Editor: Again I ask, do you hear Jingle Bells and Ho Ho Ho? Yes, that is your Senate and Congress. This started three years ago. At that time both voted themselves a $3,000 raise.
Social Security people averaged about $16 a month. This big increase amounts to about $192 a year. In 1998 they did it again. Yes another $3,000 a year. Of course, again Social Security got that oversize raise of about $18 a month. Now they want to raise their salary $3,000 to $4,000 a year. We still don't know how may pennies for Social Security. Now I understand some congressmen will be retiring. Their pensions will range between $130,000 and $150,000 a year. This is how they will help to squander so-called surplus.
I have a thought, but don't think they will buy it. That is, forget your big raise, also forget that big cut. Replace the money you borrowed from Social Security. Start taking care of the present people on Social Security. You can also start to think about all the younger people who will be eligible in the future.
If you agree with these thoughts, I have an idea. Make some copies to send to your congressman. Make enough copies to send to relatives and friends. Advise them to do the same. This is the only way to let them know your feelings.
Gus Harris, New Port Richey
Smokers can boycott
Editor: Re: Non-smoking columnist shows little consideration of others, Aug. 1 letter to the editor:
Hurrah for Theresa Cori of Hudson! My husband and I are smokers and do not patronize non-smoking restaurants. Glad to hear someone speak out. We have rights, too!
Phyllis Carreccam, Brooksville
Fredrickson makes grade for desperately needed reviewer
Editor: Whenever I write a letter to the editor I try to be positive, but it is not always easy. Happily, this time it is. Many years ago when I was with Richey Suncoast Theater I kept asking the Times for a reviewer but was told they had no one.
A few years ago Bill Stevens announced that finally there would be one, but also stated "a frog would not be called a prince." I was so excited I telephoned Bill, who said, "I told everyone you would be on the phone as soon as you read the paper."
Well, we got Barbara Fredricksen who really reviewed. Everything! Sometimes, I was annoyed but most times I agreed totally. She has been diligent in her articles, giving us much more then I ever expected.
Her job may seem exciting, but not as cushy as some people may think. Even having fun may get weary. I remember years ago when we were involved in the arts, we were invited to a party. When I told my husband he complained, "Aren't we ever going to get a day off?"
So a big thank you to Barbara, who takes the kudos and knocks with the same grade and does her Texas-Louisiana heritage proud. I saw Oklahoma! at the Show Palace on opening night and I kid you not, every word she wrote was on target. No sugar coating, just the facts and it is a super show.
Fridays have become extra special to me because of "Steppin' Out." Much thanks to Bill Stevens for his foresight.
Kaye Russo, New Port Richey
Punishment for locking a child in car should not be jail
Editor: When we were sovereign citizens in a free country, a man's home was his castle. Government could not invade his home except with a warrant issued by a judge based on probable cause.
Our status has gradually changed over the years. Governments now think they own your children and your family affairs are public information.
When infants are locked in cars in midsummer they suffer and sometimes die. Government does not own the children but it seems like something should be done, but what? Is a bystander justified in breaking the car windows and saving the child? Good Samaritan laws should protect him.
What about the parent who left the child in the car? Is the parent a criminal? Yes, if the child is government property. The parent acted irresponsibly and deserves punishment, but what punishment is appropriate?
Sending the parent to jail is not appropriate. This is destructive to the family. Is this, perhaps, the goal of government?
The parent should be required to write a letter to show he understands his irresponsible action and then read it to a probation officer.
If the parent repeats the irresponsible action he should be subjected to the Singapore punishment, caning.
Some people think caning is a cruel and unusual punishment, but so is locking a child in a hot car.
Charles Derer, Hudson