Monday, June 18, 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: 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: 06/15/18

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

Friday’s letters: Freight trains are infrastructure that works in Tampa Bay

Railroads are infrastructure that worksFreight trains carry the loadCentral Florida is our state’s fastest-growing region. We’re on track to outpace South Florida’s growth 2-to-1 over the next several years. Great news for our local economy, but it n...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Charter schools aren’t the enemy

Don’t plug your ears when schools ask for tax | May 20, columnCharter schools aren’t the enemyAs an educator, I am astounded when I hear claims from school board members that charter schools take away funding from the local public school system. ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: Trump’s words insult our Canadian visitors

Trade disputes torpedo G-7 summit | June 10Canadian visitors are owed apologyLike many Pinellas County residents, I’m pleased that we receive thousands of Canadian "snow birds" as part-year residents. Not only do they enhance our economy, but by ...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/13/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for June 15

Opinion: Commissioners arrogant and incompetentMy wife and I live in Hernando County. As such, we are represented by a Board of County Commissioners where all the members manifest two common traits. Those traits are arrogance and incompetence.The arr...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18

Tuesday’s letters: Fewer guns would reduce suicides

U.S. under suicide watch | June 8Fewer guns mean fewer suicidesIt is a fact that deserves more attention, but got only one sentence in the article about the U.S. "suicide watch:" "The most common method used across all groups was firearms." I spe...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for June 15

New group to address real women’s issuesLast Saturday our Congressman Gus Bilirakis sponsored a "Woman’s Summit" at East Lake High School that was supposed to deal with women’s issues. Some topics covered were gardening, weight loss and quilting.Mayb...
Published: 06/11/18

Monday’s letters: Bring back the ferry, kick-start transit

Cross bay, but who’ll pay? | June 8Ferry could be a gateway to transitIt’s great news that St. Petersburg is committed to bringing back the world class cross bay ferry service. What a common-sense and practical thing to do in order to ease us int...
Published: 06/08/18
Updated: 06/11/18