspapers in them.

Of course there are start-up costs involved. Just like there was for the thousands of other counties across the country that have been recycling since the 1980s and '90s.

Here's my solution to the cost of the bins. Don't bring up the entire county at once. Bring up a section at a time. From the revenue generated from each section, purchase more bins to bring up the next section.

K. Estel, Land O' Lakes