Chassahowitzka Springs are at risk
It is disturbing to me that the Southwest Florida Water Management District has determined that 11 percent more water can be withdrawn from the Chassahowitzka Springs and concluded that this will keep it within the mandate to not do significant harm to water resources or to the environment. The agency has chosen a figure of over 15 percent degradation to indicate "significant damage" and says that 11 percent less flow would cause this amount of damage.
If the Chassahowitzka were in pristine condition, 100 percent healthy as it must have been prior to European settlement, this would not be a major problem. However, after 200 years of human habitation, the Chassahowitzka is now maybe 50 to 70 percent of its ideal condition. Subtracting 15 percent degradation from those figures gives a more frightening picture.
According to Swiftmud's graph of water flow in the springs, the last 40 years shows a slow but steady decline in output, even though there is a large variation from year to year. Swiftmud believes that the drought pattern we are in will reverse, but of course, no one can predict whether or not this will happen or when it will happen. Why not wait until we are comfortably out of the drought pattern before considering withdrawing more water?
I was recently kayaking on the Chassahowitzka during low tide, and there was barely enough water flow at current levels for a kayak. This is a major recreational river for kayakers, canoeists and fishermen, and it makes no sense to put that in jeopardy for another subdivision.
Janice Howie, New Port Richey
Fireworks might annoy neighbors
Another New Year's Eve in the hands of amateurs. This year's celebration resulted in two bottle rockets landing atop our screen enclosure. I am sure the people who launched the rockets across the canal could not have cared less where it landed, or upon whom. I am grateful that neither ourselves nor our pets were victims to these rockets.
While the law allows for the purchase of fireworks, no one should feel as if they are under siege so others can celebrate.
Please be respectful of others and their property when using fireworks.
Cathie Sullivan, Hernando Beach
Crist made wrong choice for sheriff
I think I echo the sentiment of many Hernando County residents when I express disappointment with Gov. Charlie Crist and his appointment to replace Sheriff Nugent. Our state senator had a hand in this so he is part of the problem.
Let's review the circumstances leading up to Crist's appointment:
U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite decides not to run for re-election and talks Sheriff Nugent into running for her congressional seat. He qualifies at the last minute, thereby preventing anyone else from qualifying. (Here's where Sen. Mike Fasano considers this strategy an attempt to keep him from becoming a candidate).
Fasano, still smarting from the snub from Brown-Waite, enters the picture and strongly recommends Pasco undersheriff Al Nienhuis to replace Nugent. Nienhuis is appointed by Gov. Crist.
So here we are fed a dish of pure politics. There was a complete disregard for the feelings of Hernando County residents. Fasano and Crist could not care less for continuity, which is so necessary in the position of the most important constitutional officer in our county.
Nick Morana, Spring Hill
Re: Shih Tzus vs. self-interested featherbedders Dec. 30 letter
Animal shelter to blame for disease
I am thankful that I am not alone in my outrage concerning Hernando County Animal Services. Those pups would have had a better chance of survival if they had been left to run the streets.
The parvo they contracted was at the animal shelter. I adopted a dog from there a few days prior to the Shih Tzus' arrival and almost immediately my dog came down with parvo. I took this little dog in exchange for one I had taken from them about a week or so prior. That dog arrived at my home with a severe case of kennel cough.
Scheduled sanitation of the animal quarters would have prevented this disease that brought death to 38 pups. Management or mismanagement is responsible for this fiasco.
Dorothy Lind, Spring Hill
We should revive Christmas House
A recent Hernando Times front page includes two articles adjacent to each other, one about the need for drawing visitors to Hernando and the other mourning the closing of Rogers' Christmas House Village. You may have inadvertently posed the question and given a possible answer right there.
Rogers's Christmas House used to draw busloads of visitors from all across the state and even neighboring states. It was a place locals took their out-of-town visitors to see. It was something no other county had.
Could the Tourism Board find a way, without spending our tax dollars, to draw the community businesses together to revitalize the Christmas House and expand a visit there to include their own interests as well? A task force of creative entrepreneurs may be able to come up with an answer.
Lorraine Backey, Spring Hill