Commission dithers over sports complex | Dec. 3 editorial
Mariano cautious with public funds
I find it interesting that you have chosen to bash Commissioner Jack Mariano for trying to watch out for how the tourist tax money is spent. Jack seems to me to be taking an approach that if we are going to build the sports complex (and we should), let's do it right. I think that Sportsplex USA does not wish to invest any more time and expense in our project and has come up with a quick and dirty solution that favors them in the long run.
Their solution seems to me to be too small a proposed complex that would run out of gas in no time flat. We have been piggy-banking this money for 18 years and have an obligation once we spend it to do it right. Certainly, your allusion to the boondoggle tennis stadium that would have favored only certain private interests and not a sport that has any great following in Pasco County was a case where we dodged a bullet, if anything.
The proposed sports complex, wherever it is built, should be carefully considered. If it takes another year, so what? Is this money burning a hole in someone's pocket? I cannot see why the Times is in such a hurry to spend money without thinking it all through.
Jack Mariano is cautious and well he should be. All of our commissioners should be cautious with public money. We have seen countless examples of the opposite. Rather than calling him obstructionist, call Jack a leader and a responsible commissioner.
Lewis Corvene, Hudson
Don't rush over sports complex
Why does the Times constantly chastise Commissioner Jack Mariano for having the intellectual curiosity to get all the facts out before he makes a decision. It was evident from watching the hearing that Commissioner Ted Schrader was also quite concerned about the lack of hard data to support the overly generalized conclusions reached by the consultant.
To make matters worse, the conclusions reached (coincidentally, I'm certain) were clearly best for the consultant going forward. I am as equally certain that it is only a coincidence that the proposed project borders both Commissioners Cox and Hildebrand's districts, and they can't wait to approve the project.
In reality, the project is a way for our commission to get its hands on the taxes raised exclusively to support tourism to pay for the parks and recreation facilities they promised but can never seem to afford because they squander millions of dollars on consultants (like Sportsplex USA) to make the decisions that we pay them handsomely to make.
Steve Byle, Bayonet Point
'Holiday' lacks Christmas spirit
I noticed a story about a local church offering a concert titled "Sing We Now of Christmas" this weekend. The bold face headline for the event read Church to hold free holiday concert. Continuing my perusal further, I noticed a synagogue was holding its annual Hanukkah party soon. However, the bold-face headline for this announcement read Hanukkah party to feature food, movie.
Holiday and not Christmas? Hanukkah and not holiday? Maybe there wasn't enough room in the headline for the Times staff to use the word Christmas, thus the use of holiday? No, a review of the article heading shows there is plenty of room for two additional letters in the headline
Given the obvious nature of the event (a church is sponsoring the event , the name of the program, etc.) the availability of print space and the use of the formal names of other religious holy days, (Hanukkah), there does not seem to be any legitimate reason not to have used the term Christmas. It appears therefore that the substitution of the term holiday was intentional.
Many of us are aware that there is an ongoing attempt by a number of national organizations and the national media to denigrate and minimize the use of the word Christmas, but I am saddened by the thought that this attempt has filtered down to what is in effect a local newspaper, the Pasco Times. The Times and its staff should be ashamed that they have become a willing part of the effort to trivialize this American tradition.
Tom Waldbart, Wesley Chapel
Veterans a great help in voter drive
I want to express my sincere appreciation to the veterans who helped us with our "Vote in Honor of a Veteran" educational program as part of the Great-American Teach-In at various high schools across the county. Heartfelt thanks to Robert Farrell, Jon Kueny, Si Azar, Juan Desosa, Curtis Ziegler, Nicholas Klein, Jack Kinney, William Parsons, Frank Venezia and Tom Castriota!
This voter education program was launched in 2007 and affords our veterans the opportunity to speak directly to high school students. The experience is personalized by each student receiving biographical information about the veteran. Students are asked in essence to "vote in honor of a veteran" when they turn 18. To signify their commitment, students received commemorative dog tags to wear as a daily reminder of their veteran's personal sacrifice toward the preservation of freedom in our country. The dog tag reads, "In Tribute to my vet's sacrifice, I will keep my promise and vote!" Because of their efforts, we were able to pre-register and register hundreds of new voters!
Too often we hear about the lack of respect among our youth; however, I'm pleased to report the response from the students during and after these presentations has been and continues to be overwhelmingly respectful and appreciative of our veterans.
Brian E. Corley,
Pasco Supervisor of Elections