Pasco Letters to the Editor

Thoughts and opinions shared by you and your neighbors.
Published January 28

Appreciation for Pasco County Sheriff's support for diversity

I want to thank Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco for his efforts to extend a sense of safety and inclusion to our growing, diverse community here in Pasco County. His comments regarding an arrest of a man who targeted Iraqi neighbors, his presence at the vigil for transgender individuals and at the Tree of Life Synagogue Memorial show that he and his senior officers value our diversity and see it as something worth protecting.

At a recent event with the Drag Queen, reading children a story at the Paperback Book Exchange, his deputies permitted everyone to exercise their First Amendment rights while ensuring everyone's safety, as well.

I also want to compliment forensic investigator Holly Taylor, who mesmerized her audience at the New Port Richey Library back in November. She represents the best in qualified, empathetic and strong law enforcement, and that reflects well on Sheriff Nocco and his department.

At the end of her presentation, she was asked what she hoped to see for the Pasco Sheriff's Office in the future, and she said more diversity in the department, and even more professionalism in dealing with diversity in the community. Officer Taylor reflects my hopes, too, to see my America reflected in Pasco County.

Dan Callaghan, New Port Richey

Does 'Live PD' make Pasco County look bad to tourists? | Jan. 25

I am writing in response to your article about how Live PD affects Pasco County's image or actually the lack of impact.

I wanted to let you know that I do not live in Florida and had never heard of Pasco County or any of it's cities before Live PD. After watching Live PD and seeing how nice your officers and citizens are, I have decided it was time to take a trip to Pasco County to see and enjoy this place I see on the show every Friday and Saturday.

My wife and I are planning a nice fall vacation there this year and, if it's everything it seems, this could become a yearly trip. We currently live in southern Utah and in the next few years will move to a warmer climate. If we like Pasco County enough, it could make the very short list of places that we are considering to move.

Either way, I just wanted to let you know that if people see Pasco County, it may cause them to vacation there. Or, as it's started to be called, a Live PDcation, where you go to the area and meet the awesome officers they see on TV.

I hope you find this information just as important as any possible negative impact Live PD may have had on your slice of paradise.

Alex Strand, Halls Crossing, Utah

Thanks for another great Kumquat Festival

On behalf of the Greater Dade City Chamber of Commerce, our board of directors and staff, we would like to offer a heartfelt thanks to all the volunteers, sponsors (especially our headlining sponsor, AdventHealth Dade City), vendors and supporters of the 22nd Annual Kumquat Festival held on Saturday in Historic Downtown Dade City.

Once again, our community pulled together and hosted a fabulous event. Tens of thousands of people came from all over the Tampa Bay region. Residents, winter visitors and tourists joined in the fun. More than 400 vendors and sponsors sold and promoted their wares and services. Our entertainment stage at the Historic Courthouse featured free live performances from wonderful local talent all day. Many of the shops and restaurants in Dade City and the surrounding area enjoyed their busiest day of the year.

This year’s festival was supported by a $60,000 marketing campaign, in conjunction with the City of Dade City, Pasco County Tourism and Visit Florida, which promoted Dade City and our area as a unique place to visit.

Bobby Van Allen and Jason Sasser, festival co-chairs, worked their magic. With the assistance of more than 200 dedicated volunteers, they produced an event that generated upwards of $1 million in economic activity. (State of Florida Economic Impact Multipliers)

City of Dade City Police Chief Jim Walters and Lieutenant Bill Rowe co-chaired the safety and security team, which included multi-agency support from across Pasco County, and ensured the well being of all involved. Pasco High School and Saint Leo University ROTC jumped in to assist with parking, Pasco Hernando State College Fire Cadets helped with numerous tasks, and Joyce and Rick Dodd organized our “Welcoming Committee” for the early morning volunteers.

The 23rd Annual Kumquat Festival will be held on Jan. 25, 2020. Planning for our next festival will begin in February. If you would like to be involved as a volunteer, sponsor or vendor, please contact us and visit

John Moors, Executive Director, Greater Dade City Chamber of Commerce