Today's Letters: Road will ruin communities

Published March 18, 2007

Here is a simple solution for Pasco County to save money on road building. Just build roads where they are needed and where the people along the road want the improvement.

I live just east of the Suncoast Parkway on State Road 52. Last summer the county created and approved a plan to widen our road to six lanes with a 40-foot median and pedestrian path. Officials received almost no input from the communities along SR 52 because the meeting was advertised so poorly. Now the damage is done, and we who will suffer because of their decision have no options. The very nature of our gated community will be ruined by this monstrously oversized road that will run through 15 miles of mostly cow pastures and currently quiet residential communities on its way to Interstate 75.

Could the commissioners save money and still meet their need to widen the road by reducing the size to a more sensible four lanes with just a normal median? Could they possibly plan the path of the road on the south side of SR 52, which does not already have an established community, instead of disrupting the environment for which we moved here in the first place and actually going through the back yards of our neighbors? Who really wants this monstrosity anyway?

Joyce Smith, Spring Hill


Residents plead: Stop the growth

Builders and developers may be enthusiastic about costly, wanton building, but most residents in Pasco are not and some are showing their dismay by moving out of the county.

Thousands of new homes, condos and apartments jamming what was once our beautiful countryside have meant countless traffic jams, loss of vital wetlands, burgeoning garbage, and destruction of farms and woodlands that made Pasco a bucolic place in which to live, raise children or retire.

If county commissioners think voters will stand by and allow the costs of raping the land to be thrown onto voting home- owners, they are out of their minds. We instead offer a simple answer to the problem: Stop the building. We aren't crazy about growth. We, the bulk of the residents, love peace and tranquility and native animals, birds, and foliage with skylines over pastures instead of townhouses or endless developments.

You want to build and develop willy-nilly? Go find another state that wants you.

It's simple. We grew up here or moved here 20 or more years ago. Roads were a couple of lanes and schools were small enough for administrators, students, teachers and parents to know one another. We had enough stores, malls, restaurants. The frenzy was born of the greed of developers, who are concerned only about lining their pockets, not about the well-being of residents.

Voters, stay alert. Watch how your commissioners vote. Turn out when commissioners speak to important issues. Watch out for homeowners' interests and only re-elect the commissioners who are watching out for the welfare of our wetlands, our natural resources and our homeowners.

Christine Nelson, Port Richey


Veterans' needs are being voiced

Leo Jacobs, past Disabled American Veterans commander in Brooksville, and I traveled to Tallahassee recently to address the state veterans legislative committee about several issues brought to the attention of Rep. Robert Schenck, R-Spring Hill, and Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey. Both are eager to sponsor legislation on behalf of veterans across the state.

First, we addressed the need to toughen language in state-mandated HB292.11 for structuring county service office staff and procedures from "may" to "shall."

Then, we asked the section of the mandate that calls for only wartime veterans to be certified by the state for county veterans' representation to include all branches of service in all periods of time for those who served honorably for their full terms of obligation.

Of course, we urged consensus from the legislative committee that a county veterans service office be fully staffed by veterans certified by the state to handle classified materials and information, and that the director of those services report only to the "highest authority" of the county administration.

Naturally, we endorsed legislation sponsored by Sen. Fasano that calls for a paid Veterans Day holiday for all veterans. Veterans who wore the uniform should be honored forever, including their grave sites.

One more meeting is scheduled by the state veterans legislative committee before the session ends, and our small efforts will be met with all the resources at our command to bring before the committee, one more time, support for these issues and the 3.5-million veterans in Florida.

Deron Mikal, Brooksville


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