Deed-restricted areas vulnerable
I moved to a neighborhood on Seven Springs Boulevard 11 years ago. It was a small beautiful community with reasonable deed restrictions, no common areas or dues and no association to enforce the deed restrictions. But somehow it worked. Homeowners policed themselves and this was an example how neighbors could be neighborly to each other.
After about five years, some older homeowners retired and moved away and some younger families moved in. Then, with the collapse of the housing market and the economy, many homes were given up and some became rentals (against deed restrictions). Many of these new homeowners think deed restrictions don't apply to them.
Some homes now look like used-car dealerships. Illegal fences and sheds went up. And of course some homes have so many cigarette butts in their yard I'm surprised a tobacco farm doesn't sprout up. This is not the same neighborhood I moved into. It was incredible to experience what good people can accomplish and sad to see what selfish people can destroy.
For those who live in strictly enforced deed-restricted communities, be careful for what you wish for. Come take a ride through my street.
Edward C. Johnson, New Port Richey
Sports complex is no winner here
Seriously? Are the residents in Pasco County suppose to really buy into the idea that four or five baseball/softballs fields sprinkled with some soccer/lacrosse fields are really going to bring in the big tournaments and increase tourism here in Pasco?
The County Commission is going to spend millions of dollars on a small complex with a fancy restaurant operated by a company from California and we're supposed to believe this will be a big benefit to Pasco?
It's too small to do big-time sports. Too small of a vision for the commission. Too bad for a commissioner who states he's not a sports guy. Too bad we don't have a commissioner with a vision to take us forward.
Chris Minaca, Land O'Lakes
Group should follow Irish lead | March 19, letter
Krewe dishonors native groups
You have to applaud the letter writer/Irish citizen for being honored to see people from various lineages wearing green on St. Patrick's day. It is an enjoyable and positive perspective however far removed from the history of the American Indian.
It is worthy to note here that the members of the Chasco Krewe are good people who have no desire or intention to offend American Indians. Yet to be fair within the writer's analogy, one should consider how would the Irishman feel if a foreign race colonized Ireland, killing his ancestors in masses, driving a brave people from their homes only to herd them away again and again until finally leaving them in the driest corners of their own country with their culture vanquished.
It is the saddest story of our wonderful country and begs the question, how would he feel then to have the descendants of the colonizing race celebrating while dressed in green? I am not sure how I would feel 100 plus years after the fact, but I am certain that it would not be honored.
Tom McCarthy, New Port Richey
Bill endangers public education
Rising test scores in Florida prompted politicians to rejoice. Education Week ranked Florida schools eighth in the nation for educational quality, despite the fact Florida is ranked 31st in education spending! Why is it now that Florida politicians want to drive teachers out of the classroom by launching an assault on public education?
Senate Bill 6 is a slap in the face — to all of the outstanding public school teachers across Florida who have dedicated their lives to the teaching profession and have produced learning gains that are the envy of the nation.
The bill threatens to push experienced teachers out of the classroom and place students in classrooms with teachers of little experience.
The bill would require that all teachers will be retained, certified and compensated based on student test scores. Years of experience and payment for types of degrees can no longer be used. Experience does not matter any longer.
Everyone, regardless of years of experience or degrees, will be paid the same base salary. Depending upon student performance, an additional performance bonus will be added the following year. Each year will be different depending upon how your previous students performed. For those who have an unsuccessful year, you might not be able to renew your certificate, definitely a career-ending moment.
The bill penalizes school districts that even consider years of experience or degrees when determining compensation, reduction in force, or transfers. It mandates that teachers be issued probationary contracts for up to five years, then an annual contract every year after that.
It will increase testing for students (end of course exams for all subjects) and for teachers (additional certification requirements). Okay, first there is no compensation for levels of education (degrees) as stated above, but let's make them more certified. This is typical government thinking again.
So who's going to stay and teach our students? Long-term subs, low-paying contracted workers (not required to be certified), and those who will stay in education for a couple of years before changing career fields.
Students need to be held more accountable, not the teachers. If students do not wish to learn in a free public education system that has documented gains, then they and their parents should be home-schooled!
The sponsor of SB6 is Sen. John Thrasher who is also the chairman of the Florida Republican Party.
Ron Kramer, Spring Hill