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How about a compromise on alcohol in Sims Park?

Compromise on alcohol in park

As one of only two people who spoke out against the proposed renewal of New Port Richey's alcoholic beverages in the park ordinance Tuesday night, I was dismayed, but not surprised, that the council is moving forward with extending, and perhaps expanding, this controversial ordinance.

I have been an active and vocal opponent of this issue for many years and am saddened that the vast majority of residents (69 percent) who voted against this idea a while back have been totally forgotten.

If nothing else, the council deserves credit for having a session that dealt primarily with this issue. However, unless some things change in the next two weeks, it appears that the council is poised to adopt a new ordinance that will only further erode the family-friendly environment that is part and parcel of New Port Richey's reputation. The consideration of extending the ordinance to the public library, the recreation complex and Peace Hall all beg the question that I asked and was left unanswered: What does the city get out of this?

Many good nonprofit groups make money from the special events, but what benefit does the city itself get? These proposed expansions only further expose the city to the potential for lawsuits if serious accidents or injuries occur. The cap of $200,000 per incident the city would be liable for is a lot of money in my opinion, especially in a time when the city is examining every dollar it spends to keep basic services functioning properly.

If the adoption of the ordinance is a foregone conclusion, I do ask the council to consider an idea proposed by council member Ginny Miller. She suggested that permitted special events have an "alcohol-free zone" where beer and wine would not be allowed.

At the very least I hope that the council, if it is going to adopt a new ordinance, moves forward with this idea. I believe that it would give many families some level of comfort in knowing that certain portions of the park or downtown will be free of alcohol and may feel more comfortable in bringing their children to the events the city so desperately hopes will reignite downtown's struggling economy, if what many of the proponents say is the reason they support the ordinance is true.

Greg Giordano, New Port Richey

Ideas sought to fix schools Oct. 16 article

Now they care about schools?

Two Republican lawmakers, John Legg and Will Weatherford, ask for a list of educational issues to work on to improve schools in Pasco. Are you implying that these two lawmakers are that naive to not know about the issues educators face in our schools? What were they doing in Tallahassee all these years to not know that our public schools are in peril?

Are they not aware that Florida is ranked almost last in the nation educating our children? It is no coincidence that as an election is fast approaching, they begin to pay attention to schools in an attempt to convince voters things will change. Every election cycle these same politicians come out of a coma. They all suffer from amnesia and no longer remember the promises they made when they ran in the last election.

The most upsetting thing about all this, is that Rep. Weatherford visited a local elementary school where teachers asked third-, fourth- and fifth-graders to log on to his Web site and make suggestions on how they can be of help. Rep. Weatherford can't be that bad and not have ideas of his own that children have to help.

When Rep. Weatherford gets back to Tallahassee, he should ask his colleagues why they are so fast to cut funds to support education and quick to protect special interest groups. This, I suggest, will make a good class presentation when he revisits our schools and wants something meaningful to talk about.

As a registered independent voter, I vote on issues that matter most. If Rep. Weatherford wants my vote, he must do what is right and stop playing political football games with our schools and children. Stay out of our schools and walk the streets to learn more about what issues matter most to all of us in the community.

Steve Gardner, Land O'Lakes

Man crossing U.S. 19 killed by car | Oct. 16 article

Man killed on U.S. 19 is missed

I was very disappointed in what was printed about Thomas Rabon Legg. All his friends knew him as Rabe. He was a very good man and was always there to help when someone needed something.

He was a stockbroker until a couple of years ago when the market dropped. Yes, he has had a hard time recently, but so has everyone else. My heart goes out to the family for their loss.

Teresa Hebbring New Port Richey

How about a compromise on alcohol in Sims Park? 10/21/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 7:43pm]
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