A call for light rail, not toll road
For many Pasco residents, the proposed toll road along the State Road 54/56 corridor is not a satisfactory solution to the traffic buildup that will evidently occur as the Trinity housing community expands.
Wouldn't a light rail system be much more in keeping with 21st century aspirations and technology? It would reduce air pollution, conserve energy and provide stress-free commutes. Tampa seems to be on the brink of just such an endeavor, so why not link up with them in developing a rapid transit system for the bay area?
Mary Taylor, New Port Richey
More children need an advocate
April 6-14 is Children's Week at the Florida State Capitol when advocates from all over our state converge on Tallahassee to highlight the needs of children, our brightest hope for the future, and at times, our most vulnerable citizens. Right now in Pasco County, there are almost 1,000 children under the protection of our courts because those responsible for their care abused or neglected them.
Fortunately, half these children have volunteer advocates who speak up for them in court and in the child welfare system. These volunteers ensure that judges and social service agencies are aware of and work for the best interests of the child. This volunteer advocate is called a Guardian ad Litem, someone who is a consistent, caring adult during a time of change and transition.
Unfortunately, we still have close to 500 children in Pasco without a volunteer Guardian ad Litem. During April, the Pasco Tax Collector's Office will utilize our staff and facilities to raise awareness of the need for more volunteer Guardians ad Litem.
The Guardian ad Litem program is state supported and community based. As a legislator in Tallahassee, I enthusiastically supported funding expanding the Guardian ad Litem program. I regularly hear moving stories of how these volunteers made a difference in thousands of children's lives.
A child with a Guardian ad Litem volunteer receives more help and services, spends less time in foster care, is less likely to be bounced from home to home, and does better in school.
I urge my fellow Pasco citizens to learn more about the Guardian ad Litem program and consider becoming a volunteer child advocate.
More information is available at www.HelpThemNow.com, by calling 866-341-1425 or by visiting one of the four Pasco County Tax Collector offices.
Mike Fasano, Pasco County tax collector
Future riding on opinions of a few
Pasco County, population approximately 470,000 inhabitants, is planning a survey using what I believe is a preposterous sampling of 1,600 persons with an expected 400 responses to determine the direction of our county in the future.
We are to trust these 400 selected people to determine our future. I don't think that this is remotely enough of a sampling. Who are these people? No one ever asked me to take the survey. I have a lot of definite opinions and I would be sure to complete it and return it.
We are just throwing away $15,000 in this effort to justify whatever vested interests wish to do. I recommend that commissioners take this survey with a grain of salt because that is as much as it is worth.
Lewis Corvene, Hudson