1. Archive

Sheriff's stand on assault rifle ban a puzzler

Published Aug. 28, 2005

Editor: The efforts of Floridians for Gun Safety produced a list of more than 2,000 law enforcement agencies in the United States that signed a statement saying they wanted the 1994 military assault rifle ban to be renewed and strengthened. In Florida, our list grew quickly to more than 150 Florida law enforcement agencies. In the coming months we expect this list to grow. Our goal in Florida is to push this list to 200 and more. Now that the ban has expired we think more agencies will sign up.

Dade City and Zephyrhills signed up. New Port Richey after several contacts and a discussion with the chief indicated it wanted to wait to see what a new bill might contain. Port Richey indicated it would not support a renewal of the ban.

The chief law enforcement agent in our county, Sheriff Bob White, failed to respond. After two registered letters signed receipt requested and two or three faxes, we gave up. However, I'm not surprised because when I asked him sometime ago if he was going to take a position on the Pasco gun show loophole, he told me he would not.

Apparently our county's chief law enforcement officer is not going to take a position about military assault rifles being sold to the public or even being sold to the public at our Dade City gun show without a background check.

I have a challenge for the Guns R Us Republican Club. Let me see your list of law enforcement agencies in Florida that want fully militarized military assault rifles, designed solely to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible, to be sold to the public.

Arthur C. Hayhoe, executive director

Floridians For Gun Safety Inc.

Wesley Chapel

County needs to recheck plans for flooding potential

Editor: County commissioners should be held personally responsible for the flooding. A little research can go a long way. If you fill a glass to the brim with water, then add an ice cube, the water will overflow and flood the surroundings.

That's exactly what's happening in Pasco County. The Veterans Administration on Little Road was built on an old dried up lake. I used to fish it. Fill was brought in on the northwest side of the lake, then the building was constructed. Next Publix was built on a lake. Now Little Road is flooding, next Hilltop will flood. That whole project should have been built on stilts.

Look at the retention ponds to hold rainwater. The one behind Walgreens and Dairy Queen at Embassy Boulevard and Little Road is going 4 feet above Little Road. I learned at a very early age that water seeks its own level, not uphill. Drive up Little Road to U.S. 19 and observe the few retention ponds that hold water. The others are bone dry, due to the fact that they're higher than the road.

A little over two years ago I called to tell a commissioner what is happening at the Publix project. I was told, "That's not my district.", (I thought I voted for all districts. Don't our commissioners work as a team anymore for the good of Pasco?) I tried to talk to someone. I called the county information office, building inspection department and road department. They said to call the planning department, who said try the building permitting department, the engineering department and the building inspection department. The old runaround. So I e-mailed everyone I could think of at the county offices. The only respond I received was from Ronald G. Lewis who said Southwest Florida Water Management District issued the permit.

You don't have to be a brain surgeon, an engineer, or a college graduate. Just get off your soft county-supplied chair, leave your county-supplied air conditioned office, jump into your county-supplied and fueled, air conditioned vehicle and take a look at what is going on first hand. All it takes is a little common sense.

I'd stop all new and uncompleted building construction, then review and evaluate what consequence may happen. A one- or two-week delay could save Pasco County taxpayers hundreds of thousands of negligent lawsuit dollars.

Len Dutkiewicz

New Port Richey

Long weekends to make

up days not wise decision

Re: School makeup days

Editor: The logical solution would be to add the makeup days at the end of the school year. It is no different than snow days up North.

As for Oct. 15 and Nov. 11, Veterans Day, I know many students, parents and school employees already have plans for those days. I can see it now _ low attendance and trying to find substitutes for teachers and other school-related personnel to fill in for the day.

Is it really worth it? Remember hurricane season is not over yet.

Kellie Papadopoli

Port Richey