Stabins needs a critique, too
It would be much better if we, the public taxpayers, had someone give a critique of Commissioner Jeff Stabins instead of him critiquing County Administrator David Hamilton.
Stabins is pouting about not getting the vote he feels he needs to dump Hamilton. Stabins has been around as commissioner too long. Time we voted him out along with a few more of the county leaders.
If anyone starts a recall vote on any of these guys, I will gladly sign it.
Jon Knudson, Spring Hill
Thanks to special Hospice helpers
As a member of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization celebrating national volunteer week, HPH Hospice is honored to recognize the contributions of our 400 volunteers in Hernando County. In 2010, these men and women gave more than 54,000 hours and $1,276,000 of in-kind service that would otherwise be provided by paid staff.
HPH Hospice volunteers play an indispensable role in offering the best care possible for patients living with life-limiting illness, their families and caregivers.
HPH Hospice volunteers are truly angels in disguise, willingly offering their time and caring nature to ensure a person's final days are filled with love, comfort and peace. Other volunteers provide much-needed assistance through preparing meals daily for patients in our facilities and never hesitate to make a triple-thick chocolate shake or a juicy cheese burger, regardless of the time of day. Many volunteers help sort donations at our two thrift stores, call the bereaved to offer words of comfort, provide courier service to our various offices in their own transportation, use their talents to make keepsakes for family members or bring their pets to a patient's beside through the Compassionate Paws canine program so the pet can help soothe anxiety or give a welcome lick on the cheek.
To our HPH Hospice volunteers, thank you so much for all of your hard work and dedication. Words cannot truly express how grateful we are to have you as part of our team. It is a pleasure and a privilege to work with you.
Manager of Volunteer Services
DeWitt should focus on real issue
Regarding Dan DeWitt's recent column about the Chassahowitzka River, Dan just can't help himself. When he has the opportunity to say something really worthwhile, like questioning a proposed Southwest Florida Water Management District rule that will legally allow harmful additional impacts to the Chassahowitzka River, he chooses instead to personally attack the author of a very well-written letter. It is ill advised, immature and certainly not professional.
This is an issue that concerns the Chassahowitzka now but has applicability to all gulf coast spring-fed rivers such as Weeki Wachee, Rainbow and Silver Run, to name the major ones. This is a very significant decision by the district that needs to be thoroughly assessed by all interested and potentially impacted persons as well those concerned about these very sensitive coastal ecosystems.
The problem is that the water management district's scientific premises are so esoteric few people have the background to question its conclusions. Don't get me wrong. The district's scientists are great and I have deep respect for them, but this is all new stuff requiring very iffy judgment.
By iffy, I mean it involves creating a public policy that when applied will legally allow additional negative environmental impacts upon a complex and very sensitive living coastal system without tripping a standard called significant harm. Not a simple task. The very concept of allowing additional harmful impacts by regulatory design upon a river system — beyond those which locals are saying has already occurred — to the edge of a vague, undefined statutory test referred to as significant harm is simply not wise.
Years from now the question will be asked, what were we thinking? But it will be too late because the permits for removing the flow from the springs will have been already granted. The question will likely be answered with a great sigh of resignation and a declaration that the spigots can't be turned off because the public now depends upon the supply and finding another will be too expensive. It is an all too familiar refrain.
Dan obviously has some personal vendettas remaining over past battles — long-lost battles legitimately won by a respectable company after extended public discussion. He should've focused on the real issue, the harm that is about to be allowed upon a sensitive river system by a government charged with its protection.
Sonny Vergara, former executive director, Southwest Florida Water Management District