Charging vets to be honored wrong
The veterans honor roll in downtown Brooksville on the old courthouse Main Street square holds names of hometown natives who went to war, returning heroes in war and many hometown heroes of their schools' football, basketball or baseball teams.
Now, marvelous young people who graduated from Hernando, Central, Springstead and Nature Coast Technical, many in ROTC programs, are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, our latest war heroes to settle back into their niches in Hernando County. The wars from which they return have left 4,780 killed as of Veteran's Day and more than 30,000 wounded.
The criteria for consideration to have their names engraved and etched into the marble stone include that the veteran lived in Hernando County upon induction, served during a war-time period, completed his or her full obligation, and return with an honorable discharge. All this is decided, vetted and approved by the Hernando County Veterans Service Office and its manager, Matt Peters, under the oversight of Health and Human Services Director Jean Rags.
Apparently, because of shifts in budget priorities, the burden of costs of engraving is now placed upon the veteran on a per-letter cost so that our thanks for their sacrifice and service is diminished to save the county some $40 or so per name.
Veterans organizations and service offices are embarrassed to explain that we cannot honor our returning heroes unless they pay up to have their names etched on the honor roll. It's poor thanks against the backdrop of campaigns all over America in small towns, cities, churches, organizations and veteran groups to honor our wounded warriors every way we can from every branch of service, the National Guard and Army Reserves.
Deron Mikal, Brooksville
Karen Phillips will be missed
To say I was shocked to read of Karen Phillips' resignation from Brooksville City Hall is an understatement. And add to those sentiments also the word "saddened" and you will begin to understand how so many of us in Brooksville are feeling at this moment.
I have seen many come and go at City Hall over the years but never anyone so capable. She has been an anchor to calm many of the political storms. There have been many times her quiet strength and sound reasoning kept everyone on an even keel.
I realize change is inevitable in the larger scheme of things, but that does not mean it is always for the better. But accept we must! I am sure she has done much soul-searching before she reached her decision.
I would personally like to thank her for all those extra hours she put in to make so many happenings extra special. She always accomplished so much and all the while made it seem so effortless.
Karen, you are going to be missed. I want to wish you well in your future plans, but always remember us here in Brooksville are the losers in your resignation. There is never going to be anyone quite like you and I mean that most sincerely.
Julia Jinkens, Brooksville
If change isn't cash, what is it?
The other day I was doing some grocery shopping and while spending a little time waiting at the checkout counter, I noticed the sign on the "Change Machine." It said, "Convert all your change into cash." So maybe this is what is wrong with our country? No one recognizes the commonality of change and cash.
When I was young I learned to count using loose change to add and subtract. My parents and teachers always referred to any actual money as cash whether foldable or coins.
It's like the cartoon show with the male cows sporting udders. It has to be confusing to the youngsters of today, but perhaps they've never seen farm animals so don't know any better? There used to be cows, bulls and steers. I still don't know why they call ground beef patties a hamburger? There used to be cash only but then they started calling it moolah too.
You don't suppose this is why the banking, credit and investment system has collapsed do you? They don't know the difference between change, cash and credit either. I think I'll Google "male cow" and see what pops up. Might it say, "See moolah?"
Doug Adams, Spring Hill
Kudos for Navy JROTC drill
I was in attendance at the Veterans Day service at my post and was very impressed by the Navy JROTC Color Guard.
Having served in the U.S. Army and being a part of a drill team, I amazed to see how these two young men handled the M-1 rifle with such precision. I know how much practice is required to obtain that performance. Also my hat's off to the two young ladies who performed with them. They were just as sharp in their performance.
God bless our future military.
Ronald Fox, Spring Hill
Texting drivers more dangerous
In the past few weeks there have been several articles about fatal car accidents in which the drivers have unexpectedly crossed the center line or the median or just driven off the road and lost control.
Also, in the past few weeks, I have personally had cars coming right for me, crossing the center line, and the driver looking up and suddenly swerving back into their own lane. I have been behind cars that are coasting from one side of the lane to the other and I can see the drivers' faces in their mirrors either looking sideways or down, not at the road.
I believe that the legislators were at one time looking into banning cell phone use by teens driving. Cell phones are nothing compared with the number of drivers who are spending more time texting than concentrating on the road. Perhaps accident reports should contain information as to what a person or victim's cell phone was doing at the time of impact.
As more people use text messaging, I strongly fear the accident rate will climb as well. We have more than enough dangerous distractions on the road. Thanks to our newest technology, texting may be one of the most deadly inventions so far.
Linda Cassidy, Port Richey
Board newcomer thanks voters
I would like to thank the 38,470 voters in Hernando County who voted for me to serve on the Hernando County School Board for the next four years. I am sure those who showed their support know or feel that I will continue my service to the youth of Hernando County.
I hope the 34,081 voters who did not vote for me will get to know me better during my tenure and realize my reasons for pursuing this office are in the best interests of those involved. Throughout my life, I have given my best to every job and will continue giving my best to the people of this county.
My campaign for public office has been an experience I will always remember and cherish. I established friendships that will be lasting ones and I am blessed to have met some very fine people. There are many persons who run for political office that are ethical and moral individuals who can be trusted to be the public servants that we all need in our lives. There are some who lost who will make excellent public servants at some time in the future.
I cannot, now or in the future, dislike any person because of his or her political affiliation, race, religion or any other reason. There is no substitute for good moral and ethical behaviors in politics and I urge those elected and those who will run for office in the future to help restore public confidence in the political process.
James C. Yant, School Board, District 4