Friday, November 24, 2017
News Roundup

Brooksville City Council debates fluoride

RECOMMENDED READING


BROOKSVILLE — In what has become a much-talked-about issue lately in Brooksville, advocates on both sides of the subject of communitywide fluoridation lined up Tuesday to debate the issue at a Brooksville City Council information workshop.

The hot-button issue is likely to come again before the council over the next few months.

The Hernando County Health Department, which favors a return of fluoridation, invited a team of dental health care professionals to speak in favor of the practice.

Pasco pediatric dentist Dr. Johnny Johnson, who successfully fought to return the practice of fluoridation to Pinellas County in 2012, said it is "the only magic bullet we have" when it comes to mass preventive dental care.

Johnson said he has never seen any credible evidence that the chemical is toxic to humans.

Hernando County senior dentist Dr. Pedro Lense said that adding fluoride to public water offers benefits that cut across economic lines, and especially helps those who are least apt to receive regular dental care.

"The folks I see are the ones who need the most work," said Lense, who added that the relatively small cost of fluoridation far outweighs the cost that taxpayers pay to fill cavities in untreated teeth.

Mayor Lara Bradburn, who was able to persuade her fellow council colleagues to halt the practice at a 2011 budget hearing, once again led the call to keep fluoride out of the city's water supply.

"I'm not a scientist and I'm not a medical professional, but I've read a lot of research and I'm convinced that this chemical doesn't belong in our water supply," Bradburn said.

Bradburn quoted from the more than 50 studies that indicated fluoride as a known cause of diseases, birth defects and other maladies, and extensively quoted a 2006 report by a committee of the National Research Council that recommended that the federal government lower its current limit for fluoride in drinking water because of health risks.

"This is not myth," Bradburn said. "The (dental) industry will not admit that this is a dangerous chemical we're giving to our citizens."

Bradburn's words were often met with shaking heads from the nearly one dozen fluoride proponents who showed up.

However, Bradburn had her share of supporters, including Spring Hill resident Barbara Bartlett, who claimed that her two sons had suffered mental lapses due to long-term consumption of fluoridated water.

"There's no need for everyone to have to suffer," she said.

Council member Joe Bernardini said that he might be a stronger supporter of fluoridation if there was a feasible way for the public to have a choice.

"If someone doesn't want it in their water, they should have a way to remove it," Bernardini said. "So far, no one has shown me an affordable way that it can be done."

Logan Neill can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1435.

Comments
Mounted police patrol Seminole Heights after killings

Mounted police patrol Seminole Heights after killings

TAMPA — A Florida police department is using horse patrols in a neighborhood that’s been plagued by homicides in recent weeks. Officials in Tampa have been searching for the person — or people — responsible for shooting and killing four in the Semino...
Updated: 10 minutes ago
Tampa officer revives overdose victim in department’s first use of Narcan drug kit

Tampa officer revives overdose victim in department’s first use of Narcan drug kit

TAMPA — A Tampa Police officer administered the department’s first use of an overdose-reversal drug to revive a 27-year-old man on Friday.About 2 a.m., Tampa Police Officer Scott Seely responded to a call in east Tampa about a possible drug overdose,...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lawsuit over Jolley Trolley dismissed

Lawsuit over Jolley Trolley dismissed

A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit against Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority that Cincinnati-based First Transit filed in April, alleging it lost the county’s trolley contract because a "who’s who of Clearwater" lobbied the board to cho...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa providing emergency medical service at MacDill, including new ambulance

Tampa providing emergency medical service at MacDill, including new ambulance

TAMPA — Sick and injured people at MacDill Air Force Base now rely on crews from Tampa Fire Rescue for help, and soon, they’ll have their own dedicated ambulance.Last month, the Tampa City Council approved the purchase of a $323,000 Braun Super Chief...
Updated: 1 hour ago

State DOT looking for direction on Alt. U.S. 19 corridor

Residents can give their input on the future of the Alt. U.S. 19 corridor by attending two workshops hosted by the Florida Department of Transportation and Forward Pinellas, the county’s transportation and land-use arm.The agencies are developing a l...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Settlement approved for Treasure Island’s walkway cracks

Settlement approved for Treasure Island’s walkway cracks

TREASURE ISLAND — More than three years after cracks began appearing in its newly constructed mile-long Beach Trail walkway, the city has approved a settlement with the architect and contractors, and hired a new contractor to repair and rebuild the t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Car-sized hole from broken water pipe closes road in Valrico

Car-sized hole from broken water pipe closes road in Valrico

VALRICO — A large hole that opened in Valrico’s Bloomingdale neighborhood on Thanksgiving day was caused by a broken water pipe, not a sinkhole, county officials said. The hole swallowed a Mini Cooper-sized chunk of Natures Way Boulevard, at the Elm ...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Study to determine number of red snapper in the Gulf

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. — A team of 21 scientists will conduct a study to estimate the number of red snapper in the U.S. waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The panel of researchers from universities and state and federal agencies was convened by the Mississi...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Newly engaged couple among three killed in wrong-way crash on I-75

Newly engaged couple among three killed in wrong-way crash on I-75

TAMPA — Last month, LaShay Waiters got down on one knee and proposed to Yvette Alexandre in front of their family and friends. About two weeks ago, the young couple found out Alexandre was pregnant."They had a great future together," said Waiters’ mo...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Police investigate suspicious package at Clearwater Babies"R"Us

CLEARWATER — Authorities evacuated a Babies"R"Us on Friday after reports of a suspicious package in a shopping cart.According to Clearwater police, someone noticed the package about 10:30 a.m. at the store at 21315 U.S. 19 N. The store was evacuated ...
Updated: 2 hours ago