Re: County considers banning billboards, July 28.
Editor: I must applaud the stance taken by the County Commission in regard to banning billboards on Pasco County roads.
The continued proliferation of unsightly billboards will only serve to identify Pasco as a less than desirable place to live. Let us all get together and stop any and all activities that threaten to downgrade our community.
Doris O'Hara, New Port Richey
Guardian ad Litem workers help kids
Editor: Each year hundreds of Pasco County's children go to court. They haven't violated the law. Most of them are victims of abuse, abandonment or neglect. When these children are involved in a court case, there's a good chance these children, already bruised in body and spirit, may also become victims of the very system that exists to protect them.
The Guardian ad Litem Program gives you an opportunity to be the powerful voice that makes the painful journey through the court system easier for these children. This is a way you can help children and feel good about the contribution you are making to your community.
As a guardian ad litem volunteer, you'll work with children involved in the judicial system, building a close relationship while you get to know their needs, their fears and their dreams. You'll provide emotional support during court proceedings and assure that the interests of the child are served by speaking for that child before the court and social services agencies. Today, nearly half of these special children in West Pasco have no volunteer to speak for them.
The Guardian ad Litem Program for West Pasco will offer free training for prospective volunteer child advocates starting Tuesday evening, Sept. 7.
For further information concerning qualifications, applications and training class schedule, contact the Guardian ad Litem office in New Port Richey at (727) 847-8170 or stop at our office in Suite 216 at the West Pasco Judicial Center, 7530 Little Road, New Port Richey.
Marcia G. Flannery, area coordinator
Health care for veterans changing
Editor: I read with great interest about a change of direction by the Veterans Administration in providing medical services to veterans. Basically, this change involves providing a better and faster service to those requiring treatment by the increased use of VA clinic facilities as opposed to the rather cumbersome use of VA hospitals. This is a step to put treatment at the grass roots level. The extensive use of hospitals, as is used by the VA now, is inefficient except in those cases where in-patient care is an absolute necessity. Hospitals provide a large amount of the type of treatment that can best be done at the smaller, more efficient and patient-oriented clinics.
This decentralization of services will bring veterans closer to the doctors and eliminate the overloading of many hospitals which should be dealing with the long-term patient. Often hospitals are centrally located in large metropolitan areas, making transportation difficult and time consuming for the patients. Also, you usually find longer waiting times and patient confusion in processing around hospitals. Hospitals have a crucial role to play in treatment but not for the ones who need a more personalized, one-on-one attention.
This is the right time for this change in direction, since many of the veterans of World War II and the Korean War are reaching ripe ages. While treatment for them will still be required, the numbers are growing less. The VA can better utilize its funds to concentrate on the more modern methods of decentralizing, thus providing a better quality of service to veterans.
Clint Thaxton, Hudson