Saturday, December 16, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Sheriff's Office deserves thanks for catching thief

Nabbing thief was a job well done

Last week, our commander at VFW Post 10209, received a call from the Hernando County Sheriff's Office giving us the good news that an arrest was made in the Jan. 2 theft of our air conditioning units.

My thanks go out to all within the Sheriff's Office who worked with diligence to solve this crime. Our community is served well by the Sheriff's Office and members of law enforcement are not recognized often enough for the work they do.

My heartfelt thanks for a job well done in apprehending these criminals who created so much havoc in our community.

Stacy Johnston, Spring Hill

Plan for new channel deserves close scrutiny Jan. 15 editorial

Dredging defies Pasco's own rules

The editorial was right on the mark. In applying for this dredge permit, Pasco County has failed to show how it is following its own goals, objectives and policies as published in the county comprehensive plan.

An environmental impact statement is required by the comprehensive plan to show that the impact of the project on natural resources is not adverse. No environmental impact statement has been ordered by the county or submitted to the Army Corps of Engineers.

The comprehensive plan also prohibits the use of public money for private benefit, and this in itself is reason to deny the permit application out of hand. (Policy COA 2.2.2 Coastal High Hazard Area: Infrastructure Limitations — "Pasco County shall not provide nor allow either directly or indirectly infrastructure to be provided to serve the private development of offshore islands, coastal swamps, marshlands, and beaches. Pasco County shall prohibit county investments for public infrastructure within the coastal high hazard area except for public recreation.'' And, Policy COA 2.4.1 — "Pasco County shall prohibit the expenditure of county funds for the construction of facilities within the coastal high hazard area which would open up new areas for development.'')

The sole reason for dredging to the width and depth requested is to accommodate the private interests proposing SunWest Harbourtowne. As proposed in the intertwined SunWest DRI, the dredging would establish a route to the Gulf of Mexico for private yachts berthed in a marina where public access to facilities is denied. Exceptions to this prohibition are public recreation and facilities needed to serve existing development. The existing channel is adequate for the type of boats (transported via trailer) that the county park at SunWest is designed to accommodate. Evidence of the channel's adequate width and depth is demonstrated by the fact that the SunWest mine property owner has constructed a boat launch facility on the north side of the existing channel and has solicited charter captains to use it for a fee.

The county's application further violates its policy on sea grass protection and its policy on development conditions for marinas, which states they should be located in areas which require minimal submerged land alteration. A dredged channel over 4 miles in length can hardly be called a "minimal submerged land alteration."

Additionally, Pasco's application fails to demonstrate consistency with the state Department of Environmental Protection coastal management plan. Without an environmental impact statement, compliance with the coastal zone management plan may not be assumed.

Areas of critical concern are defined by state law as: Containing, or having a significant impact upon, environmental or natural resources of regional or statewide importance, including but not limited to, state or federal parks, major rivers and estuaries, state environmentally endangered lands, Outstanding Florida Waters and aquifer recharge areas, the uncontrolled private or public development of which would cause substantial deterioration of resources.

The Fillman's Bayou flats area and adjacent marshes are critical to the maintenance of healthy populations of many fish species, both recreational and commercial. Destroying the integrity of this area to accommodate a private developer would result in a loss of spawning grounds, juvenile nurseries and habitat that has made this area an angling hot spot recognized on most fishing guides to the Gulf Coast.

The call for an environmental impact statement to assess the effects, both short term and cumulative, of the proposed dredge merely asks Pasco County to abide by its own rules and regulations.

By his visceral ad hominem attacks aimed at responsible environmental professionals, Commissioner Jack Mariano has revealed that Pasco County realizes the proposed dredge cannot pass scrutiny on its merits.

McMillan Davis, Aripeka


Monday’s letters: Tax plan bad for the country

Trump, GOP make good on tax cuts Dec. 14Tax plan is bad for the countryUnless senators such as Susan Collins, R-Maine, and our own Marco Rubio develop some backbone, the Republican tax bill could well pass.The bill would inflict harm on the people wh...
Published: 12/15/17
Sunday’s letters: Rule of law at stake in Mueller inquiry

Sunday’s letters: Rule of law at stake in Mueller inquiry

Justice official parries attacks | Dec. 14Rule of law at stake in inquiryConservative media outlets and a number of Republicans in both chambers of Congress have launched an all-out assault on special counsel Robert Mueller and his team in an eff...
Published: 12/14/17
Updated: 12/15/17

Saturday’s letters: Project silent on rising sea levels

Published: 12/13/17
Updated: 12/15/17

Friday’s letters: Put yourself in a business owner’s shoes

GOP plan favors owners | Dec. 11Perils of small business ownersI wonder if the author of this article has even a clue about owning a business. Businessmen — especially small business owners — risk it all. They risk their savings, their car, their...
Published: 12/13/17
Updated: 12/14/17

Thursday’s letters: Trump’s values hardly admirable

Finally, a president who cares | Dec. 13, letterTrump’s values hardly admirableThe letter writer is happy to have someone in the White House who "truly cares about our country’s business" and is "unafraid … of mentioning God and religious values....
Published: 12/13/17

Wednesday’s letters: Proposal would restore Florida Forever funding

Florida ForeverPlan boosts land protectionMost of us thought funding for land conservation in Florida would be restored when we voted the Water and Land Conservation Amendment (Amendment 1) into law in 2014. It passed easily, with 75 percent of voter...
Published: 12/11/17
Updated: 12/12/17

Tuesday’s letters: Writer should look to his own mistakes

Is anyone ever wrong anymore? | Dec. 8Writer should look to own errorsIn Mitch Daniels’ article about people who have been wrong, he finishes with the statement that our lives would be greatly improved with more people saying, "I was wrong."He mi...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/11/17

Monday’s letters: Don’t drill in Arctic refuge

Arctic National Wildlife RefugeStop plan to drill for oil in refugeOur nation faces yet another effort to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge reserve to oil and gas drilling. Drilling in the Arctic simply doesn’t make sound financial sense. W...
Published: 12/08/17

Sunday’s letters: Tax bill puts U.S. on right course

The GOP’s regressive tax plans | Dec. 5, editorialTax bill puts U.S. on right courseThe Times is already crying wolf over the new tax cuts, claiming that the new laws "could" result an increase in the national debt of $1.5 trillion over the next ...
Published: 12/07/17

Pasco letters to the editor for Dec. 15

Re: Helping Others Fulfills our purpose here on Earth | Nov. 17 guest columnThe good doctor acknowledges a CreatorThank you for publishing Dr. Rao Musunuru’s guest column. As Congressman Gus Bilirakis said in the Congressional Record, this good d...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/13/17