Vision for trail goes beyond its path | Aug. 8 Dan Dewitt column
Sanctuary wants trail to succeed
Audubon of Florida's Ahhochee Hill Sanctuary completely supports the construction of the Florida National Scenic Trail, connecting public lands via a hiking trail system. Ahhochee Hill is fortunate enough to be surrounded by publicly owned open space, making the sanctuary a haven for wildlife.
In order for the sanctuary to be included as part of the system, the first step is to be sure the trail can be located along a route that does not adversely affect wildlife or the habitat it depends on. We are excited to have been working with Mitch Almon over the past few months to determine an appropriate route that is right for the property. As described in the column, "we're thinking long.''
Being part of a state and national organization, Audubon's approval process may test the patience of a dedicated trail builder like Mitch. However, the process has started.
What we really have is a story in the making. As soon as the next chapter is written, we will happily invite Mr. Dewitt to walk this trail to somewhere.
Christie Anderberg, Brooksville
Neglected road causes problems
I live at 6511 Barcelona Blvd. in Ridge Manor West across from the Sherman Hills Golf Course pin number 10. Adams Homes LLC had the approval to build homes on the north, west, and east side of the golf course in five phases. Phase 1 was completed.
In the original agreement the contractor would purchase land on the north side of the project for a service road. This was done for Phase 1. After that time they placed a dirt road across the street from my drive way causing me some health problems. It is an unsightly mess with the black paper on each side of the road.
Last week, Adams Homes LLC had a meeting with the residents of Sherman Hills and announced that due to the lack of sales the project will complete Phase 2 and conclude the project, ending all construction. The road was to be completed and closed at the end of the project.
I respectfully request county commissioners close this temporary road, have the paper removed and grade the road.
Also, I have contacted the county code enforcement to report that the grass is presently over 2 feet high. In over 30 days, nothing has been done. I have seen snakes coming from this tall grass and bushy area.
Our community takes pride in its possessions and keeps the outside of its properties in a beautiful setting.
James C. Nico, Ridge Manor
Animal Services wants pets safe
Kudos to Hernando County Animal Services and the Times for shining the light on the death trap of pets left in automobiles. This is such an unavoidable tragedy and yet I see it almost daily in our community parking lots.
Residents who love and adore their pets think that it will only be a few minutes and the windows are cracked so it is okay. No, it is not. Thank you for recognizing the importance of this problem and placing it clearly on the front page where the message cannot be missed.
Thank you Hernando County Animal Services for taking the time, while so terribly understaffed, to demonstrate so clearly the danger that auto confinement poses to our pets. For those who become angry with Animal Services because it is a euthanizing facility, please remember their number one goal is animal safety and welfare — as this story demonstrates. They euthanize only as a last resort due to the public's lack of responsibility regarding spay and neuter practices or those who do not value their pets who are lost.
Taxpayers are screaming for tax cuts. This affects everyone, including our county's ability to care for homeless pets. It breaks their hearts to enforce this law, but they do it with great compassion. Animal Service's function is to enforce the law. Our job is to become a society that values our pets and takes the necessary steps to protect them, making euthanasia a thing of the past. Nothing would make the folks at Animal Services happier. Let's all try to do our job just a little bit better and encourage our friends and neighbors to be good pet guardians.
Joanne Schoch, executive director, Nature Coast Humane Society
Rotary park taking shape
As a past president of the Rotary Club of Spring Hill Central, I would like to thank Dan Dewitt for bringing attention to Rotary Centennial Park, our soon-to-be completed park for dogs and families. I would like to thank the county for its cooperation thus far, and also thank Cemex Corp. (formerly Rinker Materials) for its generous $100,000 commitment, being paid out in five installments. Also, our gratitude goes to DAB Construction, which has provided all paving thus far at no cost. Applebee's, SunTrust and Wal-Mart have also each donated $1,000 to our project.
Many dog lovers have thus far donated gifts ranging from $50 pavers to $5,000 from a generous retired couple. We must also thank Dennis Ferrara of Black Rock Construction for serving as general contractor of the project at no cost. Many vendors and contractors are providing in-kind donations, as well.
We invite the community at large to help finish this park. Pavers can be engraved with the name of your favorite pet for $50 apiece. Other corporate and individual giving opportunities are also available. Please send your tax-deductible donation to Spring Hill Central Rotary Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 3333 Spring Hill FL 34611 or call Brooks Edwards (352)666-4107 or Laurel Predmore (352)650-4900. Together we can get this park opened by the end of the year!
Marlene Shaw, Spring Hill