Booze alone isn't the way to revitalization | Aug. 31 C.T. Bowen column
Finally, sense among nonsense
Hurray for some voice among the babble!
To Mayor Scott McPherson, who only needs 28 days of programs, do you know that Chasco Fiesta runs for 14 days and needs another seven days to set up and take down? Several Main Street events are two or three days. How can we work in two events per month and only total 24 days?
Incidentally, it takes the park maintenance crew 30 days to restore the park to its original condition after Chasco.
To Mr. Chuck Grey, who blames the $14-million spent on the Recreation Center for the city's financial woes, let me help you with your math. Over $9.5-million was already in escrow before it was built. Now we take the four white elephants purchased by the city: Hacienda Hotel, two churches and 10 acres behind the Mercury Dealership. These elephants cost over $5-million, need constant outlay of money for upkeep and bring in no revenue. The Recreation Center is continuing to bring in revenue and it will be bringing in more.
And last of all, this forum was for New Port Richey residents. Mr. Grey lives in Port Richey. Have you seen their parks? Or the parks in Tampa where they hold these big affairs?
Betty M. Black, New Port Richey
The people say no to park alcohol
The writer of the column was right on the mark when he questions the premise that selling alcohol in New Port Richey's parks will revitalize the city's downtown. The recent proposal to possibly hold monthly festivals in the city, and to sell alcohol at those events, goes totally against the family-friendly environment Pasco's largest city has enjoyed.
As a member of the New Port Richey Parks and Recreations Advisory Board for the past 16 years, I have seen the parks system grow under the leadership of former director Bob Consalvo and current director Elaine Smith. Each of the city's parks is a jewel in the crown that is worn by Sims Park. As Council Member Marilyn deChant stated at the public hearing last week, she ran the arts festival for nine years and did not need the sale of win to boost its attendance or ensure its success.
While I am all for economic development, and truly believe New Port Richey can once again have a vibrant downtown, I am not convinced that the transient visitors to a rib festival or some other monthly gathering will result in empty offices being filled. How many people who travel to Safety Harbor or Clearwater to attend a festival actually end up renting office space or opening a store in those cities?
Most important, the residents of New Port Richey spoke loudly and clearly when they cast their votes in 2000 answering the two questions about their opinion of selling alcohol in city parks. Sixty-five percent said no to selling alcohol in city parks and a whopping 69 percent said no to selling alcohol in Sims Park in particular.
Before the City Council decides to move forward with changing a long-standing ordinance to allow alcohol in parks, I suggest it would be wise to remember the will of the people who actually live in the city. They overwhelmingly said no when asked a few years ago. I have seen nothing at all that suggest that position has changed.
Greg Giordano, New Port Richey
Mystery shoppers at parks Aug. 31 article
There's another way to a ballpark
Before the Pasco County Commission commits $30-million to a California company to build and manage a baseball park for which the people of Pasco County will undoubtedly have to pay to use, I have a suggestion.
Send those same undercover folks to the town of Jessieville, Ark. (about 15 miles north of Hot Springs on State Road 7). In the late 1990s, a group of volunteers built a facility there very much like the one being considered for here. It has at least four ball diamonds for baseball, softball and Little League. In addition it has a full-size soccer field and an activities building.
What makes it different is that it was done virtually free. I'm not sure how the land was acquired, but all of the material and labor was donated by local businesses and performed by volunteer labor, some professional and some just grunts like me.
It was, when I left in 1999, operated by volunteers under the auspices of the Boys and Girls Club of America and used by all of the children of the area for free.
I'm sure the folks up there would be happy to tell our spies how it was done. Then, a committee of dedicated volunteers might be able to do the very same thing right here. It's worth looking into. Certainly the movers and shakers of Pasco County can do what a handful of Arkies (and I say that with great affection) did.
A. J. D'Amario, Hudson
Fight firearms in the schools
These are really heady day for the likes of Bill Bunting, Lee Hanson and members the Second Amendment Club. First, the Supreme Court confirms that guns are a legal products and now John McCain announces his pick for the Republican Party vice president, a woman who is a member of the National Rifle Association and is opposed to gun control. It just doesn't get any better than that for those struggling to make Pasco and America safe for guns.
But perhaps when the new Republican vice presidential candidate comes to terms with the kind of handgun violence we have in our urban centers, which Alaska doesn't have to put up with, perhaps she will reassess her position about gun control, as she is not a member of the good old boys club and is considered an independent-minded maverick, just the kind of independent-minded person the gun rights folks fear the most.
Now that the NRA has made our homes, cars, person and businesses safe for guns the next big push for Bunting and the NRA is to make out schools and colleges safe for guns. Bunting is busy teaching students at the University of Central Florida in Orlando how to introduce legislation that will allow students with concealed carry permits to carry loaded handguns on campus. And everyone knows , especially the Florida Chamber of Commerce and every business in Florida, what happens to bills introduced by the Florida NRA.
The Florida Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and the gun violence prevention community countrywide is gearing up to oppose guns in schools. Guns in schools and colleges is simply another more-guns solution the NRA continually pushes, instead of restricting criminal access to handguns that would make a difference.
It's time for administrators, teachers, students and alumni to contact the most gun-friendly Legislature in the U.S., our Florida Legislature, and make it clear we do not want guns in our schools and that also includes arming teachers!
Arthur C. Hayhoe, Director
Florida Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Inc.
GOP challenge is a right step
The recent leadership of the Pasco Republican Party had a fruitful challenge during the recent primary. Aroused members of Precinct 118 mounted a great movement to oust current Chairman Bill Bunting and his clones from his tyrannical hold on the Pasco Republican Party.
The challengers garnered more winners than he and his wife, Ann, along with their apron string holders-on, which proves that their charm is wearing thin within their home precinct 118.
We challengers, with little or no experience in party politics, were fed up with the methods that they have used in the past to control the Board of Directors of the homeowners association where they live. Their same dictatorial methods seem to have been used to control the Pasco GOP and we felt it was time to put them on notice that they should ride off into the sunset before doing any further damage to our party. Let them return to their Democratic roots from which they came prior to 1990.
Better yet, quit while you're ahead. The Green Party is looking for leadership.
Daniel M. Meahl, Hudson
GOP leader rises above the mud
Congratulations to Republican Party Chairman Bill Bunting for his great win as state and precinct 118 committee man. He was tested, tried and viciously maligned, especially from happenings 50 years ago, and came out more powerful than ever.
If a lesson is to be learned, it is negative campaigning does not work. Thanks Bill for being the great Republican Party chairman you are.
Frederick Deppe, Port Richey