Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: Modest investment preserves Hernando tradition — for now

In a county searching for more budget cuts, Hernando commissioners correctly indulged some unexpected spending last week to try to preserve a cherished piece of Americana.

Commissioners unanimously agreed to finance a temporary lifeline for the Little Rock Cannery after learning its current tenant had no desire to extend its lease beyond Oct. 1. That pullout left few options other than finding a new tenant, shuttering the facility or selling the property.

It's a familiar dilemma. The cannery, housed in a stone schoolhouse that dates to the New Deal, began operating as a food-preparation facility in the 1970s.

For a modest fee, people can use the commercial-grade kitchen equipment to can fresh fruits and vegetables.

But, the $60,000 annual subsidy from the county became a luxury the commission said it could no longer afford amid annual budget crunches.

Since 2009, the cannery remained open only through sizable private contributions and then a two-year lease with the Auroveda Foundation.

The foundation recently told the county it would be ending its operations even though a separate group, the Leadership Hernando class of 2013, had planned an October marketing and fund-raising event to increase public awareness of the cannery's capabilities.

The commission is now asking volunteers to develop a business plan to keep the facility operating with a promise of a three-month, $15,000 stop-gap allocation from the county. The commission's financial commitment is particularly noteworthy because it came just hours before commissioners ordered more than $500,000 worth of unspecified cuts to the 2014 budget that begins Oct. 1.

Renee Oij, of the Hernando Leadership class of 2013, correctly characterized the Little Rock Cannery as enriched with a tradition that builds an immediate sense of community among the people who use it.

The commission was correct to try to save the facility, but it is now incumbent upon cannery advocates to do likewise to preserve this unique community asset.

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Editorial: Candor key step to restoring trust at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute

Editorial: Candor key step to restoring trust at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital has begun the important work of rebuilding trust with its patients and the community following revelations of medical errors and other problems at its Heart Institute. CEO Dr. Jonathan Ellen candidly acknowledges...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Editorial: Tampa Bay House members fail to stand up to Big Sugar

Editorial: Tampa Bay House members fail to stand up to Big Sugar

Big Sugar remains king in Florida. Just three of the state’s 27 House members voted for an amendment to the farm bill late Thursday that would have started unwinding the needless government supports for sugar that gouge taxpayers. Predictably, the am...
Published: 05/18/18
Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s lawsuit against the nation’s largest drug makers and distributors marks a moment of awakening in the state’s battle to recover from the opioid crisis. In blunt, forceful language, Bondi accuses these companies of ...
Published: 05/18/18
Editorial: A sweet note for the Florida Orchestra’s violin program for at-risk kids

Editorial: A sweet note for the Florida Orchestra’s violin program for at-risk kids

This is music to the ears. Members of the Florida Orchestra will introduce at-risk students to the violin this summer at some Hillsborough recreation centers. For free.An $80,000 grant to the University Area Community Development Corp. will pay for s...
Published: 05/17/18
Updated: 05/18/18
Trump backs off China tariff threat as China pumps money into a Trump family project

Trump backs off China tariff threat as China pumps money into a Trump family project

In barely six weeks, President Donald Trump has gone from threatening to impose $150 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods to extending a lifeline to ZTE, a Chinese cell phone company that violated U.S. sanctions by doing business with Iran and North K...
Published: 05/17/18
Editorial: Activism as seniors helps put Hillsborough graduates on the right path

Editorial: Activism as seniors helps put Hillsborough graduates on the right path

Lots of teenagers are walking together this week in Hillsborough County, a practice they’ve grown accustomed to during this remarkable school year.We can only hope they keep walking for the rest of their lives.Tens of thousands of them this week are ...
Published: 05/17/18
Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s lawsuit against the nation’s largest drug makers and distributors marks a moment of awakening in the state’s battle to recover from the opioid crisis. In blunt, forceful language, Bondi accuses these companies of ...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18
Editorial: Johns Hopkins All Children’s should be more open about mistakes

Editorial: Johns Hopkins All Children’s should be more open about mistakes

A state investigation raises even more concern about medical errors at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and the venerable St. Petersburg institution’s lack of candor to the community. Regulators have determined the hospital broke Florida law by ...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/17/18
Editorial: St. Petersburg recycling worth the effort despite cost issues

Editorial: St. Petersburg recycling worth the effort despite cost issues

St. Petersburg’s 3-year-old recycling program has reached an undesirable tipping point, with operating costs exceeding the income from selling the recyclable materials. The shift is driven by falling commodity prices and new policies in China that cu...
Published: 05/15/18
Updated: 05/18/18
Editorial: HUD’s flawed plan to raise rents on poor people

Editorial: HUD’s flawed plan to raise rents on poor people

Housing Secretary Ben Carson has a surefire way to reduce the waiting lists for public housing: Charge more to people who already live there. Hitting a family living in poverty with rent increases of $100 or more a month would force more people onto ...
Published: 05/15/18
Updated: 05/18/18