Prove your worth, Cathi Martin
Regardless of what side of the political playing field one sits on, everyone can agree: Enough is enough! School Board member Cathi Martin's disregard for performing her job still exists. Ms. Martin's latest antic can easily be seen in the fact that she was absent for the first 30 minutes of the May 19 board meeting.
It also was the second time in three meetings that Ms. Martin failed to provide an update as to her involvement in the district. At board meetings, Ms. Martin sits passively while making an occasional comment. On May 19, she mentioned that she succeeded in obtaining a job for her son, and she pointed out that he will be reimbursed for college courses.
In April she said she can now successfully complete her term and fulfill her duties as an effective board member. If this is true, I ask Ms. Martin to support her statement with factual examples of what she has done in the seven weeks since she rescinded her resignation. Ms. Martin's work ethic has made a loud statement.
Mary Scicchitano, New Port Richey
FGUA water just as bad, but pricier
I live in Heritage Lakes, a community that had Aloha as our water company until it was bought by Florida Governmental Utility Authority, FGUA.
My questions: When do we start getting clean water? When will my wife not have to run the water for almost an hour to get the black to stop running out of our pipes so she can take a sulfur-free shower?
Why do we have to pay double, almost triple, for the same black water we had before?
Usually, when someone buys something in need of repair, they are aware they will have to incur the costs for the repairs. FGUA buys another company's headaches and expects the customers to pay to fix it. That is total nonsense. They have us because we have no other water company from which to choose.
We are in a drought and everyone is trying to save water, but we can't save much when we have to run the taps to get them clear. We just want to know why we are being punished once again for mistakes others have made.
I understand paying for water, but double, almost triple, for dirty, unusable water is ludicrous. I am just appalled FGUA had the nerve to send out letters trying to justify the rate increase and the quality of our water. They should be ashamed for signing such a letter. Our officials who have approved the rate hike also need to be reminded that we customers not only use water, but we vote, too.
Harold Starr, New Port Richey
Re: Deed restrictions
Lax enforcement allows eyesores
Most letters have been negative toward the associations that monitor deed-restricted developments. Residents are aware of the regulations and should not be surprised to be asked to keep their homes landscaped and in compliance.
You also should be aware that not all deed-restricted communities enforce the regulations or don't enforce them equally or enforce only selected regulations or enforce only those that seem important to those on the board/management. Sometimes actions are taken on a purely personal basis. Complainers such as me have been harassed.
I live in Heritage Pines Country Club Community, a deed-restricted neighborhood in Northwest Pasco. There are areas where lawns are weeds, landscaping is almost nonexistent or neglected and yet no action is taken. I live in the area called Winding Way Village. A better name would be the Slums at Winding Way. I have neighbors whose lawns are weeds. Despite numerous complaints, nothing has been done. Numerous houses in my area are disgusting. There are plenty of these beauties for sale. Most areas of Heritage Pines are lovely. I'm not so lucky, but I pay the same dues as others. Doesn't seem quite fair for this situation to exist.
Mark Laichtman, Hudson
No taxation for those with no kids | May 21 letter
Quality schools benefit everyone
I would like to address the letter writer who takes issue with paying for schools since he does not get any "benefit from such service."
I won't even address the selfishness engendered in this remark. If he truly feels he does not benefit from an adequately funded, well-run public school system, he must not ever shop, get mail delivered, drive on roads, fly in planes, visit the doctor or dentist, watch TV, read the newspaper or — well, I think you get the idea.
If we don't properly fund education (and I don't believe we're properly funding it now and see the results every single day), there will be no qualified people to serve the writer and people like him in the future.
C. Devine, Spring Hill
We can't afford any new taxes
I despise anyone in government or School Board members who consider raising taxes the solution to the problems of budget shortfalls.
This might solve their problem for money right now, but what about the people in this county who are barely getting by because of the disastrous economic situation?
I am self-employed and had to drop the prices to my customers, cut back my own personal spending and consider if there is a cheaper way to do anything that requires spending money on my part.
Why don't the people on the School Board see if they can come up with more solutions to getting money for the school system?
Bob Clark, Port Richey
A response to critic's remarks
This is in defense of the audience and ushers of Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center. They received scathing verbal abuse by critic Barbara Fredricksen in the May 9 edition. I served as lead usher with four well-trained ushers in this performance. Tarpon Springs is rightfully proud of the performing arts auditorium and the excellent schedule of programs.
Michael Raysses, operations manager, and Mark Jump, technician, run a tight ship and provide a relaxed, professional arena. The ushers are strictly volunteers with a desire to make a contribution to the performance of artistic endeavors of the community.
Granted, after the show started at 7 p.m., several attendees appeared with tickets in hand. The ushers are instructed to seat late arrivals in the rear of the theater until intermission when they may be directed to their assigned seats. These patrons were startled to hear the performance was under way. At no fault of theirs nor the ushers, they produced a flier they had received stating the show time as 8 p.m. Since this was an almost sold-out crowd, there were no back seats available. The ushers attempted to give these paying attendees the seats of their choice. They had missed much of the performance by no fault of their own, but were there for an entertaining, relaxed evening.
Fredricksen complained about "open-top beverages and double-wrapped food left half-consumed on the theater floor." Since there was no intermission, there was no sale of beverages nor food. Two signs at the lobby entrance remind patrons not to proceed with food into the theater. Our ushers are diligent in enforcing this. After the program, I checked the entire theater and found not a single beverage container nor food wrapper. Our audiences are neat and proud of our theater and its appearance.
Fredricksen complained of "an usher with an LED flashlight that could illuminate the entire inside of the tomb of Ramses II, which he flashed in our faces." Come off it. Aren't you being a bit dramatic for only being in the seat and not on stage? The ushers are provided a palm-sized penlight to check tickets.
Many of the audience became aware of the ushers' dilemma and were most kind and accommodating. None were as ugly as the critic.
If Fredricksen had come to me to express her feelings, I would have personally offered to refund the amount she paid for her ticket.
Norm Arbo, New Port Richey