1. Archive


Published Aug. 2, 2007

The Wiregrass deal once again proves that county commissioners don't have the backbone to do what is right for Pasco County. Developers, at the expense of Pasco's citizenry, care only about the green they can put in their pockets.

There is not enough water, roads, schools or infrastructure to handle the population now. Property taxes and homeowners insurance in some areas skyrocketed. Florida is leading the country in foreclosures. For the first time, more people are leaving than moving to Florida and the inventory of unsold homes is 30,000 to 50,000.

The quality of life continues to erode with no end in sight, and the wisdom now is to build 12,500 homes on 5,100 acres at Wiregrass.

The legacy left by county commissioners and developers will be of transforming a paradise into a trash heap.

Calvin Johnson, New Port Richey

Brown-Waite's office was big help

I believe there is a tendency in this country to believe that elected representatives, both at the local level and at the national level, do little for the people they represent. I had a recent experience that has shown me the care and dedication of U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite and her staff in the Brooksville office.

I applied for Social Security last November, expecting to start receiving my payments in January. I was sent a form to fill out, which was for officers in a corporation. I own a small part of a very small business, started by my wife and myself (she owns the great majority) to provide additional income during retirement. Sometime after sending it in (January), I received a form from Social Security stating that my benefits were suspended because my income was too high. They filled in $99,999 as my income for 2007. Were I making anywhere near that I would not have retired.

In any case, I called the Social Security 800 number several times and was told the error would be corrected. This took about another month. Finally, I was told I was not being granted retirement because they doubted I actually retired. I actually had retired from a university after 33 years of full-time employment.

In a fit of frustration, I contacted the Brooksville office of Rep. Brown-Waite in early February. They looked into my situation with Social Security and made some suggestions, which I followed. Eventually, in July, I was notified I would be receiving my Social Security check, as well as back payments from January.

I am convinced that the efforts of Rep. Brown-Waite and her staff were the key factor in making headway with the Social Security office. Her Brooksville staff contacted me several times during the process and, in fact, I learned that my payments from Social Security were approved through a phone call from Rep. Brown-Waite's office a week before I heard it from Social Security.

I encourage anyone having a problem with a government agency to contact their local representative. They can help.

George M. Dooris, Brooksville

Pinellas deputy arrested in domestic dispute - July 31

Deputy's location was confusing

The article stated that the deputy lived in Holiday in Pasco County. The article from May 2006 stated the cruiser that caught fire was left at Deputy Kenneth Ray Garris' home because it was in Pinellas County. Did he move?

The rule is Pinellas deputies cannot take their sheriff's cars out of the county. Also, how can an officer with ADHD and obvious anger management issues perform his duties?

Thomas Karcher, New Port Richey

Editor's note: Tax records indicate Garris' home is in Holiday in Pasco County, but the street abutting the rear of the property divides Pasco and Pinellas counties.