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Letters to the Editors

New Port Richey police too busy to do the job right

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 14, 2000


Editor: The other night, my husband and I were on our way home with our two children, ages 3 and 9 weeks. It was about 10:45 p.m. We came to a red light and stopped. A truck behind us hit us. He only put a scratch on our bumper and knocked his license plate loose. The problem was, he was drunk. His words were, "I was making sure you were awake."

So we got his license plate number and got off the road and called the New Port Richey police. An officer arrived and we told him what happened and his first words were, "Well, we are very short tonight, two people called in sick and two are on vacation, so we only have three on tonight, so unless he is beyond intoxicated, I will have to let him go."

He did a field sobriety test -- keep in mind my husband did law enforcement -- and as we watched, the driver would not have passed if the cop had really cared. The driver could barely walk the line, and he wasn't listening to the police officer on how to do the tests correctly.

Anyway, the cop stated that the man did fair on his test and he was going to get him a ride home. My husband brought up the fact that he did not do the procedures correctly and the police officer said, "Yes, I know he cheated a little bit but as I said before, we only have three policemen on tonight."

I was so outraged, thinking, "Yeah, why not wait until he actually kills someone to do something about it, then it will be too late."

We got our police report, which had nothing written about the field sobriety test and nothing written about my two children in the car.

All the driver received was a ticket for driving too closely.

I would like people to know what is going on. The New Port Richey Police Department's new slogan should be, "Don't drink and drive unless you know that we are understaffed."
-- Dawn Andrews, Port Richey

Don't sacrifice trees for sake of utility lines

Editor: I was saddened this week as I was showing friends from out of town around east Pasco County. We were driving down historic Fort King Road toward Church Street in Dade City, when my friend commented, "What happened to all the trees?"

He was referring to the butchering of all the beautiful trees along this highway and every highway where utility lines run above ground. We have compromised the beauty of what God has created for utility lines.

I understand that trees are a problem for these lines, but I encourage each and every one of you to take a look. The lines are disgusting. Why can't they bury these lines? Why are all the poles different and downright ugly? Many of them look like they are ready to fall down.

Look at the number of trees where you live and see how they have been mutilated and look nothing like what they were intended to look like. There are holes through the middle, trees are cut in half and deformed. It is not a pretty sight. I'm sure the utility companies would say if the lines were buried that utility bills will go up.

I don't know about most of you, but my utility bills go up anyway. By the way, the companies that cut the trees are not working for free. It would seem, in the long run, to be more cost efficient to put the lines underground so these once beautiful trees can flourish again. There are many save-a-tree campaigns going on.

Many groups, including garden clubs, chamber beautification committees, historic preservation groups, schools and various other organizations, are concerned about the environment. Trees have a major impact on this environment.

Are there any county commissioners, other leaders, or any of these groups that will take a stand? Let's see what we can all do to help restore this area to its natural beauty.

Let's all become involved and put our support behind those who would help save the trees.
-- Greg First, Dade City

Political bullies should leave Steve Simon alone

Editor: Our newest county commissioner in Pasco County, Steve Simon, has proven to be a gentleman, though a novice at the political game. I agree that he shouldn't be vilified for doing his job. He wants to have a dialogue with Pinellas and Hillsborough counties. We're all in this together, and polarization does no one any good.

Sen. Jack Latvala's tirade against Simon, and commissioners Sylvia Young's and David Clark's unreasonableness, are merely puny power plays by seasoned politicians who should know better. They need to remember that they represent what is best for their constituents, not their personal agendas.
-- Lilyan V. Dayton, New Port Richey

Teenager defends actions of parents

Re: Parents accused of not allowing teen into home, April 9:

It makes me so upset when you leave out half a story and make good people look bad. The Ludwigs are very good parents. I have known them since I was 4 years old. Now I'm 15. I have stayed in their house, swum in their pool, gone to church with them, etc., and have never seen any kind of abuse by Mr. or Mrs. Ludwig.

Instead of arresting Mr. and Mrs, Ludwig, we should all be applauding them for taking in these children who without them would have no home. Perhaps you should ask the other Ludwig children how they feel about their parents and home. I am the sister of a special needs, hard-to-place, adopted child and believe me, it's no picnic.

Instead of arresting parents like the Ludwigs, there should be some sort of support for families like ours. It seems like no one listens and no one cares. Maybe the members of the police department and State Attorney's Office and your newspaper should all adopt a special-needs child. Then see if your story changes.
-- Meggie Mills, Port Richey

Parents praised for way they handle kids

Editor: Steven and Deborah Ludwig are probably one of the best sets of modern Christian parents we know. Their home is an amazing place filled with love, laughter and compassion. Their children are intelligent, happy and well adjusted.

The Ludwigs' disciplinary tactics are some of the most innovative and practical we have ever seen. They use a point system with rewards and privileges to discipline the children while at the same time allowing them room for personal growth. Never at any time have we seen the Ludwigs using harsh or improper punishment.
-- Jeff and Diane Mills, Port Richey

When will all this trash from Waste Management end?

Editor: Waste Management of Pasco County does it again. You thought the beginning of the year was confusing, when they changed our garbage pickup days but didn't tell us. For those of us who had the patience to get through their busy phone lines, we found out our garbage day. Then, at the end of January, they sent a letter informing us of our garbage and blue bag recycling days.

Well, for those who recycle, here's another round of trash from Waste Management.

At the end of February, they decide to change our blue bag recycle schedule, once again without informing us. From what I'm told, most people eventually gave up and just rebagged it as trash.

As for me, I decided to fight. I called Waste Management in March and was lied to when they said my account wasn't marked as a recycler and that's why they didn't come by. So I waited two weeks, but still no pickup. Then I called and it seems the only one in the office who can say when my pickup day is is the actual truck driver. Schedules have been thrown to the wind and it all has changed.

After months of recycle bags building up, I'm still waiting for a pickup. I call Waste Management daily, leave messages nightly and have started faxing pleading letters.

When will this trash end? Good luck to any other recyclers out there.
-- Katrina Chandler, Land O'Lakes

A patient makes case for Dr. Kassed

Re: Dr. Marvin W. Kassed:

Editor: I have been a patient of Dr. Kassed's since September 1998 and have been seeing him on a continual basis for clinical depression and ADD. He has seen me through many emotional roller coasters and has been there for me day or night, whenever I have felt a need to talk to him.

I can't believe these things have been done to him and said about him. Because of his kind, caring and sincere character, I don't know where I would be if I didn't have him to lean on.

I refuse to read any more of these slanted articles based on allegations, not fact.

Until proven otherwise, and even if proven otherwise, I will still remain in his care, given the opportunity. He has been both a friend and counselor to me.
-- Susan Burgoyne, Port Richey

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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.

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Send your letter to Pasco Times, 11321 U.S. 19, Port Richey, FL 34668.

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