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  1. Archive

Protect and serve means helping the needy too

Re: Deputies should catch criminals, not help needy, Jan. 22 letter

Editor: The Grinch, or at least a reasonable facsimile, is alive and kicking in Pasco County. Apparently, our resident Grinch thinks it is "ludicrous that deputies offer necessities to the needy."

I have always assumed that the name of the game is to protect and to serve. This does not mean walking up to a needy person's door with a silver tray laden down with caviar, but performing a simple act of kindness by our deputies who are all too frequently maligned by the general public.

Here we have a golden opportunity not only to help those in need, but to show the public that dealing with criminals is not their sole purpose. A simple offer of help to those less fortunate can go a long way toward not only healing the wounds of community misunderstanding, but placing law enforcement officers in a position of respect that they have long deserved.

Barb Capodanno, New Port Richey

Elementary students' safety is more important than speed

Editor: I walk my son and my neighbor's daughter to school at Pine View Elementary. On a daily basis I view many drivers ignoring the 15 mph speed limit through the school zone and failing to yield to pedestrians. People just passing through on their way to work, or wherever they may be going, might not take the time to notice the signs. However, parents and bus drivers that frequent this road every day have no excuse.

On Jan. 23, I observed a bus driver doing well over the speed limit in the school zone. It incensed me enough that I spoke to her about it. She claimed she never goes over 30 mph at any time. Nevertheless, when I pointed out that the speed limit was 15 mph, she said she was in a hurry to get to school to fill out a mountain of paperwork.

On another occasion the children and I had to run across the crosswalk to avoid being struck by a parent speeding out of the school parking lot. I spoke to Pine View's administrators concerning this matter and they said they have contacted the sheriff's department for more policing of the area and also reminded parents of the rules of the road in the school's newsletter. Since the beginning of the school year, I have seen sheriff's vehicles patrolling the area on two occasions.

Mountains of paperwork, being late for work or whatever the reason _ there is no excuse for disobeying these laws. It is only a matter of time until a child is hurt or worse if this situation continues. I would hope that all drivers would heed the laws concerning school zones, especially the parents and the bus drivers of the very children who attend this school.

Karen D. Bell, Land O'Lakes

Third auto accident signals need for traffic light at intersection

Editor: On Jan. 22, for the third time, a very serious accident occurred as people attempted to drive across the intersection of Trinity Oaks and Mitchell boulevards coming from the Trinity Outpatient Facility or YMCA to enter the Trinity Oaks development.

How long do we have to wait before the Transportation Department remedies the situation with a traffic light? Let's hope it's before someone dies.

Evelyn Lynch, Trinity

Developers create the need, should also create the funding

Editor: Woodshed Development Corp. will be developing 880 new homes in east Pasco County. If each new family has 1.5 children, then 1,320 children will need schooling. Assuming that an average school can house 1,000 students and cost $12-million, these new houses represent $16-million that need to be invested in new school buildings.

Add in the cost of needed street development to get the people from the entry of their subdivision to the interstate. The county will also want more fire, rescue and police with their equipment to protect these houses at who knows what cost.

At $8,000 per house for impact fees, the revenue generated is only $7-million.

This is just one small developer wanting to make a huge profit on the sale of homes at the expense of the taxpayer in general. There are larger developers who stand to make immense fortunes if we will just pass the penny tax to fund their developments. If the developers want to continue to ravage our county by building on every available piece of land, let them also build the schools, improve the road system and provide additional fire and rescue equipment needed for their monstrous developments. Their greed is changing a pleasant area into another overcrowded and unlivable ghetto.

There were 5,883 new housing starts in 2003; almost all by large developers. They need to be responsible for the tremendous strain put on the county by supplying the needed infrastructure to back up their house building. If they don't want to provide the resources, then they should not be building in Pasco. If we have only the few houses built by individuals, then the county will be able to keep pace with the much slower development.

The $45-million per year envisioned from the penny tax is only a small portion of the money needed for new infrastructure if we keep developing more than 5,000 homes per year. Our only solution is to control the rate of development and force the developers to supply the infrastructure.

Mike Anderson, Wesley Chapel

For Beacon Woods, another Wal-Mart is just one too many

Re: Beacon Woods residents will shop new Wal-Mart, Jan. 22 letter

Editor: I am so tired of people knowing so much about Beacon Woods residents! How does the letter writer know everyone of those residents against Wal-Mart shops there or will shop there? Does she have a device that tracks all those residents to discover their shopping habits?

No, she is just another person who has no idea what she is talking about! Any Beacon Woods resident who wants to shop at Wal-Mart only needs to travel 4.1 miles south on U.S. 19 to Ridge Road or a few more miles to the north to Spring Hill. Why do we need or want another Wal-Mart so close?

Take a little time and discover why so many are anti-Wal-Mart and why there is so much opposition to the big-box retailer!

Barbara Gooding, Hudson

Proposed sales tax would hit

the wealthy but hurt the poor

Re: Tax opponents use unreasonable math, Jan. 20 letter