Sunday, February 18, 2018
News Roundup

Fluoridation of Brooksville's water on tap for Tuesday workshop

BROOKSVILLE — Call it fluoridation debate, redux.

The long-standing question of whether Brooksville should return to the practice of adding the tooth decay-fighting chemical to its water supply will return front and center before the City Council during a workshop at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

The issue, which has strong advocates on both sides, last came up in March, when council member Frankie Burnett stated to council members that he welcomed bringing in dental health experts as early as possible to present their views before the five-member governing body. All agreed with Burnett, except Mayor Lara Bradburn, a staunch opponent of fluoridation, who thought it more appropriate to discuss the matter during the summer budget season.

In the past, Bradburn has been vocal about her objection to fluoride, and in 2008 led the charge to end the city's 23-year practice of adding the chemical to its water. In the end, council members narrowly supported keeping the program.

However, two years ago, in an effort to shave costs during the 2011 budget hearings, Bradburn successfully lobbied her four colleagues to eliminate the city's fluoridation program, which cost about $6,000 annually. Since then, the Hernando County Health Department has stepped up its effort to try to persuade council members to reinstate the program.

County health education program manager Ann-Gayl Ellis said that a host of dental experts will be on hand at Tuesday's workshop to speak about the benefits of fluoridation, including Hernando County Health Department dental program manager Teresa Keenan; the county's senior dentist, Dr. Pedro Lense; Dr. Scott Tomar, a professor in the department of community dentistry and behavioral science at the University of Florida; and Palm Harbor pediatric dentist Johnny Johnson.

Keenan said that studies have repeatedly shown that adding fluoride to drinking water reduces cavities by 25 percent and is particularly beneficial to children and those in the community who may not have regular access to dental care.

"Fluoridation can fill in an important health gap in our community," Keenan said. "The (Brooksville) program did a lot of good for people who don't have the means to pay for regular dental care."

Fluoridation became an official policy of the U.S. Public Health Service during the early 1950s and was adopted by hundreds of municipalities eager to provide its benefits to residents. Presently, about 73 percent of the U.S. population drinks fluoridated water. However, the increasing availability of over-the-counter fluoride treatments caused the Environmental Protection Agency a few years back to reduce by nearly half the amount of fluoride it recommends for public water supplies.

Bradburn maintains that some scientific studies have shown fluoride may cause serious health problems, and for that reason shouldn't be added to public water supplies. "We've made it a policy statement, not a science statement," Bradburn said. "And I just don't think it's right for a governmental body to make those kinds of choices."

Bradburn, who will once again speak on behalf of non-fluoridation, said that many people she has spoken with share her belief, but they are reluctant to speak in public for fear of intimidation.

"I hope they will be there Tuesday to add their voices to mine," she said.

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

Comments

Pinellas Sheriff’s Office accuses 14-year-old of copycat Snapchat school threat

PINELLAS PARK — The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office late Saturday said detectives arrested a 14-year-old boy and accused him of posting a threat to a school on his Snapchat account.Edward Charles Osgood, who attends Lealman Innovation Academy, was a...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Ten things to know about Stormy Daniels

Ten things to know about Stormy Daniels

1. Was editor of her high school newspaper, president of her 4-H club.2. Started stripping at age 17 in Baton Rouge, La.3. Made her first porn film with a girlfriend.4. Took her stage name from the Motley Crue bassist, who named his son Storm, and fr...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Trump adviser: Russian meddling ‘incontrovertible’

Trump adviser: Russian meddling ‘incontrovertible’

MUNICH — President Donald Trump’s national security adviser said Saturday there was "incontrovertible" evidence of a Russian plot to disrupt the 2016 U.S. election, a blunt statement that shows how significantly the new criminal charges leveled by an...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Prominent Republican donor issues an ultimatum

Prominent Republican donor issues an ultimatum

A prominent Republican political donor demanded on Saturday that the party pass legislation to restrict access to guns, and vowed not to contribute to any candidates or electioneering groups that did not support a ban on the sale of military-style fi...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Hundreds rally against gun violence in downtown St. Pete

Hundreds rally against gun violence in downtown St. Pete

ST. PETERSBURG — A red heart-shaped balloon rose above crowd of several hundred people that had gathered at Williams Park on Saturday evening to mourn Wednesday’s school shooting in Broward County and to protest gun violence.Below the balloon, signs ...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Trumpeter is the highlight of a concert featuring ‘West Side Story’ themes

Trumpeter is the highlight of a concert featuring ‘West Side Story’ themes

TAMPA — Leonard Bernstein would have turned 100 this year. The Florida Orchestra performed two of his works Friday, the second of which paired the dances from West Side Story with the overture to Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet.The orches...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Stormy at the strip club: A porn star cashes in on presidential connection

Stormy at the strip club: A porn star cashes in on presidential connection

TAMPA — In the center of the nightclub, between the cigar case and bustling bar, a giant screen blankets the back wall. Usually, ads for drink specials and coming attractions scroll across.But Friday night, a life-size picture of President Donald Tru...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Man found dead in flaming mobile home

TAMPA — Firefighters found a man dead inside a burned-down mobile home Saturday.Tampa Fire Rescue got a call just after 4:30 p.m. that a single-wide mobile home at the 100 block of East Linebaugh Avenue was in flames.The man’s identity was not releas...
Updated: 12 hours ago
‘I’m going to watch you bleed’: Nikolas Cruz threatened ex’s new boyfriend, report says

‘I’m going to watch you bleed’: Nikolas Cruz threatened ex’s new boyfriend, report says

Warning: This story quotes graphic material.Before he killed 17 people at a South Florida high school, Nikolas Cruz repeatedly threatened an ex-classmate who had started dating his former girlfriend, according to a report in Buzzfeed News."I’m going ...
Published: 02/17/18

Police find dead man in Tampa apartment

TAMPA — Police found a dead man inside an apartment in the 5200 block of Sonora Court Friday after 3 p.m.Who the man is or how long he’s been dead is not yet clear, police said. The victim appears to have been killed in some sort of "homicidal violen...
Published: 02/17/18