Don't take more of springs' water
It is disturbing to me that the Southwest Florida Water Management District has determined that 11 percent more water can be withdrawn from the Chassahowitska Springs and concluded that this will keep it within the mandate to not do significant harm to water resources or to the environment. The agency has chosen a figure of over 15 percent degradation to indicate "significant damage" and says that 11 percent less flow would cause this amount of damage.
If the Chassahowitska was in pristine condition, 100 percent healthy as it must have been prior to European settlement, this would not be a major problem. However, after 200 years of human habitation, the Chassahowitska is now maybe 50 to 70 percent of its ideal condition. Subtracting 15 percent degradation from those figures gives a more frightening picture.
According to Swiftmud's graph of water flow in the springs, the last 40 years shows a slow but steady decline in output, even though there is a large variation from year to year. Swiftmud believes that the drought pattern we are in will reverse, but of course, no one can predict whether or not this will happen or when it will happen. Why not wait until we are comfortably out of the drought pattern before considering withdrawing more water?
I was recently kayaking on the Chassahowitska during low tide, and there was barely enough water flow at current levels for a kayak. This is a major recreational river for kayakers, canoeists and fishermen and it makes no sense to put that in jeopardy for another subdivision.
Janice Howie, New Port Richey
Sheriff isn't using resources wisely
How can our sheriff say that he doesn't have the personnel he needs to keep the citizens safe? Each day I see manpower being wasted.
Why is it there are deputies available to sit at dead-end roads writing tickets to citizens who may or may not come to a complete stop at the stop signs when there is no opposing traffic at all hours of the day and night? Yet, the traffic is lined up past River Ridge High School each morning, and no deputies are available to ease the congestion.
When deputies are spotted, they are trying to catch someone on radar. Good luck boys, the cars are not moving more than a couple miles per hour. Stop complaining about a lack of funds and try using your deputies in a smart and ethical manner, instead of having them play a game of "gotcha" with Pasco County residents.
J. Kader, New Port Richey
Beach parking fee is not convenient
Pasco County commissioners who voted for the $2 parking fee at Hudson beach should be ashamed of themselves.
There are many older citizens of Pasco who enjoy meeting at the beach for a healthy day outdoors or to watch a sunset and there are young mothers who take their children to the beach several days a week for outdoor recreation. They will not be able to afford this fee in our current economy.
I and many others signed petitions against this fee. Don't commissioners listen or care bout the needs of their constituents?
Rosemary Inglis, New Port Richey
A long run, a hope for mercy Jan. 6 article
Criminal justice laws need reform
It happens everyday in Florida's courtrooms and once in a while it reaches the newspaper — the sheer waste of taxpayers' money and an out-of-control legal system.
This article screams for criminal justice reform and Florida's draconian marijuana laws. Nobody is going to benefit from this man behind bars. Nobody is a victim. It is labeled a felony only by the system that wants to collect every cent it can get. This is not an isolated incident. This is happening to thousands of people in this state and is part of the problem of the homeless. Without criminal justice reform it is costing us more than you.
William Oehlecker, New Port Richey
Fasano is here for his constituents
Once again Sen. Mike Fasano has proven he is here for the people of Pasco County. On Dec. 29, I telephoned his office asking for information on how I could help my friend who was afraid to turn on her heat because she can't afford the high electricity bill.
I called the senator's office in desperation after the electric company said there was nothing it could do. The senator's office made one phone call and the electric company then called my friend and worked out an arrangement with her.
Sen. Fasano has continually shown he cares for all of the people. We are so very fortunate to have him as our senator.
Jane Gradl, Hudson
Couple grateful for firefighters
My wife and I wish to express our sincere and heartfelt thanks to the Pasco County firefighters and the Florida Division of Forestry bulldozer driver who responded to a five-alarm, 78-acre fire on New Year's Day. The fire, which may have been started by fireworks, started off St. Joe Road, moved quickly toward Ruffing Road, and burned 78 acres of dry pasture land and pine trees.
As a result of the extremely fast response and the outstanding work performed by the Pasco County fire fighters and the Florida Division of Forestry, all of the homes (including ours), which were threatened by the fire, were saved. The professionalism displayed by those who responded to this fire is truly commendable.
Ronald Fallness, Dade City