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Pasco letters: Guilty, but their sentences diverge

Band teacher gets 22 years | March 12 story

Guilty, but their sentences diverge

I agree with Judge Siracusa. Michael Aaron Black did steal from his profession. He did destroy some of the confidence that the community has in its teachers just so he could use a student for recreational sex. He was sentenced to 22 years in prison and 10 years of probation, was declared a sex offender, and faces charges in Polk County. This is the law and I agree with it whole-heartedly.

He did the same thing Debra Lafave did, except for the fact that she did it much more frequently and in a car with other children present. She affected more than one young life. She pleaded guilty to lewd and lascivious behavior with a 14-year-old student. Her lawyer said she was too good-looking to go to jail. The judge concurred, but one stipulation of her release was she had to avoid minors.

She broke rule No. 1 and talked to a 16-year-old female co-worker about family, boys and sex. She got busted and booked for parole violation. The judge scolded her and sentenced her to be a receptionist at her mother's hair salon.

I'm no lawyer, but I would suggest that Mr. Black appeal his conviction and request a change of venue to Hillsborough County.

Thomas Karcher, New Port Richey

Real facts show landfill a bad idea | March 2 letter

Take a look at the record of Angelo's

In a recent letter, Carl Roth's contentions about our proposed composting and recycling facility diverged even further from logic or reality. However, he is providing a service to Pasco residents — albeit indirectly — and that is worthwhile.

We have completed thousands of public projects in 18 states. If there were a record of malfeasance, we are quite sure you would be shouting it from the rooftops. Yet, if you took the time to research Florida Department of Environmental Protection inspection reports going back years, you would find that we are among the best operators in the southwest district. Further, our team has very substantial experience building and operating this and other types of facilities.

The contentions about our property are completely unsubstantiated and neglect the fact that since the early 1960s, the county has operated its East Pasco landfill right next door, without the doom the letter writer preaches. The DEP will not issue a permit (which must be renewed every five years) if the environment is not protected.

Again, we have agreed not to accept trash by rail. The letter refers to an economic analysis that does not exist and ignores the fact that we are posting a $6-million bond with DEP to safeguard taxpayers. In the words of former President Ronald Reagan: "Facts are stubborn things."

Mr. Roth has, however, generated substantial attention to our proposed composting and recycling facility, guaranteeing that the review and oversight of our project is unprecedented — and that is good. In that light, we did not submit a plan with the minimum safeguards required under Florida law. We submitted a plan that vastly exceeds its already stringent standards. The taxpayers of Pasco County — and their environment — deserve no less, which is why our solid waste disposal alternative has been endorsed by leading environmentalists and scientists.

John Arnold, project engineer, Angelo's Recycled Materials

Real facts show landfill a bad idea | March 2 letter

Scent of money

around garbage

It seems that we are going to get a garbage dump that will be perhaps 150 feet tall and of several hundred acres.

There are modern and safer ways to dispose of garbage. I have been told the dump could generate $65-million in fees. Some of the garbage will be brought to us from other areas and even from beyond Florida. I also read that the area purchased for the dump has had sinkholes, and pollutants would surely penetrate the water source. Letter writer Carl Roth shared that a boring machine that was to test the soil collapsed and sank.

Will the move I made here a year ago be my biggest mistake?

My first reaction was that no licensing body would ever approve this huge pile of garbage that will be within site of where I am living. How could anyone approve something that could destroy property values?

When I remembered my two-year term as chairman of a municipal zoning board, a chill went over me. I resigned after every denial of zone change that we made was overruled by the City Council in a closed session.

I am now convinced that the $65-million that is at stake is large enough to ensure that we are going to get a mound of garbage and from who knows where.

Writing this letter of protest will be the only way that I will ever get to vote against it.

James Bailey, Dade City, president, West Pasco Rose Society

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Pasco letters: Guilty, but their sentences diverge 03/12/08 [Last modified: Monday, March 17, 2008 2:54pm]
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