It's a shame about fireworks flap
How sad that Kevin Hamm chose to try to discredit honest people who were only trying to do a good thing for our city by providing a professional fireworks display at cost. These people worked hard for two days in the July heat to set up fireworks on the barges, camped overnight to protect them, and spent their Fourth of July working instead of eating and celebrating with neighbors and friends.
Bill Bennett has been putting on fireworks shows for our neighborhood for years. Even though we all pitch in money to help, he always spends more than he collects. Eventually, he purchased remote control equipment, barges, paid for insurance, and a license — not for the purposing of making money but to make sure he was being compliant with all legal issues. This is all very expensive but he did it because he wanted to have a nice celebration for our community. The Celebrate Port Richey non-profit was likely set up just as a form of liability protection, not anything nefarious.
If Kevin Hamm thinks he can bring in a professional fireworks company for the price paid to Bill Bennett and Bill Colombo's company, please bring it on! Then they can celebrate with us! I am sure this will be the end of something good that someone tried to do for our city. Thanks a lot.
Laurie Simpson, Port Richey
Leave Internet cafes alone
On a trip to Ohio, a friend invited me to an Internet cafe. Reading of the controversy surrounding these "gambling' venues here in Florida — and enjoying an occasional trip to a casino — I went to the cafe.
A $10 phone card permitted me to play for about two hours with over 15 types of sweepstakes. There were roughly 68 numbered computers, and every hour a computer number was called to win $20 cash. In the end, I left with $8 of my $10.
While I played, I sat in a cushioned, barrel-type chair, using my mouse to go back and forth between the games of my choice. Snacks in the form of pizza, beverages, chips, candy were available at no cost.
My first-time visit was met with enthusiasm, enjoyment and wonder about all the commotion over the legality of these venues. I did not come out addicted, but rather with a sense of finding something else fun to do with a very small sum of money.
Please do not close these places of entertainment. If the state can run instant bingo, lottery tickets, etc., regulate them if you must, but please keep the Internet cafes open. As with all forms of gambling — be responsible.
Diane Manzo, Port Richey
Sooner or later, the city will pay
Is it any surprise that Altman's Folly, Main Street Landing, is again rearing its ugly head? Is anyone taking the odds on how soon New Port Richey city government will fold and give the developer the money he seeks to continue the project?
This was a public debacle from the start, and it was no secret that it would die down until the public forgot about it. So, let's see how long before the city agrees to continue funding it.
Roger Smith, Port Richey