Cameras are not the problem
I'm tired of people crying about more traffic-light cameras. People who are concerned about the punishment for breaking a law are usually the ones guilty of breaking that law.
As for the right turns on red, they are allowed after a complete stop and the driver is sure the road is clear. These type of turns are very dangerous because of some other person in a hurry to get nowhere is speeding up so he won't miss his green light.
The solution to not being caught by a camera is to drive the speed limit, look past your hood and see what is happening at the intersection you are coming to, and don't be distracted by talking or texting on your cell. Drive your car and give that all of your attention. Obey the laws and think of others as you drive and not your own selfish desires to be the first one getting to wherever you are going.
Jon Campbell, New Port Richey
Salary level of White House job
I read the illustrious John Gallagher had announced he would like to stay in his county seat for another two years followed by another two-year extension on top of that, even though his contract had ended, at his unbelievable salary of $180,700. I thought the taxpayers might have enjoyed some rather staggering comparisons. This is what we are paying this man to head up our little government and here are salaries of other positions as published in the Washington Post on July 24, 2008:
Vice president of the United States, $221,100; Joshua Bolten, assistant to president and chief of staff, $172,200; Fred F. Fielding, counsel to the president, $172,200.
My goodness, the county administrator for tiny, little Pasco County makes almost as much as the vice president and more than the chief of staff at the White House.
When we start making all of the budget cuts and program cutting within our county government, maybe we should consider starting at the top and working our way down, including the County Commission and its staff of many overcompensated individuals.
For those who think Mr. Gallagher is appropriately compensated for his services to the community, quite possibly you should contact Joe Biden to see what he is up to when he leaves the White House, which will probably be around the time we finally lose Mr. Gallagher. I'm sure Mr. Biden is carrying enough qualifications to fill Mr. Gallagher's shoes at only a slightly higher salary.
Steve Dow, Spring Hill
Residents, take back your streets
I hope residents of Port Richey/New Port Richey will put a little more effort into making our area a little safer and a lot more pleasant to live in.
I have written letters concerning curfew violations in Embassy Hills that resulted in the Pasco Sheriff's Office contacting me and stepping up efforts to catch violators and hopefully warn parents that they are ultimately responsible for their minor children. Did it work? I believe it did for a while, but police have other more pressing issues so it has to be up to the parents to stop this behavior.
The Pasco Sheriff's Office flooded the area near West Fairfax and Regency Park Boulevard, where graffiti appeared on abandoned homes. Deputies challenged almost everyone who did not look like they belonged there. I have seen a decrease in teens walking the streets after midnight. The abandoned home has been painted and boarded up so those who were damaging it with spray paint have been picked up, charged and hopefully learned a lesson. Yes, the violators were teens.
I have also seen rental owners cleaning up their properties, so hopefully we in Embassy Hills/Regency Park can sleep a little easier knowing that efforts are being taken to clean up our neighborhood. Police cannot do it alone. They need our help.
Parents need to show a little more responsibility when it comes to their teenage children. There is nothing for anyone under the age of 21 to do after midnight. So no teen under 18 should be walking any street and there are parents out there who have no idea what their kids are doing or where they are.
Take control of your teens. Get involved with what they are doing. If you don't, maybe you should say goodbye to your teens or start making burial arrangements because the day will come when they mess with the wrong person, carjack the wrong car or invade the wrong home. Help make Port Richey/New Port Richey a safer place. Let's work together to take our neighborhood out of the news.
Joe Everhart, Port Richey
Society also aids homeless, needy
I have followed your recent editorials on the subject of homeless and near homeless in Pasco County. Thank you for presenting a clear and factual report on the homeless problems in our community. I also wish to thank the Rev. Dan Campbell of the Joining Hands Community Mission in Holiday in helping the homeless to move forward to self-sufficiency.
The St. Vincent de Paul society opened its resource center in Port Richey at the beginning of the year based on the simple idea of offering a hand up, not a handout. Along with the aid of food and needed equipment, we provide job assistance, tutoring to help pass the GED test, mailbox service, assistance in transitional housing and in obtaining free long-term medications. We also supply lunches to the homeless living in the woods, cars and behind stores.
Our society is over 175 years old and based on personal contact, offering help and service to where each person lives. No charity is foreign to us.
Anyone in need of services and help is invited to visit us for a cup of coffee to discuss individual needs or problems. Should they not be able to visit, they can call (727) 868-8160 and we will go to where they are.
Again, thank you for your interest in our community.
Ray Watson, diocesan president, St. Vincent de Paul Society
Brown-Waite has insurers' backing
U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite has been a real fighter on health care reform, but can we trust what she says about it? To review what she has to say, let us take a look at her Web site.
In her response to the president's speech, she says, "I agree with my constituents; we need health care reform." As of yet, I have not seen a single Republican plan. In a private e-mail response to questions concerning her commitment, she states, "Americans have become accustomed to a health care system that spares no expense even in the face of grim odds," as an argument against the health care rationing that she loudly decries as part of a public option.
Someone should inform Rep. Brown-Waite that the insurance companies have done far worse than ration — they have cheated nearly every client out of coverage that had already been paid for, cut people off entirely when they needed the coverage the most and handpicked the healthiest for coverage.
In a news release, she demands that, "We need to keep our promise to our seniors and fix the system (Medicare) that we already have." Now I would not have understood what it was that needed fixing in Medicare if it hadn't been for her private e‑mail where she explained that the government-run program "underpay(s) physicians and hospitals the same way Medicare and Medicaid does."
She also calls on the president to "address medical malpractice reform," the proverbial cry of every good Republican blaming the trial lawyers for the high cost of malpractice insurance. This must have been a leftover from something she wrote in 2002 when the government put a $250,000 cap on your pain and suffering, when the true reason malpractice insurance rates were so high was the insurance companies lost their posterior on the stock market in 2001. And since they lost an even bigger bundle last year, we can expect more of the same next year.
She also called for buying insurance across state lines. Surely she realizes that she would have to expand the Constitution to do that since insurance regulation falls within the jurisdiction of the states.
She actually owes more allegiance to the insurance industry, which contributed $62,250 to her 2008 campaign, and the health care professionals, who contributed $42,791 to her 2008 campaign, than she does to the hardworking or unemployed of her district who cannot afford any kind of insurance, public or private, and are dying due to lack of health care.
Dennis Purdy, Brooksville