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Letters to the Editors

Water supply must be protected

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 25, 2000

Editor: It was really gratifying to read a St. Petersburg Council member admitting that Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties have a severe water shortage. I don't, however, agree with where she is placing the blame on Hillsborough and Pasco counties as being the water eaters. All you have to do is take a trip along Alt. U.S. 19 from Dunedin south to Clearwater, then after that along Indian Rocks Beach south to Madeira Beach and look at the enormous hotels and condominiums. They are loaded with tourists and snowbirds and built on prime property along the gulf, depriving residents of ready access to the beach, all in the name of profits.

What is true about the comments is that government, federal, state and local must take charge of the situation. My wife and I moved to Florida 11 years ago when Pasco, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties were having a water war, making a lot of attorneys rich with little or no progress. Things haven't changed much in the 11 years gone by nor will they change much in the future. If our state government had started negotiating with our neighbors to the north -- Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and North Carolina -- to buy water and pipe it into Florida in the 11 years, we could have had an operating system.

There must be a moratorium on any development until there is enough potable water to sustain the increase. We in Pasco County know that all too well, with the water being siphoned off to the south and our wetlands and lakes drying up, causing the wildlife to take off for greener pastures. Unfortunately, our county government keeps encouraging development and issuing permits like they are going out of style.

The issuing of franchises to supply good drinkable water and dispose of sewage in a healthy, sanitary way to irresponsible utilities must be abolished and taken over by the government. We in Pasco have a situation where a utility knew that eventually it was going to have to treat its wastewater because its percolating ponds were overflowing. When it was finally told it must build a treatment plant, it requested the Public Service Commission give it a rate increase so it could put the expense of the construction on the back of the rate payers.

Water is a precious commodity, which must be protected by responsible management. Without it, we can't exist. If we can pipe in natural gas, gasoline, oil and Lord knows what else, why not pipe in water? We are depleting our aquifer at an alarming rate; and, unfortunately, in a drought situation, it is not being replenished.

Each one of us should ask ourselves where the water will come from tomorrow. We must take an active interest in the water issues and insist that the government start taking this responsibility seriously and do something positive about it before it is too late.
-- William Bauer,New Port Richey

Race winner should be charitable about prize

Re: Rubber duck race winner calls prize a lemon, April 20.

Editor: It is a disgrace that you would even give this woman the time of day to write the article and especially a disgrace to put it on the first page.

I think this Susan Garside of New Port Richey should be deeply ashamed of herself for even complaining about this prize. According to your article, this was a local Boys & Girls Club contest, not the Price Is Right.

I have no connection to or knowledge of the Boys & Girls Club, but I am sure that every prize they get is donated by generous residents and businesses who get nothing but a good feeling in return. They did the best they could with what they had, and this woman should be ashamed of herself! If she is unhappy with the prize, give it back. No one forced her to take it -- the whole idea is to donate to a good cause -- not look a gift horse in the mouth! I don't care if the prize was a stack of hay, she should have smiled and appreciated it! If her mechanic values the Jeep at $500, then she should sell it and she will be ahead $495 from what she started with.

As for her comment, "In the future, they ought to give cash prizes; then no one can complain it's ruined." Perhaps she should pound the pavement herself asking residents and businesses for cash donations. Then we will see how she feels about that!

In the future, I suggest this Susan Garside should save her lousy $5, stay home, and do everyone a favor!
-- Lynn Foggia,New Port Richey

Fix black water problem by replacing copper pipes

Editor: After having attended the public meeting a couple of weeks ago, read up on the issue, and having had conversations with several Aloha engineers and with third-party engineers, I have come to the layman's opinion that the black water problems are caused by copper piping and that Aloha can't do anything about this at reasonable cost.

It would seem to me that the only fix is to replace copper plumbing with PVC. This, of course, won't be cheap. I'm sure there is some way to do this through the county, whereby the people that have it done are charged on their property tax, and so the cost becomes deductible.

It's expensive for the homeowners affected, but there is no reason for anyone else -- i.e., all Aloha customers -- to pay for fixing a problem they simply don't have and aren't going to have. And the county should immediately amend the building code to require PVC plumbing.

Up north, copper plumbing might be a sign of quality, but in this particular area, it's dumb.
-- Ernest Lane,New Port Richey

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. Anonymous letters or letters with initials only will not be printed.
Send your letter to Pasco Times, 11321 U.S. 19, Port Richey, FL 34668.

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