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Pasco letters: Law officers send wrong message

His good deed illegal, deputy says | March 19, article

Law officers send wrong message

I am a longtime resident of Pasco County and always respected law enforcement officers and their difficult and dangerous jobs. But when I read the article about Jose dos Santos, I was outraged and ashamed to be a resident in this county and state.

To give Mr. dos Santos a ticket might be the law as FHP Lt. A. Pugh pointed out. But the blame does not stop there. Mr. dos Santos had his hazard lights on and pulled the box springs out of the road before another vehicle struck his truck. The other vehicle had plenty of time to see and avoid the hazard. Was the other driver not paying attention while driving?

Two sheriff's deputies passed by Mr. dos Santos and did not stop to help him move the hazard out of the road or cite him for being illegally parked. Lt. Pugh said, "If there was a pedestrian or something live that you were trying to protect, that's a different scenario.'' Mr. dos Santos was a pedestrian at the time of the accident and the deputies did nothing to protect him.

Lt. Pugh said, "Even we as troopers can't stop in the road.'' On two different occasions, FHP stopped in the road with blue lights flashing to stop traffic to move a box and another time to move a bag out of the road on State Road 52.

The Florida Highway Patrol and the Pasco Sheriff's Office should show some compassion for a man trying to help another motorist and practice what they preach. What kind of message are the Florida law enforcement officers sending to the Florida motorist?

Dennis James Snider,

Port Richey

Hate groups operate here

The latest issue of the "Intelligence Report" published by the Southern Poverty Law Center says there are now 888 active hate group chapters in the United States, "capping a 48 percent increase since 2000." Florida ranks third in the nation, and a significant number of those known groups in the state are located in and around our area.

So I was just wondering, what politicians do these groups vote for that fan the flames of bigotry and racial hatred? What politicians in our area spew rhetoric that is more in line with these groups than those of us who oppose them?

One hate group is one too many. A politician who ignores the existence of these groups, a politician who has similar beliefs, a politician who overtly or covertly supports them through the old Monty Python method of nudge, nudge, wink, wink, or a politician who blatantly speaks publicly or privately with prejudice against any ethnic group is a politician who needs to be out of office.

Bob Dodd, Dade City

Lacoochee needs economic boost

I am excited and thrilled to see Lacoochee as a possible site for industry. I encourage the Pasco commissioners and Pasco Economic Development Council to allow Lacoochee to be a priority.

This could be Trilby/Lacoochee/Trilacoochee's turning point in improving living conditions and infrastructure that has been so in need for decades. I also believe it can and should be a priority to make the calls to the governor and encourage him to help, especially in locating in the Lacoochee industrial park. If we do this right, we can clean up the roads and wastewater issue as well.

I ask the citizens of Lacoochee/Trilacoochee to call Commissioner Ted Schrader and Gov. Charlie Crist's office and encourage them to bring resources and industry back to Lacoochee. The Greater Trilby Community Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit which looks after the interest of Tri-Community, has already partnered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, county and other resources to help with an enterprise zone.

Denny Mihalinec, Trilby

Salute to POWs was well done

The New Port Richey VA Outpatient Clinic hosted the 22nd ex-POW salute. I had the pleasure of being there almost every time.

The program, both touching and humorous, was emceed by clinic chief medical officer, Dr. William S. "Duke'' Miller, USNR retired. Duke has been with the clinic since it opened in 1985. I have been fortunate to have been a volunteer since the beginning.

Duke introduced Thomas Stys, the grandson of an ex-POW, who read a very nice poem he wrote. The guest speakers featured the famous father-son act, retired U.S. Rep. Mike Bilirakis and current U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis. Mike was instrumental in getting the clinic, for which we Pasco County veterans are most grateful.

The keynote speaker was Randall Edwards, an ex-POW who spent time in China. He gave a very nice history lesson with pictures of China.

It was too bad the program didn't get more media coverage. It was a good time for our local citizens to meet the 40 or more ex-POWs in attendance. They are a really fine group of Americans who saw wars the hard way and can still keep their wits and sense of humor about them.

God bless these gentlemen.

Kathryn L. Robinson,

New Port Richey

Cameras bring in cash, but do they help safety?

March 21, Andrew Skerritt column

Reckless ring up terrible costs

After reading the comment made by Brooksville Mayor David Pugh: "If there is a public safety issue, we need to see the numbers to prove it" (referencing cameras at intersections), I would strongly suggest that Mr. Pugh (and anyone else who has doubts about this issue) sit at any major intersection in Spring Hill or Brooksville and "get the numbers."

I've sat waiting at a green light while watching four or five cars speed through an intersection (and you know their light was red for a while!). The intersections at Spring Hill Drive and U.S. 19, Cortez Boulevard and Mariner Boulevard, Deltona Boulevard and Cortez Boulevard are just a few where the biggest offenses are committed. There are many more.

Keeping the yellow lights longer will not cause drivers to slow down and stop; today's drivers see the yellow light as a signal to speed up to get through the intersection faster. More rear-end crashes at intersections? My husband and I have each been rear-ended twice in the 14 years we've lived here, both when we were already stopped at a red light, not because we jammed on our brakes to stop for a yellow light.

In an ideal world, everyone would pay attention to all traffic signals, and there would be no accidents caused by incompetent or negligent drivers. However, the reality is, very few drivers obey any of the basic traffic laws today. Tailgaters run rampant, yellow caution lights mean speed up, stop signs are just road ornaments and directionals are rarely, if ever, used.

It would be wonderful to have a deputy parked at every major intersection giving a summons to every moron who ran a red light. The reality is we don't have enough deputies to do that. They try their best by "blitzing" intersections on occasion, but that effort is only temporarily effective, and I'm sure they would spend at least 10 minutes each time listening to the age-old complaint: "Why aren't you out chasing real criminals instead of harassing drivers?" (For information purposes, when you run a red light and cause serious injury or death — you are the criminal!)

I'm sure the deputies and emergency workers who pick up the body parts after each of these collisions would be more than happy to "show him the numbers" and share their horror stories. I work at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Spring Hill and I see the results of the brain and spinal cord injuries that occur as a result of these accidents. Do we need to wait until a certain number of people are killed or crippled for life before we go after these aggressive drivers? Let's look at other options, one of which is installing cameras at intersections.

Loretta Pizzo, Spring Hill

Birthday inside, burglar outside

Can you imagine walking across someone's front lawn, up to the front walkway and stealing a child's brand-new bicycle from right outside the front door — while all the lights are on, windows are open and you can hear the family inside singing Happy Birthday?

I can't imagine it would ever happen, but it happened to us Saturday night, March 15, on Stone Road. There is someone out there who has seen my son's 20-inch range Next bike. Someone knows it doesn't belong to them. I hope they enjoy it as much as my 9-year-old son would have.

This used to be a nice neighborhood.

Michelle Minicozzi,

Port Richey

Church founding predates venture

The March 25 article regarding the Withlacoochee Missionary Baptist Church has a bit of what appears to be misinformation. The article states that the church was founded before the turn of the 20th century by workers of the Cummer Sons Cypress Co.

I don't question the date of the church's founding, but the part about the founding by Cummer workers is not correct. The Cummer venture, I think, began in about 1922 and thus the founding was by early residents who could not have been employed by Cummer.

Edward Herrmann,

San Antonio

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Pasco letters: Law officers send wrong message 03/26/08 [Last modified: Thursday, March 27, 2008 9:17am]
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