An attempt to distract voters
I am a past chairman of the Pasco Republican Executive Committee; thus it is with great sadness that I read all the negative attention Bill Bunting and his actions bring to this good committee.
Name-calling and distracting elected officials from the task of campaigning in an election season is not productive for everyone. As chairman, I worked to get as many people involved and participating as possible.
This game about who and where the loyalty oath was turned over to the Republican Executive Committee is just a smoke-and-mirrors attempt to distract the voters from Bill's main issue: his election for state committeeman from Pasco County.
The best way to resolve this matter is for the Republican Party of Florida chairman to have a Republican Party representative at the next monthly meeting to collect the loyalty oaths directly from the people who have had their names approved for the ballot. This would be a show of good faith and return us all to the main mission of our committee: namely, to see that qualified Republicans get elected to office.
Hugh Townsend, New Port Richey
No beer, wine sales at new CVS
Under consideration by Pasco County Commission on Aug. 10 is whether to allow CVS to sell packaged beer and wine inside the Meadow Pointe II subdivision in Wesley Chapel. The CVS store is being constructed at County Line Road and Mansfield Boulevard, across from the Meadow Pointe II recreation area and clubhouse and across the street from a day care center. It is very near Wiregrass High, John Long Middle and Sand Pine Elementary schools.
This has the majority of residents concerned about safety and other issues. On July 16, three CVS representatives agreed to come to the Community Development District meeting to explain their point of view and answer questions. The representatives were a lawyer, construction engineer and district manager.
The lawyer's remarks included that it was a beautiful community, looks like a great place to live and raise kids; CVS would like to be a part of your community; and, oh, by the way, we want to sell beer and wine in our store.
The engineer went as far as to say selling beer and wine would reduce traffic How? People will not take their cars, but will walk to the store in 90-degree heat to buy their beer and wine.
Apparently he was not familiar with the size of Meadow Pointe and definitely not from Florida or the South. The majority of people present did not want beer or wine sold, period.
If CVS wants to be a part of our community, it needs to drop beer and wine sales, which is less than 2 percent of their sales, and concentrate on pharmaceuticals, which is 80 percent of their sales.
We appreciate CVS coming to our meeting, but please don't put booze in your store. Drinkers can go to the CVS store a short distance away at State Road 56 and Bruce B. Downs Boulevard. Commissioners, I plead with you to say no to CVS booze in Meadow Pointe II.
Raymond Kobasko, Wesley Chapel
Help homeless students prosper
School superintendent Heather Fiorentino told me recently, "Some of the bright students that start out with a high academic performance at the beginning of the school year do very poorly by the time Christmas comes around. They do not even seem to do their homework."
The students cannot do their homework or studying, as their parents won't let them light candles. They don't have a home; they live out of their cars. As the year progresses, with the time change, it gets dark earlier.
There are plenty of homeless students in the Pasco County schools: over 1,800 of the more than 70,000 students enrolled in prekindergarten to 12th grade last year. This is not a new phenomenon related to the current bad economy.
The word homeless tends to bring out the images of drunken, dirty, drug-dependent or psychotic individuals talking to themselves on a street corner who cannot be helped. That is a definite minority. Most of the homeless do not have a home because they cannot afford one, for myriad socioeconomic reasons. Obviously their intelligent, innocent and honest children who are interested in a good education do not have a home either, by no mistake of their own.
Obviously, this is a huge complex social problem with no easy solution. There is federal legislation (McKinney-Vento) specifically designed to help the education of homeless children and youth. There is some state funding available.
But talking to social workers from the Pasco County school system sheds light on the real unmet needs of these homeless students. The students' wish list to Santa includes "expensive" items like socks, underwear, books, pencils, backpacks, etc. Luxuries these students cannot afford include decent clothes to wear to school, staying in the same school, access to food and field trips if somehow they manage to stay in school.
I wish to motivate the willing and kind citizens of Pasco to help these students. With your pocket change, you can help one of these students celebrate Christmas in July. If you can help in any way with your tax deductible contribution, call the Pasco Education Foundation at (813) 794-2705 (earmarked for homeless students) and they will contact the homeless liaison for the Pasco schools to ensure that your contribution will go to help these needy children.
Who knows, with proper assistance and guidance, one of these students may grow up to become the future president, the future governor, the future compassionate school superintendent or the future caring newspaper editor. Even better, all of them will grow up to be good productive citizens raising their own families in their own homes, knowing the value and the necessity of helping the needy.
Rao Musunuru, M.D., Bayonet Point
Missing praise for Brown-Waite
Why are all the negative remarks always printed about U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite? She and her office helped two of the most wonderful people I know. They went up and beyond the call of duty to help my children's godparents.
All should be said, praise as well as the negative. We have heard a lot of negative about Ms. Brown-Waite, so now the praises should be written. She and her staff have been there for the veterans as well as the disabled.
I personally would like to say thank you to Ms. Brown-Waite and her staff for a job well done for my loved ones as well as the ones who love us all. Thank you to the veterans and the disabled for making all our lives worth waking up for each morning.
Jamie Van Beek, Holiday
We pay, therefore Citizens exists
Citizens Insurance was created to cover people who couldn't get insurance with any of the companies issuing policies in the state.
Why can't the state of Florida participate in capitalism? Even if we are not insured by Citizens we pay for its existence. To have one insurance company where we can all go safely and have coverage without fear of cancellation sounds good to me. It would make me smile if I knew the state of Florida profited from my premiums.
A state-run insurance company is needed and I think the state should get the profits to help the state however needed.
Christina Ennist, New Port Richey