Vandals roam vacant land
I am a resident living on East Road here in Hudson in Pasco County, who among others is afraid to go outside in my own neighborhood. My three children are limited to playing outdoors for a very limited time each day.
The problem we are facing has been reported to the local authorities multiple times in the last year to no avail. In our area there are several hundred acres of privately owned vacant land that have been taken over by scores of people young and old riding all-terrain vehicles, motorcycles and four-wheel drive trucks. They start riding as early as daybreak and continue well past midnight. Besides the loud noises of the motors, there are constant gunfire and explosions as anything goes in this part of town. There are beer bottles and trash dumped, causing a hazard for the local wildlife. There are even links on Web sites hosted to show people how to break into the area.
Local residents have tried to fix the problems by fencing in our property and gating the private roads, but the vandals have run down our fences and gates with four-wheel drive vehicles. When we confront them, we are verbally threatened with violence toward our families and ourselves, which is why we limit our children's outdoor time.
On numerous occasions, the trespassers have been law enforcement officers who have told us there is nothing we can do about them being here. In a way they are right because the Pasco County Sheriff's Office has all but washed their hands of the problems we face.
Deputies who respond are unable to handle the number of people in the area when called out and are not equipped to handle the types of vehicles the vandals are driving. There have been stolen cars that have been burned to the ground as well as soda, newspaper and ATM machines found in the area. Copper wire and diesel fuel were stolen from a cell tower station.
At this point the residents in the area are giving up hope of any normal lifestyle.
I have personally contacted local law enforcement, Sheriff Bob White himself, my county commissioner and the agriculture unit deputies for Pasco County. Just the other day, there was automatic gunfire no more than 200 yards away from my home. At this point, local residents are looking for any kind of help we can get to end the control bullies have over our daily lives.
John Bohm, Hudson
Come back, code enforcement
Code enforcement officers hit Moon Lake a few months ago like storm troopers. They were escorted by the police to crack down on people who live like slobs.
Tow trucks were everywhere and things were being moved like never before. They scared everyone into moving their junk behind their houses or to someone else's yard because everyone knew in a week or so we would not see them for another 10 years. So now everyone has moved their junk to the front yard for everyone to admire.
Take a ride down Key Lime Road and look at the beautiful mess someone has left. It has been that way for months. Where is code enforcement now?
Donald R. Talbot, New Port Richey
Keep police cruisers in sight
Regarding the wrong-way driver on U.S. 19, luckily a deputy was nearby and the driver was apprehended before he could do more serious damage.
My question is, why was the deputy behind a building completing paperwork? Everyone knows a strong police presence is the greatest deterrent to illegal activity. An example of this is the empty police car that Tarpon Springs parks on the median at U.S. 19 and Tarpon Avenue. It creates a field of taillights.
The more law enforcement vehicles on the streets and in our neighborhoods, the less crime. That's one reason officers get to take vehicles home.
I hope it's not standard operating procedure to obscure the sheriff's cars from view while performing this aspect of their duty. A deputy parked in the lot of a 7-Eleven or Walgreens on U.S. 19 would be highly visible, and the lights are free.
Thomas Karcher, New Port Richey
Park, then hang disabled permit
My husband just received a disabled parking permit and was told at the Tax Collector's Office that it is to removed while driving. It also states this right at the top of the tag.
My comment is that 99 percent of the cars driving our roads do not remove these tags while driving. Do you want everyone to know that you are handicapped? Why don't you do as they told you upon receiving the tag? Leaving it up while you drive is also a distraction while looking out your window to see.
Please remove the tag while you are driving as it states.
Elaine Hotchkiss, Hudson
Public employees cash in amid cuts
Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus, at least there is in Florida.
I'm referring, of course, to all the hard-working people who pay their taxes and show up for work every day, that is if they still have a job. From the double- and triple-dipping items and various other items in the Times it would seem that most of our taxes go into the pockets of politicians and high-ranking government employees.
House Speaker Ray Sansom was being paid for two jobs when he only had one. While teachers and school staff in Pasco County have had their wages frozen, Hillsborough superintendent Mary Ellen Elia gets a $258,000 salary and a bonus of $42,438. How about school bus drivers getting attendance bonuses for showing up for work every day? What ever happened to the no-work, no-pay system?
Some private companies are cutting back on their employees 401(k) matching payments and Pinellas County School District is cutting back on school busing and closing some schools to save money.
All of this is happening while our politicians are getting raises. One has to wonder when all this will end.
Art Wilkins, Port Richey
Leave tip only if it is warranted | Jan. 4, letter
Taking back tip? That's bizarre
Regarding the ridiculous letter on retracting tips for less than stellar service, I say more power to him. However, I have worked in the area as a server and have been a patron as well for more than 25 years. I have never once had to take back a tip! Ever.
Was the waiter drunk? Was he on break and smoking or chatting on a cell phone? Or was he not at the letter writer's beck and call when his half-full glass of water needed a new lemon?
We make approximately $3.69 per hour and live on the tips he takes away. I can only imagine the conversation that he had with the poor waiter and manager on why he was taking away this poor kid's tip (service charge). If the charge is included, fine; if not, don't tip if you had poor service. I just wish this editorial page had photos to go along with the letters so we could all look out for you. Do you squeak when you walk?
Dee Morva, Hudson
First baby of '09 faces tough road | Jan. 6, letter
Bundles of joy will cost us all Jan. 6, letter
Congratulations due, not rudeness
I think it is horrible that people can't just be happy that a baby was born in 2009. Why do people have to make rude and awful comments about a new mother and her brand-new baby?
Instead of saying congratulations, they say she is unwed or on welfare. Do they know for sure? To those letter writers, they should be ashamed of themselves.
Mary Barker, Port Richey
Sad story for first child of 2009
The letter writers said what I wanted to, so badly, concerning your article on Pasco County's first baby of 2009. They said what needed to be said, but much nicer than I would have said it. Thank you both.
Call me old-fashioned, but what is wrong with this newspaper? I do not live under a rock, but I certainly do not need to be slammed in the face with a story such as this.
Unfortunately, these kids don't have a chance in this world.
Charles Poppelreiter, Hudson