Tough time at tax office
The experience the New Port Richey resident had with the Tax Collector’s Office was the opposite of mine (“Kindness valued,” Your Views, July 8). On July 1, I took the day off from work to get my driver’s license renewed. I knew there were documents I had to bring, and I carefully gathered them: my passport, Social Security card and my two pieces of information to verify residence. I forgot my marriage license. I went in and came face to face with the receptionist (she was not very receptive, I might add). She gave me a number, and I went to find a seat.
I was called, and I went up to the desk and handed the lady my documents. When she came to the passport card, I explained it to her. She looked perplexed, so I told her I had the regular passport in my purse, and I asked if she would she like to see that. She said “please.” She looked at my passport and all the other documents. She then asked if I had my marriage license. I said no. I did not think I needed that. She said yes, and asked me if I had been married before, and I said yes — but that was over 50 years ago and I did not have that marriage license. She said I must have all licenses from each marriage. She told me I could go online or call, and she gave me a number. She also said that it takes a while to get them, and my license was due to expire in three weeks but I could pay and get a temporary license. I said “no” and took my documents and went home. I was a little perturbed.
I called the number she gave me and ordered my certified marriage licenses. I paid extra to have them overnighted: $55 total. I received them the next day. That Thursday I left work early to go back to the Tax Collector’s Office. After driving through a rainstorm, I found that I had to have my picture taken all over again, since they are not saved. I handed the clerk — the same one I had two days ago — all the documents tucked neatly inside my passport book. She opened it and said I didn’t need my marriage license if I had a passport. I think I passed out for a moment. She said “sorry,” and I just took my license and left.
I think they should not have charged me for my new license after all that.
The toll monster
On June 8, my husband and I took a short trip to the IKEA store in Tampa. We were leaving from Pinellas Park, driving on I-275. It was extremely busy and slow. Since the entrance to the Crosstown Expressway in Tampa is at the IKEA store, we decided we would return to Pinellas Park on the Expressway, hoping for less traffic. We expected to pay a small toll. There was no sign at the ramp, no expectations of a major change. The only sign on the Expressway said there would be a $200 fine if “you do not pay your tolls!” We anticipated a toll booth. We received a bill from “TOLL-BY-PLATE” 10 days later, which showed us the expensive changes taking place to the Florida highway system. We questioned the fact that the toll on the road was $2. On top of that, the bill had an administration fee of $2.50. This brings the bill to $4.50 for seven miles! That is over double the toll fee. Round-trip, the fee would be $9.
The road was almost empty, and I can understand why. We are retired, and SunPass is not a reasonable option for us. It is sad that we cannot use the highway. It would be safer, and it would take some of the traffic off bumper-to-bumper 275! This is a monster for the retired lower/middle-income people who cannot afford to travel on it, and the toll takers who lost their jobs to a camera that makes twice as much money. Something is outrageously wrong. This is sad.
Chris and John Boyd
Let’s make a deal
Since I was just hit by a letter from my health insurance provider detailing a cost change due to the Affordable Care Act — which isn’t really affordable, in case anybody noticed — I’ve come up with a better plan: Everybody should stop paying insurance altogether. The middle man — insurance companies — and their CEOs will be out of business. When you’re sick, you can go to the doctor or hospital. I have a feeling it will cost a lot less than it does now. They need your business, and I believe they will be happy to negotiate.
No reason for beating
Even though the severe beating of 15-year-old Palestinian-American Tariq Abu Khdeir by the Israeli police was not a direct result of the Israeli government, the government is still responsible for not addressing police brutality. There was no reason for the police to beat the teen to a pulp.
Even if Khdeir had used a slingshot to throw stones, which he was accused of doing, it’s still no reason to savagely strike him until he is black and blue and bloodied.
How ironic — one of Israel’s biggest worries is that Iran wants to annihilate the Jewish state or “wipe them off the map.” That is exactly what Israel is trying to do to the Palestinians, every time it gets the chance.
JoAnn Lee Frank
Control our borders
Nancy Pelosi was on the news recently discussing the surge of illegal immigrants, specifically children, entering our country. She said as a mother and grandmother she wished she could take them all in. Looks like she’s getting her wish. That seems to be the wish of many liberals. The president continues to put his head in the sand on illegal immigration. We need to control our borders. As a first step, we should halt all travel to and from Mexico, and we need to protect our borders by utilizing our National Guard for starters. If the president won’t get the job done, perhaps the Democratic Party should consider the upcoming elections and find a solution.