Friday, February 23, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Letters: Leave SunWest as a natural park

Leave SunWest as a natural park

Bill Stevens is correct in saying 20 years can dim some memories. But the years have not dimmed my memory of watching, from a second-story window, the sight of my brand new full-size van bobbing like a cork in the water surrounding the house. I can never forget the sadness as a neighbor told me of the loss of her keepsake family letters from her grandmother in Russia. Or the dismay I felt on finding another neighbors' wedding photos a long way from their home.

From that second-story window, I could look directly south, less than a mile, to the area now known as the future SunWest Harbourtowne development. That early morning, it was a sheet of Gulf water as far as I could see, with only the tops of trees sticking out closer to U.S. 19.

This same land is now slated to have 2,500 homes, a resort and businesses, in addition to a park that is more a parking lot for boat trailers than recreation space. Pasco County has permitted and continues to promote a development in a coastal high hazard zone that will put people in harm's way.

Imagine if the whole property was a park, as intended originally, drawing nature-based tourism to the Nature Coast. The current issue of Audubon magazine, a national publication, has an article and an advertisement from Pasco County for the Nature Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival. With the diversity of habitat that currently exists there, SunWest could be a crown jewel of a park, attracting birders from all over the world. Camping, kayaking, hiking, biking, wildlife viewing and fishing are just some of the possible attractions to a real park on the Gulf, attracting lots of heads in beds.

Julie Wert, Aripeka

First the Penny tax, now gas tax

Finally, the county commissioners have shown their true colors. The people of Pasco County gave them the penny sales tax they were pleading for during the last election. And now they have no problem sticking it to the very same people that tried to work with them.

Raising the gasoline tax by five cents per gallon puts the burden on the backs of the middle class and working poor of this county. They say if not gasoline tax, then it will have to be a property tax increase. Well, by not raising the property tax, they are protecting wealthy campaign donors and the rich.

I say raise the property taxes. They are too low now. And, by the way, wasn't this the same commissioners that wanted to lower impact fees that would have gone toward roads?

Dave Trump, Holiday

Let's keep athletics local

In 2000, a group of eight fathers, including myself, met to try to figure out a way to form an athletic association for Wesley Chapel. Our goal was to have sports activities to offer to our children and others in Wesley Chapel since neither the county nor the school board provided them for us.

Over the past 12 years Wesley Chapel Athletic Association, WCAA, served nearly 10,000 families and over 30,000 participants and currently offers athletic activities to 3,500 families and nearly 8,000 participants in many different sports. WCAA has held practices, regular scheduled games and matches, tournaments and events of all kinds which have benefitted the people of Wesley Chapel and their children as well as Pasco County.

When the Wesley Chapel District Park opened on Boyette Road, WCAA was asked to provide sports equipment, grass seed, concession equipment, staff and volunteers as well as tens of thousands of dollars annually from usage fees and payment for costs like electric. Much of the equipment used there is owned by WCAA which has, at every turn, assisted the county in this regard at its own expense.

Now that Pasco County has committed to building a fully functional sports park in Wiregrass, for some reason WCAA is not considered a viable option to operate the facility. Instead the county is considering paying someone from a different county, to design, build and operate a facility for which they do not have current participants. An outsider does not have the local experience to operate, as we do, and will not be of sufficient size to compliment the current park on Boyette Road.

Maybe it's time for incorporation of Wesley Chapel so we may bring some of the support back from the west Pasco commission elite to our quaint little hamlet.

Greg Vonderheide, Wesley Chapel


Thursday’s letters: Second Amendment is outdated

Second AmendmentCongress can act on firearmsThe Second Amendment is outdated, since it is predicated on the need for a "well regulated militia." Militias are defined as civilian soldiers trained under the command of competent military leadership. The...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/22/18

Wednesday’s letters:

House Bill 21Opioid proposal merits supportIn 2016, Florida recorded 952 heroin-related and 1,390 fentanyl-related deaths. Four in five new heroin users began by misusing prescription pain medications, also known as opioids. Despite the widespread op...
Published: 02/20/18

Hernando Letter to the Editor for Feb. 23

Re: Hernando business leaders push to loosen development rules | Feb. 9; Re: Deny Brooksville mine expansion, planning commissioners say | Feb. 16Wish to register my opposition to both the draft of the new Hernando County Comprehensive Plan that elim...
Published: 02/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Making politics personal is one way toward reasonable gun control

The Parkland shootingMake gun politics personalAs an educator of 32 years, it encourages me to see our young people engaged after the horror at Stoneman Douglas High School. The tragedy at Parkland has awakened the sleeping giant that is the millenni...
Published: 02/19/18

Sunday’s letters: Congress must act on firearms

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Congress must act on firearmsIt’s time for Congress to be counted.The failure of Congress to act to: (1) limit access to assault rifles and (2) require meaningful background checks for all gun purchases is appalling.Surel...
Published: 02/17/18

Monday’s letters: Call it by its name: terrorism

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Call it whatit is: terrorismLet’s just call it what it is. It’s terrorism. No school in the country is immune. They all have procedures for sheltering in place or emergency evacuation from a shooter. It’s prudent to be pr...
Published: 02/16/18

Saturday’s letters: Payoff to porn star not front-page news?

Lawyer: I personally paid porn star | Feb. 14Where we’re at: This is 4A newsOnly under the Trump presidency does a story about the president’s lawyer paying off a porn star to cover up an affair with the president show up on page 4A. Never mind t...
Published: 02/16/18

Friday’s letters: Water quality too important to gamble on

State to update water rules | Feb. 10Don’t gamble with water safetyI wondered whether this front-page article was an early April Fool’s joke. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection "updated" its pollution regulations in 2016, with str...
Published: 02/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Bill protects pharmacy customers

House Bill 351Bill protects pharmacy customersWe all need the protections provided in Florida House Bill 351 to ensure pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, are transparently operating with patients. Currently, PBMs are not regulated by the state and o...
Published: 02/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: The ocean is no place for amateurs

Youthful dream sinks in two days | Feb. 12Ocean is no place for amateursFirst of all, let me say I am sorry this couple lost their boat and I do applaud their adventurous spirit. However, I have spent over 20 years at sea and would like to commen...
Published: 02/13/18