Sunday, March 18, 2018
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: Protect Floridians’ right to privacy

People push for changes at Constitution hearing | March 14Protect Florida’s right to privacyI attended the Constitution Revision Commission’s public hearing at USF St. Petersburg last week. I was there because I thought it was important to have m...
Published: 03/18/18

Sunday’s letters: Effort to stem pet cruelty pays off

Puppy millsEffort to stem cruelty pays offThank you to everyone who contacted their legislators, and a huge shout-out to the Tampa Bay Times for letting us know that state legislators were considering a bill to eliminate the hard-achieved gains on lo...
Published: 03/17/18

Saturday’s letters: Insurer focused on repairs, not fees

Citizens hit with $12.7M verdict | March 15Insurer’s focus: repairs, not feesCitizens Property Insurance Corp. has spent the past several years making sure that insurance proceeds for sinkhole repairs are used to restore a home and make it whole....
Published: 03/16/18

Friday’s letters: Put young people to work rebuilding infrastructure

Smart way to pay for infrastructure | March 13, commentaryMake rebuilding a youth project Raising gas taxes to pay for infrastructure may not be the best way to go. I suggest we re-invent the old WPA (Works Progress Administration) and draft high...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/15/18

Thursday’s letters: An alternative for giving: Breadcoin

Panhandling paradox | March 11Innovation in giving: BreadcoinPanhandling is destructive to the donor, panhandler and our community — a guilt trip that erodes personal dignity, respect and self-worth, making the recipient more beholden and entitle...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/14/18
Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Daylight saving timeDaylight bill is bad for businessI encourage Gov. Rick Scott to veto the daylight saving time extension bill. It makes no sense. It puts Florida out of sync with the rest of the country. Commerce will be affected. The entire Easte...
Published: 03/13/18

Pasco Letter to the Editor for March 16

Re: Pasco to test roadside recycling | March 9 column Pasco County (and its residents) have financial incentives to recycle, but the participation rate is low. Clearly, Pasco County either needs to make recycling mandatory — by making residents r...
Published: 03/13/18
Tuesday’s letters: Billionaire’s personal agenda

Tuesday’s letters: Billionaire’s personal agenda

Billionaire targeting young voters | March 7Using youths in personal agendaIs anyone surprised that Tom Steyer is using his extreme wealth to support his personal agenda and the liberal agenda of the Democratic Party? His real motive, hidden in h...
Published: 03/12/18
Updated: 03/13/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for March 16

Re: Pasco to test roadside recycling | March 9 columnOur community, Briar Patch, in New Port Richey has really gotten on board with the recycling program. Many homeowners diligently separate garbage from recycling material and place it curbside f...
Published: 03/12/18

Thursday’s letters: Gun limits, maybe; confiscation, never

Gun controlLimits, possibly; seizures, neverThe antigun left-leaning media constantly refers to the "gun lobby" and the National Rifle Association when trying to ban and even take guns away from legitimate owners. They blame organizations for the act...
Published: 03/07/18