Friday, April 20, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Avoid the 'tax' by stopping at red lights

Red-light cameras another way to tax | April 11 Dan DeWitt column

Avoid the 'tax' by stopping at light

You want to call it a tax, then so be it. Happy?

Now let's avoid that nasty tax. How? Stop for the light! Pay attention to your driving (stay off the cell phone), watch out for those well- hidden red lights and stop when they turn red. Just like it says under state law.

Apparently DeWitt has a problem with either (a) paying attention or (b) seeing those hidden lights. He has mentioned paying a "couple of those fines" and then driving "very cautiously." Seems like something got his attention. I don't see him as any kind of spokesperson for the National Safety Council, just a columnist who gets caught running lights and has a place where he gets paid to vent.

Under the Florida law, no points are assessed to anyone for a citation received from a traffic infraction enforcement officer by way of a red light camera. The only penalty is monetary and it is charged to the registered owner of the vehicle not the driver of the vehicle. There is no need to identify the driver in order to assess the penalty.

It is as if the owner of the vehicle loaned it to a friend or relative, they went through a toll booth or parked illegally got photographed or cited and the only thing available to enforcement was the license plate number. Exactly who do you think is going to get the bill? The only one the officials can find, the registered owner. They do not care who drove through the tollbooth or who parked the car.

If I was the one who received that notice and I know I was not driving, you can be sure I would quickly be in touch with whomever I had loaned my vehicle for repayment. I would probably be hesitant to loan my vehicle to that person again.

If a certified law enforcement officer gives you that ticket, you get the points! Those couple of fines could turn into a much bigger problem at four points a pop! But then you do have your bike. Oops, same laws apply. Taxing isn't it?

John H. Stansbury, Brooksville

Make a difference in a child's life

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time for the nation to renew its commitment to our must vulnerable children.

By becoming involved with the Guardian ad Litem Program, Hernando citizens have an opportunity to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. As a Guardian ad Litem volunteer, I advocate for children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect. I gather information from all who are intimately familiar with the situation and the needs of the child, and make recommendations to the court. I make sure no one forgets that behind the case number is a child, usually a very young child, who is depending on me to make sure they are raised in a safe and secure home headed by capable, loving adults.

Currently, there are approximately 350 abused and neglected children who cases are involved with our local dependency courts. Sadly, due to the lack of volunteers, only about 210 of them have a dedicated volunteer assigned to them.

Beginning May 17, you will have the opportunity to join me in making a difference. A free pre-service volunteer training will be offered in Brooksville. To learn more, call Lynn Sennett, recruiter, at 352-274-5231 or e-mail [email protected]

Peg Donovan, Spring Hill

New store must consider homes

I, a homeowner in Autumn Oaks, was told a construction company was going to build a Dollar General store on County Line Road within 500 feet of our home. Our home was on a corner, within easy sight of the construction area. Not a good thing.

I volunteered to be on a committee of homeowners organized to fight this blight. There were a series of meetings where our association started to challenge the Dollar General construction, which, by then, had actually raised the new structure.

Our committee pressed for changes to the site development with such things as a brick wall and planted trees to hide as much as possible the ugly walls of the store and prevent the ensuing traffic from using our local community roads. A decision had been made to use one of our streets (Winding Oaks) as their main entrance thoroughfare to the store rather than using County Line Road. The use of Winding Oaks also imperiled Echo Mountain Drive, as it would likely be used as egress from the Winding Oaks entrance. The north side of our home is on Echo Mountain Drive.

At a recent meeting of the Pasco Development Review Committee, I overheard the attorney for the developer and Dollar General say that they were not obligated to make any concessions to the homeowners' association. Wrong, Mr. Attorney!

You need to take the needs of the homeowners into careful consideration unless you want to transfer to the Dollar General Corp. a white elephant — a store facing the active enmity of the 250 families who live in Autumn Oaks.

Joseph L. Barcelo, Hudson

House bill gives students options

House Bill 7059 was delivered to Gov. Scott's office Friday and the governor has until April 28 to act on this bill. The initiatives within HB 7059 shine a light on our highest performing students by increasing access to acceleration options in public education.

The core of HB 7059 allows school districts to provide academically challenging curriculum or accelerated instruction to eligible students. HB 7059 gives principals and school districts the flexibility to establish guidelines for these options and also requires school districts to include accelerated options, early graduation, and dual enrollment options in each district's student progression plan.

It also provides high school students the opportunity to graduate early once standard graduation requirements are met and it rewards school districts with funding for unpaid credits delivered to these students. Additionally, HB 7059 authorizes students who graduate midyear to receive an initial Bright Futures Scholarship during the spring term.

The bill clarifies student eligibility requirements for dual enrollment and clarifies that all schools may offer career-themed courses, not just career and professional academies. Too often we forget those students that may not choose the collegiate path and instead are looking to learn a trade once they graduate high school. House Bill 7059 benefits those students by focusing on high skill, high wage, and high demand jobs, and helps put these students to work immediately upon graduation.

Rep. John Legg, Port Richey


Friday’s letters: We owe it to our children to teach them history

If we don’t understand past, future looks grim | April 19, Daniel Ruth columnThe history we owe our childrenIt’s not often I agree with Daniel Ruth, but this article was spot-on. I’m not sure when the schools started ignoring Germany’s World War ...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Thursday’s letters: Gun research can save lives

Gun ownershipCommon ground: Find the factsThere are many areas in the current debate about guns and gun ownership where both sides must agree to disagree. But there is one area where common ground ought to exist. That concerns the need for continuing...
Published: 04/18/18

Wednesday’s letters:

Poverty and plenty in bay area | April 7, editorialStruggling poor are not a priorityI commend your newspaper for continuing to produce real and relevant news, particularly the recent editorial pointing out that a prospering Tampa Bay should not ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for April 20

Bar Association celebrates Law WeekPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1958, as the first Law Day to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Every year on this day, we reflect on the significance of the rule of law and rededicat...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Tuesday’s letters: Stop cooperating with ICE

Sheriff’s ICE policy blasted | April 10Pinellas should end partnership with ICEPinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri recently participated in a community conversation on his controversial agreement with ICE to voluntarily detain immigrants in the...
Published: 04/16/18

Sunday’s letters: The future of oyster production

Shell game | April 15Future of oyster productionThanks to Laura Reiley for an excellent synopsis of the current state of oyster production in Florida. The collapse of the Apalachicola oyster fishery is merely the latest example of the demise of a...
Published: 04/14/18

Monday’s letters: Public education is foundation of the nation

Voters beware of ballot deceptionApril 13, commentarySchools’ role underminedIt was with great pain that I read (not for the first time) that we must be aware of "ballot deception." Public schools were founded to make sure that future generations of ...
Published: 04/13/18

Saturday’s letters: Health Department should butt out

Judge: Grow pot, Mr. Redner | April 12Health officials should butt outThe Times reports that the Florida Department of Health filed an appeal to the decision allowing a man who is a Stage 4 lung cancer survivor to grow pot in his backyard for his ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/13/18

Friday’s letters: Open and shut: Enforce the law

Sheriff’s ICE aid policy blasted | April 10Open and shut: Enforce the lawPeople and institutions that insist on the using the euphemism "undocumented immigrant" do nothing but affirm their lack of objectivity by using such a phrase to support an ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/12/18

Thursday’s letters: Focus on offender, not weapon

Use data to curb gun deaths | April 8, commentaryFocus on offenders, not weaponsThis article tiptoes around the issue: human violence. The authors point out that automobile manufactures were pressured by regulation and law to make automobile coll...
Published: 04/11/18