Springs need to be rejuvenated
Recent debate concerning the Harvey property on the Anclote River masks the real issues that hinder a proper balance between development and nature. These pressing and very real issues are going to be harder to address than deciding how many houses to allow on the last little sliver of open space.
The primary concern should be that the springs that nurtured the river and estuary are long gone. Seven Springs actually did exist and millions of gallons of fresh water flowed down the Anclote and into St, Joseph Sound every day. These springs have not produced any water flow for many years and the water that flows now is mainly untreated surface runoff from the pastures and subdivisions that straddle the banks of the river and its headwaters. It is only after these freshwater resources are accounted for that the estuary will return to its past production capabilities.
Recent efforts to alleviate pumping of the ground water that nourishes these springs needs to be revisited and in light of these recent developments would be the right thing to concentrate on to balance the continued consumption of our natural resources.
Beyond the concern for the environment, I would like to know why this unique and significant property was not considered as a Penny for Pasco acquisition. We don't have that many natural springs just lying around. Why can't tourist tax dollars buy this property? Maybe someone should tell the Pasco County Commissioners how popular springs are. After all, our freshwater springs helped make Florida state parks the most popular in the country with millions of visitors every year. I have yet to see a softball tournament have that kind of draw.
Greg Johnson, New Port Richey
Late buses put children at risk
The school buses did not run right for two days in a row. I waited 45 minutes Monday and 35 minutes Tuesday and had to drive my child to school because they cut the buses.
They are picking up more students at more bus stops with less buses and in the same amount of time. If I had waited for the bus my child would have showed up for school 45 minutes late! How is this going to work?
It now takes my child more than an hour to get home after school. School ends at 3:40 p.m. and my daughter gets home a little after 5 p.m.. This isn't safe; it's an accident waiting to happen.
Cindy Glover, Hudson
Redundancy is costing county
After an employee survey was sent to all county employees, a good 98 percent of the employees responded that cutting needs to start from the top. The redundancy of supervision could save this county millions of dollars a year if it lost the good-ole-boy mentality.
I don't know exactly where Sheriff White could save $4 million with the fire department, but I have a good idea it could be the seemingly redundant second personnel office. Understand, I would totally disagree with Sheriff White running the fire department; that should be left to a firefighter and Chief Lopinto has done a fine job.
Administrative and supervisory cuts are necessary in all departments. Every section of the county has chiefs, assistants and assistant to the assistant. For example, the facilities department downsized its workforce last year by seven men. Since, two have been replaced.
Caution must be used to prevent the county from losing good employees with knowledge and substituting with less knowledgeable, cheaper employees. Another waste of money is hiring private contractors to do work our employees can do. A simple example of this was a private contractor repairing a low level sign at one of the county libraries.
The time has come for the county commissioners to take a look into each of these departments with closer scrutiny. I really don't think we need all the supervisors this county employs.
Jeffery K. Hamilton, Holiday
Brown-Waite misleads people
On Aug. 22, I received a brochure from the seldom-seen and very occasionally heard-from reclusive representative of the 5th Congressional District, U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite. This folded piece of pasteboard is supposed to be considered a serious discussion of improving health care, instead of holding forums.
There is a section titled: "Any Government-Run Public Plan Why it is the WRONG solution to America Health Care problems." (I guess by that statement she means she is against Medicare and Medicaid and SCHIP). The whole section is just one big bunch of misleading statements which have no reference to ascertain their veracity.
• "Creates an entitlement that will cost another $1 trillion over the next 10 years." According to the CBO, it will be far less than that amount; but seeing there is no final bill, no one knows the actual cost. Much like the Iraq war, which she voted for many times without knowing the final cost.
• Underpays doctors for their services. Nonsense. The plan proposes to pay doctors more than Medicare.
• Forces more employees to drop employee coverage. This is a bald-faced lie. The public plan will reduce employer costs and increase employee coverage because they can find an alternative market to purchase health insurance at a lower cost.
• "Gives the Institute for Comparative Effectiveness the power to deny health care treatments." Utter nonsense. This Bush-era piece of legislation was for the government to set up a board to streamline treatments, determine the best treatments and stop recommending treatments that have shown to be ineffective and dangerous to a patient's health. It is beside the point. Insurance companies now ration health care and which doctors you can see. Try seeing a specialist without getting a referral.
There is another section titled "The Right Way To Reform Health Care."
• No cuts to Medicare. This means she wants to continue the unnecessary Bush-era designed handout to HMOs of $156 billion annually. The price we paid to get prescription drug coverage.
• Protect the doctor-patient relationship. She believes that no bureaucrat should be empowered with vital decisions about your care. But it is all right for some clerk who works for an insurance company — who gets a bonus based on reducing pay-out costs — to make those decisions.
• Allow workers to deduct the part they pay. I guess she wants the federal government to pay 100 percent of the health care without any cost controls. If you think that Obama Care will cost money, boy this would be a license for the insurance companies to print money, without having anyone object to the increases. What a boondoggle!
Originally, health care benefits were used as a way to give employees raises without them incurring the cost of additional income taxes.
Now she wants to give away the country's health care to the for-profit health care industry.
Ian Norris, Spring Hill
Sales tactics gone wild Dan Dewitt column, Aug. 17
Article was only a smear piece
There was no reason to bring the state representative into this article since he had nothing to do with this and the real estate company referred to in the column was not even in existence at this time! Additionally, Art and I at the time were also with a different real estate company.
If any Realtor or appraiser goes back to that time period, they will see properties built by Hartland Homes listed much higher than ours did. We do not have a crystal ball and to try to give an answer in hindsight is rather poor advice. Art and I base our listed prices on what had recently sold, no one had any idea the market would continue to decline to the degree it actually did and has.
This is nothing more than a political smear piece.
Ana Trinque, Brooksville
Hospice's work means so much
My father, William R. Herrmann, was 86 when he passed away Nov. 21, 2008. He was surrounded by my mom, myself, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren for one, short wonderful week in the Hernando Pasco Hospice Care Center in New Port Richey.
This care allowed our family to attend to my dad in his last days and to just be together. I knew very soon after my father was admitted there that I needed to be part of this organization. So, to try to give back just a small part of what was given to me, I volunteer there on Wednesday evenings doing little things for the staff, knowing another family will have the same peace and serenity we were allowed. I also feel closer to my dad.
My family will always be grateful for this amazing organization.
Mary Herrmann, New Port Richey