Assess fines for using fireworks
I would like to suggest another approach to stop the setting off of exploding fireworks. Why not have the local governments require that the sheriff and police departments hand out citations and fines for detonating fireworks in residential areas?
It would be interesting to hear the agricultural explanations offenders give for exploding fireworks in the city and in residential areas on the Fourth of July and New Year's Eve. It is puzzling that law enforcement has not gone after these lawbreakers, who for their own enjoyment, disturb and annoy neighbors, and scare their pets, livestock and wild animals all night and into the morning. Hand out fines and increase your reduced budgets.
The Fourth of July is approaching and Sheriff Richard Nugent, take notice. Stop raising our property taxes through your inflated budget. Many of us are unemployed and uninsured. Get it from the lawbreakers.
Paul Capral, Spring Hill
Where people stand | May 21 Dan DeWitt column
Police presence is a positive thing
Brooksville City Council members Frankie Burnett and Joe Bernardini need to resign. If Sarah Davis' murder wasn't enough, now you have drug wars going on in Brooksville and these two council members are concerned that police are the intimidating ones because they parked and observed in high-crime areas.
These two council members have shown the poorest of judgment and absolute lack of credible decisionmaking by complaining so the officers can no longer be a visual deterrent in crime-ridden neighborhoods. Instead of advocating to the community a need for police, they instead complain to the contrary. Instead of showing what a positive police can be, they try to push them further away. It angers me to think that somehow their complaints may be contributing factors in the recent drug wars, shooting and related crimes.
To Richard Howell, you, too, should question your judgment and accept some of the responsibility for your neighborhood's crime rate. How can you call yourself a community activist in a crime-filled neighborhood and yet try to rid your streets of officers who are there to protect you? It is absurd to think that you have done your neighborhood any good by getting the police out. You object to the community center because it acts more like a police substation. It may be the safest place in your community for residents to go.
What exactly are you an activist for? If it's for safer streets, less crime or less drugs, then you, as an activist, in my opinion, are failing miserably.
This is not an issue of race but a race to the issue of crime. A race that we as residents are losing and a race that these council members are enabling.
Daniel Blevins, Hernando Beach
Amendment 4 makes sense
In his May 23 column, Dan DeWitt addressed Florida Hometown Democracy Amendment 4, an important citizens' reform which will be on the statewide ballot in November.
I support Amendment 4. We're simply saying: Voters need a seat at the table when politicians want to change a community's land-use plan. We're the ones who pay tax dollars to extend the schools, police, fire, water, sewer and roads to new development. Is a new development affordable to our community? We should get a vote before we're forced to pay.
We need some growth, but not the kind of out-of-control land speculation and corruption that crashed our economy and left us with empty strip malls and foreclosed developments.
Taxpayers keep getting let down by politicians who make decisions based on campaign contributions from politically powerful speculators, when they should, instead, protect the quality of life of the citizens who elected them into office. Big Business has raised $6 million so far to try to defeat Amendment 4 and deny you your right to vote. Ask yourself: Why are they so scared of taxpayer oversight?
Don't believe the lies about this amendment. It's simply an add-on to the existing process. Here is exactly how it will work: Local city or county commissions will study, hold public hearings, and vote on proposed changes to the overall land-use plan (local comprehensive land-use plan) just like they do now. The new step is that once a commission approves a plan change, voters will get to approve or veto it at the next regularly scheduled election day. That's it.
Amendment 4 doesn't require votes on rezonings, variances or individual development approvals. Voters won't vote on every new grocery store or hotel, but will get to vote when politicians want to change, for example, farmland to apartments, or turn a residential area into a commercial zone.
Nancy Hazelwood, Dade City
I wouldn't stop for an unmarked car
I can understand the Sheriff's Office wanting to catch speeders but the method they have chosen was not clearly thought out.
Using an unmarked new gray Dodge Charger with tinted windows is ill-conceived. Being a woman, I would not stop for this car without calling 911 first. It is not the only gray Charger out there and it is also not difficult for someone to get a siren and flashing light on their dash.
These are crazy times and precautions have to be taken for individuals' safety. If you want someone to stop without possibly putting them in jeopardy, let them clearly see who is pulling them over.
C. Amato, Spring Hill
Time for outrage at developers
Guest columnist Joe Murphy hit the nail on the head that Florida cannot support this kind of residential development and it should not be tolerated with the huge amount of empty homes for years to come.
We have all kinds of regulations for hunters and fishermen because those resources would become extinct. With counties having water wars and with other counties unable to build enough roads to keep up with overcrowding and provide other services, then the season needs to close on residential development. It's not a matter of when we are going to lose our wildlife habitat; we already have. Not only that, but Florida is losing its farmlands and ranches and orange groves.
Now is the time for outrage at the sickness of greed from developers and politicians no matter what party.
William Oehlecker, New Port Richey