Sunday, January 21, 2018
Editorials

Letters: Don't spoil existing Nature Coast experience in Hernando County

Residents not impetus for Nature Center

Has there been a loud cry from citizens for a nature center? Are people calling the county up and saying "I could really enjoy hiking, biking and swimming so much more with an interactive nature center to tell me all about it and please make sure it has a snack stand full of yummy junk foods?''

Birders, hikers, bikers and general nature lovers are not coming here for the development.

Just getting matching funding for a project like this may feel like a great opportunity, but when it's $3 million of our tax dollars being matched by the state one must ask: who is really getting the big pay off in the end? I'll bet the real clamoring for this great idea has come, not from citizens, but from builders and developers salivating for their piece of the pie.

Then when done we, citizens, get all of the maintenance fees. We'll cover the air conditioning, mowing and paying employees. It'd be smarter to improve the condition of existing recreation spots and just put the information about our area at those locations. Or just save the $3 million.

Jennifer Sullivan, Spring Hill

Don't spoil real Nature Coast feel

I am one of the many people who encouraged Hernando County to move the Nature Coast Education Plaza to a more accessible area like the edge of the Weekiwachee Preserve.

Let's stop calling it eco-tourism. "The Nature Coast Experience" is about making money. It's about parking lots and kayak rentals, hotdog stands and event space in the middle of the nature preserve. Nesting birds will be disturbed; turtles will get run over; bears will find the garbage cans and eventually be interacting with humans, in the middle of the nature preserve. You could put your swimming park anywhere and people will come.

The true eco-tourist, who comes from Tampa for a day in the wilderness, or the birdwatcher, who travels a great distance to see a unique species, won't be spending money in Hernando County anymore. We already have the Nature Coast Experience, open and free to everyone, on a schedule designed to limit impact on this asset. Why don't you put a kiosk at the gate with educational information for the novice to provide a tour that also teaches respect for nature. I'm sure that a collaboration of the many well-spoken naturalists, who commented at the public meetings, could help write it.

Patricia Simons, Hernando Beach

Comments
Editorial: Too soon for Tampa Bay to settle for buses over light rail

Editorial: Too soon for Tampa Bay to settle for buses over light rail

The good news on the transportation front is that Tampa Bay’s government and business leaders are working together like never before to connect the region’s largest cities, attractions and employment centers with a more robust mass transit system. Th...
Published: 01/20/18
Editorial: Saying ‘thank you’ helps Tampa police build needed trust

Editorial: Saying ‘thank you’ helps Tampa police build needed trust

The smiles, applause and at least one hug belied the grim impetus for a gathering last week at a neighborhood center in Tampa — the Seminole Heights killings.The Tampa Police Department held a ceremony to thank those who helped in the investigation t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Editorial: Criminal charges should finally wake up FSU fraternities to hazing’s dangers

Editorial: Criminal charges should finally wake up FSU fraternities to hazing’s dangers

The death last fall of a 20-year-old Florida State University fraternity pledge revealed pervasive dangerous behavior within the school’s Greek system. Andrew Coffey, a Pi Kappa Phi pledge, died from alcohol poisoning after an off-campus party, and a...
Published: 01/19/18

Editorial: Confronting racial distrust in St. Petersburg, one conversation at a time

The St. Petersburg Police Department’s heavy presence in Midtown on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the community animosity it stirred have raised a familiar, troubling question: Can St. Petersburg’s racial divisions ever be reconciled?That big ideal ...
Published: 01/19/18
William March: Tampa Bay Democrats line up for state legislative races

William March: Tampa Bay Democrats line up for state legislative races

A surge of Democrats seeking local legislative offices and hoping for a "blue wave" in the 2018 election continued last week, led by Bob Buesing filing to run again versus state Sen. Dana Young, R-Tampa.In addition:• Heather Kenyon Stahl of Tampa has...
Published: 01/19/18

Editorial: State’s warning shot should get attention of Hillsborough schools

The state Board of Education hopefully sent the message this week with its warning shot about the slow pace of the turnaround at Hillsborough County’s low-performing schools.The board criticized the school system for failing to replace administrators...
Published: 01/18/18
Updated: 01/19/18
Editorial: More talk, answers needed on future of USF St. Petersburg

Editorial: More talk, answers needed on future of USF St. Petersburg

The Florida Legislature’s abrupt move to strip the University of South Florida St. Petersburg of its hard-earned separate accreditation and transform it back into a satellite of the major research university lacks detail and an appreciation for histo...
Published: 01/18/18

Another voice: Self-dealing by nursing home owners threatens patient care

The outsourcing of logistical support services, which became commonplace in the U.S. military in the 1990s and later was adopted by state prison systems, has now come to dominate the nursing home industry. And while nursing homes, unlike the military...
Published: 01/17/18
Editorial: Making illegal sewage discharges legal is wrong answer

Editorial: Making illegal sewage discharges legal is wrong answer

Three years into a crisis with its sewer system, St. Petersburg has a dandy new idea for dealing with the environmental fallout of dumping dirty water into the aquifer. Instead of committing to banning the outlawed practice, a consultant suggested th...
Published: 01/16/18
Updated: 01/17/18
Editorial: Tighten substitute teacher rules in Hillsborough

Editorial: Tighten substitute teacher rules in Hillsborough

A substitute teacher at a Plant City elementary school berated a class of fourth graders — and then the school principal. Another compared a student to a stripper. Others were caught napping, hitting children, making sexual remarks, giving students b...
Published: 01/16/18
Updated: 01/17/18