Editor: For more than 80 years, Pasco County and New Port Richey have allowed American Indians to be demeaned by civic and business leaders to promote the Chasco Fiesta, and this blind, blatant acceptance of racism is now coming home to roost.
In the shadow of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a black youth sitting in a Largo restaurant has a lynch rope put around his neck. The perpetrator of this cruel prank? A young white man who brags of his Pasco County heritage.
Throughout Florida, attorneys receive neo-Nazi racist literature from a group calling itself the National Alliance _ all mailed out by a man from New Port Richey. And in Zephyrhills, more than 200 white citizens come to a City Council meeting when their avenue is renamed for Martin Luther King Jr. What century are Pasco County and New Port Richey living in?
Daniel Callaghan, New Port Richey
Others who helped everyone still get no street names
Editor: They say Martin Luther King did good for a certain group of people.
We have had presidents, doctors, inventors who have done good for all people, white and black, and they don't keep forcing their names on us as street names.
Dale Armstrong, Port Richey
Officials should control, not encourage, urban sprawl
Editor: I am tired of the school district telling me I am against children because I do not think it is fair that people who have lived here and paid taxes for decades will be forced to foot the bill for development.
Enough is enough! Growth should pay for itself. Our property taxes and another sales tax should not be used to build infrastructure for large developments.
It seems that our county commissioners and school district are trying to encourage urban sprawl when they should be trying to control it.
Laurel Nash, New Port Richey
Many in GOP understand need for Penny for Pasco
Editor: I would like to respond to the people of Pasco County, regarding the crisis we face with our school system in the immediate future. I have been active in the Republican Party for more than 20 years. There are times when we have to bite the bullet! Our school superintendent, Dr. John Long, and his assistant, Mr. Chuck Rushe, have laid out the facts and figures very accurately, regarding the needs for our schools. So have the county commissioners. They have honestly and factually given us a property tax reduction ($50 savings for every $100,000 of assessed value) for our residents; the Penny for Pasco will help enhance our educational system.
I have served under many Republican party chairmen in the past, and the current leader does not speak for every Republican in this county, nor does he represent the majority. Almost every elected Republican in Pasco County understands and supports the Penny for Pasco.
Most of us understand the needs for improved living that will come about the Penny for Pasco sales tax.
Joan Kelley, Holiday
Veterans' widows may be able to regain benefit
Editor: Widows of veterans who were previously receiving Dependency Indemnity Compensation (DIC) from the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs may again be eligible for this benefit based on a recent change in Congress.
DIC is awarded to widows of veterans who either died of service connected disabilities or were 100 percent service connected disabled over 10 years. Congress recently passed the Veterans Benefits Act of 2003, which allows any widow who had their benefit cut off due to remarriage to regain their benefit if they were married after they turned 57 years of age. In addition to monetary benefits, the widow may be eligible for other benefits from the VA.
If you believe you may be eligible for this benefit, or are not sure, please contact Pasco County Veterans Services at (727) 834-3282 or (352) 521-5172 for information and assistance.
Pasco County Veterans Service Officer
New Port Richey