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Cabdriver did his job, so pay the fare

Published Aug. 24, 2005

Editor: Aww, the poor senior citizen got taken home and then did not want to pay the fare. The driver did his job, and now he is the bad guy. As a part-time cabdriver, I would be in the Sheriff's Office right now reminding them that as an independent driver, the cab company does not decide who gets prosecuted, I do.

She knew what she was doing. Unless she is confused because of an acute or chronic medical condition, she most certainly knows what she was doing. Remove the age and what do we have? We have a thief, and everyone would have been rushing to prosecute her.

Let's stop worrying about her age; let's review the situation: Cabdriver sits at airport waiting for fare, often for hours. He gets a passenger, finds out where she wants to go and turns on his meter. It is sitting on the dash in plain sight. He takes her, and she has problems getting into her house. He does the right thing and he waits. Yes, he is getting paid, but he would be making more money driving the cab than waiting time would pay him. And during all of this waiting time, she never notices the meter box? I doubt that.

She is a senior, yes _ one who was on vacation. When was the last time our cabdriver had a vacation? If she can afford a vacation, she can afford cab fare.

Hey lady, pay the man. He did his job. You're home safe!

Joe Milligan, Holiday

Animal Control doesn't respond to cat call

On Jan. 6, my neighbor and I observed a stray cat in very bad condition. It walked unsteadily, appeared weak and had patches of white stuff on its face. We were afraid to approach the animal too closely because we thought there might be a possibility of rabies. Thinking that perhaps it was starving or dehydrated, my neighbor put down some water and food, but the cat was evidently too ill to eat or drink.

My neighbor called Pasco Animal Control. Its response was that one of us should drive to the offices, pick up a trap and then attempt to trap the cat. We explained that this was an extraordinary circumstance because the cat was very sick and the possibility of rabies existed. Animal Control refused to do anything.

I dialed the nonemergency phone number of the Pasco County Sheriff's Office and spoke to a dispatcher. She stated that this was not under its jurisdiction but under that of Animal Control. However, when I explained the situation, she said she would dispatch a deputy. The deputy responded and after noting the cat's condition, he called Animal Control. Finally Animal Control told the deputy that someone would pick up the cat.

The afternoon passed and night fell, but Animal Control never showed up. During the night the cat evidently wandered off because we could not see it the next day. Animal Control acts in a different manner if calls are made about stray dogs. Since both dogs and cats spread diseases (including rabies) one would think that they would not differentiate between dogs and cats in a case like ours. After all, the department is called Animal Control, not Canine Control.

Somewhere in Port Richey, there is a diseased (possibly rabid) cat that is dying or may even be dead by now. Does this make sense to anyone?

Dorothyann Reilly, Port Richey

Construction traffic is price of progress

Re: Private roads mean just that, Jan. 7 letter

It's a sad state of affairs when folks have to put up cute handmade cardboard signs that tell folks that the road they're on isn't a shortcut. Even cuter are the Wal-Mart-bought "No Trespassing" signs now nailed to your palm trees. This has got to be driving your property values sky high, really.

I sympathize with the letter writer. However, I, too, use this route to get to Little Road. Why? I use it because it is the safest route. It is the only route that leaves you with a light to access Little Road. I understand that the constant back-and-forth of construction vehicles must be frustrating; we get annoyed with it, too. However, it's an unfortunate part of progress, which is what I think folks are most scared of.

I live in the newly developed Riverchase and will likely continue to use this as a safe route to get to Little Road. Might I suggest talking to the contractor and/or home builders and asking those folks not to drive their large construction equipment through your neighborhood? They might respond better to that than to the cute little cardboard signs and a letter to the newspaper.

Unless you put up gates, you're never going to stop the flow of traffic. That would be unfortunate, although, I am sure it, too, would drive up property prices, much like those cute little cardboard signs.

Jeremy T. Slater, New Port Richey

Rapid position change on Aloha is puzzling

Re: Aloha Utilities' water issues produce differing effects, Jan. 5 letter

I was amazed at one Trinity reader's rapid change in position with regard to Aloha Utilities. Several thousand petitioners have requested to have the Public Service Commission remove them as subscribers and place them with Pasco County water utility.

A letter writer in his response of Jan. 5 states that only a few families have the notorious black water problem. The writer chooses to be ill-informed, even after having attended a few community meetings. He has had the opportunity and listened to some excellent professionals with much more knowledge than himself on the matter and yet continually minimizes the multitude and varied effects of poorly treated water on our community.

These professionals have explained thoroughly the chemistry of elements found in our utilities drinking water. We have heard about pinholes in copper pipes, black gunk coming from shower heads or jet nozzles in bathroom tubs, slime being flushed from toilet tanks, or the heavy buildup of black tar on sink stoppers, let alone the odor of the water.

I have gone to the archives of your newspaper and noted that the same letter writer submitted a letter Aug. 23, 2004. In it, he wrote: "Ever wonder why the Trinity industrial park hasn't been filled? And while most articles and letters on the Aloha issue have dealt with black water, most consumers have the same problems Enodis has: water odor and weak pressure.

"Kudos to Enodis for hanging in there. Unlike most Aloha customers, they're not stuck here. I have to ask when the commission will cease its indecision and free the customers from the bondage of Aloha, and whether it will happen before Enodis gives up and leaves."

It is a striking contrast about five months apart of one man's written thoughts regarding Aloha Utilities. Alas! Did the writer forget his earlier submission to the editor?

Tom Simpson, Trinity

It's time to enforce litter law in Pasco

Editor: I think it's about time our county did something about the growing litter problem we seem to have. I travel U.S. 19 daily from the Spring Hill area past Tarpon Springs, and I'm shocked over the amount of litter everywhere! I watch people throw things out their window on a regular basis while driving, and it's done so nonchalantly that it's obvious the environment doesn't even enter their minds.

After an auto accident, did you ever notice the glass left behind? It takes only another five minutes to sweep most of that up! Even streets off the beaten path that should have no litter have beer bottles, fast-food packaging and glass along the sides of the road. The days of going barefoot are gone.

I think it's time (if it's not too late already) to enforce a litter law. I remember driving by many signs years ago such as "Keep America Beautiful" and litter signs noting large penalties for disobeying the law. But we were proud! Let's teach the young how nice it is to have a clean country.

Do you really like living in a cesspit? Because, that's what it's becoming!

Karen Fettig, Hudson

Water disposal costs don't seem to add up

About six years ago, I sent a letter to Pasco County Utilities complaining that it cost 200 percent to get rid of the water we consumed compared with the cost of providing water. The letter I got in return said that the reason was infrastructure costs. Now, six years later and still paying 200 percent more for disposal, they have yet another item to add. It appears that they made a study that showed their disposal rates were out of line.

Wow! I told them that six years ago! They needed a study? So what has happened? They lowered the water rates and raised the disposal rates. Now I am not the sharpest individual in the world, but how did I prosper through that maneuver? They indicated that they have all kinds of costly backup facilities in case of a power failure. Great! Once it is paid for, and I am sure it has been more than twofold, what is left? Chemicals and personnel.

It would seem reasonable to me that the cost of chemicals and personnel are more than compensated for when you multiply the number of homes in our county paying 200 percent more to get rid of things than they are using.

I would love to see an accounting sheet for the output and intake of this. I think it would make some eyes roll!

Howard R. O'Neill, New Port Richey