Letters to the editor, Jan. 25

Number exposed
While doing research on the Pasco County Property Appraiser’s Office website over the weekend, and totally by accident, I discovered something very frightening.
On a whim I looked up a property I purchased and sold many years ago just to see its current value. When clicking on the link for the warranty deed I was amazed and shocked to see my Social Security number displayed as big as life for the entire world to see.
The website does have a disclaimer saying that sensitive material will be removed by request and that they eliminated most SS numbers, but were not able to remove ones that were handwritten or on worn paper.
With that I looked at a few others from the same era, and there they were: more SS numbers.
I requested it be removed and it was, shortly thereafter. However, what about people who have no reason to look at the property appraiser’s website? They would have no idea their SS number is there for the taking.
In an email, Property Appraiser Mike Wells referred me to the office of Clerk of the Court Paula O’Neil. She needs to be accountable, because in this age of fraud and identity theft this is absolutely unforgivable. If just one person is compromised it is one too many.
We hear so often we should protect ourselves and here the county allows our most prized number to be viewed by anyone.
Frank Ferreri
New Port Richey
Good care
At a time when most people seem to take a dim view of the medical care offered through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, I am writing to praise the care I received at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa.
I was diagnosed with cancer at the VA clinic in New Port Richey after a doctor in New York misdiagnosed what I had as a bladder infection. Being a veteran of World War II, I chose to have surgery at the Haley VA hospital and I have never regretted that decision.
Vincent Oliverio
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