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Port Richey will recover costs

Editor: In many ways, your Feb. 16 editorial is on target. "Port Richey shouldn't pay for election review," is self evident. After all, taxpayers shouldn't pay $4,000 in attorney fees defending an election that has been cleared once by an independent state Supervisor of Elections and twice by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). For the record, though, your editorial conveniently overlooks that this election has cost tens of thousands of dollars when you consider that hundreds of public employee hours have been wasted by FDLE agents and lawyers, Pasco County supervisor of election personnel, Circuit Court judges, bailiffs, court reporters, secretaries, etc. Taxpayers should not pay for this.

Also, you selectively deleted the second, more important decision by the Port Richey Council. The city intends to recover all costs of defending unsubstantiated charges from those individuals filing them.

The same individuals whose cries of election fraud have been systematically proven to be lies and half-truths have also filed a number of criminal complaints.

The frequency and magnitude of these continual charges paint a malicious pattern. A calculated attempt is being made to manipulate our criminal justice and judicial systems for political ends.

The resolution recently passed unanimously by Port Richey recognizes this. We must always recognize the rights and concerns of legitimate citizen complaints. It is our responsibility to protect those rights. However, taxpayers will no longer subsidize crude and malicious attempts to gain favor and power.

Keith Kollenbaum, mayor

City of Port Richey

Controls on bingo

are long overdue

Editor: I have to applaud state Rep. John Long on his introduction of a bill that will establish control on bingo in the state of Florida. It is long overdue. Many of the organizations are using bingo for 90 percent of their money projects and not abiding by the Florida bingo laws.

They are supposed to be operating on a non-profit basis, but many are really taking thousands of dollars each year. The money that is made from bingo is to help defray the expenses of operating a bingo game and all other money is to be passed back to the players starting with the next session of bingo. So if a bill is passed (I doubt it), it should require that control sheets be kept. Also, a state official should make unannounced checks on each and every bingo game and, if there is any infraction of the law, then that particular bingo game should be closed down.

I have contacted the local sheriff, the state attorney's office, the attorney general's office and the governor's legal office on a number of infractions and a few were taken care of. But if a bill is passed that tightens the grip on things, then maybe things will straighten out.

Joseph Pennington


Shame on Brooksville's

restaurant operators

Editor: Shame on those Brooksville restaurant people for complaining "it's not fair competition" concerning Edgar Culbertson's snack bar at the Division of Blind Services at the Hernando County Courthouse. I hope all this publicity will make Mr. Culbertson's snack bar the busiest and best in town!

Mrs. Amber L. Jenkins

Port Richey

Chemical additives

sneaking into products

Editor: While shopping at a food market today, I was about to purchase a container of cottage cheese and, for some reason, decided to check the ingredients. Unlike in the past, I was surprised to learn that this product contained many ingredients including sulfate. For many people suffering from respiratory problems, sulfate is a no-no. Of course, I went on to purchase another brand that contained only proper ingredients without any of the "additives."

However, this isn't the only case where ingredients have been changed in those food items that we eat on a daily basis. Loaves of bread that in the past were baked only with wholesome ingredients instead now contain many additives that do not add anything to the taste or health-value of these breads.

Even with canned goods, a chemical additive allows the product to stay on the shelves for many months without deteriorating, but again offers the buyer little with regard to health. Some months ago, a popular pancake syrup that had previously "bragged" that "they alone offered only "natural' ingredients" suddenly changed its formula and now, like its competitors, was composed of many chemical additives. I wrote to them and pointed out (correctly) that now "they were being "lost' in the crowd" and that they would lose patronage. While at first they tried to suggest that this was a "new" approach, as soon as their sales dropped they went back to their original formula.

Bakery items that likewise in the past were composed of only the best, wholesome ingredients today include so many chemical additives that the ingredient listing on the carton runs into many long lines of type.

Here in west Pasco County, the majority of residents are elderly. Many, because of their illnesses, are taking a variety of prescription medications. There is a good chance that the chemicals added to many food products can interact with the prescribed medications. I would urge all residents to check the ingredients on their food purchases to see if any changes have been made since their last purchase.

Case in point: Some friends trying to reduce their cholesterol level were purchasing certain food items that they had been told were "low in cholesterol." However, when they next saw their doctor and had blood tests taken, they were horrified to learn that their "triglycerides" had reached a very high level.

If we all make an effort to use only those products that can offer us wholesome foods, the other manufacturers will shortly fall into line and try to correct their present practices.

G. Samkofsky