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Decide for yourself if you need sinkhole coverage on home's insurance policy

Sinkhole coverage is not for everyone

I am a director of the West Pasco Board of Realtors, a local business owner and a Pasco County homeowner. Recently, a number of people have complained about the way sinkhole coverage changed where we must now opt in for an additional sinkhole rider instead of opting out. Realtors were represented in Tallahassee when local leaders asked lawmakers that this change be made. We knew that insurance companies would make it hard for policyholders to reduce their premiums. This way the choice is clear, concise and easy for all homeowners to understand.

Most of the complaining I hear is from certain insurance agents who, for their own reasons, believe everyone should have sinkhole coverage no matter what the cost or risk. To this end they are even using scare tactics to tell people we have a major problem here, which we don't, and they would not consider owning a home here without a sinkhole rider. I must also report that this has run off many potential buyers of property in Pasco this year. In doing this they are hurting our fragile economy.

Tens of millions of dollars in premium payments have been cut from policies. This allows many struggling local residents who are trying to make ends meet to have more money for other critical items such as food, clothing and transportation.

I urge everyone to check with their insurance agent to see where they stand and make sure they are helping to promote our community by giving clients the unbiased option as the law intended. The majority of insurance agents I encounter are presenting all options and letting the informed buyer make the decision that is right for them. Unfortunately, it only takes a few to give everyone a bad rap.

Homeowners must also know they still have catastrophic ground collapse coverage and should study their policies to find out those limitations. Insurance is too expensive and too important to just take it for granted or to assume that your agent will or can make the most prudent decision for you.

Greg Armstrong, Trinity

Homeowner right to shoot intruder

Hoorah for the Pasco County prosecutors for dropping all charges against the man who was woken up at 5 a.m. by an intruder and who then shot the intruder. Also, shame on the parents who are upset at the prosecutors. They should direct their anger at their son, who has a history of problems with the law.

I am sick of reading how good a person was; or is, after he has committed a crime; even though he has a long record. He was at fault, not the shooter! If more people would act like the man whose home and property were violated, maybe we would have less crime. It is not up to the police to determine if the man felt threatened and had the right to use deadly force. They were not there and they are not God.

If a person comes on to your property without an invite and is asked to leave, doesn't, and still goes after you, I think we would all feel threatened and have the right to use whatever force is necessary to evict the intruder.

Ronald E. Elgin, Hudson

Late coach's work lives on kids' fields of play, Oct. 28 C.T. Bowen column

'Bright light' left legacy for kids

A bright light was extinguished and your column was right on target. I knew Harry Olsen for many years. Everything he did was always for the kids.

It is true that Harry would nag, question and roll up his sleeves and work hours for a cause. I enjoyed verbally sparring with Harry because I knew all the questions he asked were in the best interest of the children of Pasco.

Harry was involved with all aspects of the Wesley Chapel park. He attended all the meetings, made suggestions and helped with the final design. He was also involved with the sports program in Land O'Lakes.

He definitely left a legacy for the children of Pasco because everything Harry did was for the kids.

Commissioner Pat Mulieri, Spring Hill

A lesson in impermanence, Oct. 23

Students credited for Peace Week

You had an inspiring piece on the Sand Mandala, which was created at Pasco Hernando Community College. Yet, there was a very important piece missing.

Although the Mandala was a focal point of PHCC's Peace Week, there was much more. The drum circle drew in both the shy and the outgoing and they all walked away with big smiles on their faces. There was singing, poetry and even some dance. The exhibit on the need for peace in the world, showing that the need for peace goes beyond just stopping wars to offering clean water, food and a place for shelter.

Another group encouraged passers-by to create their own special peace tile to be exhibited on campus. There were talks and films all designed to promote peace. Yet the most important part that was missing from this event was that it was made possible, in large part, by the students themselves.

We tend to only hear of the negative actions of our young people, yet we ignored this multicampus-wide activity of the celebration of peace. I was there every day and saw the energy and commitment of these young people, and wanted to thank them and give them the credit they deserve.

Paula Testa, Hudson

Flu shot meeting well-attended

I would like to thank city staff and all of those who attended the special meeting of the New Port Richey City Council last week. The purpose was twofold: To help educate residents on the current H1N1 vaccination campaign and to coordinate city department assets so they could work in tandem with hospital officials if the flu pandemic worsened here in west Pasco.

Thank you to CEO John Couris and his staff who attended from Northbay Hospital, as well as CEO Kathyrn Gillette and her staff from Community Hospital. Both groups did a great job in setting forth contingency plans, and welcomed the opportunity to work closely with city officials in any way we could assist in the unlikely event of any number of triage situations. Additionally, I thank Dr. David Johnson, the Pasco County Health Department director, for all the valuable information he provided. I also appreciate the attendance and contributions from Pasco County Sheriff Bob White and Fire Battalion Chief Duncan Hitchcock, both of whom provided a status on how the issue is being handled in their large county departments.

The CDC directs residents to for the latest information regarding the H1N1 pandemic. Additionally, as Dr. Johnson pointed out, Florida residents can bookmark for additional information of a more regional nature.

Mayor Scott McPherson, New Port Richey

Decide for yourself if you need sinkhole coverage on home's insurance policy 11/03/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 3, 2009 7:46pm]
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