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WE MUST DO MORE FOR THE HUNGRY

The recent news in the Pasco section of the St. Petersburg Times sure is an eye-opener about Pasco County. To quote from the Sept. 10 article on the tax relief, "A community is judged on how well we take care of those in need.''

Ours can't be judged too highly. This comes just a day after it is announced that a food distribution center at St. James Catholic Church parish has 30 days to move out. In the past two months I have taken several ladies out to food pantries so they can feed their families. St. James is one of the biggest helpers in the area.

As far as I can see they are not infringing on any other property. Everyone has to park across the street on church property and everything is done inside the house away from public view. I should be so lucky as to have neighbors like that.

In times like this when the water bills double, the power companies raise their rates and the auto license bureau doubles its fees, there is someone who is against an agency trying to help the poor and underprivileged of the area. I just thank God the gas prices are going down so I can continue to drive the ladies I help to get their food and medical help.

Donna Herrick, Hudson

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Mean lady may yet need church

This is in response to the quote from neighbor Janice Reiser (age 70) for the church who said, "Give your damn food out over there!"

You must be the mean old lady that all the children complain about in the neighborhood. You are upset, I can tell; you cursed a church!

Calm down about it, though. Who knows? You might need the services of that church one day and you might be told that they were run out of the neighborhood.

Here's a thought: maybe a drug dealer will buy the house and move next door to you instead of a not-for-profit charitable organization feeding the hungry during our economic strain.

Annette M. Noack, Spring Hill

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Let's hope she never lacks food

Janice Reiser should pray that if she ever needs to stand in the St. Vincent de Paul Society line for a handout that they don't run out of food right before it's her turn.

Shame on her!

Denise Gonzalez, Spring Hill

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Health debate depends on truth

In letters in the opinion page several readers felt AARP's detailing false statements about health care made by U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite were inappropriate. It appears none of these readers took the time to read the article the St. Petersburg Times and FactCheck.org put together on the same topic. Both AARP and the Times found inconsistencies in the facts and Ms. Brown-Waite's statements.

I imagine very few of us in the public have taken the time to read the five or six bills that the Congress is currently looking at for health care. We depend on our elected officials to give us the truth rather than echo the disinformation given out in the town hall and Tea Party forums. Unfortunately many, Brown-Waite included, see fit to cloud the issue with untruths. So now we are at the name-calling stage, where, like children on the playground, some attempt to misdirect the conversation.

Instead of talking about making changes to a broken system the talk turns to calling a conversation about end-of-life decisions and a death panel. Two years ago my sister was diagnosed with end stage cancer. Her doctor called the hospice because that was the right thing to do. I suppose some of you out there would call that organization a death panel. They can only be called in at the end and a doctor must make that call.

Ten years ago my best friend's husband was also diagnosed with a stage four cancer. His doctor did not call in the hospice; instead he offered expensive treatment to a man who wanted to believe he could live. His family did not have the chance to make his death one with grace and dignity. He died three months after his diagnosis and the hospice was called by a hospital doctor after his refused to make the call. He was bedridden and the cancer was in his bones and brain. He was not able to say goodbye to those he cared for.

Folks, lets get real here. If someone stands to make a profit on another's suffering there is a problem. We need to make health care a nonprofit business. Otherwise we end up with situations like my friend's husband. I would prefer the process my sister was graced with.

As much as each of us would like to think, death is not an option, it is a reality, and we each must face it.

Cynthia Ryalls-Clephane, Brooksville

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