Friday, February 23, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Losing Pasco's natural beauty is no small problem

SunWest channel hits snag May 23 article

Losing nature is no small problem

To put this story in perspective, imagine the New York Times in 1912 with this headline: The Titanic ocean liner hits snag.

As our county government sets out to despoil SunWest, one of the last remaining undisturbed natural treasures in Florida, our major source of news treats this as a small matter of no consequence. It's just business as usual in Pasco County. Our county-elected leaders and our governmental leaders have gotten into bed with wealthy land developers who only equate green with money. Now, they have to move over to make room for the Pasco Times as well.

And what about ordinary citizens who may have come to Pasco County for its natural beauty rather than blood money? Well, it's not that big a bed. Besides, you get another county park, some boat ramps and even some boat parking, so let the good times roll!

The Corps of Engineers that once engineered the destruction of the Everglades now has a conscience and says the SunWest channel project should be denied. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife that has responsibility for all of our country's natural jewels says the SunWest project will destroy one of the few remaining jewels in all of Florida. Sea grass provides protection for hundreds of species of wildlife in its early lives, and look at the efforts ongoing for years in Tampa Bay to restore the sea grass we have in abundance, for now.

According to most legal sources, mitigation should mean that if you destroy acres of sea grass in one location, you replace sea grass in another location that desperately needs it. According to the natural law of Commissioner Jack Mariano, mitigation means that if he were a surgeon and he removed your leg unnecessarily, he'll promise to put Band-Aids on his next 100 patients' cuts. How's that for a deal you can hardly refuse?

Who are we to stand in the way of wealthy people's yachts having a watery barren highway to their 2,500 homes? Well, we are American citizens with a mind, a conscience, and a powerful vote.

Dan Callaghan, New Port Richey

Drugs plus guns far too common

Once again we see the connection between the illegal distribution or sale of narcotic pain killers and firearms. The Harbour Medical Group Clinic was raided and the director, described by the Times as someone with "multiple felony arrests," was in possession of a handgun.

One of his previous arrests was for armed robbery and this is just what we don't need — convicted felons with guns.

How many times do we see this scenario play out: firearms and narcotics/street drugs? Clearly, those that are legally prohibited from possessing firearms have an unfettered access to them and are a major threat to law-abiding citizens.

The highly effective lobbying by the NRA is one factor (but not the only factor) that has led to the extraordinary proliferation of firearms. Sadly, law-abiding citizens often become victims.

Tom Burke, Clearwater

Residents want sound barrier | May 23 article

If you don't like the noise, move

What are these people thinking? Interstate 75 has been there since it was built 30 years ago or more and this country club is just now starting to complain about it?

How do they get home when traveling that road? Turn off their engines so they don't make any noise? The residents who have moved in there knew about I-75 and its traffic. And the longer it's there, the more traffic is going to go by the country club.

Sen. Jim Norman needs to work his tail off at bringing this state back to the mom and pop businesses, not work on something as dumb as the noise from I-75 traffic.

I live in a gated community with 395 residents at Senate Manor Mobile Home Park right off U.S. 19, and we have just about as much traffic. But you know what? I go to bed at night and I sleep through the motorcycles revving their engines at the red light at our entrance. In this day, I sure don't want my windows open at night. Has Sharon Armstrong not heard of burglars coming during the night looking for open windows to burglarize a home? This is 2012, not 1940 where you could leave your doors unlocked at home while gone.

If they don't like it there at the country club, I'm sure the gate goes both ways. So leave. I have no pity for these people and I hope the state or anyone else with any intelligence tries to change it. Putting in a $4.5 million wall? They're probably the same ones griping about Congressional spending.

Karl Ormsby, Port Richey

Friends of NRA banquet a success | May 24 letter

NRA's actions are nothing positive

The proceeds of the NRA banquet to be used for worthwhile programs is an oxymoron.

The negative effects of the NRA created "stand your ground" law will be with us for decades. It is an unmitigated disaster leading to the death and injury of many, encouraging the use of a gun to settle personal disputes, draining our treasury and causing mass confusion among the state agencies task with administering our self defense laws.

One would like to think the NRA would like to see fewer illegal handguns in our communities. What the NRA did instead was make it easier to take out criminals with guns by making it easier to shoot, not just criminals, but each other.

Arthur C. Hayhoe, director of Florida Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Inc., Wesley Chapel


Saturday’s letters: Preserve home rule in Florida

LegislaturePreserve home rule in FloridaOn behalf of the members of Business Watch, a trade association for government contractors, I would like to voice our dismay over the Legislature’s wholesale attack on home rule. As local government contractors...
Published: 02/23/18

Thursday’s letters: Second Amendment is outdated

Second AmendmentCongress can act on firearmsThe Second Amendment is outdated, since it is predicated on the need for a "well regulated militia." Militias are defined as civilian soldiers trained under the command of competent military leadership. The...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/22/18

Wednesday’s letters:

House Bill 21Opioid proposal merits supportIn 2016, Florida recorded 952 heroin-related and 1,390 fentanyl-related deaths. Four in five new heroin users began by misusing prescription pain medications, also known as opioids. Despite the widespread op...
Published: 02/20/18

Hernando Letter to the Editor for Feb. 23

Re: Hernando business leaders push to loosen development rules | Feb. 9; Re: Deny Brooksville mine expansion, planning commissioners say | Feb. 16Wish to register my opposition to both the draft of the new Hernando County Comprehensive Plan that elim...
Published: 02/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Making politics personal is one way toward reasonable gun control

The Parkland shootingMake gun politics personalAs an educator of 32 years, it encourages me to see our young people engaged after the horror at Stoneman Douglas High School. The tragedy at Parkland has awakened the sleeping giant that is the millenni...
Published: 02/19/18

Sunday’s letters: Congress must act on firearms

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Congress must act on firearmsIt’s time for Congress to be counted.The failure of Congress to act to: (1) limit access to assault rifles and (2) require meaningful background checks for all gun purchases is appalling.Surel...
Published: 02/17/18

Monday’s letters: Call it by its name: terrorism

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Call it whatit is: terrorismLet’s just call it what it is. It’s terrorism. No school in the country is immune. They all have procedures for sheltering in place or emergency evacuation from a shooter. It’s prudent to be pr...
Published: 02/16/18

Saturday’s letters: Payoff to porn star not front-page news?

Lawyer: I personally paid porn star | Feb. 14Where we’re at: This is 4A newsOnly under the Trump presidency does a story about the president’s lawyer paying off a porn star to cover up an affair with the president show up on page 4A. Never mind t...
Published: 02/16/18

Friday’s letters: Water quality too important to gamble on

State to update water rules | Feb. 10Don’t gamble with water safetyI wondered whether this front-page article was an early April Fool’s joke. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection "updated" its pollution regulations in 2016, with str...
Published: 02/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Bill protects pharmacy customers

House Bill 351Bill protects pharmacy customersWe all need the protections provided in Florida House Bill 351 to ensure pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, are transparently operating with patients. Currently, PBMs are not regulated by the state and o...
Published: 02/14/18