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Brooksville's $250 ticket brings family grief

Ticket for $250 brings only grief

This letter is in regard to the recently revised Vehicle Radio Ordinance. I received a first offense ticket of $250 on July 2. When I received the ticket, the Brooksville Police Department officer was so kind to let me know that if I couldn't pay the fee within 30 days that I could get an extension and do community service. I know from past tickets, that it can be done like that, she said. Wrong!

I went to the ticket department at the courthouse and they said I had to go through the police department. I called the department and was referred to the courthouse. A few days go by and I return to the ticket department at the courthouse. That department referred me downstairs to code enforcement, which referred me to City Hall. Once at City Hall, they were nice enough to call the police department to try to get me an answer. The answer given was that there is only one option: pay within the 30 days. After the 30 days, the penalty goes up to a second offense of $500, then a third offense of $750. If police pull you over while the ticket is unpaid, they will impound your car.

The old price for first offense was $50, which is still on the ticket since the department is using old pads and writing in the new fees.

I have a 1978 gas guzzler, am on Medicaid and food stamps. With no other choices, my only option was to have my recently widowed mom, who is on disability, pay my ticket.

All this ticket has done is hurt my whole family, financially and emotionally. Not to mention it would have been nice if the police officer had her facts straight before providing me or anyone with wrong information. Community hours and the extension — no such thing for a city of Brooksville uniform code compliance citation.

Sandra Thomas, Brooksville

Empty lots, Chapter 11 are legacy of tony idea | July 26 Dan DeWitt column

See opportunities at golf community

Southern Hills Plantation is a beautiful, high-end gated community with a Pete Dye golf course. Those who visit this community are awe-struck by its beauty. Between the exquisite golf course, incredible elevations, amenities (clubhouse, spa, fitness center, swimming pool, clay tennis courts and miles of sidewalks) and the unique architecture, it is truly a place of distinction in Hernando County.

Southern Hills Plantation was recently named one of the top 100 master planned communities in the United States by Where to Retire magazine and was one of only six communities in Florida awarded the honor.

Southern Hills Plantation is a community where many professionals in Hernando County wish to live and are planning to build their homes. Numerous conveniences are nearby ranging from major shopping to the quaint shops in Brooksville. It is also a short drive to Tampa, including the airport, and other recreational areas. This does not mean, as Times columnist Dan DeWitt suggests, that one should live in Tampa and give up the leisure lifestyle available at Southern Hills Plantation.

Everyone who owns a home site (even if vacant) in Southern Hills Plantation pays normal membership fees and has the option of golf membership. Many of the facilities are used by site owners, not just residents.

Not unlike the rest of Florida and the nation, home and land values have come down from the market bubble. This has hurt many who bought or built during the peak years. With declining property values the taxes have decreased and will continue to do so.

Although millionaires reside at Southern Hills Plantation, a broad range of home prices is available. The real estate downturn has made home sites much more affordable. Instead of reflecting on the past prices, one should recognize the opportunities that are now available at Southern Hills Plantation.

Richard J. Faath, Spring Hill

If we hurry through reform, we'll pay for it in the long run July 27, guest column

Health reform opponents stall

Mary Partington's warning about repenting at leisure when we act in haste to produce a new health care plan ignores those who are not fortunate enough to have the leisure to repent.

This stand taken by Congress is merely a ploy to stall or derail the process.

The millions who have poor or no health insurance do not enjoy the luxury of time to endlessly debate the issue. The columnist casually refers to the many Americans who do not have the luxury of getting elective surgery to make their lives more comfortable, but she does not seem to really concern herself with their problems. She dismisses them as she wonders how she would fare in her situation with a new health care system. Does she really empathize with those who need immediate, critical surgery that would extend their lives — not merely make them more comfortable — but who cannot afford the costs or for whom the operation would take their life savings?

President Barack Obama has urged Congress to make haste because he knows (and we know) all too well that the longer the debate continues, the less chance anything will happen. Change is uncomfortable. It entails risk. Most of us do not have the luxury of waiting or doing nothing. Does Congress really need more time? Are there really any new, brilliant solutions that are likely to emerge in the next few months that will magically cost us nothing? Or do its members simply want to delay the risks of making substantial change?

Dana Noble, Weeki Wachee

Do I just die while waiting for help?

To Mary Partington, health care reform cannot wait any longer.

I have not had health care since 2003 and I am getting older and have about seven more years to get on Medicare.

What happens if I don't have catastrophic insurance and something happens to me like a heart attack?

I couldn't afford any tests or medications, let alone the hospital. Do I just die?

Diane LaRusso, New Port Richey

Double standard in captain's death

In regards to the teen who is being charged with Capt. Scott Bierwiler's death: I knew Scott and he was an amazing law enforcement officer. He was a great person. But should this boy face a long sentence? I don't think this kid set out to kill someone. Taking his parent's car was wrong, but to put this boy in prison for a long time won't bring Scott back.

Double standards do exist. I know.

My son was charged with assault on a law enforcement officer. What happened was he was drinking and some guy was beating him up. My son called 911. Because he was so hysterical, the officer handcuffed him. My son was chewing tobacco and was asked to spit it out. It accidentally hit the officer's arm. There were two witnesses in defense of my son. The public defender didn't seem to care.

A short time after this incident, said officer was found to have pot. Did anything happen to him? Of course not.

By the way, do I disrespect the law? No. Only individuals — those who wear the badge as an excuse. My oldest son is retired from the New York Police Department. Thankfully, he always had integrity.

Dorothy Rockwell, Spring Hill

Help for families misused July 18 letter

Food aid enables poor choices

I also have to see this abuse daily and have to keep my mouth shut. Let me give you a few examples so everyone can understand why we feel as we do.

I've had a woman spend more than $300 and say, "I bought nothing but junk." No fruit, vegetables or meat. It was cookies, candy, soda, cakes. She still had more than $300 left on her card.

How about the guy who bought $200 in steaks because he was "having a barbecue"?

And my all-time favorite: The person in line with the $10 take-out sandwich who told all his friends with him, "Put them on the counter — I'm buying lunch today." When the bill totaled $75, I wanted to say, "Thank me because I bought your lunch today."

I have noticed that the majority are younger people who come into the stores at all hours of the day and night. I've wondered why can they afford thousands of dollars for tattoos, gold jewelry and the newest high-tech cell phones and iPods, but not food.

I couldn't agree with the letter writer more. It's about time something is done about this

Kathie Wormuth, Port Richey

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Brooksville's $250 ticket brings family grief 07/29/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 9:13pm]
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