Proud to support Sheriff's Office
We enjoy many seasons here in Pasco, and I see it is open season on the sheriff yet again.
Every four years at election time, candidates and the press come out to take their best shot at the sheriff in office at that time. Sheriff Bob White, after two terms that saw rapid growth in the county while his department has maintained an award-winning Sheriff's Office, is under attack for company cars and honorary deputy programs. The big complaint is that some of these people donated to his re-election campaign. So what? It is their money.
I, too, am an honorary deputy and there is no quid pro quo for this honor. Sheriff Bob White asked me as an active member of the Pasco community to join this group. We all had to submit to background checks so that if called to assist in an emergency we would have our proper clearance and identification to report for volunteer duty. We could be asked to help look for missing people or even sweep floors to allow his staff to be deployed as needed.
I am willing to do anything in an emergency to support our Sheriff's Office. It was noted that although set up, it has never been called out. That is to Sheriff White's credit that his department has been able to handle all that has been thrown at them. A good leader plans ahead and has reserves in place, and that is what this program is all about.
It was made very clear to us that we are not deputies nor is this a PBA card. I wore the uniform of the U.S. Army and that of a lieutenant in the Emergency Medical Service in New Jersey, thus I know what it is to put your safety on the line for others and would never do this as an affront to law enforcement officers.
The credentials clearly state we are not sworn law enforcement. I participate in this program to help our community and support our Sheriff's Office.
New Port Richey
Don't disparage a sheriff with heart | April 24 letter
The definition of noble is having or showing qualities of high moral character such as courage, generosity or honor. It saddened me to see the letter writer refer to Bob White as noble and with heart. Perhaps these civic minded receipts may have a noble purpose, but White making them honorary deputies doesn't seem to fit that definition. In fact, I don't believe White can ever truly be defined as noble.
Did it show high moral character to publicly state during his first campaign that he had no intention to fire anyone, and then lay off 10 captains and majors five days after Christmas? Did he consider what they had done for the agency during their employment? Did Bob White ever sit down and wonder exactly how they were going to support their families? Where was his generosity?
These were deputies with 10 to 20 years' experience serving the residents of Pasco County with practically unblemished records. These men and women were not liars and cheats. These were hard-working individuals who cared about this county, and still do.
The only generosity White seems to display is his loyalty to his upper echelon, who until recently were cruising around the streets of our towns and filling up at the county pumps in vehicles Pasco citizens paid for out of their taxes. When called out by his challenger, White immediately publicizes that the cars will be parked and has the gall to say it had nothing to do with the election. Has lying become honorable? I hope the voters of Pasco will realize how deceiving White really has been.
Prescribed burns benefit environment | April 24, guest column
Burnings a threat to gopher tortoise
It is gratifying that Mary Partington could show her grandchildren the gopher tortoises in Starkey Park. They were a common sight along the bicycle trail to its confluence with the Suncoast trail. If they already had a satisfactory habitat, then why was it necessary to improve their environs with widespread burning?
There appears to be no activity to date in the numerous burrows that existed among the palmettos. Indeed, if a tortoise should exit its burrow, it could not find food without wading through the deep ashes for up to hundreds of feet.
To determine whether the tortoises survived, we could asked the Starkey users for sightings and at what point of the trail the sightings occurred. I would be glad to receive the reports at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There have been sighting of the magnificent Eastern diamondback rattlesnake as well as the pigmy rattler along the trail, especially east of mile 5.5. They use the burrows of the gopher tortoise and may or may not have survived the burning.
Charles Huhtanen, Port Richey