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Letters to the Editors

So-called preservation just an excuse for bigotry

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 18, 2000

Editor: Regarding the Pasco County commissioners' penchant for historical preservation, don't you find it odd that they can't go along with a name change for Lock Street due to the name's historical significance, but they have no qualms at all about granting Swiftmud's request for approval of the demolition of the old Lanier wooden bridge across the Withlacoochee at the east end of River Road?

The location of the old wooden bridge will be remembered by a historical marker to commemorate the fact that young fishermen and canoeists appreciated the bridge. A new bridge to handle the larger trucks with horse trailers -- obviously the beneficiaries of the new Swiftmud bridge -- will ingratiate those who required the removal of the "dangerous" old bridge. Commissioner Sylvia Young's horse-owning constituents who want the new bridge see the necessity of tearing out the old one. I see no reason not to keep the old one. Why don't they mark everything with a historical marker in Pasco and just say this used to be Pasco?

Commissioner Pat Mulieri commented at the meeting that she "likes to save old things." Yet she did nothing to stand in the way of the approval of the demolition.

I say, why not then demolish everything and start anew by renaming Lock Street for the good will of the Anglo neighbors to the Mexican-Americans who worked the fields and groves to make east Pasco the agricultural success it is? Turn Lock Street into a beautiful "Little Mexico" as Disney did with its sentimental agreement that, at least at Disney World, all cultures make it "a small world after all," and an enchanting one it could be.

Why the name Lock is worth keeping but an old wooden bridge is not is a mystery only to those who do not know Young and her redneck constituents in east Pasco. Mexican-Americans, I will help you register to vote if you want to change the system in Pasco.
-- Kathy Lambert, Dade City

New housing developments are draining water resources

Editor: Has our Pasco County Commission become deaf, blind and mentally impaired? How can they even consider allowing any further housing development or anything else that requires any further drain on our water supply?

After living in this county for 15 years, I am angry enough to consider running for commission myself! I am a retired fire captain, and I know full well the importance of a good water supply not only for our existence, but in order to fight fires. Why is it impossible for our present commission to figure this out? Is it going to take a major fire disaster with the loss of many lives due to inadequate water supply?

I say quit dillydallying and get this problem solved now or step down and let someone in who will make this No. 1 on the must-do agenda! We also need more trained fire rescue people and more people in code enforcement empowered to ticket violators.
-- Jean Louis Mielke, Hudson

It seems illogical to allow ditch filling for airboat racing

Editor: Re: Swiftmud decision a permit for folly, May 9

Where is the logic for such a decision by Swiftmud approving a landowner's request to fill ditches with water for airboat racing? Homeowners have thousands of dollars invested in their yards and in their community, and we are restricted to the point many will need to replace their yards. How can anyone in their right mind justify such action?

The watering of two days a week was a no-brainer, too. There is no water pressure, since we are all doing the same thing at the same time.

In the meantime, let's pray for rain.
-- Joyce Teague, Brooksville

New Port Richey chided for ignoring police honor

Re: Police Memorial Day, May 15

Editor: In May 1997 and 1998, I wrote a letter to the mayor of New Port Richey, Peter Altman, and the council, reminding them that May 15 was National Police Memorial Day. I requested that the flags on all city buildings be flown at half-staff on that day.

I explained that Public Law 87-726, signed by President John F. Kennedy in 1962, was amended by the 103rd Congress as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. President Bill Clinton signed Public Law 103-322, which directs that the flag of the United States on all government buildings be displayed at half-staff on May 15, National Peace Officers' Memorial Day.

Neither Mayor Altman nor anyone from the City Council of New Port Richey responded to my letters, nor did they elect to display their flags at half-staff. Apparently Altman didn't feel that the officers who protect the people of his city deserve recognition on this special day.

Police Officers Memorial Day 2000 has come and gone, and again the city of New Port Richey chose not to pay honor to our police. I commend assistant county administrator Dan Johnson for seeing to it that all county buildings displayed the flag at half-staff and Mayor Eileen Ferdinand for having the flags on the Port Richey public buildings displayed the same way.
-- Louis P. Hollander Jr., New Port Richey

Columnist was off base equating smoking with sex

Re: Smoking is fine -- for consenting adults only, April 29 Barbara L. Fredricksen column

Barbara L. Fredricksen's column makes no sense at all.

Her solution is to have Big Brother regulate our lives even more. I wonder how she would like it if they regulated what she writes. Or what we say. The government has enough control over what we do now. I know it came by way of Steven Lubet, but she condones it. There is no similarity between sex and smoking. I don't think people with any sense would have sex in public.

Would she have them ban diesel cars and trucks? They spew more toxic garbage into the air than all the tobacco combined. Being an ex-smoker myself, I can feel for some of her feelings. But please, no more regulations.
-- James Mugnai, New Port Richey

People trying to distort the truth about GOP club

Editor: I am a 24-year-old college student. I admit that I do not know much about the local political scene. However, I do know about the Second Amendment Republican Club. I have observed it for the past few months and have recently become a member.

To say the least, the club is a very large and diverse organization. There are many different people with many different beliefs and many different backgrounds. At a typical meeting you find many lawyers, doctors, veterans, retirees and even students like myself in attendance.

The club is not a radical group of gun-toting extremists. Many of its members, including myself, do not even own guns. Some people, apparently with their own interests and no real concern for the truth, are trying to distort who is in the club and what the club stands for.

We are a group of people concerned for the rights of citizens in this great and wonderful country. Some of the club's recent activities included a food drive, a road clean-up, distribution of free gun safety videos to children, education scholarships and a picnic.

How exactly is that extreme? Am I missing something here?
-- Tony Losacco, New Port Richey

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