Residents, please support FGUA | Nov. 9 letter
New rates are as icky as the water
It's very nice that letter writer Wayne Forehand is pleased with FGUA. After 10 plus years with nasty water, we find out the company sold for an unbelievable amount of money while supposedly, for the last year (plus the previous 10 years), was going to fix the water problem. There was nothing done since the Public Service Commission, which we all know is a joke, awarded Aloha a reprieve! Now we are faced with higher rates, about $88 per month, and we are supposed to be grateful?
Mr. Forehand, our friends live north of us and have Pasco water. They only pay $32 per month for water and sewer; there are two of them, there are two of us. Obviously you do not live in the Seven Springs area; if you did I'm sure you would feel differently. Trinity is a much higher scale of homes and income. Those of us that are retired have to weigh food vs. medication and now water!
Oh yes, we are so excited that our rates have not only doubled, but we are also excited about paying three times as much as Pasco water. If we had known earlier that all this was going to happen, we would have lived in Pinellas County and have our property tax skyrocket; at least they have decent water.
Thank you, Mr. Forehand, I'm glad that you are satisfied!
Peggy J. Gourley, New Port Richey
Schools need money, support
Was having a bit of trouble getting going the other morning until I read about the school budget, and my adrenaline went sky-high.
The elected officials we have in the state and in Congress can help these financial institutions out with our money, but our school budgets are cut and cut again. Sorry, but this is not right. What is next? The children will have no lights on in the classrooms? Poor nutrition in the lunchrooms?
I see teachers doing their very best to cope in an atmosphere where they are continuously shown an ungrateful atmosphere. We taxpayers foot the bill for prekindergarten and it is quite obvious who the children are who have attended and those who have not. Why isn't this mandatory? How can we expect a teacher to teach when the learning levels are starkly different?
Every parent needs to spend a day in their children's classroom. It looks like parents today expect the school system to teach, discipline and rear their offspring, and they do not have to do anything. Time for everyone to start calling and writing the elected officials and letting them know we are not accepting this. Just for the record, I do not have a child in school; I have a granddaughter and I volunteer one day a week.
Christina Ennist, New Port Richey
Fasano: Thanks, and call anytime
I would like to thank the residents of Senate District 11 for having faith in me and returning me to office as your state senator. For the past 14 years my staff and I have worked hard to earn your trust and believe that your vote of confidence expresses that we have succeeded. I am humbled by the responsibility you have given me. I look forward to serving you for another four years in Tallahassee.
Although we have accomplished many good things over the years, there are still many difficult problems to overcome. Taxation, property insurance and health care issues are just a few of the many topics I will continue to champion in Florida's Capitol. Please let me know what is important to you.
More than anything I place constituent service as my office's top priority. If there is any issue relating to state government that you may need assistance with, please do not hesitate to call me. I can be reached locally at (727) 848-5885 or toll-free at 1-800-948-5885. I and my staff stand ready to help.
Sen. Mike Fasano, District 11
We'll pay price for pro-gun officials | Nov. 11 letter
Gun show fallacy getting tiresome
It's no surprise that letter writer Arthur Hayhoe is off and running again, now that the Brady Campaign, the most anti-gun organization in the country, has declared war on gun shows, specifically the mythical gun show loophole.
Justice Department studies have already shown that gun shows are the least likely place for criminals to seek firearms. A new joint University of Michigan-University of Maryland study concludes that restrictive laws at gun shows had no impact on murder or suicide rates. State and federal laws are as applicable at gun shows as they are anywhere else in the state.
My hat is off to all the dedicated county commissioners who have stood resolute on this issue by refusing to consider laws that have no relevant purpose, but which continue to be advocated by those who seek to infringe on the constitutional rights of the citizens of Pasco County.
Lee Hanson, Hudson
Walking is easy first step to health
In 2003 I was able to lose over 100 pounds through exercise and a healthy diet. I have been able to maintain that weight through a daily effort that includes plenty of walking.
This year I am excited to share my passion for living a healthy lifestyle with the community as I chair the 2008 Nature Coast Start! Heart Walk. The event benefits the American Heart Association, helps to spread lifesaving knowledge, and advances groundbreaking medical research allowing Americans to lead stronger, healthier lives.
Please join us for the Nature Coast Start! Heart Walk at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Rotary Pavilion at the Concourse off State Road 52 in Shady Hills.
Walking has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity and is the simplest positive change individuals can make to effectively help their heart. We hope you can join us and start your path toward improved health.
Kevan Metcalfe, chief operating officer, Florida Hospital, Zephyrhills
Water bills rising no matter what
In these belt-tightening days, I understand why many of you are upset about the water rate increase. Especially those customers who aren't getting the black, foul-smelling water.
What you don't seem to understand is that the water rate was going to increase even more if Aloha were going to keep the utility. If Aloha kept the utility, those who have problem water would still have problem water and pay a lot more for it. For those who didn't have a problem with it, you would still be paying a lot more for it.
The Public Service Commission has already approved the increased water rates for Aloha. If you want to pay a smaller amount than Aloha, you need to approve the increase the Florida Governmental Utility Authority is asking.
Donna Vaurio, Trinity
Re: Financial crisis is government's fault | Nov. 7 guest column by Jack McPherson
Quit blaming and work on repairing
Our recent election symbolized a lot of things for this country. Using fear tactics, Rovian and Atwater-style conquering and dividing, scapegoating and finger-pointing, were at last rendered obsolete. But as this column clearly demonstrated, the divisiveness that has become entrenched in so many is alive and well.
The writer states: "The cause of this crisis in the first place was the social engineering by the federal government in its re-enactment of the Community Reinvestment Act, which compelled banks to grant mortgage loans to applicants irrespective of their financial inability to repay those loans in an orderly manner." To accept this premise would be to ignore the complex nature of our current financial crisis. Here is what was left out in this guest column:
• Most objective analysts agree that the percentage of mortgage defaults under Fannie and Freddie's auspices was not disproportionate to any other institutions'.
• The role of the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999, which was enacted in the 1930s as a response to the market collapse during the Great Depression. Historians almost universally agree that the lack of a barrier between commercial banks and investment firms (which this legislation addressed) was directly related to that disastrous time in our history, and to our current crisis. The wall that was created by this legislation served us well until it was dismantled by Wall Street lobbyists (led by McCain's, economic adviser, and then-U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm.)
• The role the SEC and the Federal Reserve played in looking the other way. They became cheerleaders, and enablers, instead of protectors of the common good.
• The role that people of all economic classes played in taking advantage of the easy credit during those heady days. There is no evidence that poor people were disproportionately involved, and targeting social programs that help lift all boats is unfortunate.
Some feel that the true measure of a society is how they treat the sick and the poor, and not by how many advantages are given to the wealthy. We can debate the effectiveness of various programs like Fannie and Freddie, and improvements should always be on the table, but somehow we need to get beyond the class warfare that divides our nation.
Laura Smith, Weeki Wachee