Hummus? No. Pizza? Yes! Sept. 8, article
Menus ignore food allergy risks
The article about healthier food alternatives in Pasco County schools caught my eye. I am a longtime teacher for the Hillsborough County school system, and while I agree with Pasco's increased emphasis on healthier lunch alternatives, the new menu still leaves a lot to be desired. If the goal is to improve students' nutritional health, then why don't the new menus take into consideration children who suffer from food allergies?
During my teaching career I have witnessed the violent reactions students can have to common ingredients in school lunches like peanuts or milk. And the real tragedy is that it's the same children and parents dealing with these issues time and time again. There are approximately 10 students with food allergies in every school across this country, and experts agree that the problem is growing. Yet the government doesn't seem to be interested in addressing allergy sufferers' dietary needs anywhere within these new, improved menus. If childhood obesity is an epidemic deserving of reduced-fat lunches, then food allergies are a health crisis worthy of schools' providing their students with allergy-free alternatives.
Susana Boerner, Tampa
Dues paid, but home still at risk
I am one of the homeowners in the same subdivision who paid our dues but received a demand letter from attorney Donald Peyton stating I had not paid, and I must pay an amount almost three times higher than the quarterly amount.
The letter threatened to put a lien on my property and if the overly inflated bill was not paid my home would be foreclosed on. I had paid my dues and in fact had a receipt from the Beacon Woods East Homeowners Association office along with my canceled check and my bank statement confirming the funds cleared my account. In the seven years I have lived in this community I have always paid my dues and paid them on time.
Eventually I was able to resolve the matter but I am aware of and have spoken to another resident in the same subdivision who has not been able to resolve this matter, and now has a lien on their home and the threat of foreclosure in 45 days even though they are able to prove the dues had been paid.
Lisa Morrissey, Hudson
Banning alcohol at park is wise
The letter writer asks why New Port Richey residents continue to ban alcohol from being sold in Sims Park.
As a 15-year resident I can tell him I remember vividly the young adults staggering around and vomiting into the street and bushes. I see beer cans and bottles littering the streets and sidewalks in and around the park. This still occurs at parade time, too. There is disgusting behavior at carnivals and the parades.
To satisfy a few who can't do without that beer or two or three or more ruins a good time for most of us. I want to see that alcohol ban continue.
Margaret Wareham, New Port Richey
Fasano a voice for seniors' needs
A senior citizen testifies in court that she was exploited and that basically all of her worldly possessions were stolen from her by two con artists. This poor woman, 91 years of age, was forced to relate the details of how she was duped into signing away her home and her belongings. Outraged that it took three years for the two people charged with the crime to be brought to trial, state Sen. Mike Fasano became a voice for the victim. In a letter to the presiding judge he said in no uncertain terms that if convicted, the two who had perpetrated this fraud should be given the maximum sentence allowable.
Year after year Sen. Fasano files the Senior Safety Act to toughen the penalties against exploitation of the elderly. He has a long and distinguished history of standing up for our seniors by securing millions of dollars in funding for local and regional elderly services programs. Is it too farfetched to contemplate that he would take an interest in the victimization of a woman who should be enjoying her golden years? Of course not!
Ann Vente, Lutz
Let Fasano pay cost of new trial
I respect Sen. Mike Fasano's conservative views, but what was he thinking? He interrupted Judge Jack Day's trial. Because of his actions, this trial will have to be retried at taxpayers' expense.
He can rectify this blunder by picking up this cost from his half-million dollar campaign war chest.
Ted Chmielnicki, Port Richey
Celebrate our Constitution
The United States now commemorates the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution each Sept. 17. In 2004, Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia helped sponsor an amendment that created a national holiday to recognize the Constitution and the benefits of citizenship. A noted historian, Byrd said today's youth do not learn enough about the foundations of our republic and the history of the Constitution.
On Wednesday, schools throughout Florida will take a moment to teach their students about the Founding Fathers, the history behind the signing and ratification of the Constitution, and why our nation is the greatest democratic republic in the history of the world. Teachers and families across the country can use this day as a teaching opportunity for the next generation of American citizens. Without a firm foundation in American history and its founding documents, our country will lose some of our national identity and core beliefs.
To help celebrate the U.S. Constitution, its history and values, free copies of the Constitution will be available to all residents during September at my district offices. Or, you may have one mailed to you or pick one up at one of our outreach meetings.
For information, call toll-free at (866) 492-4835.
U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite
Reading library books should be a pleasure, not a burden | Sept. 1, guest column
Library wrong on 14-day loans
As a Pasco County library patron, I am in total agreement with the guest column.
Those of us who are older often have eye problems. We can't read as quickly or as often as we once did. I've had retinal problems and eye surgery in both eyes. Therefore, I can't read very long at a time.
Some seniors have to depend on others to get them to the library. The once-a-month leisurely trip has now become a hurry-up, two-week chore.
There must be other ways budget cuts can be made without burdening library patrons. I'm not convinced this whole thing was necessary in the first place. Some things are done on a whim.
I fear that even if the financial situation improves, library patrons in Pasco County are in for the 14-day forever plan.
Davie L. Godwin, New Port Richey
Progress Energy should borrow
What is going on? At one time, Florida was where people could go when they retired from working all their lives; some with a little money in the bank, others with a little Social Security that they earned. When I came down some 20-odd years ago, the homes were within reach of what the cost should have been. U.S. 19 was just another road through New Port Richey. Gas was not even a thought at the time. The local store was just up the block.
Now, we have reached a point where Aloha wants another raise in the water bill, gas hit $4 a gallon and Progress Energy wants us to pay in advance for a new power plant it wants to build.
By the time they build it, at my age of 80, I will not be here to use it and that will happen to a lot of other people my age or older. Whatever happened to the old idea of when you wanted to expand your business, you went to the bank and got yourself a loan? Don't ask us to pay your bills in advance.
Edward C. Harrison, New Port Richey