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Residents ill-treated by New Port Richey council

Editor: On Feb. 4, we attended a meeting of the New Port Richey City Council, this being the second such meeting we had attended in the past two weeks. The first on Jan. 21 was attended by about 150 people, the majority of whom opposed an ordinance pertaining to parking RVs and boats; it failed. Many people spoke at that meeting in opposition and amid much hooting and cheering, the council said, "The people don't want it!"

On Feb. 4, about 80 to 90 people attended and many spoke in opposition to the purchase of the NCNB Bank building to be remodeled into a museum. Mayor Pete Altman was most verbal in seeking the council's approval for this purchase, but during "Vox Pop" (voice of the people) kept opposition speakers to a five-minute limit. He made sarcastic remarks regarding "older people" in the crowd opposing, and even at one point requested the city police officer to throw Rose Campos from the meeting when she spoke "out of order." He said that opposition to the museum was "well orchestrated" and that we were attempting to "intimidate" the council. Altman and Councilwoman Wendy Brenner were both arrogant and flaunted their power as officials. Altman's final plea (after no further public input was allowed) attempted to get passed a scaled-down version for a museum. A fire alarm was set off before the vote and chaos ruled supreme.

The final vote was against the purchase, but we feel New Port Richey's citizens deserve better treatment from elected officials, who would then command respect.

James H. Morley

Dorla I. Morley

New Port Richey

First-time rapists

should be castrated

Editor: I endorse the sentiments of reader Vera Phillips, New Port Richey, absolutely. What is wrong with mandatory castration for first-time conviction for rape? He won't do it again, that's for sure!

George E. Smith

Hudson

Story about youth

was an inspiration

Editor: Something worth being proud of has finally come out of the city of Port Richey, Pasco County.

The Feb. 6 Pasco Sports section regarding Ridgewood High School's Peter Melnick's appointment to the Coast Guard Academy was a pleasure to read.

A fine young man with a goal in life in today's troubled youth's world is rewarding and encouraging. His scholastic aptitude, as well as his active participation in sports, should be an inspiration we hope to his peers.

Congratulations to Peter and especially his parents for their support in their son's career, and instilling the fine qualities that are so apparent.

Mr. and Mrs. Joseph F. Mastrocolo

New Port Richey

Article on environment

inspired child to take action

Editor: Thanks to Jeff Klinkenberg for the article concerning the Endangered Species Act.

I am a concerned mother who has worked hard to teach my 5-year-old daughter about recycling and the ramifications of our lifestyle's effect on the planet.

This morning, while I was drinking my coffee and reading the St. Petersburg Times, my daughter saw an article with a picture of an owl next to it.

She asked me to read the article to her, and when I finished reading the entire article without even one interruption, she decided that she needed to do something.

So, she took Jeff's advice, and in her own handwriting wrote a letter. The words were simple and short, but for her and myself, very heartfelt, all she wanted to say was, "Stop Killing the Animals."

I will send this to President Bush and Interior Secretary Manuel Lujan Jr., but after I've collected a few registered voters' signatures to back it up.

I cannot stress my gratitude enough. Your article helped instill in my daughter that no matter how small you are, you can still work together to change the world.

Suzanne Anderson

New Port Richey

National health insurance

would be more fair

Editor: As long as this country commits billions overseas, I can understand citizens of all age groups objecting to excessive "extra taxes" for national health insurance.

We could have any program we need in this country if we used our money here first and stopped trying to be the keeper of the whole world.

If the government is reluctant to mandate cost guidelines to all professions and institutions pertaining to health care, then it should at least pass a law, requiring that all in these fields accept what insurance companies pay as payment in full and not bill the patients for the unpaid balances.

This mandate would prevent people from impoverishing themselves and going bankrupt.

Also, insurance companies should not be allowed to refuse coverage to those with serious or chronic illnesses and should not be allowed to cancel such people.

Greed and dishonesty on the part of some (including the manufacturers of sophisticated equipment) are the primary causes for the high cost of health care in this country.

I think the right to needed medical/surgical care is embodied in the Bill of Rights guarantee of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

With national health insurance, all people are treated the same, and all professions and institutions are under the same rules and regulations, and there would be no advantage to gradations in medical care based on one's ability to pay as it is now.

Doris L. Hatfield

New Port Richey

Mobile home owners

pull their weight

Editor: I would like to reply to the letter by Doris Hatfield regarding taxes paid by people in mobile homes. First of all, I do not live in a trailer; I live in a mobile home and am proud of it.

I am not a sacred cow, I pay my share of taxes; $59.30 for decals per year, $31.93 tangible tax. Also, I pay lot rental, which the park owner pays real estate tax on. In my opinion, I pay more taxes than some homeowners.

I resent being called a sacred cow. I hope I have made myself clear.

Marjorie R. Rhinehart

New Port Richey

County patrol car

policy should be changed

Editor: Sheriff Gillum did not endear himself to anyone at the Town Meeting held Thursday night at Regency Park Civic Association.

One man wanted to know why a deputy can use a Pasco County patrol car to his second job at a flea market where he directs traffic. Gillum said this deputy needs the car as he is on 24-hour call. Does he pay for the gas and oil for this?

Gillum made disparaging remarks about a nice lady, Sandy Freeman, mayor of Tampa, because she wants to cut expenses by using patrol cars for three shifts of police and keep taxes down. She is right about what she wants.

Patrol cars should be used for three shifts of deputies. The taxpayer should not have to pay for each and every deputy to have a car for 24 hours a day and use it for his or her own private business.

Paul Waters

New Port Richey

County needs sincere sheriff,

not a chameleon like Cannon

Editor: I have always tried to keep track of politics and, in particular, candidates in Pasco County elections because I feel it is my duty as a responsible citizen to choose the best people for office. There is one person that I can't seem to figure out, and that is Lee Cannon. First, he was a police officer and Democrat; then he became a lawyer, was hired by Sheriff and friend Jim Gillum and betrayed the Democratic party by turning Republican.

Now, as the sheriff's empire begins to crumble, Mr. Cannon has once again abandoned his political "alliances" and has rejoined the Democratic Party. Mr. Cannon is now a lawyer who wants to be Pasco County's top law enforcement official.

I feel as though the sheriff's office would be best served by a truly sincere law enforcement officer and not someone who is used to changing hats at the threat of adversity or as the opportunity for personal gain presents itself. Pasco County needs a dedicated and persistent sheriff that's willing to take action to get positive results, not a chameleon, such as Mr. Cannon, who would rather change hats to protect his own interests than those of his community.

Scott A. Cicone

New Port Richey

Share your views

The Pasco Times welcomes letters from readers for publication.

Because of space limitations, letters should be of reasonable length (250-300 words maximum as a rule).

Letters may be edited for clarity, taste and length.

All letters must be signed and must contain the writer's address and telephone number. Addresses and phone numbers will not be printed.

Anonymous letters or letters with initials only will not be printed.

Send your letter to Pasco Times, 11321 U.S. 19, Port Richey 34668.

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