Thursday, June 21, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Pasco Letters to the Editor for April 27

Stop Ridge Road extension, reader says

When I spoke at the Dade City meeting of the Pasco County Commissioners on my opposition to the Ridge Road Extension, three of them responded, but only when my three minutes of free speech expired, and I could say nothing to refute their claims.

That’s the way power and wealth works.

So here’s some facts from the Save Our Serenova Coalition for why stopping the Ridge Road Extension was a good idea in 1998 and a better idea in 2018:

Commissioners claim we desperately need more hurricane evacuation routes for the mother of all hurricanes. Fact: On Sept. 17, 2017, Pasco County issued evacuation orders for everyone west of Little Road as a Category 3 hurricane approached. What happened? We had west-to-east evacuation road lanes that accommodated all the cars and people who chose to evacuate what we expected to be the worst hurricane to hit Pasco County.

What we lacked was not hurricane evacuation routes, but more shelters.

The fact that Hurricane Irma became a Category 1 storm before it rolled over Pasco County does not change the fact: Tens of thousands safely evacuated without traffic bottlenecks and were gone by that time. There goes the political hucksters’ excuse for destroying 6,500 acres of Serenova habitat for wetlands, wildlife and native plants by slicing it with a four-line highway called the Ridge Road Extension.

Pasco citizens have paid about $34 million since 1998 for this zombie highway to nowhere. And if Trump and Gus have their way, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will finally approve the long-contested permit and the price tag for the highway will total of $89,970,668, according to the Pasco Project Fact Sheet revised on March 26.

If you believe that figure, I got a bridge in Brooklyn I’ll sell you cheap.

So why not spend that money on real evacuation routes like State Routes 54 and 52, and Moon Lake Road, Tower Road and Lake Patience Road for less money? Because none of those "evacuation routes" will create welcoming entrance roads for developments like Connerton, which blames its failure on a lack of such roads. See, it’s simple — it’s never been about evacuation, it’s about enriching developers, real estate firms, construction companies, and oh, yes. Pasco County Commissioners. Just check the campaign donations to the two commissioners running for re-election.

Dan Callaghan, New Port Richey


Friday’s letters: What a new Rays ballpark would mean

Rays exec hints at stadium timeline | June 15What a new ballpark would doThe Tampa Bay Rays 2020 organization is working diligently with local business leaders and civic organizations to rally support for the Rays’ new ballpark in Ybor City. The ...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Thursday’s letters: On immigration there has to be a better way

‘Zero tolerance’ ignites outrage | June 20Find better way on immigrationOver the years I’ve voted for candidates from both parties. My observation of the Trump administration’s policy on immigration is not about politics. It has to do with having...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/21/18

Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Friday’s letters: Freight trains are infrastructure that works in Tampa Bay

Railroads are infrastructure that worksFreight trains carry the loadCentral Florida is our state’s fastest-growing region. We’re on track to outpace South Florida’s growth 2-to-1 over the next several years. Great news for our local economy, but it n...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18