1. Archive

Public Service Commission is in utilities' pocket

Published Oct. 6, 2005

On Feb. 16, my wife and I attended the public information meeting held by the Public Service Commission.

The meeting was attended by people from several community groups and a representative from the Port Richey Council.

The stated reason for the meeting was to receive input and questions from the public and to educate the public as to the work of the PSC.

I told the PSC representative that as far as I can determine, from the experience my subdivision had with a water and sewer rate hearing and what I read in the newspaper about the experiences other subdivisions have had with the PSC, the public opinion is that the PSC is owned and operated by and for the benefit of the utility companies. In fact it is known that many members go to work for the utilities they had been regulating.

The PSC media representatives said that they were aware of the public image of the PSC and that the new chairman has vowed to change that image. At this point, a gentleman, who I believe was the president of a community association, stated that he had heard all of this before and that as far as he could see, as long as the PSC is partially funded by the utilities they regulate, he is very doubtful that the public will ever get a fair deal from the PSC.

I also doubt that anything will change unless the whole structure of the PSC is changed. However, hope springs eternal, but I will not hold my breath waiting for the change to happen.

Arthur McGinnis, New Port Richey

Seating for disabled is disappointment

Editor: Last year, my wife and I purchased circus tickets from a Shriner at Gulf View Square Mall. Being handicapped, I asked about reserve seats. We were told all tickets were general admission.

At the evening show, we were told we had to sit in the bleacher seats. At the same time, we saw chair seats being filled up by young couples and their children. We were told by a Shriner that those seats were reserved for the VIPs. We would only surmise that they were for the families and friends of the Shriners.

After some effort on my part, we climbed up the bleacher seats. During the performance, all of a sudden the bleacher seats in back of us collapsed. Luckily, to my knowledge, no one was injured. I hate to think what would have happened had I been sitting there, as I have a metal brace inside my back. The Shriners are a wonderful organization, and we hope to attend the circus in March. I really would appreciate some consideration about seating for the disabled.

George Allison, New Port Richey

Many pet owners are bad for animals

Editor: This letter is to address the animal owners. The people that think they're being good to their animals. The weather has changed now and we still see these poor dogs locked in the cars with the windows opened just a small crack. Have these well-meaning owners lost their minds? I wish they would sit in that car just a few minutes with the windows up. I wonder if they could stand it. I fail to see how they can go in to eat or shop while their best and most loyal friend is dying of heat in the car. It has been proven that animals can't stand this intense heat. Dogs don't sweat like people do so it's very dangerous for them to get so hot. When an animal is sweating, this is dangerous and deadly.

If you leave an animal locked in your car, it's also illegal. Usually you can get away with this cruel act because Animal Control and the police claim to be too overworked to take care of the innocent creatures of the world. Each time you see an animal locked in a car, just remember how bad this animal is suffering.

Some people really don't think they are hurting their pet, but they always have the air on or the windows down all the way when they're in the car. Where has this ignorance come from and when will it stop? People say they like to go bye-bye or they get lonesome. They also like to run in the road but I don't think we should let them. Not if we really want to keep our pets. Common sense should guide us to being a safe pet owner.

Maybe I'm crazy. But it really upsets me and this was the only other step I could think of to try and help these animals. I've called Animal Control when I see this black dog running at 2 in the afternoon, but they say it won't hurt him to run 10 miles.

Thank you for your help. They are innocent victims.

Joe Fannin, Port Richey

Animal Control gets thanks

I would like to take this opportunity to reply to the letter to the editor titled, "What do Animal Control people do?"

Well, first off, they do a job that no one wants to hear or talk about.

They work between 40 and 60 hours per week; they are on call all night, every night; they work holidays and weekends because, unlike you and I, animals don't know the difference between Monday or Sunday.

Their job requires that they be physically and emotionally prepared for each and every day.

Cats are a problem. Pasco County does not have leash laws for cats, so their (Animal Control's) hands are tied. They can only do what the law allows.

During the rabies outbreak, however, Animal Control picked up cats for public safety.

Last year, during the no-name storm, the employees worked throughout the night to help out the many people who had to go to shelters with their pets. Animal Control took their pets and gave them a safe place until their owners were able to come and get them.

The unfortunate part is that you never see anyone write anything nice about the effort that they put forth. And I think it's about time they get a "thank you."

These employees put not only their bodies and minds, but their hearts on the line everyday. These employees are a special group of individuals and I would like to say thanks for a job well done to all employees of Animal Control.

Amanda Smith, Hudson

Take no offense to editorial's criticism

Editor: Welcome to Pasco County.

