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Port Richey should stop commercial shrimping business in Harbor Isles

Docking tiff | June 3 article

Boyers' business is commercial

My sincere thanks to the Times for stating in black and white what we, the people of Harbor Isles, have known for the last 16 months. That is, that the Boyers are running a commercial shrimping operation from their home. In your article, the Boyers state very clearly they operate a business with employees, and a boat which requires constant refueling and repairs. And nightly boarding of said employees onto that shrimp boat.

This boat has been docked here for less than two years, not the five years they claim. And residents have complained for all those many months. They have seen their bayou being polluted and misused, and been insulted by foul language and physical threats from the same people doing the polluting.

Although their claim of rowing 15 feet to a moored boat makes a good story, it isn't close to being true. The boat is moored within a foot or less of the Boyers' dock, pulled into the dock by a line, and the employees hop right on. It can be seen by any observer standing in our street.

After being cited by Port Richey Code Enforcement officers, they filed an appeal for a hearing before a special magistrate, to rehear the case. This second opinion also ruled against them, and they were told to immediately cease operations, or be fined $80 per day.

Why does the city of Port Richey allow these daily operations to continue? If even one officer came to observe the parking of employees, the transport of fuel, the boarding of the boat at the dock, and the operation of a commercial business in a residential neighborhood, it is as plain as day. So why are the services, for which we residents pay a premium, turning a blind eye and allowing this to continue?

Kathleen Brown, Port Richey

Current recycling process efficient

If Jennifer Seney, the Pasco County recycling coordinator, wishes to continue being an activist, she should resign her county paid position, and return to the private sector. She has a long history of activism, including suing Pasco County, and supporting higher taxes. Now she seems fixated on gaining control of the solid waste collection services within the county under the guise of increasing recycling rates.

Ms. Seney advances her opinion, disguised as fact, that franchising trash collection will increase recycling rates, when in reality, no such evidence supports her position.

Pasco County's solid waste collection system, while not perfect, is cost-effective and efficient. The most any resident pays is $12.34 a month for twice weekly trash pickup and recycling collection. Many communities have chosen a single hauler, and negotiated a lower rate. If a hauler provides poor service, it can be replaced by a competitor rather easily. If a franchise system were to be imposed, a retired couple currently paying a reduced rate would likely see their rates rise to the same level as a family of six.

If a franchised hauler provided poor service, they would be protected by a contract. The existing small, local companies would likely be pushed out in a bidding process favoring large, national companies with no ties or concerns about Pasco County beyond their bottom line. The current system costs the county almost nothing to administer. A franchise system would cost thousands of taxpayer dollars to set up, implement, and oversee. In these lean times of budget cuts and revenue shortfalls, is it wise policy to fix a system that is not broken?

Unless made mandatory, recycling is a voluntary program that relies on resident awareness and willingness to recycle. Perhaps Ms. Seney could direct her efforts to that end instead of trying to revamp the entire solid waste system. A recycling program for multiple unit dwellings and businesses would help solve the recycling problem without major changes or costs. To my knowledge, no such county programs exist.

The existing solid waste haulers have years of service to Pasco County: JD Parker and Sons for 60 years, Waste Aid Systems for 38, Waste Express for 12. These small companies have been successful because of hard work, good service and honest dealings. They should not be cast aside on the whim of a community activist-turned-county employee with zero experience in the trash business, and less than three years in public administration.

Our duly-elected county commissioners have ruled on this plan, and decided in the best interests of all residents. Our commissioners have guided the county very well for many years and Ms. Seney should respect their opinion and work to implement their directives.

John Young, New Port Richey

What about his three strikes?

On June 3, staff writer Erin Sullivan wrote that Nestor Blanco Jr. and Ray Alexander Jr. were accused of breaking into a house and stealing $50,000 worth of firearms and jewelry. They got caught trying to sell the loot to an undercover officer.

Mr. Blanco is a violent career criminal. He has been convicted of robbery with a deadly weapon and has three separate convictions of attempted murder and two convictions of escape. That's six felony convictions. In 1980, Mr. Blanco got into a shootout with the Tampa police after trying to rob a Wendy's. For these five felony convictions Mr. Blanco got 15 years' probation, which he began serving after he was released from prison in 2002 after serving 18 years for two attempted murders in Miami-Dade. One more felony for burglary and grand theft in 2008 adds up to at least 14 if you don't count probation violations and being a felon in possession of a firearm charges.

I thought we lived in a "three strikes and you're out'' state.

Thomas Karcher, New Port Richey

Leaders' conduct besmirches GOP | June 3 letter

GOP, don't tell us whom to vote for

Thank you to the letter writer. He took the words right out of my mouth. I've begun to wonder if I lived in Florida or Russia.

Do I not have the freedom to change my mind and vote for whoever I feel will be in the best interest of the people, not the party? Who does the Pasco County GOP think they are that they can tell you not only whom to vote for but whom you can back and who can be your friends? Thankfully, we have men like Gov. Charlie Crist and Sen. Mike Fasano who have the guts to stand for what they think is right. Stay that way, please.

June Burnham, New Port Richey

Port Richey should stop commercial shrimping business in Harbor Isles 06/08/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 8, 2010 9:43pm]

    

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