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Brown-Waite finally proveteran

Brown-Waite finally proveteran

I was glad to hear that U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite and 17 other Republicans have joined 107 congressional Democrats in co-sponsoring the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008, a bill both sponsored and written by a Democratic congressman from Virginia.

My only disappointment is that it took six years and two recent wars for a politician first elected to Congress in 2002 on a proveteran platform to recognize the need for dramatically increased benefits for war veterans returning to civilian life and in search of educational and housing opportunities.

In the 12 years during which Brown-Waite's Republican party controlled the House and pushed hundreds of billions for new overseas conflicts, no comparable support for our veterans arrived; yet in the first Democratic Congress in so many years, the GI Bill is receiving a long-overdue update.

I hope Brown-Waite learns that supporting asinine measures to remove Americans interred overseas hinders her legislative capacity to provide scholarships, health care and job opportunities for the hundreds of thousands of living servicemen about to come home. I also hope Brown-Waite continues to follow the standard of leadership set by her Democratic colleagues, as far as veterans' benefits goes.

Justin Cass, Spring Hill

Destination Pasco: tourism becoming big business here May 14, guest column

Weak dollar helps boost tourism

Jack Mariano's column tells us little about the real reason that tourism is up in Pasco County. While our tourism is one of our most important industries, a few bike rides and a lacrosse tournament are not enough to explain the increase in the number of tourists and their spending.

A simple look at a graph of the U.S. dollar compared to the euro or the British pound will tell the real story. Due to a weakening dollar and a declining U.S. economy, vacationers from Europe and Canada are finding a great value here. The strength of their currency has made Florida and other U.S. spots the place to be for summer vacation. This quarter has seen an increase of foreign travelers of 2 percent and almost 1-million overseas visitors to Florida. Canadian travel to Florida alone showed over a 5 percent increase for the first quarter of 2008.

Myself and most every Floridian will tell you that we are proud of our tourism industry and we are thankful to have it. Mr. Mariano's self-cheering is at best disingenuous. One must recognize that global factors have impacts at the local level.

Rich Jenkins, Hudson

The writer is candidate for Pasco County Commission District 5.

If you move over, she won't tailgate | May 16, letter

Stop tailgating; just plan better

I am 42. I have been driving in Pasco County for 25 years now. I drive in the left lane and do at least the speed limit, if not sometimes a bit over, and still suffer from the wrath of tailgaters.

For the letter writer, who is running 10 minutes late and expects the traffic to accommodate her, might I suggest that you make a phone call to let your boss know that you will be a bit late. Quit putting the rest of us at risk of an accident with your negligent driving.

Not everyone on the road is elderly and driving in the left lane.

Leah Novembre,

New Port Richey

If you move over, she won't tailgate | May 16, letter

Stop putting rest of us in danger

To the letter writer, you are not only a dangerous driver but an aggressive one as well.

I'm one of the bumpers you are constantly on. Only I'm 54 and driving the speed limit so I don't need to move over. I'm leaving a safe distance between me and the car in front so that I don't rear-end them if they should have to use their brakes. Unfortunately, I can't avoid getting rear-ended by you if I need to brake!

Get up earlier and make an effort to not endanger the drivers around you. Better late than never.

Connie Pierce,

New Port Richey

Group wants to slow euthanasia

Animal Liberation and Rights Movement (ALARM) is under way in Pasco County with 25 members already. The members are in the process of drafting a mandatory spay and neuter bill for Florida to be known as Sam's Bill. We are currently collecting arguments for or against mandatory spaying and neutering.

A mandatory spay and neuter bill would require all pets to be spayed or neutered prior to 6 months of age. All pets spayed or neutered could be tracked via pet microchipping.

Sam's Bill in no way is meant to police households or breeders, but to end the practice of euthanasia for pet population control purposes. If households with unaltered pets or breeders are caught, then hefty fines should be imposed.

The bill would save Animal Services thousands of dollars each year as individual costs for euthanizing animals is more than $100 per pet, according to Pasco County Animal Services. The costs include the lethal dose of medicine, one syringe, one needle, prep material, waste fees, veterinary costs and body disposal fees via cremation or burial services. Animal Services also has food and shelter costs for the pet until it is euthanized.

We are counting on the support of people who care about the welfare of animals. Arguments for or against Sam's Bill should be mailed to ALARM at P.O. Box 2103, Elfers, FL 34680. E-mail us at

Maleka Sharay,

New Port Richey

In the end, it's all about the people | May 2, column by Andrew Skerritt

Skerritt was a refreshing voice

In his farewell column, Skerritt neglected to say why, or offer a word on his future plans. The Times remains mum.

We wish him well. In these times, it is most refreshing to have a columnist who steps up and brings stimulating opinions to the public.

In defense of Dan DeWitt, stay true, be opinionated, continue to challenge us. Finally, ignore the lemmings as they continue their march.

Quill Carufel, Brooksville

CDC's pandemic list is Hitler-like

Recently the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta issued a list of people who would not be saved in the event of a pandemic situation in our country. They categorized those older than 85, people with life-threatening injuries and sufferers of severe dementia as ones who wouldn't be administered to.

This sounds a bit cold. My mother is over 85 and lucid. She worked hard for 60 years and paid taxes. I hope this doesn't mean death row inmates, terrorists and lifetime criminals will be saved just to keep the criminal justice system slogging along. It reminded me of Hitler's program to eliminate the nonproductive.

Thomas Karcher,

New Port Richey

Where are fans? | May 14 article

Hard times are hard on fans, too

Give the fans a break. It's only two months into the season and the Rays have played great in the last three weeks, not all season (due to injuries). It is not fair to criticize the fans based on two games with the Yankees on a Monday and Tuesday night. It takes a long time to build a fan base.

The Yankees, Cubs, Red Sox, Phils, etc., have taken many years to build their fan bases. They are also based in larger and higher-income cities. Also, do not forget that we are in a poor economic period, plus the price of gasoline is at an all-time high. These are all factors that should be considered before criticizing the Rays fans.

What happened to all those Yankee fans that used to outnumber the Rays fans, now that the Yanks are not winning? They were also among the missing.

Arthur McKenzie, Hudson

Brown-Waite finally proveteran 05/18/08 [Last modified: Monday, May 19, 2008 4:26pm]
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