Sunday, June 24, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Letters: Public will have input on elevated toll road plan

Public has voice on private road

The Florida Department of Transportation (DOT) received a proposal from a private company to build elevated express lanes on State Roads 54/56 from U.S. 19 to U.S. 301. At this time, the private company has been approved to study only the feasibility of the project. This includes determining the impacts to surrounding communities.

In the second part of this process, the public is encouraged to voice its opinions about the project at one or more of three public meetings along the corridor. At each of these meetings, residents will have the opportunity to get a better idea of what the proposed project could look like. The meetings will take place this summer.

Based on public input, alternatives will be considered. The current concept could be revised to incorporate more of a ground level facility, sections of the project could be omitted, or the choice could be made to not build the proposed project.

The DOT will not move forward with any proposal without public support and a resolution by the Pasco County Commission endorsing a specific project proposal. In short, your voice matters.

Kris Carson, Florida Department of Transportation, Tampa

Questions dog elevated road idea

I realize that a "no-cost-to-the-state" $2 billion elevated toll road is very tempting. However, I believe there are some not-so-appealing considerations

Do we need an elevated highway in a County that is prone to sink holes? Local businesses will be bypassed by the traffic.

There will be a construction mess and more traffic problems for who knows how many years that the road is being built.

What would the tolls be and who would control the increases? Is the toll road justified and would people pay the tolls or use the existing and free State Road 54/56. What happens if the road is built and it does not get the use predicted? Is the state or county stuck with an elevated elephant?

It would be an eyesore not to mention create privacy issues for people living nearby.

Considering these aforementioned problem areas, highway overpasses or light rail connecting east and west Pasco to Tampa makes more sense. Don't forget public transportation.

Raymond Kobasko, Wesley Chapel

Ridge Road plan caught in politics

Pasco is back at it again. Instead of allowing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to judge the Ridge Road Extensions on the merits of its application alone, the county is trying to politicize the process. Having already spent $255,000 on wheel greasers in the first go round with nothing to show for it, they intend to waste even more money for an unwarranted road. It already has a $9.6 million price tag without the first shovel of dirt being turned. Imagine how many of the county's hundreds of miles of dirt roads that would have paved.

The idea that a Ridge Road Extension would serve as a hurricane evacuation route is absurd as the road will only take you to the Suncoast Parkway, which goes west toward the coast in both directions, and to U.S. 41 where one would have to go north or south to State Road 54 or SR 52 further exasperating that gridlock. It is hollow justification for destroying the Serenova Preserve.

Clay G. Colson, Land O'Lakes


Monday’s letters: College instructors need classes in active shooter training

Active shooter perceptions disproven | June 21We need active shooter trainingThe only guns that I had seen before coming to the United States of America were in glass cases in museums. When I came to America to get a Ph.D. in English at the Unive...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Friday’s letters: What a new Rays ballpark would mean

Rays exec hints at stadium timeline | June 15What a new ballpark would doThe Tampa Bay Rays 2020 organization is working diligently with local business leaders and civic organizations to rally support for the Rays’ new ballpark in Ybor City. The ...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Thursday’s letters: On immigration there has to be a better way

‘Zero tolerance’ ignites outrage | June 20Find better way on immigrationOver the years I’ve voted for candidates from both parties. My observation of the Trump administration’s policy on immigration is not about politics. It has to do with having...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/21/18

Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18