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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.
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Today's Letters: Still waiting for real tax savings
By LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published August 21, 2007
Having just opened my TRIM (Truth in Millage) notices I was not surprised to see that I did not receive any real tax savings. The Pasco County Property Appraiser increased the assessed values of my property by several thousand dollars, which negated any reduction in the taxes I will pay.
Of course, in reality, property values have dropped considerably over the last year and will continue to do so. In my opinion this is a scam by our government officials. They know we are demanding tax relief and they don't care.
My fellow voters, it is time that we take the matters into our own hands. I intend to cast my vote to remove all incumbents from office. I will continue to do this until our local, state and federal representatives get the message. We must teach them that they are accountable to us, not insurance companies and other large corporations. We vote them in and we can vote them out. I hope the majority of voters follow my lead.
Ronnie H. Holt, New Port Richey
Prosecutor went after wrong group
Rainfall from January through May of this year was only half the average, but that didn't prevent homeowners associations from citing homeowners for deed restriction violations when lawns were less than green.
Consequently, the criminal division of the Pasco County Court was packed with homeowners cited in May by Pasco Code Enforcement pleading "no contest" to charges of illegal watering. These homeowners caught in a Catch-22 were faced with two choices: Break the law or face the wrath of their associations.
Homeowner associations, as tools of the real estate community, enforce appearance deed restrictions (like lawn conditions) that affect real estate profits, but fail to enforce virtually all other deed restrictions. And the appearance restrictions are enforced in an arbitrary and discriminating manner. For example, you may be cited, but your neighbor may not be, even though the neighbor's lawn is worse.
The real estate community, through legislative lobbying, has ensured that homeowner associations are accountable to no one but them. Thus the associations play fast and loose with the rules, while holding homeowners to strict standards such as maintaining green lawns in spite of drought conditions. In all due respect to the state attorney, you prosecuted the wrong bunch.
Rory C. Cripps, New Port Richey
Cold shoulder for folks needing rides Aug 17 story
Don't ignore real needs in county
It appears to me that Pasco County wastes a lot of money on the unnecessary things instead of the very necessary things. Let's take for instance the Saddlebrook tennis stadium. How in the world are the residents of Pasco County going to benefit from that? Yet our commissioners approved that project. What an insult to our intelligence.
How about the Sheriff's Office needs? We could have used a portion of the stadium money for county protection services from the Sheriff's Office. What about these poor people who need so desperately the rides to doctors and other urgent appointments? A portion of that money could have been used for that as well.
How about our teachers having to spend money out of their own pockets for classroom needs? That is another place for a portion of that money. Whatever happened to the Penny for Pasco? That is another snow job.
Seems to me that Joseph Kuhn, Kathleen Ambrosio and others who served our country don't stand a chance with either the federal government or the local government.
Joseph Fratto, Hudson
Editor's note: The proposed tennis stadium near Saddlebrook Resort is to be built with tourist tax dollars which, according to state law, can only be spent on tourism-related activities.
Name new school 9/11 Memorial
May I suggest that the Pasco School Board or anyone involved in selecting names, consider: 9/11 Memorial School.
That way, every time anyone sees a newspaper reference to the school, or a school jersey, bookbag, etc., he or she will be reminded of the needless sacrifice of over 2,000 lives and that the war against worldwide terrorism must be endured and eventually won.
Joseph Baldyga, Hudson
Church to celebrate Mary, her key role Aug. 13 story
Honoring Mary is not worshiping
I so enjoyed your article about the role of Mary in the Episcopal Church, and how she is honored. Catholics are often accused of "worshiping" Mary, the mother of Jesus. The fact is, that we do not worship Mary, we honor her as the Mother of God in the blessed Trinity.
Too often some tenants in the Catholic Church are misunderstood. We worship only God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We all have pictures and remembrances of our loved ones in our homes, but we don't worship them. So, too, our statues and pictures in church help us to meditate and encourage us to strive for holiness. It is good to know that Mary is honored in other Christian churches as well, as we are all children of God.
Pat Sullivan, Hudson
She threw the dirt, but it bounced back at her July 29 C.T. Bowen column
Column off base about Camille
I think you stooped pretty low there, joking about the misspelling of the governor's name in Camille's appeal for help to expose what she sees as corruption in Dade City.
I disagree with your guess that she chose this method to divert attention from a press story about her own family. You are intelligent enough to know that many of us do things based on an impulse of the unconscious, not always the conscious. I think it's always easier for a critical type to see the flaws in others than to see one's own flaws. As long as you have ridiculed her, let me mention a few points as well.
There is a lot of coziness at city meetings, I would say schmoozing. If this is distasteful to Camille, it's probably because she is highly educated and sees the coarse wheeling and dealing of Realtors and citizen groups dancing before the City Commission for every building, every parcel of land as quite beneath her level.
What we have there in Hurricane Camille is a different perspective. For example, she reminded the commission on Aug. 14 not to offer the sun, the moon and the stars to the next city manager finalist. She exudes an aura that simple folks here find difficult to relate to. But she was right about that. And a little humility becomes Hutch Brock. He is man enough to defend himself against unsubstantiated charges. So is Harold Sample.
I find Ms. Camille Hernandez both beautiful and intelligent, something quite rare in Dade City, myself excepted!
I think she has every right to feel however she wants as long as she is capable of attending meetings and offering her perspective. She has her following. I think it's a waste of time to make this even more divisive by a recall effort. She is not the type to radiate false gentility as is the custom here.
Puppy Dog Van Gorden, Scott Black, Hutch Brock, and Eunice Penix all seemed to be able to get through the meeting Aug. 14 without any need to battle with this lady. They were able to discuss matters civilly, including a possible letter of resolution opposing the proposed East Pasco Landfill which Camille suggested, and that issue matters to a lot of people here in Dade City.
Kathy Lambert, Dade City
Militia has right to bear arms Aug. 17 letter
Right to bear arms is clearly our right
The letter writer begins "proponents on one side of an issue give only the facts that benefit their argument." That pendulum swings both ways. Once again we find the anti-gun proponents attempting to reinvent the English language and ignore what is clearly and precisely stated. The fact that the writer paraphrases former Chief Justice Burger is quite amusing. Chief Justice Burger, in asking the question "how can a government regulate a militia if its members are not allowed to keep and bear arms," was actually reasoning for the citizens' right to bear arms.
The courts have always steadfastly interpreted the Second Amendment to mean citizens have the right to keep and bear arms, and this interpretation is not (thank goodness) left up to the whim of the anti-gun establishment to change to suit its agenda. It is common sense that a militia or army have weapons. Otherwise it really wouldn't be an army would it? It's like saying we want the people to maintain an army and oh by the way, let's make sure this army can keep and bear arms.
Our founding fathers felt that the peoples' protection from tyranny was paramount and indeed carefully worded the Second Amendment the "peoples' " right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. They didn't use the word "soldiers', " as they reasoned any imbecile would know a member of the militia would have a weapon. Remember they had just overthrown one tyrant and strongly felt it necessary to ensure protection for its citizens should another tyrannical foreign government seize control.
If the country is overtaken and our militias depleted, or worse, defeated, without armed citizens we would be rendered defenseless. Old-fashioned reasoning you say? Archaic in today's world? One should ask the Jewish citizens who lived in Poland during World War II if they feel tyranny is archaic. Ask the surviving Tutsis of Rwanda if tyranny is old-fashioned. Jefferson and Franklin wrote the Second Amendment to ensure all the people have the right to keep and bear arms. Sorry, but the amendment's beginning does not negate the clear and precise wording of the second part.
Jerry Blomgren, New Port Richey
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