Ridge Road extension
I have lived in Florida for 89 years and west Pasco for over 60 years. During that time, I have never gotten used to having to drive 10 or 20 miles unnecessarily to get from here to there and back. Every time a sheriff's deputy needs to transport a prisoner to the county detention center from the West Pasco Judicial Center, an additional 5 or 10 miles driving each way is required since there is no direct route.
Another objection raised was that the extension will encourage urban sprawl. The Serenova Tract was a defunct planned subdivision which failed during one of the many recessions, of which I've seen lots during my lifetime. There are already probably 100,000 or more vacant lots in this county, some of which date back 100 years, where homes could be built. Some of these vacant lots are in newer subdivisions with paved streets, water and sewers where few or no houses have been built. Besides, there are many older neighborhoods full of foreclosed houses that need to be redeveloped.
So, considering all this, I say let's extend Ridge Road.
Walter J. Mallett, Port Richey
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Animal tethering is a safety issue
While I commend Hillsborough County for passing the anti-tethering law, I must wonder who is going to be patrolling the streets and neighborhoods to check on offenders?
The issue of the torture these animals endure is horrible. These animals, whether or not they have access to food, water and shelter, are so fearful of strangers that the practice of tethering creates another important issue. That issue is the safety of people, with or without pets, who pass by yards where dogs are tethered on flimsy lines that can easily break - thus injuring people and animals. The tethered animals might attack passers-by due to the lack of socialization because their owners are too lazy to take proper care of the animals.
Both I, and my dogs, have been victims of tethered and loose, antisocial dogs in my neighborhood. So it is not only and issue of cruelty, it is one of safety.
Karen Figy, Land O'Lakes
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Workers pay the price for low taxes
Many Floridians were elated that our property taxes were lowered by our clueless Legislature. Even our governor, Rick Scott, is bragging that we pay less in taxes than New Yorkers. (Hello?) We sure do.
We sure do have teachers and private citizens buying school supplies for students; state workers, in a state where workers have always had notoriously low wages, supposedly offset by perks (now almost gone), suffering in this economy. While some complain about a $2 fee for public parks; may I ask, from where did the tax cut champions think the revenues would come?
New Yorkers, now retired, have always loved to come here. Hey, lower taxes, but now, services are cut. Are we to live in a state where education continues its downward spiral ad infinitum? Our Legislature needs to get some financial chops, as well as compassion. Does everyone have the Romney-like idea that taxes are for everyone but me? The difference is that Mitt Romney has beaucoup money and can sit smugly and declare he only pays 15 percent income tax.
In a practically union-less state, workers are the pawns. They toil in our cheap restaurants, and give most nursing home care. Wouldn't we rather brag that we give teachers and other state workers a living wage? Will we wake up and take pride in our state? Or will we become a laughingstock for our ignorance?
New Port Richey
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Schenck's letter a shameless plug
I got a nice letter Jan. 18 from state Rep. Robert Schenck, thanking me for replying to a recent survey. He told me feedback was very important to him and that the survey told him "overwhelmingly" that the people of his District 44 were against raising taxes, government revenue and increasing regulations. Boy! That's really astounding news! Who'd ever thought it?
He went on to tell me he has constantly voted to downsize state government and will continue to do so. And he offered me the opportunity to contact his office if I ever had the need.
Other than that, he said nothing. Certainly nothing worthy of the letter's expense.
Perhaps I should accept it for what it really was, an unannounced political plug for re-election?
Leon G. Atkinson, Istachatta
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