Core of racism problem ignored
Reports of the accusations of acts of racism against Hernando County Utilities Department employees are not only disturbing, but also leave a number of questions unanswered, while the core of the problem is ignored.
The environments in which these acts of racism take place leave a lot to be desired. Environments where the man for whom the location of the seat of government is named is celebrated on Founder's Day, when his only noticeable accomplishment was to have beaten a colleague almost to death for his antislavery views, environments where a U.S. representative makes remarks about the citizenship of Puerto Rican-Americans, the same environments where all county residents, young and old of all races, can clearly observe that the ranks of the police and fire departments do not reflect the ethnic diversity of its residents.
This environment where the victim of racial abuses is placed on paid administrative leave clearly sends the message that county officials are incapable, or worse, unwilling to protect victims of racism.
I wonder if anyone has given any thoughts to the fact or the reasons why Jason Booker's grandmother, Jeanette Soto, reported the acts of racism suffered by her grandson only after she had safely retired from her county job.
Many questions are left unanswered. While county human resources director Barbara Dupre is conducting an investigation of the accusations of racism, and the Hernando County Sheriff's Office is conducting a criminal investigation of the same incidents, we, the minority members, taxpayers and voters of Hernando County, are asking what are the human resources office and the Sheriff's Office are doing to correct the racial unbalance in the county's work force.
Pierre R. Borges, Spring Hill
Re: Rabbits for meat makes sense | April 13, letter
Nature's bounty sustains humans
Rabbit for dinner? It not only sounds good, but it actually was quite a delicious meal as Mom frequently cooked the meat during the fall hunting season in central Michigan. Dad and Brother would spend a few hours on a brisk Sunday in the "backwoods" taking pride in supplying food for the dinner table. A family of seven needed more than just a couple of those little animals.
Just as she prepared chicken, Mom pan-cooked the skinned and gutted animals in a frying pan in a bit of water. The preparation without some type of oil may sound a little odd, but once the meat was done the water was ready to be made into mouth-pleasing gravy; the natural juices made the gravy exceptionally tasty.
With the typical mashed potatoes, fresh vegetables and browned crescent rolls, it was a true home-cooked country meal. Now, as you picked the meat off the bones, you were aware and took heed to the fact that you had a fair chance of biting on a buckshot pellet.
The same went for pheasant.
Since I was raised on these delicacies, I don't remember them having a gamy taste. It was just plain good eatin', unlike venison, which I could barely keep down. When Mom said we were having "steak" for dinner, I learned not to make an assumption and had an immediate mood change when the aroma told me the truth of the matter.
As our creator intended, sustaining life with the bounties of nature is man's means to that end. Rabbit is fine; pheasant is, too, but squirrel was another cherished item on an autumn menu. As to fattening these little creatures, just let them eat nuts.
Ron Rae, Spring Hill
Re: William Thornton
Sentence didn't fit this crime
I do believe that William Thornton received a harsh, unfair, biased, prejudiced, unjustified sentence. This is almost a no-brainer. The young adults were on drugs, speeding, had no seat belts on and were tragically killed. This is an accident, not premeditated.
Yes, the young man didn't have a driver's license, and S Bauer Road comes up quickly on Route 44. There is now a warning sign that wasn't there before.
He wasn't on drugs, but in unfamiliar territory.
He also was given poor legal advice. Even the sentencing guidelines were abused, and others have received lighter sentences for the same offense.
The attorneys, judges in other counties and the governor should talk to Ric Howard. "Being tough" doesn't make for a fair, justified and balanced sentence. It is poor leadership ability.
Kathy Barker, Beverly Hills
Re: Planners back approval of an upscale RV resort
It is disturbing enough that Hernando County planning commissioners feel like what the Nature Coast needs is an another development or RV resort. It is even worse when they so blatantly disregard or dismiss public opinion and concerns.
Perhaps they should be reminded that they serve the public and the taxpayers, not the developers. That concept seems lost on them these days for the most part. Nothing captures their arrogance more powerfully than Commissioner Robert Widmar's comments as quoted in the St. Petersburg Times recently.
Commissioner Widmar's comment that developer and land speculator Gary Grubbs should "make nice-nice" with concerned citizens worried about water, transportation, pollution and nature is insulting and shows a clear lack of commitment to the public's needs and concerns. Perhaps the Planning Commission should spend less time making "nice-nice" with developers and spend more time ensuring the public interest.
In fairness, commission Chairwoman Anna Liisa Covell voted against this proposal, and the public should thank her for it.
Mr. Grubbs is already pushing an environmentally damaging development proposal in Aripeka called Sunwest Harbourtowne. As if that is not enough, now we need an RV resort on the Nature Coast?
Let's hope the County Commission takes their commitment to the public more seriously than the majority of planning commissioners did this time and votes this project down.
Mr. Widmar should apologize to the public for his remarks, and county commissioners should re-examine his role on the Planning Commission.
If he wants to keep making "nice-nice" with developers, he should do it on his own time, not the public's.
Nancy M. Murphy,