He had an extra bag and she wanted it | April 18, article
Demanding a freebie is rude
First, congratulations to Wendy Withers for giving us something better to read about, other than bad news! I, personally, am sick and tired of people like Judith Rubin who think they are so special that people should just give them whatever they want.
To approach someone in a store (whether or not they are a public official) and ask for one of their free giveaway bags is so self-centered and "all about me."
Zephyrhills Mayor Cliff McDuffie was correct in saying, "If she wanted one that bad, she should have come sooner." Think about it — for every free giveaway, I'll just show up at noon and ask the first individual in line to give me one of their freebies! I think Mrs. Rubin needs to apologize for her rudeness.
Marilyn Clair, New Port Richey
Some bought our green bags, folks
It was really funny to read the article about the extra green bag and the mayor because I had an encounter with not one but three people on that very same day.
The first time I was guarding the buggy because my wife's pocketbook was there. Inside the cart, I had five green bags that I had purchased months ago. I didn't get to the store in time to receive a free bag and really didn't care. I was in the store five minutes when a elderly man accompanied by his wife reached into my cart and just took a bag. I confronted him and retrieved my bag and he just laughed. I was wondering if this is the way he raised his children.
The next two incidents happened within 30 minutes when several people confronted me and said, "I didn't receive a free bag — can I have one of yours?" I politely told them that I had purchased the bags months ago.
I did not know that owning the green bags would hold such a responsibility. So I say to Mayor Cliff McDuffie, good for you. You don't owe anyone an apology.
Bruce Myers, Zephyrhills
Running a city costs us dearly
Now that our Port Richey city election is over, let's look at the cost to run our little club.
As I am told, the Port Richey city budget is over $10 million per year. This amounts to over $3,000 per year for every man, woman, and child in Port Richey, or $5,000 per registered voter. Approximately 500 votes were cast in Tuesday's election, which is about $20,000 a year per vote.
Some say this all doesn't come from our city taxes. But I say we pay for it in everything we buy, whether it's at Wal-Mart, in the city, at Publix, or at other businesses in the county. There aren't any free lunches unless you belong to the club.
Walter J. Mallett, Port Richey
Re: Aloha Utilities
An improvement over old Aloha?
One has to hope that all the folks who have been screaming for the county to buy out Aloha and provide water to their customers are now happy. All I can say is "thank you" to Sen. Mike Fasano, and activist Wayne Forehand. You finally got your way.
I received our first monthly water bill from Florida Governmental Utility Authority. The rates are triple the rates from Aloha. That is another example of government efficiency in action. Make that unregulated government monopoly in action.
F. Darrell Thomas, Trinity
Rate projections far below reality
Florida Governmental Utility Authority took over for Aloha and a rate increase was expected between 25 and 33 percent. I just received my first bill and it is for $292. My prior three-month average for approximately the same use averaged $118. This, as you can see, is just out of sight, not even close to what they had stated.
No homeowner can afford this for water. I contacted the Florida Public Service Commission and they informed me they have no control over this company because they are privately owned and do not fall under any Florida regulations. How does Florida government allow something like this to happen? It is just unlawful. When I contacted FGUA by phone, the woman asked me if I got a letter with my bill. I said yes; she said, then the bill is correct, and would not even discuss the issue.
The commission referred me to the Pasco County commissioners and I have sent them an e-mail. Something must be done at once.
Henry Fisch, Trinity
Libraries need to stay public, not go private | April 19, column
Keep libraries public and free
Thank you C.T. Bowen for your column dealing with the importance of libraries staying public and not going private.
The Pasco County Library System provides much-needed access and services to the whole county. Remember — library service is free. Join your local library and become involved in all that the library offers.
Become a Friend of the Library; your membership supports a variety of programming throughout the county.
Loraine Cors, president of the Friends, Hudson
Careful what you wish for, driver
A letter writer gave a glowing description of driving in Europe as compared to driving in the United States. But I would bet that he has never driven in France — especially in and around Paris.
Our experience was seeing motorbikes weaving in and out of lanes between cars and even knocking off side mirrors.
And those French drivers would rather run you off into a ditch or the sidewalk before letting you "slide in for a left- or right-hand turn."
And that's not even mentioning the fist-shaking and New York salute the drivers give to each other.
Peggy Huffman, Wesley Chapel
We still live, fearfully, in 'Gunlandia' | April 20, guest column
It's human acts, not guns and cars
The one overriding mystery for me with antigun people in their call to banish or reduce firearm ownership by private citizens is their complete refusal to recognize the criminal aspect involved in any gun violence. Indeed, guest columnist James Pettican even refuses to acknowledge this criminal aspect when it comes to almost all vehicle fatalities. When gun rights advocates state that death and injury from cars are far more prevalent than from a firearm, they are not talking about the functions of the two objects; they are referring to the criminal behavior associated with these two examples.
The illegal behaviors of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, speeding, and reckless driving indeed cause far greater death and injury than gun-related criminal activity — in fact, much greater. The recent tragic deaths of four young students where it appears speeding was involved is a sad case in point.
It seems we endorse a culture sold to our youth where the zoom-zoom and horsepower of an automobile is paramount, where movies such as Tokyo Drift and the Fast and Furious extol excessive speeding. Yet we hear no hue and cry from the antigun crowd about the deaths associated with these illegal behaviors as they rationalize the car has a different function. For both the car and gun, when used by a law-abiding person, become far less dangerous, and obviously more dangerous if used in a criminal manner.
The clear vast majority of these citizens who own guns are law-abiding and never heard from in regards to gun violence. It's the criminals who use guns and thus make the news. But this criminal element is an extreme minority when compared to the vast majority of responsible gun owners. Why should law-abiding citizens be called upon to give up their rights guaranteed in our Second Amendment because of the criminal activity of the few?
Jerry Blomgren, New Port Richey