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Don't sell Pasco jail, find another use for it

Plan to sell jail | May 23, editorial

Don't sell jail, find another use for it

The editorial, which was very good, misses some major facts:

The extensive remodeling is not what one would think. Approximately four to five years ago, the west side jail underwent some major renovations, including a new roof, approximately $200,000; an new air conditioning system, $2.5 million; a new generator, approximately $2.5 million; and approximately $250,000 to connect the facility to the remodeled judicial center, which allowed walking inmates to court instead of using detention transportation. This, of course, considerably reduced the cost of transporting prisoners. The building does not require much more money to bring it back into current operational status. The jail cell doors would require improvements, but without inmates in the facility could be done at the county's leisure and budgeted out over time. The lighting system upgrade could be done with existing county employees.

The building could be used for other functions by the county, such as a hurricane shelter, or with more than 2,400 homeless families in our community, this might prove to be an excellent resource to utilize. There are many organizations with budgets and or federal funds to assist with this need. These functions could also allow the jail to be restored when needed.

I agree that the county should not sell this building. Thinking outside the box by Sheriff Bob White is admirable. But in a market with plenty of vacancies everywhere and having a structure in the middle of all West Pasco Operation Center is ludicrous at best. If this is a sample of Mr. White's thought processes, I now question his ability for handling day-to-day functions.

Jeffery K. Hamilton, Holiday

Evacuation maps don't make sense

Is the newly revised hurricane evacuation map a way for insurance companies to make more money?

Look at the revised map at the intersection of State Road 54 and Virginia City Drive. On the west side of the road is a walk-in clinic in a white no-evacuation zone. Across the street is a Dairy Queen located in a newly revised "C" zone. There is no difference in elevation, but a drop in three zones. How is this possible?

Following the map to where I live on Las Vegas Drive, the street is in a revised "C' zone with the rest of the subdivision, but my lot located on the west side of Las Vegas Drive is still in the white zone. My lot is at elevation 31.00, New Port Richey is about elevation 15.00.

My neighbors, who used to be located in a no-evacuation zone, had their property drop three zones. I know these maps are not exact but to go from white to C is ridiculous.

It makes me wonder if this is about money once again. Do my fellow Virginia City Drive neighbors who have been in a no-evacuation zone since these maps have been issued now have to fear a call from the insurance companies raising their rates? Of course, they do.

People are out of work, but they get no help from anyone in local government or the private sector. Property rates fall, but not property taxes or insurance rates. I have lived in the area since 1973 and not one hurricane has come ashore yet.

Bob Hackett, New Port Richey

Bullies' power plays taint GOP

The Pasco County Republican Party has got bullying down to a science.

First we have U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, who handpicks her successor only days after sending out a fundraising letter telling the people of the 5th Congressional District how good she is and how she deserves their support and donations, then secretly withdraws and crowns her successor. Brown-Waite forces her choice on us if we choose to vote the Republican line in November, instead of allowing a primary to choose her successor.

Now along comes Bill Bunting, who is trying to force Sen. Mike Fasano to follow his dictates and support Bunting's candidate. How interesting that the idea of free choice is only allowed if you choose to do it my way.

We spend thousands of dollars and hours of time telling our children how bad bullying is yet we allow people like Bunting and Brown-Waite to try to force us to follow their lead or face the consequences. Shame, shame.

I hope the people of Pasco County will view these intrusions on their freedom of selection for what they are — power plays. People should choose candidates that follow their conscience, not blindly follow the leader.

And for the record, I am a registered Republican.

Joan Shapiro, Hudson

Postal Service's problem is service

I wonder if the U.S. Postal Service has a clue why it is losing money.

I can tell you why it is losing mine. For the second month in a row, I got my monthly flier from the West Pasco Quilters Guild and it was cut right in half. At least three times I have sent small packages, not insured, that never reached their destination in one piece. A friend of mine sent a package priority mail a week before Easter and it is still being tracked as it never reached its destination. This is uncalled for.

I send all my greetings by Web mail and UPS now and will continue to do so as long as the service is this bad.

Donna Herrick, Hudson

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Don't sell Pasco jail, find another use for it 05/26/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 8:16pm]

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