Today's Letters: 911 safety net has frightening gaps

Published April 17, 2007

There has been much newsprint devoted lately to the subject of the 911 system in Pasco County. Here are two instances of what happens when you dial 911 for assistance in New Port Richey.

A board in our hardwood floor creaked loud enough to awaken me in the middle of the night. I immediately looked to my right to see both my wife and our dog, sound asleep. As I swung my torso to the left, I saw the intruder was already in our bedroom. As I confronted the highly intoxicated individual, my wife awoke to the commotion and dialed 911. Not once, but twice she was put on hold, and after explaining the problem, she was told by dispatch that "you'll have to call the city of New Port Richey at this number." After frantically explaining again, that there was an intruder in our home, she was "patched" through to the city of New Port Richey, where - you guessed it - she was put on hold. We shudder to think of what the consequences might have been, had this intruder had a weapon while we were on hold.

Our daughter, who also lives in the city of New Port Richey, recently called 911 with a domestic problem and received the same "you'll have to call the city of New Port Richey at this number" response.

We were under the impression that 911 was set up for all emergencies regardless of county/city boundaries and the intent was getting the quickest response to a problem.

Juan Sylvia, New Port Richey


Instead of bailout, try tax incentives 

Retail area would boost downtown, Where is money coming from? April 13 letters

While I agree and understand that the city of New Port Richey needs to increase its tax base, generate revenue and revitalize the downtown area, I also agree with letter writers and offer an additional thought. The city would be setting a dangerous precedent by using taxpayer money to bail out private profitable ventures.

Are the taxpayers of this city going to get carte blanche usage of the amenities or services provided by this project? I doubt it. What's the profit margin for the city going to be? Will it be enough to do away with the special assessments we have to pay every time a road gets paved? Will it prevent the cuts in manpower and services the council has been proposing? I think we all know the answer to that one!

I applaud council member Marilynn deChant and her views on this issue. Maybe giving the project some tax relief incentives may be the way to go.

What the city needs is some progressive, creative, fresh ideas on this issue and more involvement by the citizens of New Port Richey. We should be ashamed at the poor turnout for Election Day.

Get involved people or quit crying about how bad we're being treated.

Frank Abbondandolo, New Port Richey


Adding a grade has no downside

My son and my neighbor's daughter attend the Athenian Academy of Pasco. I am very pleased with the school and the progress it has made since the beginning of the school year. The children are settled and happy and learning. The children love their school. My neighbor's daughter is in fifth grade and would like to continue her education at the Athenian Academy of Pasco.

If the Pasco School Board does not approve adding a sixth grade to this school, it will not only have a negative impact on the current fifth grade class but it will also impact all the other children because the school is like a family.

I would like to know the reasons why superintendent Heather Fiorentino does not want to give these children and their school a chance to grow and be successful.

Jen Fay, New Port Richey


Insurance, taxes are choking us

When will people get mad enough to call the politicians who have sold us out to big business? It can't be just a few of us. I believe people are so fed up they have tuned out on all this corruption in our government.

They lied to us about the insurance rates. My rate just went up $1,100 after the rate cut.

They're working on tax cuts. The latest is to double the homestead exemption to $50,000 for first-time home buyers only. Who can afford to buy a home - forget the mortgage - who can pay the extortion rates for insurance and taxes?

Many of the insurance companies have isolated Florida. They profit big in the easy markets, yet they cry poverty here because we're a separate company in their basket.

Wake up, people. It's not too late to start, but it may be soon with all the foreclosures. There will be more in the months to come if you don't complain now.

Bill Durnell, Holiday


Hyped tax break is just a shell game

Let's see: Give the homeowners in Pasco a property tax break and increase the sales tax 1 percent so we get a small property tax rate reduction and pay more for almost anything we buy here.

Increase my commercial property taxes more than 40 percent this past year. You might think I should increase my rents to pay for this. That would be nice, but I have leases for three to five years in effect. When the time comes to increase rents, I certainly will. And who pays for this? The good citizens of Pasco.

Am I wrong in thinking? The powers that be in Pasco County are pulling the wool over my eyes. I think so.

Robert Clark, Port Richey


Golfer was one of the good guys

On Saturday, April 14, a beloved father and friend, Fran Jacques, passed away. I knew Fran for only about three years, but I found out very quickly what others who have known him for a long time knew. He was a caring, fun-loving person who dedicated his life to his family, the people of Tarpon Springs where he served as a police officer and the residents of Pasco County where he also served as a deputy sheriff. I think altogether he served the citizens for 40 years.

He was also part of another family that he loved, Beacon Woods Golf Club, where he spent almost every day doing what he loved: playing golf, rattling his opponents and then buying them a beer.

I and all his golfing buddies at Beacon Woods will miss him dearly and our sympathies go out to his family and especially to the woman he loved, Helen Carter.

Ray Mackin, New Port Richey


Caring mermaids deserve applause 

'Best day of my life' April 12 story

I started reading the article about Emily McGeorge, the delightful young woman who was "mermaid for a day," thinking it was just another nice human-interest story.

It was only when I was half-way through the story that I realized that this was the same young woman whose experience in her school's production of The Little Mermaid had touched me a few weeks before. By the time I finished reading, I had tears in my eyes, not only for the way this young lady expressed her joy over her experience, but also for what Robyn Anderson did.

What a beautiful, kind, thoughtful gesture on her part, and on the part of the mermaids who participated in making Emily's day so memorable. Thank you for proving that there are good people out there.

Barbara Booker, Land O'Lakes


Officials can't be bothered to read? 

Neighbors not happy marina can get bigger April 13 story

I cannot believe it. Is this the intelligence of the people we have elected to run the city of Port Richey? We do not have the time to read the binder of information so pass it whatever it is.

Happy landing in Port Richey. What a joke.

Bob Dreger, Port Richey


People, clean up your act or get out

I'm thinking about relocating. You might think it's because of rising property taxes or out of control insurance cost. I actually want to move to where there is a higher quality of people, and no, I'm not talking about Wesley Chapel.

I don't mean to offend everyone and God knows I'm not perfect. But be honest and look around you. It seems to me that everywhere you look, there are people who just don't care.

They thumb their noses at the law. Disrespect for everyone and everything is rampant.

From boom boxes in homes and cars disrupting neighbors' quiet relaxation to allowing dogs barking constantly - being a good neighbor seems to have left the American lexicon.

Road rage on the highways and trash being strewn from cars have made our roads dirty and dangerous. With the fourth most popular state in the country, you're bound to attract some undesirables.

It just seems like the Sunshine State has a monopoly on the dark, dangerous and derelict.

Either make Florida a better place with your presence or please leave.

Edward C. Johnson, 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 www.tampabay.com/letters/.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."