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VA volunteers don't deserve vendor's ire

VA forced me out, hot dog vendor says | Aug. 3, article

VA volunteers deserve better

The article gave an opinionated, one-sided viewpoint, I have been a volunteer at the clinic since it opened in 1985. I am not one of the volunteers who give out coffee and doughnuts. I am a service officer who tried to help my fellow veterans get their VA benefits.

However, the clinic ran the break room for 20 years with the auxiliary units of veterans groups, nonprofit organizations like the Elks and some veterans themselves, handing out free coffee and doughnuts every day. They gave up their free time to help veterans who were waiting for appointments pass time with the free coffee, doughnuts and homemade cookies.

We did not have a commercial hot dog vendor who resented volunteers giving free snacks while he was drumming up business. As a matter of fact, we had vending machines that dispensed hot dogs and other hot sandwiches, and a microwave to heat them with, that were cheaper than the commercially handled hot dogs. The machines were taken out when the hot dog vendor came.

To bad-mouth these volunteer who offer a kind word with the free coffee and doughnuts is uncalled for.

Kathryn Robinson, New Port Richey

Sheriff, opponent face off Aug. 6, article

Crime stats need closer scrutiny

I read that our sheriff has a high crime clearance rate. I want to commend them for that and want to let them know that I know from recent first-hand experience how they accomplish this.

On Aug. 4, I was preparing to leave town at about 1:45 a.m. I walked out to my truck, unlocked it and retrieved an item out of it. I left the truck unlocked as I was coming right back to it in a minute. When I went back inside my dog started barking. I looked out the window to see my inside vehicle lights on and a person inside of it. I ran out side and the perpetrator had run away. My wife call 911 and I chased the suspect down. In a few minutes, five patrol cars arrived in the area with a canine unit and helicopter.

I had cornered one of the suspects just as they were arriving. Another was caught immediately as well. Deputies recovered lots of merchandise from other cars that were broken into in my neighborhood, but did not recover my laptop, navigation system and money stolen out of my vehicle.

Two days later, a detective called me to let me know that since they did not recover any of my stolen items, they were closing the case, as they could not prove a crime happened to my vehicle or me.

The Sheriff's Office has done a fantastic job in crime solving. Even though they knew something happened to my vehicle, (they dusted for fingerprints) and I saw one of the individuals, and I had stuff stolen, there was not a crime committed to me.

Since there was not a crime committed (As they put it, I do not understand their logic) there is no crime to be solved, so there is not anything to use as a statistic. I am willing to bet that some of the others, for which the items were recovered, will have a crime attached to them as well as a "case solved" attached to it.

Congratulations for the great work in keeping your statistics looking good. Only a politician could put this kind of a spin onto a crime. The sad part it is that the officers go along with this.

Greg Burkett, Port Richey

VA volunteers don't deserve vendor's ire 08/07/08 [Last modified: Thursday, August 14, 2008 4:44pm]
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