Letters: ADA compliance lacking at Recreation and Aquatic Center

Published Jun. 20, 2012

ADA compliance lacks at rec center

My family and I are long-term homeowners and taxpayers in New Port Richey. I also am Vietnam veteran with long-term disabilities.

We were thrilled when the New Port Richey Recreation and Aquatic Center first opened. Having heard many good comments about the jewel of the city, I was dismayed to learn the facility is not handicapped-accessible. I cannot begin to tell you how upsetting it is to have a public facility labeled as ADA compliant that is so hard to access independently.

I have a scooter I could ride to the pool if there were automatic doors through the building and not merely on the main entrance, which no longer work. Further hampering access are the iron gates that cannot be opened from a scooter or wheelchair.

Adding to the difficulty are the handicapped bathrooms that can only be accessed by pushing open and moving past two heavy doors.

The recreation center is not a jewel, rather a much-lauded sinkhole filled with taxpayer money. This has been ignored since the pool first opened. Perhaps it is time to make this facility available to all residents, not merely the ones who are fully ambulatory.

I invite you to try to access the pool area by borrowing or renting a scooter and paying the ADA-complaint facility a visit. Please note, leaving the scooter to open doors is a luxury many do not have.

I anxiously await a solution to this overlooked and much-ignored issue facing not only myself, but a large amount of handicapped residents.

Judy Budd Kargman, New Port Richey

Family visitation oversight needed

Last week, a man shot and killed his ex-wife and then committed suicide in front of two children outside a Village Inn in Hillsborough County. This happened as the couple were exchanging custody of their child as ordered by the courts.

I work for a Family Visitation Center in another county. As of Jan. 1, our agency is no longer being funded by the state and, as a result, we can no longer handle these exchanges and supervised visits, which must be closely monitored.

How many times must we read about custody battles turning deadly before the powers that be realize that our agency performs a much-needed service and let us go back to doing what we do best to protect the children and families we serve?

Debbie Grech, Spring Hill

Being father easy; parenting is tough | June 17 letter

Father's Day start preceded Nixon

The letter writer didn't credit the presidents who set the stage for Richard Nixon's action regarding Father's Day.

The first president to recognize Father's Day was Calvin Coolidge in 1924.

Then, in 1966, it was Lyndon Johnson who declared the third Sunday in June Father's Day by signing a presidential proclamation.

What Nixon did was sign this proclamation into law in 1972.

Ilene Grim, Hudson