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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: Quit nitpicking, let sheriff do job
By LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published November 21, 2007
As Pasco sheriff, Bob White has brought an unprecedented level of leadership, professionalism and morale to his agency. I was not present for any of his budget hearings, but I was very impressed by what I read of his and Col. Al Nienhuis' presentations to the County Commission. While I do not have a thorough knowledge of the issues, I do believe most of our sheriffs over the past 25 years have had major problems obtaining necessary operating funds.
By virtue of their profession, law enforcement officers are subjected to unrealistic demands, time constraints, and other stressors by their employer and the public. They deal with physical and emotional conflicts and great risks to their personal safety as well as constant scrutiny of their job performance by their employer, the public and the media on a daily basis.
Every time there is a negative article or editorial regarding the sheriff or his administration in your paper, it creates a profoundly negative public perception of our sheriff and his employees, division among them, other county government, and among the citizens of our communities.
Being able to provide free bottled water to his deputies represents a small token of concern for their physical needs and an appreciation for the jobs they perform.
Enough already! Please allow our sheriff the opportunity to do his job, and to equip his deputies to do theirs.
Steve Davis, Port Richey
Potshot at chicken hits child in home Nov. 18 story
What's truth in the chicken shooting?
It was stated that it was unknown why the adults thought it was a good idea to shoot at the chickens. Well, at first glance, it would be easy to point the finger and blame because of the location of where this activity took place. But that would bring discredit to the many fine, upstanding citizens residing in Hudson, Pasco County and mobile home parks.
So, let's let conjecture run full steam ahead. Given the time of year, these folks probably thought it would be a wonderful chance to kill two birds with one stone (or, in this case, bullet). That is, they could practice for the wild turkey shoot on Thanksgiving by shooting chickens, and the bonus, of course, is a nice chicken dinner for Sunday. Actually, it would be more logical that these yahoos were indulging in a wee bit too much of the Wild Turkey beverage.
A couple other reasons these "adults" were participating in this "sport" could be they were angered when the chickens would not answer their question: Why did you cross the road? Too much substance abuse tends to make one paranoid and belligerent.
Perhaps they were having an informal discussion of George Orwell's Animal Farm, when one truly paranoid fellow suspected the chickens were forming a coup, or in this case, coop, and were planning to fly it later.
In light of all this, let's not lose sight of the child who was injured by this reckless behavior. Responsible adults they are not, or at least do not seem to be in this instance. An aberration of their normally sound behavior? Doubtful, but let law enforcement get to the bottom of this and put the offenders where they belong.
Which is most likely in the coop - and throw away the key.
David Von Hagen, Dunedin
Fasano targeted in ethics complaint Nov. 19 story
Be accurate whendebating politics
I called the Democratic Party in Pasco County and told them a fellow Democrat who is a delegate for the state has been hurt businesswise by Ronald Rice, a Pasco County Democratic Party activist. There is no position called a Democratic Party Activist. The Democrats should have not been brought into this and I do not want in any way this to begin to be a mudslinging battle.
I told the chairperson of Pasco County that I have watched the Sen. Mike Fasano from the beginning and what he has done is stopped big business from hurting small business. This person (Ronald Rice) who is nothing other than a registered Democrat is destroying several small businesses by his complaint. The Pasco Democratic Party made it clear to me that he is a registered member of the party and nothing more.
I am saddened for the little business worker and I hope that the reporter tells the real story that this man is not anything other than being a registered voter.
As a Democrat I have learned that if we are going to go after the Republicans then we must learn how to fight our battles fairly and get the facts before we do battle.
Debbie Shooter, Orlando
Riverside Villas late with the gate
The recent letter writers from Riverside Villas state that they have to pay for their roads to be paved because they are private. One might insinuate that public roads are repaved and paid for by the county. This couldn't be further from the truth. There is no public works fund in Florida.
This means that in Pasco County all public residential roads that are paved are done by a paving assessment. The homeowners pay for it. The total assessment is divided equally among the total amounts of homes on those streets and sometimes even homes outside of the paving area, as it is in this case. This is payable to the county in five- or 10-year increments with a 9.25 percent interest payment on the balance. It's like a credit card payment for roads you don't own and have no control over who uses.
With rising taxes, insurance, gas and more, it is not unreasonable to think some homeowners will lose their homes over this.
The Board of Commissioners adopted on July 30, 2002, Resolution CAO02-3231 "to allow the Board to adopt by resolution any methodology it deems appropriate for reasonably apportioning special assessments among property owners deemed to specially benefit by such improvements". How nice of them to create absolute power with no guidelines or reasoning for their assessments. This is another example of abuse of powers in Pasco County.
The Riverside Village paving assessment will cost each homeowner $4,752.75. That is only for one house and their half of the street. It will cost over $9,500 for two homes across the street to repave between 90-135 feet of road. That is outrageous.
Homes within 1,000 feet outside of the paving assessment will pay a 25 percent noncontiguous usage fee for all roads even though it is proven that they only use the "beaten path" to enter and exit the community. This will cost them $1,200. Should they have to pay for a cul-de-sac two blocks over they never have been down or only for the roads they actually use? Of course, it should be the roads they are proven to use.
Furthermore, this 1,000-feet rule excludes many homeowners who use these same roads daily according to a Pasco County traffic study but they somehow will escape this assessment fee by living outside the parameters arbitrarily picked by the county. This is not a fair process and Resolution CAO02-3231 is not fair.
I have no problem with Riverside Villas gating off their private roads. I do, however, have a problem with their timing. After years of using Riverside Village's roads, they have gated off their road to avoid paying a 25 percent noncontiguous usage fee. They complain how people used their private roads and did not pay when in turn they used public roads and aren't paying now. They also could have avoided three years of traffic by putting up their gate in 2004, when they confronted the county about the additional traffic, but they chose not to until now.
If there really was an issue with their infrastructure as they claim because of traffic, it seems they only have themselves to blame by not privatizing over three years ago.