Friday, December 15, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Letters: Protect trees, not power lines

County must enforce statute

There is a horrible process raping our county of trees, grand live oak, elm, pine, cypress — basically any tree or vegetation. Some may have noticed this along Trinity Boulevard and State Roads 52 and 54 in Land O'Lakes. All trees and vegetation within 50 feet of Duke Energy's three-wire, high-tension power lines are affected. Pasco Code Enforcement and our County Attorney's Office have wrongly stated that under Florida Statute 163.3209 there is no action which can be taken. This is patently absurd as municipalities routinely enforce Florida Statutes.

The full statute requires the power company to adhere to specific standards when maintaining the power line rights of way which include no topping of trees, no ground level removal and no more than 30 percent removal of foliage. I believe Duke Energy is in violation of these standards and our county tree ordinance.

Duke is not exempt and must be ordered to cease and desist this destruction immediately. It is occurring at a very rapid pace and time is of the essence. This negatively impacts our county's beauty, our quality of life and all individuals, residential neighborhoods, and communities. Both sides of vegetation and trees, within 50 feet of the power lines, are being removed to ground level. It will be maintained in the future by the heavy use of herbicides.

Our county has a fiduciary responsibility to its citizens to stop this practice immediately by enforcing Florida Statute 163.3209.

Clay Colson, Land O'Lakes

Treat the disabled with equal care

This month marks the 24th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It's a civil rights law that seeks to eliminate discrimination against people based on their disability. The ADA applies to discrimination in employment, state and local government services, privately operated public accommodations, transportation and telecommunications.

The Center for Independence, Inc. and The Arc of Florida, non-profit organizations that advocate on behalf of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, have seen positive changes in these areas since the ADA was signed into law in 1990. Just a few years before its passage, many disabled Floridians were institutionalized. Today, many are living and working in their community.

While great strides have been made in our society, discrimination still exists. Attitudes, poor enforcement of the law, underfunded programs and fiscal difficulties in state and local government budgets all contribute to the on-going need to be vigilant advocates for full inclusion and equality.

There are still issues here in Florida. In 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a landmark case Olmstead vs. L.C. that unnecessary segregation of individuals with disabilities in institutions is a form of discrimination. Despite this, our state continues to house some disabled individuals in institutions and children in nursing homes.

We hope our elected leaders will work to fund additional community-based programs, ensuring that all Floridians are treated equally and able to live in the community, where they belong.

Sean Kline, development director, the Center for Independence Inc.

Comments

Friday’s letters: Put yourself in a business owner’s shoes

GOP plan favors owners | Dec. 11Perils of small business ownersI wonder if the author of this article has even a clue about owning a business. Businessmen — especially small business owners — risk it all. They risk their savings, their car, their...
Published: 12/13/17
Updated: 12/14/17

Thursday’s letters: Trump’s values hardly admirable

Finally, a president who cares | Dec. 13, letterTrump’s values hardly admirableThe letter writer is happy to have someone in the White House who "truly cares about our country’s business" and is "unafraid … of mentioning God and religious values....
Published: 12/13/17

Wednesday’s letters: Proposal would restore Florida Forever funding

Florida ForeverPlan boosts land protectionMost of us thought funding for land conservation in Florida would be restored when we voted the Water and Land Conservation Amendment (Amendment 1) into law in 2014. It passed easily, with 75 percent of voter...
Published: 12/11/17
Updated: 12/12/17

Tuesday’s letters: Writer should look to his own mistakes

Is anyone ever wrong anymore? | Dec. 8Writer should look to own errorsIn Mitch Daniels’ article about people who have been wrong, he finishes with the statement that our lives would be greatly improved with more people saying, "I was wrong."He mi...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/11/17

Monday’s letters: Don’t drill in Arctic refuge

Arctic National Wildlife RefugeStop plan to drill for oil in refugeOur nation faces yet another effort to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge reserve to oil and gas drilling. Drilling in the Arctic simply doesn’t make sound financial sense. W...
Published: 12/08/17

Sunday’s letters: Tax bill puts U.S. on right course

The GOP’s regressive tax plans | Dec. 5, editorialTax bill puts U.S. on right courseThe Times is already crying wolf over the new tax cuts, claiming that the new laws "could" result an increase in the national debt of $1.5 trillion over the next ...
Published: 12/07/17

Pasco letters to the editor for Dec. 15

Re: Helping Others Fulfills our purpose here on Earth | Nov. 17 guest columnThe good doctor acknowledges a CreatorThank you for publishing Dr. Rao Musunuru’s guest column. As Congressman Gus Bilirakis said in the Congressional Record, this good d...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/13/17

Saturday’s letters: Don’t inject political money into churches

Tax billKeep political cash out of pulpitA provision buried in the 429-page House tax bill, Section 5201, nullifies the Johnson Amendment, which protects houses of worship from partisan politics by prohibiting them from endorsing or opposing politica...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Friday’s letters: Most unpopular tax bill ever

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3The most unpopular tax bill ever"Democracy dies in darkness" is the motto of the Washington Post. At 2 a.m. on the dark morning of Sunday, Dec. 3, 51 Republicans approved the most wildly unpopular tax bill in U.S. h...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Thursday’s letters: Give your child the gift of reading

Fatherhood Involvement in Literacy CampaignGive your child the gift of readingPart of a successful game plan in sports is identifying plays that can put points on the scoreboard. Whether I was playing quarterback at Florida State or running the point...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/06/17