1. Archive

Writer should be shot as a traitor, veteran says

Editor: Re: Ford family member gives up on American cars, Feb. 9.

Just as we Americans are trying to change the economy of our country, someone like Barbara Fredricksen sticks a knife in our backs as the Japanese are doing also! Surely as a staff member, she must know about the unemployment problems in the good old U.S.A. Even her own father isn't that crazy about her, as I surmised in what she says he says. Articles like she writes only give the other traitors a sense of well-being, and there are others out there who will help them do our country in.

What possible reason did she have for printing that article? I believe it is guilt and shame. As a former military man and veteran of World War II, I think she should be shot as a traitor. If it were wartime, she would be!

Do you know that I was so outraged that I couldn't finish reading the rest of the paper. In fact, I am going to deliver this letter in person so that it doesn't get lost in the mail! I honestly thought it was the duty of the media to try to solve our problems, not add to them. Let's have a little compassion for the unemployed and the hungry who need an upturn in the economy, not another negative attitude that escalates the situation in this country.

I was thinking of changing papers to another American paper because I am dissatisfied with her. If she is dissatisfied with one American automobile change to another. If she says all American cars are inferior then she is indeed a traitor!

George F. Drobina, Spring Hill

Editor: Barbara L. Fredricksen's Opinion Column of Feb. 9 about American and foreign cars was most interesting. Over the years, I have bought 11 new American cars; six were satisfactory and five were of poor quality. My most recent new American car was a 1984 lemon and the last straw. After reading various consumer magazines extolling the quality of some foreign cars, I decided to buy one. The magazines were right; I was just a bit slow and reluctant to switch.

Detroit auto executives always cry foul when business gets bad. Like cold weather, the rhetoric starts drifting south, but very few people are buying it. We know American workers can build good cars because thousands are doing a great job for Honda in Marysville, Ohio, for Toyota in Georgetown, Ky., and for Nissan in Smyrna, Tenn. Therefore, one must assume that the primary problem with the Detroit auto makers is mediocre management.

Quality, price and service sell cars in America, not appeals to prejudice and racism. Detroit auto executives must recognize they now compete in a global economy, not a closed domestic economy.

William A. Crutchfield, New Port Richey

Editor: In response to the column about Ford by Barbara L. Fredricksen.

I have driven and owned Ford cars all of my life and I am 70 years old. I haven't had all the problems with all of them put together that your dad had with his car. If I thought that the foreign cars were so superior to ours I would go to a foreign country and get myself a good job so I could buy one; but since I don't think so, I will stay in U.S.A. and keep buying Fords. This is where I made my money.

It is hard for me to believe that some of those foreign cars have over 2-million miles on them. I am just a lazy, illiterate American, so I guess that is the answer.

Olaf Feltman, Hudson

Get facts on mobile home living

Editor: Recently your Pasco Times and Hernando Times printed letters concerning mobile homes. The idea was move into a mobile home and pay no taxes. Let me elaborate.

I would not recommend anyone moving into a mobile home park, period, until you get all the facts. It is not all that great. For our mobile home park alone, the park owners pay $70,000 in real estate taxes. We the homeowners pay $172 rent per month. From that amount, our share of the taxes is $158 per year, per each home.

In addition, we pay $49.30 to the Motor Vehicle Bureau for stickers to put on our homes that don't even move. I also pay $39 for my amenities tax (carport, shed, enclosed porch and air conditioner), plus $37.50 for incinerator fee. Total per year $282, plus a 6 percent sales tax, which averages $1,800 on each home that's sold.

I rest my case.

John R. Steele

Director at Large

Federation of Mobile Home Owners

Mobile home dwellers do pay taxes

Editor: In response to the letter from Patty Bassano of Spring Hill about taxes on mobile homes, I say she should get her facts straight before she blasts anyone.

For her information, the older people who live in mobile homes do pay taxes, probably more than some people who have a homestead exemption!

We have to buy a license every year (two for a double-wide mobile), then we pay a tax bill, same as anyone else, which includes three school bonds or levies, fire, library, parks, water, mosquito control and county operating taxes.

On top of that, we pay part of the park owner's taxes in the form of pass-throughs every month in our rent.

It's about time Patty Bassano and others like her know we are not having a free ride. We pay our way.

We also paid when we were younger for our children's education; now we are paying for yours.

I don't begrudge these taxes, I just want to get the record clear. We do pay our share!

Kathleen Kessler, New Port Richey

Recycling just makes good sense

Editor: I am an intelligent constituent, living in Pasco County and am not at all in question as to the desperate need to "get involved" in curbside recycling.

I, myself, am still going to receive 24 pickups in a three-month period. Why? Because I choose to recycle. If others are going to receive only 12, it's because they refuse to recycle.

It's not so hard. One day blue bags, one day green, white, pink or whatever. The blue bags are no more expensive than the others. Where I used to use five to eight green bags a week (the limit is six bags per pickup where I live) I now use perhaps five green bags and three blue. Not more bags, just two different colors.

My only expenditure was a $5 trash can to put the blue bag in. It sits right next to the other one. Just because the retailers are all trying to sell me a big, stackable, labeled, very expensive recycle bin does not mean I had to rush out and buy it. Why separate the glass from the plastic and metal, when it all goes to the curb in one bag?

The idea of two different pickup days was to save the expense of separate trucks and crews for recycling, wasn't it?

Perhaps, if we in Pasco County had started recycling 10 or 15 years ago, as most of the country did, we would not have needed the incinerator plant, along with the annual fee.

