Editor: Florida does not have a water shortage, rather it has a water distribution problem. Florida is divided into five taxing water districts, ours being Southwest Florida Water Management District. Within Swiftmud there are an advisory board and nine basin boards, which have additional taxing authority. Though we are taxed by these agencies for the purpose of regulating our water supply, we find Swiftmud giving our tax money to television shows, grants, endless studies, advertisements, seminars and private enterprises. Little can be said of the nine basin boards.
Now to this we must add an army of employees. Comes now the Tampa Bay Water Authority with representatives from three counties and their support teams. The real bargain lies with the municipalities that finally receive the water, treat it and deliver it to our homes. Water is a natural resource and supposedly belongs to everyone. Why then is it that communities claim the water within their jurisdiction as belonging exclusively to them?
The solution is one Florida state water authority which controls all the waters within the state and delivers it to the various areas as needed. Billions of gallons of untapped water flow unrestricted to the sea from Florida rivers while communities suffer for want. Common sense calls for one authority to tap the aquifer where there is abundance and to leave fallow the areas too sensitive to tap. While areas such as ours are suffering a drought, other areas are enjoying a glut.
Andrew "Rusty" Vogt
A dam on the Suwannee would solve water crisis
Editor: This may be an oversimplification, but, for the life of me, I cannot understand why we are constantly fighting the battle of water supplies from wells or desalination when an adequate amount of water is available within a hundred miles.
At the time of Christ, there were about a million thirsty residents of Rome, and they had to satisfy this thirst by bringing the water in through aqueducts from the nearby hills.
Hoover Dam was built many years ago, and water is piped to the huge metropolitan area of Los Angeles. Now, the Chinese are building a dam on the Yangtze River that will dwarf that and supply billions of gallons of water to areas that need it.
Just north of us, the Suwannee meanders through a sparsly settled area of Florida and dumps a tremendous amount of fresh water into the Gulf of Mexico. I'm not a very knowledgeable guy, but it appears to me that a dam could be built at the mouth of that historic river and the water that is captured could be piped down the coast where it could be used, rather than waste it in the gulf. I realize that we don't have the mountains and valleys that they have, but I'm sure the brains that are working on these problems could figure out a way to build a reservoir that would get this job done.
Al L. Meyer
Turn lane and signal
needed at Alt. U.S. 19
Editor: As one drives north on U.S. 19 and approaches Alt. U.S. 19, we would expect an arrow for safe passage for vehicles, possibly carrying tourists, etc., to the Sponge Docks and other locales, wanting to drive on Alt. U.S. 19. However, there is none. You must sneak across U.S. 19 as you can (if you can). Before there is another accident, please install an arrow for a left turn to enter Alt. U.S. 19.
Federal money is not free, it's the most costly kind
Editor: The purpose of the census was to determine each state's representation in Congress. Commissioner Pat Mulieri thinks the purpose is to share in federal tax collections.
She doesn't seem to know that the federal government is drowning in debt and the interest burden on that debt is impoverishing America. Fiscal sanity would seem to require any tax surplus to reduce that debt and/or restore the stolen and spent Social Security "trust" funds.
She doesn't seem to understand that federal "free money" is the most expensive money there is. The federal government takes away $4 from us to give $1 back. It's not a good deal.
Another flaw that politicians don't like to tell about is that the federal money is used for projects that the local taxpayers did not vote for. If the projects had any value, the citizens would agree to tax themselves for them and it would cost a whole lot less. Of course, the politicians don't dare risk putting these projects to local vote.
It is also sickening that federal "free money" comes with strings attached. These strings are guidelines specifying how that money is to be used. The local politicians never publish these guidelines. Why not?
The federal debt is too great to ever be repaid. It may one day have to be repudiated. Then our local politicians will be able to take pride in the fact that they contributed to the destruction of the full faith and credit of the United States of America.
BB gun photo and caption give the wrong message
In recent years, violence involving children and guns has been front-page news, much to the sorrow and distress of all Americans. Nationwide, governments and individuals are trying to prevent violence through various educational means. Yet, the front page of the May 16 Pasco Times carries a picture of two teens with the caption that they were "hoping to play a friendly game of BB gun war."
A BB gun is not a toy. A gun is a gun whether it shoots bullets or BBs. While it may not kill, a BB gun could destroy eyesight or cause other physical injury if not used sensibly. Playing war is definitely not the use for which BB guns are intended.
In these troubled times, when children are killing children, I believe you used poor judgment in printing this particular picture with its caption. A majority of teens and children use their leisure time constructively by working, doing volunteer work, helping at home with chores, etc. It is a rare instance when you give front-page space to children or teens doing something positive.