Monday, April 23, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Letters: YMCA is worthwhile investment

Communities through YMCA

The YMCA recently commissioned a consumer survey to measure how Americans view quality of life in their communities, including personal involvement and the quality of community services ranging from education to public safety. The survey revealed a 30 percent gap between what people say is most important in creating a strong community and how satisfied they are with their own communities in those areas.

For example, Americans report that a safe environment for children and assistance for struggling community members (job training, food pantry, etc.) were important for building a strong community; however, they rate their own community low in these same areas. When asked for a solution survey respondents said it's important to contribute their time and money to community causes. They expect more from their community — and each other.

I agree and that's why I believe the Y is worthy of investment. The Y needs help from the community to continue its vital work, a global cause that has nearly 170 years of history.

The YMCA of the Suncoast James P. Gills Family Branch is launching its annual campaign to ensure that everyone from New Port Richey to Dade City has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. Every day the YMCA of the Suncoast works to support the people and neighborhoods that need it most by addressing community issues and supporting youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

Our association's goal is to raise $1,093,560. In Pasco County, our goal is $133,000. As of last week we've reached 22 percent of our goal. Visit donate.ymcasuncoast.org/annualcampaign or contact Julio Vega, district vice president, James P. Gills Family Branch at (727) 375-9622 to learn how you can support the Y's cause.

Doug Chamberlin, Trinity

WREC increases hurt customers

Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative, which serves approximately 201,000 west-central Florida customers, has once again implemented a customer charge increase. It has become an unwelcome annual event for general manager Billy E. Brown and his WREC board, which can independently implement increases, absent oversight from the Public Service Commission.

The most recent customer charge increase of approximately 40 percent is financially offensive, given that in the past five years the monthly customer charge has increased from $11.50 to $25, an increase of more than 117 percent.

A significant number of WREC customers are senior citizens living on a fixed Social Security income, averaging approximately $1,200 a month. Their cost of living increase for 2014 was 1.5 percent, $18 per month. It will take 40 percent of their Social Security increase to pay WREC's $7 per month increase in the customer charge. Does WREC have no decency?

I'm wondering what the reaction of Mr. Brown and his WREC board would be if they were assessed a customer charge every time they shopped for groceries, went to the movies, or filled their vehicle with gas. I suspect they would be seeking out other options. But 201,000 WREC customers have no viable options.

With teachers, firefighters, law enforcement officers, retirees, and a host of others getting paltry or no raises, WREC implements a customer charge increase of approximately 40 percent that sucks more than $1.4 million a month out of local main street economies at a most inopportune time.

James Gries, Weeki Wachee

Comments

Monday’s letters: Term limits don’t work

U.S. Senate campaignTerm limitsdon’t workGov. Rick Scott has begun his run for the U.S. Senate with TV ads promoting term limits for representatives and senators. Aside from the probability that this would require a constitutional amendment, I think ...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Sunday’s letters: Problems with high-speed rail

Thanks, Gov. Scott, for ghastly I-4 drives | April 18, Sue Carlton columnProblems with high-speed railIn her Wednesday column, the writer bemoaned the traffic on I-4 and blasted Gov. Rick Scott for turning down free government money for a high-sp...
Published: 04/21/18

Saturday’s letters: Don’t weaken rules on fisheries

Florida fisheriesDon’t weaken rules on fish stocksMembers of Congress are proposing changes to an important ocean law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, that would adversely affect coastal states including Florida.Since it...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18

Friday’s letters: We owe it to our children to teach them history

If we don’t understand past, future looks grim | April 19, Daniel Ruth columnThe history we owe our childrenIt’s not often I agree with Daniel Ruth, but this article was spot-on. I’m not sure when the schools started ignoring Germany’s World War ...
Published: 04/19/18

Thursday’s letters: Gun research can save lives

Gun ownershipCommon ground: Find the factsThere are many areas in the current debate about guns and gun ownership where both sides must agree to disagree. But there is one area where common ground ought to exist. That concerns the need for continuing...
Published: 04/18/18

Wednesday’s letters:

Poverty and plenty in bay area | April 7, editorialStruggling poor are not a priorityI commend your newspaper for continuing to produce real and relevant news, particularly the recent editorial pointing out that a prospering Tampa Bay should not ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for April 20

Bar Association celebrates Law WeekPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1958, as the first Law Day to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Every year on this day, we reflect on the significance of the rule of law and rededicat...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Tuesday’s letters: Stop cooperating with ICE

Sheriff’s ICE policy blasted | April 10Pinellas should end partnership with ICEPinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri recently participated in a community conversation on his controversial agreement with ICE to voluntarily detain immigrants in the...
Published: 04/16/18

Sunday’s letters: The future of oyster production

Shell game | April 15Future of oyster productionThanks to Laura Reiley for an excellent synopsis of the current state of oyster production in Florida. The collapse of the Apalachicola oyster fishery is merely the latest example of the demise of a...
Published: 04/14/18

Monday’s letters: Public education is foundation of the nation

Voters beware of ballot deceptionApril 13, commentarySchools’ role underminedIt was with great pain that I read (not for the first time) that we must be aware of "ballot deception." Public schools were founded to make sure that future generations of ...
Published: 04/13/18