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Today's Letters: Amateurs should not use fireworks

Published March 30, 2007


Fireworks ban needs rethinking March 28 letter

The author alleges "There has been nothing to date that indicates any public safety issues are at stake." As a New Port Richey homeowner whose home was destroyed by fire due to others' unrestricted use of fireworks, I strongly disagree.

Professional fireworks displays are a wonderful part of celebrations, but using fireworks should be restricted to professionals.

These are very dangerous items that should not be available to anyone who chooses to buy them.

The income generated by these sales cannot begin to cover the actual and emotional cost of rebuilding a home lost due to someone else's carelessness.

I agree with the author's point that banning sales will not cure the problem. For this ordinance to have any actual benefit, it must include banning the use of fireworks as well, with penalties involved if the ban is violated.

Judi Gillespie, New Port Richey


Times is negative toward candidates

I hope the St. Petersburg Times is not surprised by candidates who run for office in Port Richey who do not want to comment and return calls to your office. Since 1989 when I moved here, I had read nothing but negative comments from your paper about Port Richey. Your one-man opinion has turned a city of people against your paper because of this. In most cases, they ignore your recommendations because you haven't a clue to how people feel good about our city, bad politics or good politics.

Yes, we still have our problems to overcome, but have you ever met the wonderful people who will lose their jobs at City Hall? Money isn't always everything. I think I've heard many times the expression money can't bring happiness, only the good residents of Port Richey can.

By the way, haven't you ever changed your mind on any issue of any kind? I know I have. What are the candidates to do, stick to their guns even though they have changed their minds due to other circumstances? Come on, get human.

Bob Clark, Port Richey


Vote for people with vision for city

I have been a homeowner in New Port Richey for a little less than two years and have invested in both residential and commercial property in the downtown area. I moved to the city because I believed it was headed in a positive direction and had a bright future to offer its residents.

As April 10 draws near, I urge the people of New Port Richey to get out and vote. The City Council members who are elected this year will have a pivotal role in the direction our city is headed. Do you want to see a city that is dying or a city that has renewed life injected into it? This city is in need of a redevelopment plan that will work to make it a destination downtown that promotes local business and economy.

Like it or not, Main Street Landing already has been identified by the press as a major issue for the candidates. The vote to not allow modification of Main Street Landing into a Community Development District reflected certain council members' inability or indifference to learn about and consider carefully the CDD concept.

A CDD does not increase your taxes. It uses redevelopment property taxes paid by the property owners in the district for repayment of bonds secured only by the real estate inside the district. CDDs have worked in many Florida cities to revitalize blighted areas. The Web sites for two established CDDs sums this up quite simply: "A CDD provides the solution to Florida's need to provide valuable community infrastructure generated by growth, ultimately without overburdening other governments and their taxpaying residents. Community Development Districts represent a major advancement in Florida's effort to manage its growth effectively and efficiently. The most common funding tool used for CDDs is a bond float. The bond float is priced according to market conditions and is normally offered at a premium over rated municipal bonds. Generally, maturities of up to 30 years are available and the costs are reasonable in terms of their impact on the overall capital funding structure and budget."

The council's unwillingness to consider this or other potential solutions by working with, rather than against, the Main Street Landing developers has put a halt on interest in downtown by other developers. They are justifiably concerned that cooperation will not be found in the city of New Port Richey.

As a new resident viewing the events leading up to this decision, it was patently obvious to me that either a lack of understanding of the concept of cause and effect, or a personal agenda, were the only plausible explanations of the actions of the council members who voted against the CDD.

Please come out April 10 and vote for people with a vision for our fine city that is not clouded by historical differences of opinion and personal dislikes.

Ann Joslin, New Port Richey


Columnist needs to do homework 

When by chance wrong is right, Barbara Fredricksen column March 26

I am curious if Ms. Fredricksen did her homework prior to her story. If she had she would have learned that it wasn't only the snooty peoples' animal food that was tainted with rat poison.

I don't believe that Ol' Roy, Price Chopper, Save A Lot Choice Morsels or Winn-Dixie is high-class stuff sold in pet stores. I do hope that she will read the full list of pet foods in the recall to ensure her beloved Snickers is not affected.

I also hope that if Ms. Fredricksen by chance comes to my door, my beloved Brissy steps away from her lovingly chosen designer food and runs barking and tail wagging to greet her.

Leslie M. Gomillion, Hudson


Brown-Waite chastised unfairly

A letter to the editor chastised U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, calling her a hypocrite, but the items mentioned are not the responsibility of the representative. For example, the writer mentions that conditions for our military wounded are absolutely deplorable. To the extent that this may be true, I doubt that Brown-Waite is responsible since this is an issue for the military to resolve, as it is in the process of doing.

I have received this week a copy of the quarterly newsletter sent by Brown-Waite titled Veterans Update. In this she relates about issues to veterans, some in which she is directly involved, and others of which she is acquainted. One example: Brown-Waite was instrumental in assisting the fight to triple the size of the existing clinic at the Brooksville VA. In addition to the Brooksville expansion, approval has been granted for construction in Lakeland.

Brown-Waite assists veterans in receiving military service medals. I applied for a Bronze Star medal for which I was entitled through the Disabled American Veterans office. After one year I had heard nothing from the VA about my request. I was advised to call Brown-Waite's office and was put in touch with her highly competent assistant, Joy Hampton. I was told after 10 days that the medal was in Brown-Waite's office and was asked if I would like to receive it privately or in a semiprivate manner. I chose the latter along with several others. Without the representative's help and that of her assistant, I doubt I would have the medal even yet.

Thank you Ginny Brown-Waite for your wonderful assistance to veterans and the general public.

William A. Wadsworth, Zephyrhills


Offer more sign language to kids

American Sign Language dates to 1817 when it was considered by many to be primitive and an indication of deficient intelligence. Since 1950, research has shown that ASL is a legitimate language of the deaf. It is the language of a national community of deaf people who number between 200,000 to 500,000 individuals in the United States.

The deaf communities have several basic things in common with other communities such as defined systems of beliefs and patterns of behavior that have been passed down for generations.

My question to both Sen. Mike Fasano and superintendent Heather Fiorentino, is why ASL is not available in more than just a couple of Pasco County schools? This is a legitimate second language that is recognized at the college level. I have lived in this area for 35 years and have seen it changing. There is so much emphasis on our youth today to learn Spanish as their second language. Why is that?

Deaf people, especially the schoolage ones, do not choose to be deaf. Why then is not more emphasis placed on learning ASL to communicate with them? These children are in a non-hearing world; why isolate them even more?

When my son was choosing his ninth-grade classes, I urged him to take ASL, not Spanish. To my surprise, that was not even a choice. The choices I had available when I graduated from Gulf High in the 1970s were French and Spanish. In 25 years, I would think there would be more choices. ASL is a wonderful and universal language that should be offered to our young people.

Debi Brandt-Ashley, New Port Richey


Share your views

The Pasco Times welcomes letters from readers for publication.

Because of space limitations, letters should be of reasonable length (250-300 words maximum as a rule). Letters may be edited for clarity, taste and length.

All letters must be signed and must contain the writer's address and telephone number. Addresses and telephone numbers will not be printed.

Send your letter to Pasco Times, 11321 U.S. 19, Port Richey, FL 34668, or by fax to 727-869-6233 or go to

Fill out the form to supply us with your personal information, the subject line, and type your letter in the space provided. You can also cut and paste a letter that you have prepared elsewhere in your computer. When you are done, hit the button that says "Submit My Letter."

[Last modified March 30, 2007, 07:15:51]

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