Sunday, May 20, 2018
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

Monday’s letters: Focusing on the mental state of shooters misses the point

Texas high school shooting | May 18Criminals, angry people kill peopleSchool shootings are a distinctly American phenomenon. But shootings by people with serious mental illness represent less than 1 percent of all yearly gun-related homicides in ...
Published: 05/19/18

Friday’s letters: Putnam and Publix, two P’s lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17A pleasure to shop elsewhereMy family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye.Firs...
Published: 05/18/18

Saturday’s letters: For Florida to move forward, focus on a healthy and sustainable environment

Tampa’s future is bright | May 12Protect Florida, boost economyThis past year, Florida set another record-breaking year for tourism, welcoming more than 116 million visitors. While Florida boasts a unique quality of life and more than 1,300 miles...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Sunday’s letters: What conservatives stand for

How can conservatism survive after Trump | May 13, Nickens columnhed#6324 I think it obvious that traditional conservatism was squeezed out of the 2016 campaign narrative and has become a niche thesis owned by a small group of intellectuals. A gr...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Friday's letters: Putnam and Publix, two P's lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17 A pleasure to shop elsewhere My family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye. F...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 18

Re: Pasco panel okays Tampa Electric solar farm after five-hour meeting | April 9 storySolar farm offers many positivesThere has been much publicity regarding the proposed TECO Mountain View solar project slated for 350 acres in East Pasco that was r...
Published: 05/14/18

Thursday’s letters: Florida has arguably become the autonomous vehicle capital of North America

Autonomous vehicles in FloridaThe state for self-driving carsAlmost overnight, Florida has arguably become the autonomous vehicle capital of North America. In the last three months, Voyage, a self-driving taxi service, has begun service in the Villag...
Published: 05/12/18
Updated: 05/17/18

Wednesday’s letters: Florida’s Community Health Centers save $1.78 for every dollar spent

Florida’s Community Health CentersHealth centers are a great dealIf you gave someone a dollar and they gave you back $1.78, wouldn’t you consider that a fantastic deal? That’s the deal Florida’s Community Health Centers provide for the state’s citize...
Published: 05/12/18
Updated: 05/16/18

Monday’s letters: Good ideas to fix schools still require enough money

Another plan for faltering schools | May 9The right ideas, cash still neededThe administration of the Hillsborough County School District should be applauded for persistent efforts to find the right formula to improve educational results of stude...
Published: 05/09/18
Updated: 05/14/18

Saturday’s letters: Short-sighted prison cuts hurt society

Call to rethink prison cuts | May 10Short-sighted prison cuts hurt societyThe Florida Department of Corrections is dismantling successful substance abuse and re-entry treatment programs to fix a $28 million shortfall. The short-sighted action wi...
Published: 05/09/18
Updated: 05/11/18