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Letters to the Editors

Discover causes of drug abuse

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 5, 2000


Editor: As long as the DARE program keeps the under-17 crowd off of drugs, it would seem to make sense to have such a program. If parents are not talking to their children about drugs and drug usage, the schools have to tighten up the slack.

Along with the frontal assault on drug abuse, we must try to find out the why. Unless we find out the real cause of mankind's substance abuse we're doomed to repetition. Studies indicate that the human mammal is "touch starved." The skin is the body's largest organ. Granted, most people don't consider the skin an organ but therein lies the dilemma. One may think that doing the drug of choice is only to alter the mood. The skin is also affected.

That tingling feeling is also part of the lure of drugs. If the mammal doesn't get the tingle from human skin contact, it will get the tingle in some other fashion. Drug abuse. Violence. Both give the mammal its tingle.

A touch-starved child disobeys because the result will be being touched by a spanking. A pat on the head, hug and a kiss do not fulfill the mammal's need for skin contact.

Some books that I've read that seem to help me understand are The Secret Life of the Unborn Child by Dr. Tom Verny; Birth Without Violence by Dr. Frederick LeBoyer. This was considered to be merely a birthing method opposite Lamaze. Lamaze is for the mother. LeBoyer is for the baby. The pictures in Birth Without Violence are astounding. You'd never know the smiling baby was less than a day old.

Another factor that must be considered is mankind's diet. Modern man is sugar poisoned. Sugar Blues by William Dufty is the ultimate history book when it comes to the poisoning of man by the manufactured, nutritionless white crystals.

Do some homework. Find out for yourselves. Make no mistake, there is no mystery.
-- Matthew R. Leonard, New Port Richey

End favoritism in giving raises to county employees

Editor: I recently read in the paper that Pasco County is going to pay for a study to upgrade the salaries of county employees. The personnel director stated that there are about 80 positions open and that they cannot draw qualified people for those positions because of the salary.

Maybe what the county should do is to look at the salaries they now pay their workers. Most of them are grossly underpaid for what they do. The higher-ups keep getting more money and the actual workers get nothing. Just look at County Administrator John Gallagher's salary. He certainly is not worth the money he gets paid, and all higher-ups are not worth as much as they get, either. They keep a hold on what the regular employee gets by doing their measly little pay study so they can justify a meager raise to the lowly employee.

The county should definitely look at their evaluation system. If you are not "in" with the boss, you won't get a good evaluation, and that is what the county uses to base your raise on. They lose a lot of good employees not just because of salary, but because of the favoritism.

If the county wants to do something right, reward the good employee and provide better training, not just CPR and defensive driving. Make the supervisors get proper training and if they are not a good supervisor, get rid of them.

Good employees will appreciate this and will continue to work for the county, and then you won't have about 80 open jobs.
-- J.D. Allen, Port Richey

Little is ever done to solve water woes

Editor: A recent article spoke of the dilemma developers are having in finding vacant land in Pinellas County for developments and home building. Included in the article was a chart ranking Florida's most crowded counties by population per square mile. It seems Pinellas heads the list as being almost three times as crowded as second-ranking Broward.

What should jump out from that chart is that Pinellas, with this kind of congestion, has no aquifer water supply. I wonder how the Southwest Florida Water Management District can justify allowing additional home building under the present drought conditions. With what seems to be a straight face, they direct taxpayers/homeowners in at least four neighboring counties that do have access to the aquifer supply to curtail use of their water.

In the 14 years I have lived in Hernando County, I have known of Pinellas' and Hillsborough's water problems, but have seen little real action to alleviate or correct the situation. The most obvious, of course, is desalination. It seems inevitable, with all the water available in the Gulf of Mexico. Isn't this something in which Swiftmud should be taking the initiative?

And since no other feasible solution has been presented, what of the thought that every year of delay increases the cost to develop such a system?

As if this situation wasn't strange enough, a meeting was held recently in the Aripeka Community Center in Pasco County to report on the status of the Tampa Bay desalination plant. It seems hard to believe, at least at present, that there is a need for this plant north of Pinellas County.

In Hernando, with a charted figure of 266 people per square mile, as opposed to 3,208 in Pinellas, it is hard to look very kindly on a water have-not's approach to such a major problem.
-- Roland J. Olsberg, Spring Hill

Brooksville is loath to change ill-gotten name

Re: Why get so tongue-tied over street's new name, May 23 Jan Glidewell column

Editor: Here's another one for Mr. Glidewell's file:

Just before the Civil War/War Between the States, some residents in Hernando County showed their pro-slavery feelings by renaming the county seat after a South Carolina congressman whose only claim to any sort of fame was that he caned a U.S. senator from Massachusetts so badly that the senator was an invalid for three years. This occurred in the U.S. Capitol, no less. The scoundrel was seen by some as a pro-slavery hero, and hence Brooksville was named.

When I wrote to the Brooksville city fathers recently, I received this reply from the city administration:

"Although similar suggestions have been made in the past, changing the name of a city would be a complicated and expensive project that would be difficult to justify in terms of real or perceived benefits. I think that most people understand that the name is just part of our history, and that unfortunately, a century from now the "appropriateness' of some of today's names will be questioned."

Thanks again for the column, Mr. Glidewell.
-- Thomas R. Malone, Spring Hill

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