St. Petersburg Times
Special report
Video report
  • For their own good
    Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
  • More video reports
Multimedia report
Print Email this storyEmail story Comment Email editor
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Your name Your email
Friend's name Friend's email
Your message

Today's Letters: Citizens snubs sinkhole houses

Published April 26, 2007


I cannot obtain homeowners insurance - even with Citizens - and have a mortgage. I am forced into the difficult situation of the lender obtaining insurance to protect its interests. This insurance provides no coverage or protection for me. Additionally, the costs are much more then conventional insurance.

In 2003, my property had a sinkhole claim. I never sought a free house and mandated repairs to be made on my home. The repairs were made and certified to be a solid home.

Here we are now in 2007 and I have a sinking house. The insurance company has admitted a current sinkhole in one report and in another report implies that there is a possibility that there is not a sinkhole. I have holes in my house that you can see daylight through and in one area I am able to view the neighbors' home through the hole.

Nationwide has informed me it is canceling my homeowners insurance. I have contacted multiple companies only to be told that while there is an active claim a new policy cannot be written.

Florida is now to the point that if you have a claim, the insurance company can cancel you and the insurance industry will refuse to insure you.

Insurance reform is working very well at allowing the politicians to appear busy and look like they are helping us as they inform us to the great job they are doing protecting our interests. Let's not forget the insurance companies are now allowed to make more money then ever.

Insurance reform is not working well for the homeowner, who faces increased rates. It is taking food off our table and clothing from our children.

I always have the option to pay off my $200,000 mortgage. Certainly, just as everyone reading this, I have the financial capacity to write a check and pay it off.

Maybe one of the hardworking politicians claiming to work for us will read this and actually see about legitimate help for homeowners.

Greg Burkett, Port Richey

More recycling, not more landfills

The Executive Board of the Dade City Garden Club voted at our meeting April 16 to oppose the proposed privately owned Class 1 Landfill by Pasco County in the Dade City area. The club voted to support an aggressive recycling program in Pasco County, and to promote the enlarging of the present waste-to-energy plant and the investigation of new technology for future needs in our county.

Many people have grave concerns over the risks of polluting the aquifer and the Green Swamp. This proposed landfill would apparently be sitting on top of an ancient sinkhole. Also, in that area the aquifer has a karst nature that is prone to sinkholes. The danger of this size landfill would impact not only the immediate area but the surrounding areas as well. I am very aware of the new restrictions in building modern landfills, but if any leachate were to leak from a sinkhole into the aquifer, the damage would be irreparable and dangerous to our community.

Other issues such as the huge number of dump trucks hauling garbage and mined dirt out would impact our already crowded roads. The height of the proposed landfill and the birds and animals drawn to such a site, not to mention odors, only add to the problems of an already questionable site.

Looking on the bright side, it would seem that full-scale recycling would be another very positive solution. Having moved here from Illinois, I am amazed that recycling is not more important in our county and that we haven't moved to every household taking part. It becomes a way of life and, though not always easy, coupled with education, can be very successful.

Given the explosion of green solutions and the passing of Earth Day, let's "go green" and preserve our beautiful county!

Sally Kirk, Dade City

[Last modified April 25, 2007, 23:13:38]

Share your thoughts on this story

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Subscribe to the Times
Click here for daily delivery
of the St. Petersburg Times.

Email Newsletters