Your letters >

It's rape, not sex, with a 14-year-old

14-year-old under the age of consent

On April 13, we read in the St. Petersburg Times of a 32-year-old man being arrested for having sex with a 14-year-old girl. Apparently, a man met the young lady on a social networking site and arranged to meet with her. The article describes the sex as "consensual."

I think it's very important to make the following point. You can't have sex with a 14-year-old girl. The law says that the only thing you can do is rape them. Children under 16 cannot consent to sexual activity (even if they think they can.) A 32-year-old man can't have sex with a 14-year-old girl. It's lewd and lascivious molestation and it's a second-degree felony even if the 14-year-old is willing.

As a society, the good people of Florida have decided that adults can't have sex with kids. This is a no-brainer. We acknowledge that children do not have sufficient life experience to understand the responsibilities associated with sexual activity (pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, etc.) These same good people understood that it's the folks with more life experience that need to be held responsible for looking after the younger ones. Therefore, instead of blaming the 14-year-old girl, we assign responsibility to the adult.

Larry Reidt, outreach children's counselor, Sunrise of Pasco County Inc., Dade City

Veterans deserve transition facility

Thanks to the caring residents of Tanglewood, Golden Acres and Hidden Lakes, their area is now safe from those terrible and undesirable United States of America veterans.

It was only their hard work that helped defeat a transition facility for those United States of America veterans.

Well, while they are enjoying their safety and serenity of their community, I would hope that somehow they would remember, that if it was not for United States of America veterans laying their lives on the line, they would not have the safety and serenity that they enjoy today.

Dave Trump, USMC, Holiday

'Open carry' law misunderstood

I understand that the Pinellas County sheriff is concerned that his deputies might draw down on anyone seen carrying a gun. That's odd. President Harry Truman trusted me to carry six 50 caliber-machine guns and an assortment of bombs, rockets and napalm, as did President Eisenhower. Then, Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon trusted me to carry enough nukes to take out everything from New York City to Boston. And, the state of Florida has trusted me enough to issue me a license to carry a concealed weapon.

The purpose of the proposed "open carry" law is not so we can brandish our weapons. It is so that, if a breeze lifts our jacket or flattens our shirt revealing the outline of a concealed weapon, we won't face a mandatory three-year jail sentence.

Since law officers can't be everywhere at all times, we have the right to provide for our own protection without the threat of mandatory jail time when no brandishing is intended.

Alfred J. D'Amario, Hudson

Put homeless to work on farms

Public officials and the media have been pondering what to do with homeless people. Florida is not the only place that has this problem. Some have suggested housing them in tenements, hoping to rehabilitate them and get them jobs. But, with the unemployment rate so high, how can this be accomplished? This has been through trial and error in other cities to no avail.

Day after day, people stand on the street corners and beg, some with signs saying "will work for food.'' If the officials really want to solve this homeless problem, why don't they buy or rent a large farm or ranch and put these people, who are sleeping on the streets or in the woods, to work raising farm produce and livestock. Any excess produce they raise could be sold to help offset the cost.

Also there is much need for laborers to pick farm produce in Florida. Why import migrant workers when there are thousands of homeless?

A person who works for his sustenance make for a proud man.

H. Weidemeyer, Port Richey

Please postpone impact fee cuts

I am a property owner and a small business owner in Wesley Chapel.

I respectfully request that the County Commission consider postponing the reduction of impact fees, and revisit the issue in six months to a year.

The plain and simple truth is that property values in Pasco County will never bounce back until the demand for available houses approaches the level of supply. This is a simple law of economics. We have too many new or nearly brand new available houses for sale already.

It might be true that more developers will flock to our county if we cut impact fees. Likewise, construction jobs would increase. But at what cost?

Our schools face a $60 million budget deficit this year. Even less funding will compromise them further.

If schools suffer, property values will fall even further. There will be no demand for houses in communities with schools that cannot adequately educate prospective buyers' children.

And what about those construction jobs? It is customary for construction workers to travel to work. It is practically inherent in their job description. These good men and women rarely wind up working next door to where they live. If developers build houses elsewhere, that's where the workers will work. So we will not be hurting construction workers by tabling the reduction of impact fees for now. Those jobs will exist.

