Editor: The possibility that there could be a Movie lens aimed at river locale (St. Petersburg Times, March 12) should be a very serious matter of concern to all people interested in preserving our fragile environment. We have supported the acquiring of the pristine 80 acres on the upper Pithlachascotee River by the city of New Port Richey since the concept was first proposed. We applauded Mayor Peter Altman and other city officials in their long but successful struggle to accomplish the acquisition, which will mean so much to us and future generations.
However, now we are dismayed at the possibility of a commercial film company being allowed to set up camp on that property for the purpose of making a movie that will include "boat and ski chases in the river and people chases through the woods." We know that there have been assurances of protection of the environment, but common sense indicates there will be some damage, and there is a strong possibility there will be subtle damage unseen by the naked eye. We have worked hard to protect this beautiful area from commercial encroachment, so why invite a commercial company to come play destruction games in a fragile area? No monetary return is enough to take a chance on environmental damage. Please say "No."
Mae and Richard Wiggins, New Port Richey
Come to Chasco Fiesta pageant
Editor: In keeping with our 26-year history of community involvement and our active participation in the Chasco Fiesta, the Junior Service League of Greater New Port Richey presents the Calusa Indian Pageant, Chasco, Queen of the Calusas. The pageant tells the story of the Calusa Indians who once lived on the banks of the Pithlachascotee River and will be performed in the amphitheater in Sims Park at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday.
Historically, the pageant was one of the main events staged during the Fiesta. For many years it was produced by the Chasco Club, a group of civic-minded ladies who sponsored and organized the Chasco Fiesta celebration. The goal of the Chasco Club was to provide for and benefit the youth of the area, and in the days before New Port Richey had a Parks and Recreation Department, the Chasco Club used its proceeds from the fiesta festivities to build and maintain a youth center.
To celebrate Queen Chasco's 75th birthday, Chasco Club members and their families will be honored guests at this year's presentation of the pageant, which is dedicated to them and to those New Port Richey "natives" who participated in pageants past. We extend a special invitation to them and to our new natives as well to join us for a lovely March evening in the park.
As the sun sets over the river and the lights come up on the Sun God Toya, we promise that you will be caught up in the beauty and magic of this delightful story. The Legend of Chasco was originally penned as a fund-raising idea for the new public library in 1922 and has since become a fiesta tradition. Don't miss it!
Kathy Hess, president, Junior Service League
River Ridge High School band excels
Editor: On March 7 and 8, River Ridge High School hosted the District IX Band Evaluations. High schools from Pasco, Citrus and Hernando counties participated.
We are proud to say that the River Ridge High School Symphonic Band received a straight superior rating, which enables it to go on to the State Evaluations in Jacksonville this April. We are also proud of the Concert Band for receiving an excellent rating.
We would like to thank Dennis Line and all the band students for all the hours they gave up and all the hard work they put into each class and rehearsal.
Band is not a seasonal class. It doesn't end with football season, it's year-round. Now, these students will get back to their rehearsals to get ready for the State Evaluations and our third annual Spectrum Concert on May 31. They will have about a month off, and then band camp will start.
River Ridge High School Band Boosters
Setting record straight about B-17
Editor: On March 2, there was an article in the Pasco Times about a B-24 pilot, now living in Bayonet Point. It was a nice story, telling of a World War II bomber crew finally getting reunited after 50 years. The pilot was Lt. Stanley Kilar. I was surprised that he had not kept in touch with his crew from the time they split up. I was a B-17 pilot in the 8th Air Force in England about the same time as Lt. Kilar. I kept in touch with all of my crew, even until today.
As an ex-B-17 pilot, I have to take exception to some of the statistics that Lt. Kilar quoted in his article. He stated that the B-24 could carry 2,000 pounds more bombs than a B-17. This is true, because of the larger bomb bay. He also stated that the B-24 could fly 20 mph faster and 5,000 feet higher than a B-17. Not true. The B-24J had a maximum speed of 290 mph, with a service ceiling of 28,000 feet. The B-17G had a maximum speed of 302 mph at 25,000 feet, but with a service ceiling at 35,000 feet. I loved my B-17, as Lt. Kilar loved his B-24, so I respect his dedication. We were both there, at that period in time, for the same reason. So, I guess we both deserve the right to brag about the planes we flew. I hope Stanley doesn't take offense to my rebuttal. I merely wanted to set the record straight.
John F. Peacock, Hudson
Some questions about consolidation
Editor: If it's too good to be true, it probably is, but some people keep on trying to sell it. Richard Verrier's article in the March 9 Pasco Times on the economics of merging Port Richey and New Port Richey leaves two questions unaddressed.
If merging two cities into one larger city provides economics of scale suggesting reduced taxes, and improved services through consolidation, why haven't other communities been able to do it? The logic would suggest significant tax advantages were available in large cities like New York and Detroit, with more competent service.
The second question is, how long do you think we could prevail on these visionaries to remain here guiding our community if they could accomplish such a phenomenon? They would be so much more valuable to the citizens of the communities already consolidated but still awaiting the benefits that we couldn't afford to keep them. They would be off to the big leagues faster than a professional athlete.
People, it ain't broke, don't mess with it.
R. H. Proctor, Port Richey