1. Archive

Judges' opinions a danger to women

Editor: Circuit Judge John Renke III may not have duped the voters, but he and Judge W. Lowell Bray have certainly duped the women of Pasco County.

My organization has asked the Judicial Qualifications Commission to investigate the handling of a domestic violence injunction and statements made by Judge Renke and Judge Bray, details of which appeared in the Tribune, which resulted in the death of Richard Brescia and serious injury of Kathleen Marks.

Kathleen Marks asked Judge Bray for a domestic violence injunction against Richard Brescia telling Judge Bray that he had a drug problem and a gun. Judge Bray failed to order Brescia to surrender his gun stating in the Tribune that, "I don't know that there is any reason to require a person to turn over their weapons to law enforcement because some weapons have a lot of value!" Brescia later committed suicide after shooting Kathleen Marks leaving her with serious and perhaps lifelong injuries to say nothing about what has happened to her state of mind.

Judge Renke entered the picture and defended Judge Bray's decision stating in the Tribune, "But there is some controversy about the Legislature's intent that has resulted in a gray area that leave judges to decide whether the victim's safety overrides the subjects' right to bear arms."

So what has happened here, and why has one judge refused to follow the law and require someone under a domestic violence injunction to turn in his gun, and both judges spouting gun lobby slogans instead of Florida and federal domestic violence law?

People were outraged at what Judge Bray failed to do and what both said in their defense.

The bottom line here is these two judges have placed the safety of every woman in Pasco County that initiated a domestic violence injunctions against an abuser in jeopardy. Will these two judges now follow the law or continue to let abusers keep their guns? Guns kill the vast majority of women who are attacked by an abuser.

According to Judges Bray and Renke they must not evaluate the danger a woman faces from an abusive spouse based on the facts of their relationship, but instead must balance the monetary value of the abuser's gun and the mythical right to bear arms against the woman's desire to be safe from an abuser.

Arthur C. Hayhoe, Wesley Chapel

Road plan adds too much traffic at intersection

Editor: I attended the public workshop that presented Coastal Engineering's route study of Osteen Road, Plathe Road to Orchid Lake Road.

In my opinion the discussions related to wetlands mitigation and right of way acquisition were a waste of time. There is one fatal flaw in the route study. The representatives of the engineering firm told me there is no way around this flaw.

This fatal flaw is at the north terminus of the road project. There is absolutely no lucid thinking person on this Earth that would add tremendous traffic pressure to the already dangerous intersection of Osteen and Orchid Lake roads. The engineering firm representative said there is nothing that can be done with that intersection due to the fact it is a residential street.

Unless the county is prepared to file eminent domain actions on, according to my count, 12 single-family homes along Osteen in the Ridgewood II subdivision in order to have a safe intersection, then the only just thing for county engineering services to do is recommend to the Board of County Commissioners a no-build option on this project.

Otherwise, it is a certainty needless loss of life and property will occur again and again at that intersection.

With power comes responsibility. Do the right thing.

Ed White, New Port Richey

Money should be spent to help disabled veterans

Editor: As far as I am concerned our disabled veterans are entitled to all a grateful country can and should give. A recent letter took exception and ended with the question "How far can our tax dollars stretch?"

When I read that, an answer came to me instantly. "As far as Iraq."

Catherine G. Russo, New Port Richey

New sign ordinance is harmful to business

Editor: I have read the new sign ordinance three times now just to see if I have misread it. But no, it's pretty much what you see is what you get.

I am with all the small business owners on this one. You would think that Pasco County government would be out to help promote the small businesses of Pasco County. The way that this ordinance is written, a significant number of signs in Pasco are illegal. This new ordinance has cut the earnings of some of these businesses as much as 90 percent and some have lost their businesses altogether. This is not what I call promoting the small business in Pasco County.

I do agree that a new sign ordinance was in order and that we do need to clean up Pasco's roads of old and worn out signs, but not this way. The businesses have tried to talk to the Pasco County attorney and the county commissioners, but it seems to no avail.

I have talked to some of these business owners and what they have told me is that they would like to have sat down and resolved a workable plan for all parties involved. I believe they are still willing to do so. But it seems that the county attorney and the commission have no need for the tax base that is generated by the small businesses of Pasco County.

I would like to know the reasoning behind sending this to others in another county to be drafted, for what I believe was a sizable fee, when I thought all this time that it is what we had been paying our government officials to do.

Ed Mauldin, Hudson