Today's Letters: Recycling solves our trash problem

Published March 13, 2007

Here we go again. What are our trash options? Should we go the way of a dangerous, unhealthy, ecologically disastrous landfill in east Pasco? Osceola County? Polk County? The Plains of Tranquility? Gosh, what a choice.

Angelo's Aggregate Materials paid to have a tent at the Little Everglades Steeplechase (on land that is deeded to the state of Florida to be forever wild, no less) trying to get support for a pay-as-you-go landfill. I noticed two very colorful ads in the brochure at the steeplechase and another in the accompanying glitzy magazine for sale there. Is someone trying to buy his way in? Makes you wonder.

Why would we dump our problems on other counties in a short-term fix for our trash problem? We have the answer at our fingertips. We must recycle cans, bottles and newspapers. Since it has become a crisis, it is now the time to make recycling mandatory.

I never understood when I moved to Pasco County 15 years ago how they expected a program to work when it was voluntary. People must be educated, encouraged and, lastly, forced to do the right thing in this instance. I have no problem buying and filling a blue bag, but I do not seem to be the average citizen.

People seem to like bins to recycle. Okay, let's buy bins. It is a lot cheaper than building a new incinerator by a huge factory. Also, the bins last for years. If we amortize the cost over the next 10 to 15 years, it is a rather small figure per household. Work that cost into the property taxes; that is not rocket science. Each year, I am sure, we will have to purchase additional bins to account for new residents and a small amount of shrinkage. However, let's not be penny-wise and pound-foolish.

It is nice that Commissioner Ann Hildebrand said that we should look at recycling programs. We have been saying that all along. Now, let's do it. We can't slough off our problems to neighboring counties. We must take a stand and make this work now.

Lewis Corvene, Hudson

Recycle now or pay later March 11 C.T. Bowen column

This solution is a front-page story

The column should be on the front pages of all our papers.

Ignorance is costing us our planet and people need to be made aware of problems that we can do something about.

D.G. Murray, New Port Richey

We must consider state income tax March 11 letter

Sales tax makes things simple, fair

I agree that Florida's real estate taxation is "outdated, grossly excessive and unfair." However, income taxes are even more outdated, grossly excessive and unfair. One only needs to look at the extremely complicated federal income tax system to realize that. Is that what we want? I think not.

Income taxes are too easy to evade, too easy for politicians to burden them with pet exemptions and so complex that even the huge government bureaucracy called the IRS cannot manage it. In addition, a huge industry has evolved to advise us on how to interpret the tax codes and to help us prepare our income tax returns.

I have long advocated replacement of the federal income tax with a federal sales tax. I also strongly advocate the same in regard to Florida and the property tax. We already have the a system in place to manage the sales tax, so we could do away with bureaucracy managing property taxes.

I read the other day where over $100-billion, maybe even more than that, in unpaid income taxes exist because the IRS can't police the program.

A federal and state sales tax would be much more difficult to circumvent. No matter how money is earned, stolen, inherited, etc., if it is spent, it gets taxed.

I also do not buy the argument that a sales tax is regressive. Food and medical expenses can, and should, be exempt from sales tax. Perhaps there are other legitimate exemptions. After that, the higher-income population will spend more, therefore pay more taxes. Lower-income folks who have less discretionary income will spend less, therefore pay less taxes.

Policing will be simplified as well. Instead of policing the entire population as is required by an income tax, they would have to police only retailers and service providers. What could be simpler than that?

I am sure individuals making a living managing the income and property tax programs or advising on or preparing income tax returns will object strongly to abolishment of these programs. Politicians at all levels will probably also object because control of funds equates to power and one of their primary sources of pork will be gone.

A national, state and local sales tax program could be fine-tuned to provide the funds needed to operate government at all levels, and I am convinced that the majority of the population would pay less in taxes than they do now. Those that steal or avoid or evade taxes will pay more.

Robert L. Askew, Hudson

Frustrations of Social Security March 12 letter

Social Security office needs help

Thank you to the letter writer for bringing this to public attention.

Last week, I spent two hours in the Social Security office just to get a problem straightened out that Social Security had screwed up for three months. Eventually, I will have almost $1,000 withdrawn in one lump sum from my account if this isn't resolved soon.

Other people in the office hadn't received their check for two months and nothing was resolved. If Social Security is so backlogged it takes two to three years to get on disability to receive what you have paid into the system, why isn't enough help hired to do the work?

Also, my stepdaughter called last year to get all her paperwork done after her grandmother passed away and spent two hours on hold. Two hours on hold, not calling back.

Donna Herrick, Port Richey

Cost of insurance is an outrage

I am broke and tired thanks to the outrageous cost of insurance. It is sad when you have to decide between food or a place to live.

This is disgusting. The only insurance most of us have to depend on is Citizens and its huge increases. Action needed to be taken with all insurance carriers yesterday, not today, not tomorrow.

When are they going to pay us for being such loyal customers? Oh yeah, that's right, we should be grateful we have them.

Sarah Fitch, Holiday

Here's a sign: Use Penny for roads

Pasco County officials think so highly of road projects paid for by the Penny for Pasco they are looking to spend $5,700 of that tax money for signs. Talk about trimming the fat. Start here.

What we don't need are more signs on our highways, much less spending our tax dollars on signs. Use that $5,700 for repairing our roads, not putting signs on them.

Ann Tomasetti Osborne Port Richey

Substitute system has problems March 9 letter

Substitutes face challenging job

I am a retired Pasco County Schools employee who taught vocational education and was an administrator for discipline.

I now substitute teach a few days a week and enjoy it very much.

Being back with the kids allows me a purpose in life. This purpose gives me the opportunity to pass on some of my life-learned skills and experiences to the teens entering the adult world when the opportunity presents itself.

We are not babysitters.

Teachers leave a lesson plan and those plans must be followed. Substitutes are not to deviate from the plans because teachers and students know exactly where they are in their textbooks.

Of course, many times a substitute will and should help them out whenever possible.

I have seen substitutes go into a class and try to teach the kids something not even related to anything they are being taught by their teacher.

This makes it extremely difficult for the teacher to get the kids back on track.

As for principals, I have had the privilege of working with a number of them and all do their job.

The letter writer needs to run for the School Board and get a better working knowledge of what it takes to run our schools and classrooms.

Many times teachers are monitored without their knowledge just to make sure regulatory rules are followed. The principals have to answer to county, state and federal rules regarding our schools.

Just because someone has a degree does not make them a better substitute.

I also have a degree, but I don't flaunt that.

I have seen a lot of great substitutes who do not have degrees and I have seen some who do have degrees and are not great substitutes.

The schools are very selective about their substitutes and they should be; after all, our children's welfare is at stake.

We substitutes must know the whereabouts of every student in our class that day.

I am sure the letter writer is aware of the safety issue in our schools.

Joseph Fratto, Hudson

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