Council members are criticized
I attended the New Port Richey City Council meeting a month ago and witnessed an incredible sight as one after another, a record number of people stood up and addressed the council with an overwhelming show of support for the nonprofit organization Greater New Port Richey Main Street. At issue was the recent vote by council members Ginny Miller and Bob Langford to block previously budgeted funds for Main Street.
At the most recent City Council meeting, I witnessed another incredible sight as Judy DeBella Thomas, with class and dignity, resigned her position at Main Street in order to cast her vote to preserve that same organization. As a result, Main Street funds were approved but at the price of gutting the organization by losing its heart and soul, DeBella Thomas.
DeBella Thomas was responsible for bringing together volunteers, vendors, and donors for each event.
Consequently, the city and its taxpayers have not had to directly bear the cost of any of these free, family-friendly events. Main Street had been budgeted a critical amount of seed money, which helps it go out to get the sponsors, vendors, volunteers, etc. and to run the Progress Energy Art Gallery. The seed money is part of the Community Redevelopment Agency and by law must be used for redevelopment and not for general government purposes, so it does not affect the operational budget of the city. The Main Street organization was requesting only a tiny fraction of the many hundreds of thousands of CRA dollars spent each year.
I don't know why Miller and Langford decided at the last minute to pull this maneuver that resulted in the loss of a great resource for the city. It smells of personal vindictiveness, given the fact that they both voiced support for Main Street and the Art Gallery. If they wanted to preserve the Main Street organization but get rid of DeBella Thomas as director, then this was the perfect move to make. Our officials are elected to responsibly serve in positions of leadership. At worst, this is an example of personal prejudice which has no place in government. At best, it is an example of irresponsible shortsightedness by Miller and Langford.
Cliff Stodden, New Port Richey
Some roads too risky for bicyclists
I live on Pasco Road in San Antonio and see plenty of bicyclists riding weekly on my road. The speed limit is 30 mph. Not much of a problem because drivers are usually going slow enough to see them before they are upon them. But those bicyclists who ride on roads such as St. Joe, which I drive daily, must be crazy.
The speed limit is 55 mph in some areas and there aren't any bike lanes. When you compare a bike to a car/truck and the latter is going 30 to 60 mph, the bicyclists will always lose in a collision. I am very sorry for the Ash family and all the families who have lost a loved one in a bicyclist accident. But every time I see a bicyclist on a road such as St. Joe, I wonder why they would put their lives in danger.
Lynn Plazewski, San Antonio
No-wake zone is unnecessary | Oct. 14 letter
Boating rules enhance safety
The letter writer highlights exactly why these types of zones are necessary to help boaters unfamiliar with the U.S. Coast Guard navigation rules. To aid both new boaters and so-called experienced boaters, there are two excellent organizations in the U.S. Power Squadron and U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary that routinely offer safe boating classes to individuals operating power, sail, and personal watercraft to help protect themselves and others, as well as to safely operate their own vessels. The local groups offering classes are the Anclote Key Sail and Power Squadron and the Tarpon Springs Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 11-9.
There are some misconceptions stated by the writer that contradict the navigation rules. First, no rule states "boaters entering the channel need to yield." Rule 15, however, describes a crossing situation where a boat that has the other boat on its starboard (right) side; shall keep out of the way and avoid crossing ahead. (The writer's reference to Rule 9 applies to larger, deep-draft vessels that can only operate safely in a channel, not smaller power boats.)
Secondly, the reference to a channel as an interstate highway is not prudent, is dangerous and conflicts with Rule 6, safe speed. This says that every vessel shall at all times proceed at a safe speed so it can take proper and effective action to avoid collision and stop within an appropriate distance considering prevailing conditions such as other boats or the weather.
In total, there are only 16 steering and navigation rules to become familiar with and three — safe speed, overtaking (Rule 13); head-on situation (Rule 14), and crossing situation — that boaters face every time they operate their vessel. Basic familiarity with just these would make our waters safer and more enjoyable for everyone.
Carl Roth, Port Richey