Regions' position on Aloha dispute
This is in response to recent letters regarding the ongoing dispute between Aloha Utilities and the Public Service Commission. While I may not discuss details of Regions' relationship with any depositor, I am compelled to correct inaccurate and unfounded statements.
Regions has not taken and will not take sides in this matter. Aloha's withdrawal of the funds from the escrow account was an error. Regions readily acknowledged the error with Sen. Mike Fasano and all parties involved. We then worked quickly and diligently to have the disputed funds returned, and they have been.
Various statements have been made that Regions' time line for filing an interpleader was to spite Aloha's former customers. These statements are unfounded. Regions' time line was set without regard to the PSC schedule. Regardless of what the PSC may decide, and as the PSC has previously pointed out, the escrow agreement requests the consent of both the PSC and Aloha before funds may be released.
Some writers have stated Regions has said it "will take (the disputed funds) for legal fees fighting any legal action against Regions." No such statement has been made by, or on behalf of, Regions. The bank simply, and as a courtesy, informed the disputing parties that if they did not provide Regions with consistent instructions, the bank would file an interpleader and that under the law, Regions would be entitled to seek reimbursement for the attorney's fees and costs it incurs associated with an interpleader. The purpose of Regions' advance notice was to give the parties an opportunity to avoid that happening. Even though Regions has a right to do so, as a further courtesy, Regions has decided it will not seek to recover fees it incurs for initiating an interpleader, if one is necessary, from the funds.
Regions is a bank, not an arbitrator or a court, and it is not Regions' place to referee this dispute or to determine disposition of the funds. That is the court's role. If the parties cannot agree, the court is the proper place for this dispute when the competing claims can be presented and decided. Regions hopes an interpleader can be avoided, but that is not Regions' decision. That decision rests with Aloha and the PSC.
John A. Acosta,
Regions Financial Corp.
Crimes by kids getting out of hand
I am outraged by what these three juveniles have done to that elderly woman in Palm Terrace. These thugs must be charged as adults and not as children. The crime they committed is not the crime of a child, it is a crime that I believe most adult felons would have a hard time committing. There is no rehabilitating offenders like these who show total disregard for authority just by the smiles in their mug shots.
I feel this could have been avoided. It seems to me the warning signs were there, but the parents and friends ignored them. I mention this because there are signs that another crime is in the making by two brothers of similar ages in Embassy Hills in Port Richey.
I have called the Pasco Sheriff's Office many times concerning curfew and other violations. These two kids roam the streets almost every night, mostly between 1 and 3 a.m. The last time I called the sheriff, they were observed looking into windows and throwing rocks at garage doors. It is apparent that the parents do not care what these kids do or have no control over them.
It will be no time at all before these kids graduate into big-time felons, as did the above-mentioned teens.
So tell me, are we doing our best to stop crime before it is committed? As a citizen, I feel I am doing my duty. It will not be long before these thugs attack an easy victim. Crime in Pasco County is getting out of hand, especially crime being committed by our children.
It is pathetic that our elderly are afraid to come out of their homes. It was not too long ago they would be riding their tricycles up and down the streets. Today they don't exit their homes after the sun goes down.
Joe Everhart, Port Richey
Underage alcohol sales no surprise
I read about the underage youth who worked with ATF and the Sheriff's Office to expose different stores selling alcohol to minors. Guess who got caught selling alcohol to a minor? None other than the CVS store at the corner of Mansfield Boulevard and County Line Road, less than six months after selling beer over the objections of the Community Development District for Meadow Pointe II and County Commissioners who voted against it.
I was in attendance when their lawyer and district manager told us this was not going to happen because of the constant monitoring of surveillance cameras. I guess profit blinded their security.
I know many Meadow Pointe residents do not shop there for just that reason.
Since the Pasco Sheriff's Office was involved, can't we have the commissioners send another objection and also make sure future stores aren't excluded from restrictions? Also, can we implement a law of two strikes and you can't sell beer or wine?
I was glad to see a drugstore instead of a gas station go into that location. However, their disregard for local residents and County Commission objections verifies that CVS doesn't care what the community thinks.
Ray Kobasko, Wesley Chapel