Editor: Times staff writer Bridget Grumet recently wrote that if you went to a Beacon Woods Civic Association gathering, you might think that most residents vehemently oppose plans to construct a Wal-Mart Supercenter at their doorstep.
She goes on to say "Take a peek at Wal-Mart's mail and the opposite picture emerges." Additionally, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman was quoted as saying, "the majority of people in that area recognize that this is a good thing."
I can understand the Wal-Mart spokeswoman making such a statement (although no support was offered). I can't say the same thing for the Times staff writer. She knew, or should have known, that the color brochure and the postage-paid reply cards Wal-Mart sent to 36,000 homeowners in the area were biased. For instance, there was only one box on the reply card to be checked by the recipients. And that box said, "Yes, I agree. This new Wal-Mart Supercenter belongs in my community." There was no second box saying "No, I disagree. This new Wal-Mart Supercenter does not belong in my community."
Even so, the response showed that only 4,215 homeowners supported Wal-Mart's plans for a supercenter just north of Beacon Woods Drive. That small response certainly doesn't prove that the majority of people in the area recognize that this is a good thing, nor does it show anything with respect to the residents who live in the 2,800 or so homes in Beacon Woods.
Al Voss, Hudson
Government shouldn't waste money on penny tax ads
Re: Offering freebies no way to sell penny sales tax, Jan. 28 editorial
Editor: Kudos to you for the editorial. Your points were right on the mark. Our governing body does not need to be tossing in 11th-hour goodies to first one group, then another to try to get this approved by the voters.
By a 4-1 vote, commissioners approved $35,000 for advertising regarding the sales tax increase. Except for Commissioner Ann Hildebrand's slip of the tongue (or was it a slip of the truth?) the advertising was termed "informational" not "political."
I'll reserve judgment until I see the ads. If I see information presented on both sides of the question, then I'll believe them to be informational. But if they turn out to be, as I suspect they will, a one-sided presentation designed to get voter approval, then we'll know Commissioner Pat Mulieri was right with her "no" vote on this expenditure.
There is plenty of information available to voters on this issue without the need for the county to spend its limited funds for advertising.
William F. Humphrey, New Port Richey
No need to vote again on taxes people said "no' to in past
Editor: I see the Pasco Times is again in favor of a tax increase. In fact, the Times never saw a tax it didn't like. The same thing should be said for Peter Altman.
A short time back, some citizens wanted to have another vote on class size and bullet train amendments. The powers that be said the people have spoken and we must do what they voted for. It seems to me we have voted "no" on a 1 percent tax increase before, but it is okay to vote again on this. I wonder why?
Any politician can do a good job with additional tax revenue. A good politician will do the job with the revenue on hand. Never vote to increase your taxes. They will get the money from you if the tax increase goes through or not, so don't make it easy for them.
George H. Doenges, New Port Richey
Proposed tax would affect seniors and young families most
Re: Many in GOP understand need for Penny for Pasco, Jan. 25 letter
Editor: There are two sides to the Penny for Pasco issue. One side is laid out by Dr. John Long and Chuck Rushe and the county commissioners. The other is laid out by Ann and Bill Bunting and other opponents of the sales tax increase. The vote to oppose the Penny for Pasco was unanimous at both the Republican Executive Committee and the Spirit of '76 Republican Club.
Tax increases affect Democrats, independents and Republicans alike. Fighting this tax is a fairness issue. It's a people issue. Higher wage earners may not care about the additional money this tax will cost them. Young families and seniors will be most affected. The higher-priced homes being built will pull up the value of older homes, making it harder for young people and seniors to buy homes and pay property taxes. Seniors will be less likely to retire to Pasco, which will affect our economy.
The letter writer does not speak for Republicans. She is supporting a tax that is supported by construction companies, architects, real estate agents and developers. Many are not even from Pasco.
Grant Maciorowski, New Port Richey
Fear of lost profit, not safety, halts Canadian drug imports
Editor: Our U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite cites safety as the major reason for banning the importation of drugs from Canada. I totally agree with that assessment. However, we must further explore the term "safety."
The idea of a safety net of federal drug protection agencies is flawed, and there are many examples of altered or diluted drugs reaching the consumer from the homegrown American drug industry.
The article cites a difference of approximately 45 percent, or $605, saved annually. One can reason that the real safety issue is the $605 in extra profits the U.S. pharmacy industry will place in its coffers. These extra profits not only line the pockets of the fat cat legal drug merchants, but also provide a source for the contributions to the fat cat politicians.
Overall, Medicare drug benefits can be likened to an expression that my dad used when I was a kid. He said that they are giving us the sleeves from their vests. My naive response was, "Dad, vests don't have sleeves!"
Patrick J. Conrey, Spring Hill