When did power rates get hiked?
About four months ago, in a effort to lower our electric bill, we decided to put the thermostat at 80-82 degrees and leave it there. We also went out and bought one of those wooden framed hangers for our wet clothes to dry on instead of using the dryer. We did every effort we could think of to lower our bill. Keeping the curtains closed so no sunlight can come in and heat up the house, no unused lights left on etc.
We were very pleased when we got our next bill showing that our efforts paid off. It went down $35 to $165. So we decided to continue doing this every month. Then comes the next bill. It zoomed up to $290. And it hasn't stopped going up. Now comes the latest bill: $330, that is double what it was three months ago.
I talked with a few of my neighbors and they said their bills have shown a similar increase. Has Progress Energy done a rate increase without saying anything? This is going on everywhere and it needs to be stopped. I'm disabled and living on Social Security. After paying rent and other bills there is nothing left to pay this outrageous bill.
Gary Feifer, New Port Richey
Why not try a split school year?
I see the Pasco Country School District is relying on scare tactics to get more money from the voters. You are anti-education, anti-teacher and on and on if you resist their ideas.
Why not go to the split sessions as has been used in the past for crowded schools. Instead of crying for a bailout from the voters, do something that will eliminate the class-size bemoaning. The 45/15 system works wonderfully well.
Yes, it's change, but before resisting, try it. It would change the problem of class size, stop the draining of tax payer dollars as well. I see the school district doing nothing but putting its hand out and we will face the same hand requesting more each coming year.
The 45/15 school year would also eliminate the dormant summer recess where students forget much of what they learn the previous year. Do not vote to change class sizes. It is time for the districts to do sensible planning.
Christina Ennist, New Port Richey
Let's redraw the political districts
The practice of politicians protecting their jobs is not new. It has been around since the late 1790s when a Massachusetts governor named Elbridge Gerry created a district that looked like a salamander and thus the term "gerrymander" was coined. What is new is our chance as voters to end this practice in Florida by voting "yes'' on Amendments 5 and 6 in November.
These amendments will end the practice in which each district is rigged to accomplish a particular result. Districts are set up to be either Democratic or Republican and opposing party candidates do not have a chance.
Only 7 percent of Florida's legislative elections are really competitive. Voters do not have a real choice in selecting their representatives because the elections are rigged before they even start.
Do you need proof? In the last six years, there have been 420 elections for state senator and state representative. Only three incumbents have been defeated.
We can change this old practice by voting "yes'' on Amendments 5 and 6. If you want to help this effort, go to FairDistrictsFlorida.org and learn more.
James L. Singer, Brooksville
Trouble with those pesky laws of the land | Dan DeWitt column Aug. 20
Mosque is a front for terrorism
Are we to understand that Dan DeWitt is of the belief that the proposed Cordoba mosque at ground zero is a religious house of worship rather than a front for the imposition of Sharia law on the United States? It would have been helpful if Mr. DeWitt had opened up the discussion by pointing out that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who is the point man for this mosque project, has publicly stated that the United States was an accessory to the 9/11 carnage; and he has refused to acknowledge that Hamas is a terrorist group.
Mr. DeWitt's column does not acknowledge that a large number of these mosques, both here and in Europe, are breeding grounds for jihadist terrorism wherein firebrand imams preach Sharia law and advocate hatred and violence against America. The column would have been more balanced if he would have provided us with his viewpoint on that aspect of the discussion.
The political objective of Sharia law is to displace the United States Constitution by any means including terrorism and violence. In that regard, there is no constitutional protection for a terrorist movement whose ultimate goal is to destroy the secular constitution and laws of the United States irrespective of whether it hides its political agenda behind the sheep's clothing of religious doctrine.
It is not unreasonable to inquire into the source of funding for this imposing building which, if erected, will look out over the scene where Mohamed Atta and his fellow al-Qaida hijackers crashed two airliners into the twin towers on 9-11, inflicting death and destruction on an apocalyptic scale.
But of course there is an old worn out tactic, now wielded by advocates for this mosque, whereby they seek to vilify and silence anyone who questions the bona fides of this mosque by hurling accusations of racism and bigotry against them.
When the day arrives that trusting lambs like Dan DeWitt suddenly find their comfortable little enclaves threatened by resolute, well-coordinated and dedicated jihadists showing up on their doorsteps with AK-47s, by which to enforce the precepts of Sharia law, I trust that they will not reach out to those of us who oppose this mosque. I'm afraid that their entreaties will go unanswered — we'll be gone by then.
Jack B. McPherson, New Port Richey
Mayor's camera position awesome
The recent statement by Mayor Scott McPherson regarding red light cameras being backed by "junk science'' is awesome, indeed.
This man knows his stuff. I am sure he researched the agencies' statistics that said red light cameras are a deterrent to violators who willfully break the law and that the presence of cameras do increase safety.
However, we are fortunate the mayor is capable of making high-level decisions. Look at his track record.
Peter J. Neustadt, New Port Richey