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Domestic violence not a private family matter

All must help end domestic violence

Our hearts go out to the family, friends, and community of Lenora Michelle Ferguson and her son, Gabriel. We are deeply saddened by this act of domestic violence. Her death is a stark reminder that we still have a long way to go to achieve a community free of violence in the home.

Domestic violence happens every day here in Pasco County and leaves devastating effects in its wake. Lenora's death shows us the extreme range of abusive behaviors a batterer will use to control the partner. Unfortunately, we must recognize that every domestic violence situation has the potential to end in murder and therefore every case of domestic violence must be taken seriously. As with this case and many others, children who live in a home where one parent is abusing the other are also negatively affected.

To prevent future domestic violence in our community, we must all make domestic violence our business. Domestic violence is not just a private family matter, it is everyone's business to help end it. We all need to make a commitment to intervene and reach out to our sisters, our mothers, our friends, our co-workers, our neighbors — anyone that we suspect is being abused.

The good news is there is help available. A person does not have to be an expert in domestic violence to intervene — they can serve as the bridge to connect someone being abused to domestic violence centers in the community. Sunrise of Pasco County Inc. Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center provides free services to victims of domestic and sexual abuse in Pasco County including 24-hour hotline support, emergency shelter, support groups, legal assistance, and a children's program. If you are in need of our services, call our hotline number at (352) 521-3120. If you would like to find out how you can get involved in the mission to end domestic and sexual violence in Pasco County, call our administration office at (352) 521-3358.

We urge everyone to remember that if they hear or see someone being hurt to call 911 immediately and if they or someone they know needs support to call, toll-free, 1-800-500-1119. This number immediately connects you to the nearest domestic violence center from where you are calling.

Christina Bates, Social Change Community Organizer, Sunrise of Pasco County Inc.

Re: Port Richey utility tax cut

Find ways to work within budget

To assume there would be a hardship if certain services would be curtailed or eliminated raises many questions. Are the 300,000-plus citizens of unincorporated Pasco undergoing hardship today, tomorrow or in the past? The answer is no and the question should be asked if these citizens would like to pay more for their property taxes, electric, gas, water and permits for the convenience of a slightly faster response time.

Port Richey's police and fire department is not able to compete with the quality, training and resources that are provided through the county. The city of Port Richey needs to explore ways of working within the budget they are given. Outsourcing certain services needs to be explored which, in my opinion, benefits every taxpayer living in the city.

Council member Mark Hashim has a good grasp on the big picture. The people are the city, not City Hall. The Times along with some citizens of the city have the reverse view that the building and bureaucracy is what makes the city exist. We can only hope that the future will put the people back in charge.

Steve Johnston, Port Richey

Help homeless students prosper | July 23, letter

Help homeless students with call

I read Dr. Musunuru's letter regarding homeless students and thought if there was anyway to put in the other ways to donate to the foundation.

The foundation has three numbers: (727) 774-2705, (813) 794-2705 and (352) 524-2705. Donors may also submit their donation online at and click on the "donate now" button.

Donors also may send their tax deductible contribution to: the Pasco Education Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 1248, Land O'Lakes, FL 34668.

The check should be made out to the Pasco Education Foundation Inc. with the words Homeless Student Fund in the memo section.

Chip Wichmanowski, director, Pasco Education Foundation Inc.

Domestic violence not a private family matter 07/23/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 29, 2008 5:24pm]
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