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Published Jul. 31, 2007

In the face of recent state budget cuts to higher education, our 28 community colleges have resolved to maintain an open door for enrollment of students. While many public universities have elected to cap enrollments in response to reduced state funding, the Florida Community College Council of Presidents is united in its determination to maintain access for all eligible students and open the door even wider for students who may be turned away from our neighboring universities. As a student-first institution, this commitment to an open door constitutes one of our primary missions.

Our goals cannot be accomplished without financial hardship to our institutions. Our colleges are being forced to rely on recurring funds to make up for this year's shortfall. Plans for enhanced support programs and other students services have been put on hold to avert this year's financial crisis. However, this funding solution can sustain us only in the short term. It is our hope that the state's economic shortfalls are temporary and that the governor and Legislature will seek to restore and enhance funding to all of our public institutions of higher education as soon as possible, recognizing the economic and social value that we provide to Florida and its citizens.

Katherine Johnson, president, Pasco-Hernando Community College

Libraries worth our investment

As a New Port Richey Public Library user, I was glad to see money is being allotted to supplement the library budget. The City Council and Finance Director Rick Snyder are to be commended.

Money spent on the library is like an investment in our future. The library helps people of all ages learn about computers, find information to help with careers, and give children a wealth of pleasure through books. The library's outreach includes providing film festivals, dance classes for children and adults, learning English and learning to read. The staff of the library works before, during and after hours. The additional spending for the extra staff is money well spent - like an investment - and will continue to increase the knowledge and recreational pleasure of residents in the area.

Our library is a place people throughout the area can be proud of!

Susan Beach Vaughn, Bayonet Point

'Brockville' is no insult here

I read with interest and amazement the article in the Pasco Times about the Dade City Commission meeting held Tuesday night.

The remark was made that "this is not Brockville" by one of the commissioners.

Mr. Brock, whom I have known all his life, is the son of a family who has been in and contributed to this city for more years than some of the commissioners have lived. It is a family whose lineage goes back to the very beginning of this town.

So I ask in advance that God forgive me for this remark I am about to make.

No, commissioner, "this is not Brockville." But what is much more important is that this is certainly not Hernandezburgh.

W.C. Baldwin, Dade City

Pepper spray is final word July 26 story

Where is concern for the children?

The lady who pepper-sprayed her boyfriend while the car was moving and the children were in the back should be investigated by child services.

Richard Warman, New Port Richey

Feeding animals is only humane

There are many more pressing issues that we should be concerned about. A $500 fine for feeding strays? This is ridiculous.

If there were more low cost spay/neuter clinics, more people would get their animals fixed and get their necessary vaccinations.

They are worried about the poor animals outside who need help vs. the lady attracting more strays. The animals didn't ask to be born. They are just as innocent as a newborn baby.

The city states it will depend on neighbors to more or less rat out their neighbors for feeding stray cats. I would never ever do this. I feed strays and will continue to do so. It is inhumane not to feed a stray. You can tell the size of a man's heart through his treatment of animals.

Teen pregnancy, drunk driving, cell phones used while driving, stricter gun control, sexual predators - don't you think this is more important?

Let's worry about issues far worse than feeding an animal.

Dee Roccaro, New Port Richey