As library shines, times get gloomy
Funding for public libraries is as unpredictable as the weather.
On the sunny side this year, Linda Allen, director of the Pasco County Libraries, received the Florida Librarian of the Year award. Pasco County was named Florida Library of the Year and awarded Florida Public Library Web Site of the Year.
These awards were due to the hard work of the staff and the many innovative ideas they created. Library circulation is on the rise, as is always the case when times are tough. Today's libraries are not just about books, but offer many programs that can help in personal growth.
On the down side, ominous clouds are gathering and budget cuts are looming. The cuts would change the future and all that has been achieved. It could mean staff layoffs, reduced hours, and even some closures.
The future looks foggy, so if you love your library, sent a note, e-mail or phone your local and state legislators today before they get to the floor. We need the state funding.
Let us not see the sun set on our libraries.
Athena Dousis Cone, president, Friends of the Hudson Regional Library
Victim seeks leniency for teen | March 19, article
A lesson in justice and forgiveness
I applaud Johnny Rae Grates for not wanting Hannah Price to go to prison. He's probably teaching her the best lesson — forgiveness.
There should be more justice like this in our courts.
Lynn Plazewski, San Antonio
Girls' sex crime accusations bring conviction | March 19, article
A life sentence was overdue
Kudos to Circuit Judge Shawn Crane for sending this loser to prison for the rest of his life. It's a shame the judges who sentenced him previously didn't have the guts to do what was right.
Ray Mackin, New Port Richey
Congress should give up its perks
Serving in Congress is an honor not a career. The founding fathers envisioned citizen legislators to serve term(s), then go home and back to work. With this in mind, U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite should introduce the following legislation in the House as soon as possible. It is hoped that Sen. George LeMieux will introduce a companion bill in the Senate.
• Limit terms to 12 years total. No tenure and no pension because a member of Congress should collect a salary while in office, but no pay when they leave.
• Congress (past, present and future) should participate in Social Security just like the American people. All funds in the Congressional Retirement Fund would move to the Social Security system immediately. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans.
• Those in Congress can no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise with the Consumer Price Index or 2 percent, whichever is lower.
• Congress loses its current health care system and participates in the same system as the rest of the American people.
• Congress must equally abide by all laws imposes on the American people.
If there is some reason that Brown-Waite cannot or will not introduce the above, she should provide an explanation to the voters of the 5th District.
Michael Cleary, New Port Richey