Clarify our access before you buy it
There has been much press about the possible purchase of the Cross Bar Ranch with Penny for Pasco money as well as money from other sources. What has been missing from all the articles is how much access to the Cross Bar Ranch the people of Pasco County will get for their money.
In Pasco County, there are examples of public properties like Green Swamp West and Serenova that serve the public well by allowing fishing, biking, hiking, bird-watching and horseback riding as well as wildlife viewing. There are also examples of publicly owned land such as the 3,000-acre Connerton Preserve that has been in the public hands of the Southwest Florida Water Management District for six years, yet only one select group of users is allowed on the property.
The Pasco County Commission and Commissioner Ted Schrader need to tell the public up front, before we spend much of our future resources for many years to come, what access the public will have. The commission needs to ask the people of Pasco County, "Do you want us to try to buy the Cross Bar Ranch if the only access the public will have will be nature-viewing bus rides?''
While the Cross Bar is a nice piece of property, it is not the only piece of property in Pasco County worthy of Penny for Pasco money.
Michael Bradley, Gowers Corner
Give us a better public beach
It is a shame to have so much ocean frontage and not have a decent beach for our county. One letter writer states it is too shallow to develop a beach in Pasco County, but what is wrong with shallow water? The families with children would probably love it. And it seems that most people go to the beach for the sun and sand than actual swimming or other activities that need deep water.
I would love to see a set-up, close to home, like the beach and park at Fred Howard Park in Pinellas County. There is a beach for families and sunbathing on one side, a sandy sports area on another and a wind-surfing area, too. These are all activities that can happen at a beach with shallow surf.
Hudson Beach is too small and has frequent bacteria problems. Surely we can do better than that with all the ocean frontage in Pasco County.
Susan Weagle, Land O'Lakes
Something stinks in arson charge
I find it deeply disturbing to read the story about Pasco man Jeffrey Mee being charged with arson because marijuana plants were discovered in his closet. The fire was caused by a ceiling fan in another room while Jeffrey was away from his house, but because a felony was being committed (plants growing in the closet) they can charge him with arson.
It's apparently not enough that he is facing charges for consuming a natural antidepressant that has been safely used throughout the world for more than 5,000 years. In the wisdom of our state authorities, even an unrelated appliance fire must be the malicious calculation of a crazed pothead. I can only hope this incident will reveal to everyone the logic, or lack thereof, that is all too characteristic of the war on drugs.
We have to push this issue into the open before more lives are ruined in this modern day witch hunt. Remember, Jeffrey could just as well be your own son or daughter facing the humiliation of criminal prosecution for an act no worse than drinking a few glasses of wine with dinner. Don't forget there was a time when they could lock you up for that too.
We should stand in solidarity with all those who are persecuted for their personal choices. This is still America, isn't it?
Ben Orona, New Port Richey
Youngsters' work on display at fair
The Pasco County Fair concluded last weekend and after spending time walking through the agricultural and visual art buildings, I must say "Kudos" to all the youth that participated in the events.
The livestock barns were filled with energetic and hard-working students who were showing and selling their livestock animals. Months and months of preparation went into those final fair days. Blue ribbons to all of them!
Upon entering the School Board art building, a sign read Action in Education, an appropriate description of the many interesting and varied forms of art displayed by the students. Elementary and middle schools participated in this art event.
Peter Hanzel, Wesley Chapel
Stuff made here keeps jobs here
This is my life. I have diabetes and high blood pressure. Both my blood pressure monitor and my diabetes testing meter are made in China.
I just had my diabetes testing meter replaced because it was malfunctioning. I have no faith in any product made in China. My life is at stake.
It's not just toys with lead in them that we have to be concerned about. We have thousands and thousands of Americans unemployed in this country and more losing their jobs every day. Why can't we make these products and other merchandise in our own country?
Who should I blame for this — the politicians, our government or the Chinese for making defective products?
Harvey Friedman, Hudson