Greed to blame for flooding
I have been in this area for 30 years now and have repeatedly watched the agony and loss due to the flooding in low-lying areas in Pasco, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.
It is the same every year to some degree, and there are always cries for someone to do something.
The best plan I have heard lately is for the counties to buy these properties and eliminate the residences there.
The actual cause of these problems is that years ago greedy property owners sold these properties to equally greedy developers who built there and sold these flood-prone properties to unknowing people who didn't have the sense to check the history of the areas involved. The unknowing people still come here and do not check or pay attention to where the water has to go and where the wind blows.
Also, the county planning and building departments (who certainly knew that these areas flooded) allowed these properties to be developed. They should have prevented the low, flood-prone property from being built on in the first place. They are responsible for these problems now.
Perhaps there should be a class-action lawsuit filed against the old property owners, the county officials and the developers who created this mess that present taxpayers will have to pay for.
But be assured that no politician or official will ever accept responsibility.
Stephen Tarrant, Dade City
Runoff sped up by development
Most of the recent flooding cannot be written off as a consequence of global warming. Upstream development in the Anclote River drainage basin has increased the amount of runoff. The greatest impact is not from the increased volume of runoff, but the speed with which it is delivered to the river. This results in a higher cresting downstream than what occurred in the past. Every inch of higher crest widens the flood impact area.
To the best of my knowledge, no studies have been made of development on crest heights. It may be more cost effective to mute the cresting by increasing the retention time upstream.
George W. Ellsworth, Dade City
Keep regulators out of ride-sharing
By now, we should assume that everyone knows that they do not have the same regulatory protections with ride-sharing that they have with taxis. That said, they also know they get certain protections with ride-sharing that taxis don't provide — often more comfortable rides and more personable drivers, advance knowledge of the driver and the car, the ability to rate the driver and so forth.
I think ride-sharing is more similar to hitchhiking than to using taxis. The main difference is that you know the car is going where you want to go, and you pay for that assurance.
The Public Service Commission and any other governmental body should just butt out and let the marketplace decide. If you want the regulatory protection of taxis, and are willing to put up with the surly driver and other inconveniences you get, call a cab. If you don't care about them, and want a more personable driver and probably a cheaper price, call Uber or Lyft.
Ernest Lane, Trinity
Parts from homes can be re-used
It pains me to see so many fine homes ripped down only to build larger ones. Every property owner is self-determined to do what they like. What gets to me is parts of these homes can be reused and recycled — appliances, windows and frames, doors, plumbing fixtures, cabinets, vanities, overhead and stove head fans, and other salvage for re-use like copper (plumbing), electrical, carpet and anything else that's viable.
There are so many homes that need upgrades. Places could be readied for people who need a move-up. That would increase scarce housing units in Pinellas and Hillsborough, which could be used for people like those at the Mosley Motel in St. Petersburg.
Salvage could also be recycled for cash (aluminum and steel), and even good pieces could be sold at thrift stores.
It would just take a few days before the bulldozers came in to do this. It would even save on tipping fees at the landfill. A win-win all around.
Douglas Klein, New Port Richey