Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Pasco letters: Fees are unfairly taxing residents

Fees are unfairly taxing residents

Our county parks are well-maintained due I am sure to the dedicated services of our park employees, and the services to the residents from our park system is certainly appreciated. The recent requirement to pay a fee to enter the parks presents a perplexing dilemma: can Pasco County residents be legally required to pay to enter a county-owned facility they are already paying for in taxes?

This is begging for a test case. If the county attorneys are convinced of its legality, then why not start charging a fee (taxes) not only for entering the park facilities but for entering the government center itself? Think of the increased revenue produced when anyone needing information has to pay a daily or yearly usage fee.

The fees charged are being used to avoid a miniscule increase in taxes, anathema for the politicos who dance around the issue. The service companies have seen their license fees go up, we pay a great deal more for motor vehicle registrations, the list goes on and on. Fortunately, there is an approaching election coming. We can and should hold the feet of office aspirants to the proverbial fire.

The fees seem disproportionate for Pasco residents. Hernando County charges an annual fee of $35 for the Suncoast Trail while Pasco charges $60. The day use fee in Hernando is $3, in Pasco it is $2. The intent in Hernando seems to be to go easy on the residents and charge more for outsiders who unquestionably and legally should be required to pay a fee for non-resident park usage.

An annual fee of $25 for residents would be more friendly to the many bicyclists, dog walkers and baby stroller-pushing moms, albeit the legal issue remains.

Charles Huhtanen, Port Richey

Police officers aid massage spa | April 28, article

Sleazy activities will be reported

I am one of thousands of licensed massage therapists who would like to thank Marianne Brewer, hair stylist at Hot Heads hair salon, for notifying the police about another sleazy spa.

We take our careers very seriously. We are healers who affect every organ and system in the body. We leave our homes and businesses every two years to travel to and from the mandatory continuing education classes, pay for the classes and our expenses, and are happy to learn more.

Massage therapists are governed by the Florida Department of Health, which makes us a part of the medical field, not part of the world's oldest profession. To the other "massage'' spas that continue to destroy our reputation, I plan to continually report the activities to law enforcement.

Connie Pantano, New Port Richey

Memorials stolen from a family still grieving C.T. Bowen column, May 6

Stolen memorials sad commentary

I know how the family feels. My son was killed by a drunken driver on Spring Hill Drive in 1992; I put a memorial cross up and lo and behold someone stole it.

I put up another cross with a sign behind it saying "if anyone doesn't like this cross, call me. " I even poured cement in the hole before I put the cross in, and again it was taken. I constantly wrote letters to the editor when that happened. I can't believe that someone would steal something like a memorial cross from the roadside. I said it was sacrilegious and their parents didn't teach them anything.

I had my street name changed to my son's name and again, the street sign was stolen many times. It's the sign of the times, I guess.

I have passed the spot on Elgin Boulevard many times and wondered about who it was and said a little prayer. My heart goes out to his family.

Carole Birkeland, Spring Hill


Thursday’s letters: On immigration there has to be a better way

‘Zero tolerance’ ignites outrage | June 20Find better way on immigrationOver the years I’ve voted for candidates from both parties. My observation of the Trump administration’s policy on immigration is not about politics. It has to do with having...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

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: 06/18/18

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