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Hernando letters: Prevent fracking to save Big Cypress Preserve

The push to clean up Weeki Wachee Springs comes at a high cost | June 9

Stop fracking, save Big Cypress

I want to commend Dan DeWitt for pointing out the high cost of cleaning up our polluted springs and waters.

Recent research shows that almost all Floridians live within 20 miles of a known pollution site. The only place that is not true is in the middle of Big Cypress Preserve, where fracking is currently being considered.

We must preemptively ban fracking before this process brings more pollution to Florida's waterways.

As a champion of protecting Florida taxpayers and a top leader in our Legislature, House Speaker Richard Corcoran has the opportunity to halt this dangerous process and protect us from the tax burden of cleaning up more industry waste.

Brooke Errett, St. Petersburg

Libraries are far from obsolete

For the past four years I have been privileged to serve on the Hernando County Library Advisory Committee, as well as being a regular, well-satisfied patron of the library. In my opinion, there are few institutions that do more to benefit our residents than our "county jewel," the Hernando County Public Library System — the 2013 Florida Library of the Year.

In spite of a decline in staff over the past few years, our current staff of dedicated professionals has continued to provide quality library services for our residents. However, it is difficult to imagine that they can continue to provide current services and continue to improve services without additional staff. It would truly be a travesty if our understaffed library system were allowed to drift into a state of mediocrity.

Some say that technology is replacing the need for public libraries. If that is the case, why are more than 60 percent of our residents active cardholders? Why have 20,745 users received technology instructions? Why have 3,200 children attended summer youth programs? Why were 702,180 items circulated? And, why have 335,320 residents visited our library branches?

Correct me if I am wrong, but with these statistics, how can anyone conclude that "libraries are becoming obsolete"? Maybe visiting a library and getting a library card would help clear up this misconception. While there, don't forget to take notice of the inspired faces on children and elders alike as they utilize our outstanding services.

Joseph H. Pistorius, president, Hernando County Library Advisory Committee