Light rail ahead for Pasco, too
Pasco is far away from light rail flowing through the county. But at the same time, it's not too early to start talking about light rail and improving our other means of transportation like our roads and bus system. While Hillsborough is considering putting a referendum on the ballot this year for a 1 cent sales tax increase for transportation and Pinellas will likely begin talks for a 2012 referendum in the near future, it is not wrong for us to begin mentioning light rail and rapid bus transit right now.
Hillsborough has awakened and realized that not just Tampa and Hillsborough, but also the whole region, needs to modernize our transportation system to compete with cities like Charlotte and Dallas for residents and businesses. Without light rail, a more developed bus system and better roads, Tampa and Hillsborough will rank low when it comes to corporate relocations and sporting events when compared to others that have realized they need to take that one step forward.
The time is now for Pasco to get on board. Attend more Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority (TBARTA) meetings, improve our conversation between Pasco County and TBARTA, and begin laying out the groundwork on how and where we will find funding for our roads and light rail. Some have mentioned a half-cent sales tax increase to fund this. If so, it will take longer for us to raise enough funds to start construction on light rail and that is why we need to start now.
If a referendum in Pasco is approved by the voters in 2016, it will allow for this county to start saving until we are ready for light rail while at the same time we can begin improving roads and making it easier for Pasco to purchase buses when needed.
Connecting Pasco with light rail is what Pasco needs and we need to start getting serious now.
Mike Kramer, New Port Richey
Prekindergarten summer program
Parents, grandparents or anyone else who knows of any child who has not yet attended VPK (voluntary prekindergarten) and has turned 4 by Sept. 1, 2009, please enroll your child in the 2010 summer program.
Voluntary prekindergarten is a legislatively mandated program that will prepare your child for kindergarten. All children entering kindergarten will be tested within 30 days after school starts, so it is very important that they are prepared. I have been in the child-care business for over 20 years and know how important it is for children to get that head start to help them be successful.
The summer program runs for 300 hours. This also means you will have full-time care for your child during the summer for no cost at all to you. Please call the Early Learning Coalition of Pasco/Hernando for more information, (727) 569-1004.
Sherry Nettleton, Brooksville
Stimulus, SB 4 good but SB 6 bad
Thanks Gov. Charlie Crist for being the people's governor, the one we voted for. Veto bad SB 6, sign SB 4 and yes, accept stimulus funds meant for us that have put a lot of people in Pasco County to work widening U.S. 41 — a much-needed project. U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite voted against the stimulus.
State Rep. Rob Schenck said yes for SB 6 and we all lose, especially our children. They seem to be able to take money and work for the party, not for the people. We need help now. We all need to work together to get out of this. Solutions come from the bottom up, not top down.
Richard Stauffer, Aripeka
Tennis players lose to picklers
The Beacon Woods tennis players of Bayonet Point are not pleased about losing one of the tennis courts for pickle ball playing.
Recently, the board of directors approved new permanent lines on top of the tennis court lines for pickle ball. Anybody who understands the rules of tennis knows that having extra lines on a tennis court is confusing. Therefore, no tennis player wants to use that court any longer. It is a shame to lose a tennis court after 38 years.
When the snowbirds are in town there are not enough courts early in the morning to play.
Ignacio U. Rodriguez, Bayonet Point