Don't subsidize home builders
Well, I see Commissioner Jim Adkins is at it again, trying to enrich and line the pockets of his developer friends, like Blaise Ingoglia, all at the expense of Hernando taxpayers.
Impact fees were devised so developers/new buyers would cover most, if not all, of the short-term cost associated with integrating the new development into the county's building codes and laws. That may include engineering, roads, utilities, etc. If the current homeowners are really lucky, impact fees will also cover some of the long-term cost, like schools.
If the developers/new buyers don't pick up these costs, I wonder who Mr. Adkins expects to pay for them. Oh, that would be you and me, the current homeowners and taxpayers of Hernando County. Thanks, Mr. Adkins.
The major reason Hernando County has the highest unemployment rate in the state of Florida is due to overdevelopment, not underdevelopment. Hernando County probably has more than a two-year supply of repossessed and for-sale homes, just sitting there, waiting for someone to buy them. You want existing homeowners to subsidize developers so the developers can build new homes to compete with the homeowners already trying to sell their homes?
Mr. Adkins, don't you and Mr. Ingoglia give up trying to get taxpayer money to subsidize developers; you two hang in there. In the meantime, I hope Hernando citizens have come to understand who you represent, and vote you out of office.
Ken Lang, Spring Hill
VA clinic needs a lesson in respect
After a recent appointment at the Veterans Administration clinic in Brooksville I left more upset than when I arrived. The incident brought back memories of why I quit trying to deal with the VA more than 30 years ago.
While most of the staff at veterans facilities are sincere and provide care that cannot be duplicated anywhere else, there are a few who show disregard for the vets they deal with and reinforce the impression that the VA looks down at those who come for treatment of physical and mental injuries — an impression almost every veteran I ever talked with holds.
Upon leaving the clinic, I stopped at a desk to make sure I had completed all the details of the day's appointments. I happened to observe an embroidered American flag hanging crooked in the background, with an eagle superimposed over the field of stripes. I asked the clerk if he was aware of the U.S. Flag Code and that the image is a desecration of the flag and all it stands for.
His arrogant reply was that an elderly woman had given it to the clinic so it was okay. An almost uncontrollable rage rose in me and I immediately found the first exit before I lost control of my emotions.
For all the plastic patriots who flaunt the American flag in any manner that suits them: The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. And to address the arrogant display of disrespect for the flag, our republic and all those who have fought, bled and died in its name, in a federal building is a slap in the face of all who enter that place.
Section 176, Respect for the Flag, of the United States Code, Title 36, Chapter 10, Patriotic Customs enacted by Congress, part (g) reads: "The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature."
With respect to a naive person who meant well, I would have suggested telling her that her embroidery would be displayed in a special place then turned over to a veterans service organization for disposal by ceremonial burning along with flags that are no longer serviceable.
H. Lee Helscel, Brooksville
Re: Homeless children
Statistics paint skewed picture
To read that article at face value you'd think we had a horrible situation in the United States.
Funny how those reporters failed to dig into the numbers because they had an agenda that needed filling. And as we now know, with the media, agenda trumps truth.
Allow me to clarify with information from a March 10 opinion piece from the Wall Street Journal Web site:
Most homeless kids actually live in homes. Fifty-six percent of them are doubled up, defined as "sharing housing with other persons due to economic hardship." By this definition, the meathead on All in the Family was homeless. Seven percent are listed as living in hotels, a category that, in the report itself, also includes motels, trailer parks and camping grounds. What's wrong with living in trailers? Does that mean my son's two kids are homeless?
Twenty-four percent live in shelters, which can be either emergency or transitional, like those for people fleeing domestic violence, struggling with addictions or working to reunite with children in the foster care system.
The remaining unsheltered (3 percent) or "unknown/other" (10 percent) may be abandoned in hospitals, using a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings, or living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations.
Where's your integrity when reporting on stories, St. Petersburg Times?
Vilmar Tavares, Spring Hill
Leave Willy's at Pine Island alone
I read the letters about Willy's at Pine Island. We have lived in this area for only two years. One of our favorite places to go and take visitors to is Pine Island. Everyone enjoys getting something to eat at the snack bar.
In fact, I have a 10-year-old greatniece who is coming next week and her request is to go to Willy's. I hope the county has the good sense to leave a good thing alone.
Sheryl Honer, Brooksville
Look at changing $2-per-car fee
One of the county treasures we're fortunate to have here in Hernando County over the years is the Pine Island Park facility. And one of the primary reasons for the park's success is Willy Kochounian's Tropical Breeze Café.
Willy himself is one of the greatest assets the county could ever hope for at the site. He truly cares about the park and his cafe. He's there, 24 hours a day and seven days a week. His home is just a few hundred feet from the beach facility and in addition to occasionally opening and closing the park gates, he constantly monitors the park activity throughout the night, after the 11 p.m. closing.
We've been regular patrons at the beach for more than 12 years. We've heard many compliments over the years regarding Willy's Tropical Breeze Café, not only from patrons, but also from out-of-state visitors and foreign tourists who frequent the site.
If park director Pat Fagan is truly interested in "economic conditions to see if we can get more money," he should reconsider the existing $2 fee per car in favor of $1 per person admittance. Cars don't enjoy the beach facility, people do! And they should pay accordingly! We've witnessed many vehicles during the summer season, admitted for the mere $2 vehicle fee, with five or six sometimes eight to 10 beachgoers inside. Raise the entry fee so we too can one again have lifeguards at Pine Island.
Commissioners, do everyone a big favor and leave one of the truly great things we have at Pine Island alone. If Willy Kochounian, in 2011, desires to renew his existing contract with the county for another five years, be thankful for the opportunity.
John K. Ross, Spring Hill
Sundaze owner is helpful and kind
My wife ran over a 4-inch spring pin at the end of Sealawn Drive and Commercial Way and her tire went flat in seconds. She pulled over across the street from Sundaze Home and Garden Accessories and called me frantic, "I have a flat and my groceries are melting."
I left immediately to give her my car and change her tire, by the time I arrived the owner of Sundaze was there. He brought over tools, a large rolling jack and even a brick to keep the car from rolling when I jacked it up.
His help and kindness really made the job much easier. What he didn't, and still doesn't know, is that I am a disabled veteran. Without this man's rare show of kindness the task would have taken me much longer and caused me great pain.
It is heartwarming to know that there are still people in this country that will take a moment of their time to help a stranger in need.
Frank Perry, Spring Hill