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Student replies to call for youth to join "system'

Re: Young people should join, not berate system, Jan. 24 letter

Editor: The letter writer asked for a response. Here it is:

It is sad, in our modern day, that I still read letters by older people who are "anti-common sense."

First, the letter writer trotted out "the system." This designation was so vague that it only served the purpose of making the letter writer's message even less comprehensible.

Next, we heard about "violent" TV. No study has ever linked TV to violence. Perhaps the letter writer blames the Holocaust on "violent" radio programs.

The letter writer proceeded to tell us we live in the "Garden of Eden." While the problem of evil as it pertains to the philosophy of religion is too deep to discuss here, it would seem odd that "God's grace" involves the highest crime rate of any industrial nation.

Japan, a country with few Christians, has the lowest crime rate of any industrialized nation.

I'm sure the letter writer is also vividly aware of the contributions of non-Christians to our society _ people such as Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams.

Finally, the letter writer makes a correct statement in saying that there are wrongs in our society. Admitting our flaws allows us to see them, and thus to fix them. Using reason and science infused with compassion, the younger generation will make great strides in the future. But ignorant people like the letter writer will always attempt to hold society back.

I am an 18-year-old senior at Gulf High. I work, volunteer at North Bay Hospital, am National Honor Society president and will probably be valedictorian of my class.

The letter writer asked a system beater to respond to his narrow-minded letter. I'm not sure I qualify, but my response to his ignorance is still valid.

Eric Breitenstein

New Port Richey

Ed Collins and his blatherings are back; pity on the public

Editor: Now you've done it! Brought Ed Collins back out of the woodwork and subjected us to more of his blatherings.

The least you could do is run his "squashed bug" picture in his polygraph harness, with the article. At least then we could have a laugh while reading more of his bunk.

George Simms

New Port Richey

A short lesson in repaving roads and who pays for it

Editor: A large number of Timber Oaks residents are uninformed about the way Florida paves its roads. It is a different system than used in most states but equally fair.

In the states that many residents came from, taxes are collected from a number of sources to pay for repaving all roads. State and local gasoline taxes pay a portion of the cost for state and county major roads.

Counties levy yearly additional taxes for county roads, and local municipalities levy even more for village and town roads. These are identified in line items of the budget upon which the tax bill is created.

Florida does not do it that way.

No local taxes are collected for repaving residential roads. Residents must petition for repavings to be done and agree to pay for it when needed, or the surface reverts to sand or mud.

The villages of Timber Oaks have to petition individually to have their roads repaved. Condominium owners do pay for their village road bill in their monthly fees if that is the agreement they have with their management company.

No one, condo owner or individual house owner, in Timber Oaks pays a dime in taxes for paving Ponderosa, LaMaderia, Maricopa or Ranch Road. We pay when there is a need.

That leaves us with two questions. Are these roads county feeder roads or as are they our residential roads? Is there a need to repave them?

The county has placed counters on the roads and determined the amount of through traffic is not sufficient to classify them as feeder roads. They are part of our common road system. The county will provide only small patches as individually identified.

These roads were paved to minimum specifications by the contractors who built Timber Oaks more than 20 years ago. As asphalt roads age they lose their flexibility, strength and thickness. You have probably noticed that when new, asphalt roads are deep black. They become lighter as they age. It is much more severe in Florida due to the tropical sun.

Our roads are particularly thin. Take a walk and look carefully at the thickness of the road where it is damaged _ about one quarter of an inch in many places, less in others. Only its base is holding it together. Water enters these holes and quickly washes away the base.

County engineers told us at the meeting held last year in the Oaks Club Auditorium that our roads need immediate attention.

At the moment the cost will be minimal because damage is not too severe. If we wait a few years the cost will escalate substantially because more grading and other site work will be needed. Additionally, we were told that if we choose to pave our roads they will make them as thick as Little Road and will improve the shoulders.

My opinion is that it is unwise to defer paving. The cost of around $225 per residence now is a fraction of what it would cost to top a residential driveway, let alone pave one.

Your "yes" vote will make it happen. You will have the pleasure of driving on a smooth, safe, good-looking road for the rest of your years in Timber Oaks. You will also have contributed to improving the resale value of your residence and the ambience of your community.

A "no" vote will have the opposite effect and will cost all of us much more in the long run. To me a "no" vote is penny-wise and pound-foolish.

Russ Abrams

Port Richey