All can help stop domestic violence
Our hearts go out to the family, friends and community of Veronica Roberts Scott. We are deeply saddened by this act of domestic violence. Her death is a stark reminder that we still have a long way to go to achieve a community free of violence in the home.
Domestic violence happens every day here in Pasco County and leaves devastating effects in its wake. Unfortunately, we know that one of the most dangerous times for victims of domestic violence is when they leave or threaten to leave their abusive partner. Veronica's death shows us the extreme range of abusive behaviors a batterer will use to maintain control over their partner.
To prevent future domestic violence in our community, we must all make domestic violence our business. We all need to make a commitment to intervene and find out how we can help someone who we suspect is in an abusive relationship. Don't wait for the victim to reach out for help, it may be too late. If you are a family member or friend, you can make a call or stop by your local domestic violence center to find out how you can help.
The good news is there is help available. A person does not have to be an expert in domestic violence to intervene. They can serve as the bridge to connect someone being abused to domestic violence centers in the community. Sunrise Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center provides free services to victims of domestic and sexual abuse in Pasco County, including 24-hour hotline support, emergency shelter, support groups, legal assistance, and a children's program. If you are in need of our services, call our hotline number at (352) 521-3120. If you would like to find out how you can get involved in the mission to end domestic and sexual violence in Pasco County, call our administration office at (352) 521-3358.
We urge everyone to remember that if they hear or see someone being hurt, to call 911 immediately; and if they or someone they know needs support, to call toll-free 1-800-500-1119. This number immediately connects you to the nearest domestic violence center.
Christina Bates, Social Change Community Organizer, Sunrise of Pasco County Inc.
Outback's actions not family-like
There is another side of the Outback Steakhouse closing in Port Richey.
My husband worked there on and off for the past 10 years. On Sunday night he was told that there was an important meeting Monday morning at 10 a.m. When he arrived at the restaurant Monday morning he saw managers (store and district) taking down signs! When he went inside, all the employees were all told of the closing. There was no warning!
As for Pete May telling the public that they are working with the employees to relocate them to another store in the area, that is not true. My husband was told that he could call the Spring Hill or Trinity locations to see if there are any positions available, and if so he would have to go in and fill out another application.
As the meeting ended, managers asked employees if anyone wanted to volunteer to stay and help remove things. Sadly, my husband and I have a 4-year-old and bills that won't pay themselves. He spent the day out looking for work.
I'm very upset that my husband has been loyal to this company for so long, and this company could do this to him and all of their employees. They called themselves family. But family helps each other in difficult times and there is no help coming from anyone in this company.
Nicole Cerullo, Holiday
There are enough gun laws already | May 5 letter
A connection with the Times, NRA ?
I would suspect that the St. Petersburg Times must be at least partially owned by the NRA. Why otherwise would you print a letter from someone who thinks in order to be fair to gun owners (assault weapons), we also should also outlaw swimming, biking and driving.
Assault weapons should be outlawed. The are designed for one thing — killing people, and most times, indiscriminately.
Michael T. Lemen, New Port Richey
Lots of Floridians are carrying guns
It was letter writer Arthur Hayhoe's relentless anti-gun, anti-freedom rhetoric that inspired me to join the National Rifle Association in 2002, and I thank him for that. I continue to support the NRA, which is such an important defender of our natural right to self-defense, and our constitutional right to keep and bear arms for all lawful purposes, including hunting, sport shooting and collecting.
It is illegal for a felon to even possess any firearm, much less purchase one. Gun shows provide a miniscule number of firearms to felons, who break existing laws. But most importantly, gun shows provide a marketplace for law-abiding citizens to shop firearms and supporting goods such as holsters, ammunition, scopes and other accessories. Gun shows may also provide required training programs for concealed carry licenses and seem to be enjoying a great deal of popularity.
Florida citizens are responding to the opportunity to acquire concealed carry licenses. As of March 31 there were 561,681 licenses in effect, and growing each month. An awful lot of citizens sure think it's a good idea.
Irene Giragosian, Hudson
County oblivious to leaking hydrant
Since early March, I have been aware that the hydrant at the corner of Canton Avenue and State Road 52 has been leaking or dripping. It is at the site of the new high school. After reporting that it was leaking quite a bit, the county said it would send a crew. A crew came, because at 6 p.m. it was only dripping.
I called to tell them that and was told it would have to drip all night and I should call the Utilities Department in the morning. When I called the next morning, I was told they knew about the problem and were waiting for a part. A short time later I received a call from a maintenance supervisor who said it was ridiculous that I have called so many times and not to call again as he will not send another crew to that site.
I urge anyone passing that hydrant to check to see if it is leaking or dripping and to call Pasco County Utilities at (727) 815-7092 to tell them you are as outraged as I am at the huge waste of water when we are in a drought.
Edna Mercado, Port Richey
Poison no answer to pesky pests
This an open letter to everyone who thinks that putting out poison to rid yourselves of pesky feral cats is the solution.
Think of the families behind you or beside you. Think about how much danger you are putting their pets in.
Old dogs should be able to curl up in their bed to die, not writhing in pain, convulsing, while their distraught owner cradles them.
Dogs will be dogs, and I did not know mine was behind me when he snatched up a piece of your problem-solver. I could not get all of it out, and my dog died 30 hours later. How you live with yourself is beyond me.
Pat O'Brien, Hudson
Thanks for story about memorial
A big thank you for the coverage in the St. Petersburg Times for the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Service. Capt. Schreck told me that it was Bill Stevens' first story that really started the ball rolling to get my uncle Sheldon S. Nicks honored 100 years after his death.
The picture in your paper on Sunday, May 3rd, also showed my son Walter J. Mallett, Jr. in between Jeff Miller and me. Stephen Hancock was in the middle. Stephen is a cousin I had never met and he furnished the photo of Sheldon. Hancock came from Clemson, S.C., to attend. My son Charles Blankenship is mostly hidden by my escort Jack Armstrong. Charles came from Tennessee to attend the memorial.
Attending the service were 24 Nicks descendants, of which four generations still live in this area. Thanks again for the great stories.
Frances Clark Mallett, Port Richey
Brown-Waite's office accessible
I had the pleasure of visiting U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite's new office on the eastern end of Spring Hill Drive. I found that the new location was very easy to find and access, with adequate parking just outside the door. No longer do we have to struggle with finding parking on the street or park in the rear of the courthouse and take the long hike up the hill.
What a difference this access will make for the elderly and disabled constituents. I would like to thank the congresswoman for the new office, which makes accessibility so much easier for those who have struggles with that grand hill in Brooksville.
Stacy Johnston, Spring Hill