Obscenity is people who don't care enough about future generations to take a few seconds to rinse out a can before throwing it in a trash can.

Patti Cook, New Port Richey

Let's go back to the old way

Editor: I am in agreement with others in Pasco. Resume the two per week garbage pickup and one pickup per month on recyclables.

I used to leave two receptacles for garbage pick-up; now it may be three.

The county officials should put their minds together and come up with a different plan.

Sam DeLario, Port Richey

Officer not problem; probationer is

Editor: As a probation officer, I would like to offer a rebuttal to Nancy West's letter in which she was blaming her probation officer for her shortcomings.

First of all, she stated that she was in jeopardy of being found in violation of probation for failure to pay back restitution. I would like to make it clear that when the court places special conditions in the orders, our job is to enforce them. It doesn't matter if there's a recession and times are tough, or whatever excuses we hear. If probationers fail to live up to the agreement regarding the choice of probation rather than prison, then we have to do a violation and send them back to court.

Let's look at the other side of the fence. Times are hard for everyone. How about the poor victims who were violated and are not receiving their restitution as the court assured them they would?

Mrs. West stated she and her husband want counseling, but now her husband is back in jail on a new theft charge. She also stated she wants to get a GED. We have notices posted in the office regarding getting a GED and provide counseling information to anyone who asks for it. Whether the individual follows up with it is another story.

When you're supervising between 70 and 80 probationers you can't walk each and every person by the hand to each and every agency. We also provide them with the agency phone numbers and have them register with job services.

Mrs. West said she received no help from her officer or even the mayor, and has to pay restitution for money she didn't even take.

Well, if that's the case, then she's blaming the wrong people. She should be blaming her lawyer or herself for agreeing to probation if she was innocent.

The old saying goes, "God helps those who help themselves." Well, we can't do any more than God does, but Lord knows we certainly try at times.

Gene Huber, Spring Hill

Work is available to those who want it

Editor: As a retired police officer, I would like to respond to the letter of Nancy West. Neither she nor her husband should have any complaints. Both were placed on probation originally, probably as a result of a plea bargain, which means the court leaned over backward to give them a break rather than giving them a jail sentence.

Her husband then proceeded to violate his probation by committing a theft. Part of the probation was to make restitution. Of course she has to pay restitution, "with money she didn't take." No doubt she and/or her husband spent the money they took. She's going to prison not because she's destitute but because she failed to live up to the terms of her probation.

Mrs. West speaks of her inability to obtain work and get a GED. There are plenty of dishwashing and waitress jobs available if she wants to work. During the Depression, I had to quit high school in my second year and find work scrubbing venetian blinds for $12 per week in a shade factory. The strong soap caused cuts on my hands, but I taped them up and went to high school nights and learned typing.

At the sixth annual meeting of the American Bar Association in 1883, professor Simeon E. Baldwin, one of the greats of the legal and teaching profession, pleaded for an end to false humanitarianism which had led us astray so that "the state, in its judicial contests with those whom it charges with crime, will be given once more an equal chance."

Richard E. McGoldrick, Holiday

Get tough on young criminals

Editor: Bill Stevens wrote an editorial regarding sending children to jail that I found disturbing. These kids are not dumb. They know that they can get away with almost anything because our society believes they will be good boys and girls if treated with kid gloves.

This is one subject that I know personally. I have been the victim on several occasions. Before I came to Florida (for those who believe Florida has the only crime problem in the world), my house in West Virginia was broken into three times while I worked all night. The deputy and I both knew the break-ins were caused by kids _ my neighbor's son was one of them _ but we both knew that even if the kids were caught, the judge would give them a verbal slap on the wrist because they were children. These "children" took my gun and tried to kill my cat.

I came to Florida, and within a year, I surprised a burglar, a young man, in my house and was beaten up and robbed.

My cars and vans have also been victims of vandalism both here and in West Virginia. From what was stolen, we figured the kids were looking for things to sell to buy drugs.

Another reason these kids aren't afraid to get in trouble is the media will not print their names because they are minors. Big deal? You bet. A 14- or 15-year-old boy or girl commits a serious crime, their names are withheld because they are children and an unsuspecting person lets them in to help with some work only to find another crime being committed.

I have also noticed that the papers, particularly the Times, when reporting these violent crimes, will devote an entire page of the paper to advising the readers that these "poor children" were products of broken homes. It appears the paper is trying to drum up sympathy for the criminals. They would get my respect if they tried getting a little sympathy for the families of the victims.

I have seen too many great leaders who were from broken homes or a single-parent home to go along with that weak excuse. The parents must take a great portion of the blame, of course, but let's put the rest of the blame where it belongs: movies and TV that advocate sex and violence; the judicial system that seems to be afraid to treat the kids like the criminals they are; the newspapers that give the kids a warm, fuzzy blanket even when it is proven the kids have committed a crime.

I think the most serious reason for all this crime was brought out in an article in the Times, Feb. 6, regarding the juvenile curfew. Hudson High School senior Aric Storck said, "It's (curfew) not going to do any good, I'll tell you that right now. Kids will break it just to break it, because it's a rule, because they want to defy authority." Defy authority! Is that the way the parents raise their children? Is it fun to defy authority? The young people pull stuff like that and wonder why restraints have to be put on them. If they would meet authority halfway, this situation could be resolved.

Should these kids be in jail? was Stevens' question. If that is the only way to curb the crimes, you better believe they should be in jail. As the old saying goes, "If you can't do the time, don't do the crime."

Kathryn L. Robinson, Holiday