Please do not take offense to recent criticisms regarding your editorials in the St. Petersburg Times. Unfortunately, there are those in political power (and one who is a "political wanna-be") who have an agenda to discredit all who dare to have or express opinions that are different from theirs.

I am glad to report that Pasco is a diverse community with many opinions and that few of its citizens are shy. Even the political gadflies are rarely denied their 15 minutes of fame (unfortunately, for some it's 15 minutes every week). But that's the quality that many of us in Pasco County would never give up. We are liberals, moderates and conservatives, living in one community with many self-interests who are able to stand up for what we think and how we think without apologizing to anyone.

So enjoy the sunshine and our great weather, Dave. And do the job the best you can and as fair as you can. You sound like a real human being and a real asset to your profession. I now will look forward to your editorials (even though I might not always agree).

Dave Suttle, New Port Richey

Plan to improve self-esteem is fine

Editor: This letter is in response to an article in the Pasco section of the newspaper today titled "Parents say program is unhealthy."

I found the article disturbing. As a parent of a 10-year-old who attends Fox Hollow Elementary School, I am pleased that the school system has adopted a program to improve self-esteem.

I have personally and professionally seen the effects on children who grow up feeling worthless, unloved and unwanted. These are our children who turn to drugs, alcohol or even worse.

Yes, I think we would all agree that a stable family upbringing where our kids felt loved and wanted is the ideal situation. But you know what? Not all our children have this ideal home life.

As a parent who loves her son, I want my child to grow up feeling loved and accepted and able to face the tough decisions concerning drugs, alcohol and sex. If the school can help with that, then I am all for it.

I am familiar with the Pumsy Program, and it is a wonderful program that does none of the things depicted in the article. I encourage all parents who were confused by the article to contact your school and then make your own decision based on fact and not fear.

Arlene Meyer, Port Richey

Work with farmworkers is invaluable

Editor: In reference to the very nice article (1-23-94, Pasco Times, Rick Gershman) and photo of my friend Margarita Romo of Farmworkers Self Help in Dade City, I could not help but notice the proximity of the article about her, being right next to a large advertisement of a luxury development in Hernando County. I felt very sad.

Your reporter so accurately wrote of Margarita's accomplishments to bring self-sufficiency and education to her people. What he did not tell about were her efforts to create new legislation in Tallahassee to get a farmworkers right-to-know bill. This would mandate growers to tell the farmworkers what pesticides they are or will be in contact with, and what health concerns/protections they need to take. Margarita says that so many of her people, especially children getting sick, pregnant women giving birth to deformed babies, and others losing their eyesight are not informed by the growers today. State Rep. Anthony Hill, D-Tallahassee, is sponsoring a farmworkers right to know bill in this legislative session. The bill deserves your support.

Margarita is also in the process of trying to build a little free clinic in Dade City for her people. She is in need of various donations of materials or labor. Margarita herself lives a very meager lifestyle and survives on less money per month than most people spend playing bingo.

How ironic that right next to the article about her only divided by a line of black ink, are the lifestyles of the rich and famous. They come from all over the world to enjoy all the amenities of the exclusive development that was "birdies, eagles and other wildlife."

The people on this page of newsprint are worlds apart in reality, though only a matter of miles in distance from Hernando County to Dade City in Pasco County. I wonder how many of the people who live or holiday in Glen Lakes know of the poverty, the hunger, the illness, the sorrows that the farmworkers in this state must endure on a daily basis.

I wonder how many of them would even care? We all take too much for granted, and should remember this every time we eat a big juicy orange or slice of that fat red tomato.

If anyone would like to assist Margarita in her efforts, please call her at (904) 567-1432.

Donna Slattery, Hudson

Stand up for deed restrictions

Editor: In response to "She's had it with neighbor's complaints," I feel for this family, as I too lived in a villa community. What she failed to say is she probably lives in a deed-restricted area with many people who also are violating their deed restriction, but nothing is said to them and nothing is done about it. They either band together or ignore the violations of their elderly neighbors. They always seem to focus on what the young families are doing.

So, here's to you, Smith family, I'm behind you. Had there been more people like you around when I lived in a place like this, I would not have made the wrong decision "to move." I was outnumbered, frustrated and fed up.

Good luck and stand your ground.

Mrs. Frieda Weisse,

New Port Richey

Motor vehicles division gets praise

Editor: In an era when a great percentage of our bureaucrats seem unable to perform in anything resembling an efficient fashion, it gives me great pleasure to commend the workers in the Division of Motor Vehicles at the Pasco County Government Center. Each time I've had occasion to conduct business in said office, I have been treated in a courteous and efficient manner. Hopefully, this office will continue in the future as it has in the past and remain uncontaminated by the indifference and sloth that seems to have permeated so much of our society.

Roy Johnston, Port Richey