Pet cemeteries deserve respect
Where have all the tombstones gone?
I took my dog for a walk at the county park on Collier Parkway in Land O' Lakes. When I passed the pet cemetery, I saw that all the beautifully carved monuments people have placed on their pet's graves over the years were gone and replaced with white sticks. The graves have been moved into two small blocks about 20 by 20 feet square with barely enough room to walk between.
It bothers me that this was done. When a pet dies, pet owners who may have spent the best part of their life with an animal want to do something with the remains that is decent. They want to think that Rover is resting peacefully under some oak tree forever and they can come back from time to time and visit him. That is why they went to the trouble and expense of burying their pet in a cemetery and erecting a marker.
Of course, the county is in a budget crisis and maintaining a cemetery for dead pets ranks low for them. I'm keeping an eye on Grandpa's grave just in case.
Russell J. Watrous, Land O' Lakes
Government is not just for the few | July 29 letter
Limits on local rule are essential
The Florida Legislature and governor have acted to protect the Second Amendment's right to keep and bear arms, and have prohibited local governments from enacting their own unconstitutional antigun laws.
There could be only one result if local governments could ignore the Constitution as well as all federal and state laws, and that would be legal and social chaos in a pure democracy unfettered by any restrictions whatsoever, and with each political subdivision doing its own thing. An approach of pure democracy, specifically avoided by our founding fathers, has never worked anywhere.
Our Constitution does separate federal and state powers in the 10th Amendment, and that's as far as it goes. Local government powers are subject to federal and state powers, as well as state constitutions, and are accorded no recognition in our Constitution.
There is, of course, plenty of recourse to those who oppose certain legislation passed by those elected by the people in our republic-style government. In addition to the guarantees of freedom of speech and of the press, there is the simple option of voting for or against certain elected officials at the next election. The majority of voters thereby elect those candidates who they most closely agree with.
Lee Hanson, Hudson
No more traffic camera gotcha
Do we want a world where every petty offense is enforced by a camera?
Will we do bike rider cameras next to cite bike riders for breaking the rules. A New York Assemblyman proposed that one this year. Makes you wonder when someone will say let's cite people by mail for anything under the sun. Just walking around next? Littering, jaywalking, etc.?
There is actually a stop sign camera in the Los Angeles area. It is currently the subject of a lawsuit. The problem with photo enforcement has been and will continue to be the fact that it is really about cash, not safety.
Most of the violations of the stop sign camera are people who just didn't stop long enough.
We see a similar thing in the red light cameras where most of the violations in some towns are non-dangerous right turns on red or just stopping over the stop line. It is just a matter of the definition the town uses to define a violation.
Case in point: Hillsborough will not cite you for right turns, but Temple Terrace and Lakeland will. All three are run by the same company, but with different definitions. A word to the wise: Hillsborough won't ticket right turns on red if you are driving under 15 mph, but Lakeland and Tempe Terrace demand a full stop.
Using corporate cameras to enforce traffic laws is not about safety. It degenerates into a game of gotcha for ever increasing technical fouls.
Safety is pulling people over, not sending bills for everything a vendor can get. The cameras need to be banned. Or at the very least, let the public have a vote on it.
Stephen Donaldson, Dade City