We need our property values back. We need our suffering schools funded. The sooner the better.

Arlene Andrews, Wesley Chapel

Cut impact fees, help create jobs | April 17 letter

Jobs, not houses, build up Pasco

The letter suggested that cutting impact fees will jump start the industry and provide jobs. I would like to know how. I live in Pasco, and there are dozens of empty houses in my neighborhood priced for less than $60,000 that are not selling. There is one next to me going through foreclosure. Why are there not 9,000 homes in Connerton like there were supposed to be? Why only some 250 built? And why was the land sold?

Who is going to buy these houses the developers and builders want to build? No one. There is no mass exodus from the North of people with money from home sales. How much will they sell these houses for? New homes are not selling now?

As a teacher of economics, as well as social studies, I can tell you that cutting the fees is not going to increase home sales, only the amount of money the builders will earn. Impact fees are not scaring off buyers; lack of jobs is.

Why is the letter writer fighting so hard for this that he has to threaten the district? Is he really a philanthropist concerned with the unemployed? If he is a philanthropist, then he doesn't need a cut in impact fees to jump start jobs, just a cut in his profits on each house he sells.

Pasco doesn't need any more homes. We need factories, storehouses, buildings that make money and provide jobs more permanent than construction jobs. Once the house is built, the job is over. We need to stop being a bedroom community, and be a business community. The county commissioners should be working on that, not building more homes.

Nick Zizo, Port Richey

Was builder's e-mail threat? April 16 article

Schools are right to protect fees

I applaud superintendent Heather Fiorentino for responding to the e-mail from a builder obviously looking to blackmail the School Board into reducing school impact fees. Just because at the state level, we are being turned into a corporation by the ruling class does not mean that honest politicians who are working to protect the funds that are more limited than ever should be kowtowed into submission.

And this builder uses the excuse that he is only looking to get people back to work. Doing what? Building more houses to add to the glut we already have! That is a sorry excuse and I hope the board maintains or raises the current level of impact fees.

Joe Barrone, Wesley Chapel

Cutting impact fees hurts schools

I have deep concerns as to the effect a reduction in school impact fees would have on Pasco County schools, as well as the community as a whole.

The public schools in Pasco County have faced budget cuts from the state Legislature for the past three years and will lose funds next year from the .25 mill that voters have decided not to continue. Further cost cutting, due to additional losses from impact fees, could result in even more reductions of school personnel than those already being considered. As a result, class sizes will see an even greater increase than what is currently estimated; which will directly affect the quality of education for our students.

The importance of class size to student learning has been demonstrated in the clearly positive results shown by Florida students in their rise in learning gains to fifth in the nation. This improvement is the result of hard work on the part of students and educators as well as the positive environment created by manageable class sizes.

Pasco County commissioners should attend one or more of the town meetings being held by School Board members to fully understand the depth and breadth that cost cutting will have on those who already live in and support Pasco County and local businesses.

I doubt that the amount of tax revenue generated as a result of new homes will offset the losses created as families leave the area to find suitable employment.

Annette Armstrong, Lutz

Crosswalk needs a sidewalk entry

Has anyone noticed all the new pedestrian crosswalks being installed on State Road 54 and U.S. 301?

There is only one problem. To get to the crosswalk you need to walk on the grass through a drainage swale. This is because there are no sidewalks.

What are you to do if you are in a walker or wheelchair? Our planners seem to have the cart in front of the horse again.

Tim Franke, Zephyrhills

King of the prom | April 13 article

King of the prom an inspiring gift

Amid the doom and gloom, to receive such a gift was awesome. I did not know whether to laugh or cry, so I did both.

Congratulations to Terrell Tolliver, who richly deserved the honors as he overcomes every day. Congratulations to the wonderful teachers and students for their support, kindness and understanding.

Sometimes I despair at the changes in our society and then something like this happens and all is right in the world again. Thank you for such an inspiring story.

Kaye Russo, New Port Richey

It's rape, not sex, with a 14-year-old 04/19/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 19, 2011 8:24pm]

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...