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QUESTIONS PERSIST ON ALOHA UTILITIES

Folks, just what will it take? When is someone from the Florida Public Service Commission and someone from the Pasco County Commission going to care about the quality of Aloha Utilities' water? Apparently, absolutely never because they don't have to drink it, cook with it or shower with it.

Aloha has supplied substandard water to approximately 15,000 or so households for years and already charges a high fee for its water. Again and again, the utility's owners duck and weave every legal step to provide its residents with what they pay for. Here's why. Because Aloha is being managed in part by attorneys. Get the picture, folks? So, it seems everyone is afraid to take any legal action against the company, so we continue to suffer with Aloha's black water.

Yet, the PSC and Southwest Florida Water Management District have levied fines against Aloha since 1997 and never collected a penny. I'm sure our governor would appreciate that! I asked the PSC and the water district why and they said, "It's in litigation." Okay, but for over 10 years and no outcome? Come on!

Why has the public been excluded from this and why is it so hard to see that this is a health issue? It's not about building a road or determining who gets a road sign. And again, Aloha Utilities wants a multimillion-dollar rate increase and you ask why? So it can implement upgrades to the system that should have been done over 10 years ago and what makes you think it'll start now?

Again, our elected officials and the PSC will not step up and say no. Why has the PSC not pulled Aloha's license by now? Aloha will continue to play the legal games and the Pasco County Commission will continue to look the other way. We are stuck with black water, high rates and elected officials who don't represent the people who elected them in the first place. The Pasco County Commission makes many decisions every week, but a true health issues is avoided.

Ken Tucker,New Port Richey

Mentors play key role to help kids

As program coordinator for Pasco County's Take Stock in Children program, I am appreciative of 119 caring individuals. These volunteers participate in Take Stock in Children, a statewide program that gives our community's students, whose families meet income eligibility guidelines, an opportunity to receive up to a four-year college scholarship in partnership with the Florida Prepaid College Foundation under the lead agency of the Pasco Education Foundation Inc.

Meeting on a regular basis with their assigned students, the volunteers are dedicated and devoted to their mission of making a difference. The mentors represent part of the Scholarships, Mentors and Hope motto of the Take Stock in Children program. They hold the program together by providing continuous motivation, encouragement and most of all friendship to our scholars.

The Take Stock in Children staff wishes to thank our mentors for they are truly some of Pasco County's heroes!

Rosanne Heyser, Land O' Lakes

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