1. Archive

Making it tough to fight Wal-Mart

Published Nov. 30, 2006

Why is Pasco County trying to keep the citizens of Colonial Hills away from the Development Review Committee (DRC) proceedings regarding the new Wal-Mart on State Road 54 and Grand Boulevard in New Port Richey?

We won the fight to send the preliminary plans back to DRC for review because we did not have any input the first time around. They have rescheduled the hearing to Dec. 12, but they made it at 9:30 a.m., when most people are working.

Most of our residents work jobs that don't allow them to take off. Others are taking the day off without pay. We want to be involved in the process that will potentially change our way of living. Pasco says we can send in a letter stating our concerns and it will be read into the record, but everyone knows that doesn't mean anything. The DRC needs to hear our passion and our concerns.

Pasco also sent a letter to some that said the meeting was in Dade City. Pasco sent a correction letter to those people and others who never got the first letter letting them know it was in New Port Richey. I didn't get the first letter, but I got the second.

Pasco put up signs with incorrect information. The store is now only 180,000 square feet instead of 189,000 square feet. Pasco put the signs in front of an RV storage place on Dove Drive and Grand Boulevard as well as the site at SR 54 and Grand.

There have been so many things wrong with this project regarding the affected residents it is hard for us to not think we are being shut out in favor of Wal-Mart. It will bring added revenue to the county coffers.

It will not bring more jobs as the pro-Wal-Mart people are saying. The store only a few miles east at SR 54 and Little Road has positions to be filled, according to the store manager.

Now to the issue of roads. Pasco passed a new concurrency ordinance that could potentially make Grand Boulevard an "F" level of service before Wal-Mart is started. But Pasco says it will not use this new ordinance, it will use the old one. The improvements that Wal-Mart will pay Pasco to do are configured from the old concurrency ordinance that had Grand Boulevard as a "D" level of service.

I wonder how Pasco thinks it is going to shove 1,500 cars an hour into the neck of a funnel at 5 p.m. That is what we are looking forward to if Wal-Mart is allowed to build on that corner. Widen Grand Boulevard to five lanes at the intersection only to become two lanes at their property line, and add a light between SR 54 and Moog, but not at a cross street. Huh?

Cynthia Besio, New Port Richey

What's with the four-day weekend? Nov. 28

Holidays provide needed time off

I'm thinking that the letter writer must be a retiree. It is really nice to have a four-day weekend for the Thanksgiving holiday. The working class really appreciates it.

I'm sure the business he had to conduct could have waited until Monday, and with the hours that the Tax Collector's Office has, he could have easily gone any time of the day. Some people seem to forget that the people at the Tax Collector's Office work Saturdays as well.

Good thing he didn't come to my place of business. We were closed Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

With Christmas and New Year's Day being on a Monday this year, there will be two more three-day weekends coming up. I suggest he look at his calendar and plan to conduct his business around those holidays.

Everyone deserves some time off to enjoy with family and friends. Especially the working class!

Joan Zehall, Port Richey

Earth-friendly farming, Nov. 27

Those rabbits deserve better

The picture of little white rabbits, caged for the duration of their unhappy lives, with nothing to stimulate or interest them, paws constantly on hard wire, in a tiny area, was truly thought-providing and awful.

Mr. Blaha "enjoys" this occupation? This career he has may be Earth-friendly, but it is hardly animal-friendly.

Perhaps he should grow strawberries.

Karen Fostel, New Port Richey

Buy till you die, Nov. 25

Shopping a little over the top

Whew: I must be in the rap music department.

Ruth Martin, Hudson