Editor: Regarding Swiftmud's giving away free water-saving kits to its Pinellas County residents, who are they trying to kid? I live alone and if I save eight to 10 gallons a day, which is 240 gallons a month, there will be no difference in either my water bill or my energy bill. (Who heats every drop of water?) Even if a family of four saves 960 gallons a month, they won't see a difference in their bill. We are charged by the thousand and not a percentage. Besides, you pay for the water whether you use it or not. Why should we save water and still have to pay for it? Why not give those customers who use very little water a rebate, not a penalty. Perhaps then the people will conserve water and energy too. Withlacoochee River Electric Co-op also penalizes you if you don't use a lot of energy. They claim we have to pay for those who use more. They do everything backward down here. Before Swiftmud officials begin sending out letters and kits, I would suggest they ship the kits back where they came from and save the $3.45-million for something more important, like a Pinellas transit system. This amount is only for 70,000 residents. Eventually, the kits will be sent out to 400,000 Pasco and Pinellas residents and the cost will be greater. What a waste of money.
New Port Richey
haven't helped Pasco
Editor: Are all the people of Pasco County asleep? I have written several letters to the editor regarding the Community Development Block Grant funds that our county receives from the Housing and Urban Development Agency in Washington, D.C. For the past five years, the total amount has been almost $10-million.
One of the objectives of these grants is to use the funds primarily to benefit low and moderate income people and neighborhoods, and also for slums or blight treatment.
The county has used this money to help build some of the parks and libraries (we are paying for these with a 20-year bond, with our property taxes) sewer systems, water system and fire station. The money also paid for the restoration of a railroad depot, a van for the Boys and Girls Club of New Port Richey at a cost of $34,500, and the subsidizing of "STAR" with $208,444 on top of all the other subsidies STAR already receives.
When I questioned the unfair distribution of these funds, I was told by John Gallagher that at least $1-million was spent on the poorest section of East Pasco. A mere 10 percent of the community development grant fund. If one wants to see true poverty, take a ride to Trilby, Lacoochee, Tommy Town and the other little towns in East Pasco. Another 10 percent of the funds is spent for administration (as always) and almost $400,000 is in reserve (waiting for a hurricane). A copy of the disbursements of these funds for the last five years can be obtained by calling the Office of Management and Budget at (813) 847-8129. They will gladly mail you a copy. The public hearings for the 1992 funds already have been held and applications filed. Final decisions will be made in September.
How can anyone attend any of the meetings without transportation? Transportation should be a priority for the Community Development Block Grant Funds because one of the objectives of the grant is to improve the condition of life for people who require transportation or physical access to meet their needs.
I was also under the impression that our property taxes were supposed to pay for all of the services that I mentioned earlier. Or do our property taxes all go into that surplus fund that's being invested and earning millions of dollars (for whom)?
Litigation won't stop
Editor: Relating to the article "Basketball hoop and stand lawsuit," newspapers, police, social agencies and Health and Rehabilitative Services Department are constantly bombarding us with stories and articles about statistics surging upward concerning "Juvenile Delinquency." Solutions are always forthcoming with laws to prevent and control it.
Then comes our Deed of Restrictions puritan mules who suddenly become the Protectors of Camelot, and J.D. has a loyal ally.
As a child welfare officer of the American Legion (now retired) for 30 years, I helped juvenile delinquency drop 75 percent in the worst ghettos in New York City. The American Legion organized sports programs for pre-teen-agers and teen-agers, namely, basketball clinics and tournaments. Their destructive energies were directed toward clean competition, sportsmanship and camaraderie. The Deed of Restrictions are nothing more than the builders' way of keeping the homeowners in servitude, giving irresponsible attorneys a free meal at the greed trough. These attorneys write litigation because they're not qualified to practice real law.
Give the siblings their basketball hoop and let them enjoy their youth in a clean, wholesome activity. The case involved is frivolous and without merit, and should not strain the judicial system with legal garbage.
Herbert J. Edelman
U.S. society still blames
victims of rape and war
Editor: While viewing the Memorial Day programing on TV this weekend during which activities at The Wall were shown, I was struck by some truths about our society.
We seem to be slow learners. It has taken many years for us to realize that the men and women who served in Vietnam were sent there by the collective us. They interrupted their young lives to fight for their country. Some returned home somehow damaged _ some physically, some mentally _ and some didn't return. All were changed forever. Unfortunately, they were greeted with derision and contempt. They, the victims, were blamed for the mistakes of the politicians then in office. No wonder people weep at the Wall.
If a wall containing the names of all of the victims of rape was constructed and dedicated, I wonder if people would visit it and weep. Like some veterans of the Vietnam War, rape victims are physically and mentally damaged and their lives are changed forever. Again, we have been slow learners! Today, in our country's courts, victims of rape are still blamed for the crime. Women are afraid to report rapes because they think the system will victimize them a second time. For those brave women who do report the crime, it's a gamble as to whether or not justice will be done. The media, in its zest to let the public know, does not discriminate in the verbiage spewed out in a high visibility rape case. (Witness the recent unlawful publication of a rape victim's name.) Where is justice? When will society realize that a victim of crime is just that, a victim?
If a man travels to New York and is held up at gunpoint on the street, was he "asking for it" by being in that city? If that same man was wearing an expensive suit, was it "his fault for dressing like that?" We are in the '90s. Let's catch up and put the blame for rape where it belongs: on the rapist. That rapist may be young or old; an acquaintance, a stranger or a relative; a prominent person or an out-of-work drifter. No matter who the rapist is or what the circumstances were, justice must be done.
The Education Committee of Enraged People Against Rape hopes to bring information before the public so that women will respond in such a way that the evidence of rape will be preserved and the report will result in a conviction. Men will be informed of the long-term effects of a rape conviction on all aspects of their lives, i.e., loss of freedom, family and reputation.
For more detailed information concerning Enraged People Against Rape (EPAR), write P.O. Box 423, New Port Richey, Fla., 34656 or call (813) 841-0058.
Chair, Education Committee
Enraged People Against Rape Inc.
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