Machine gun shoot makes it look fun | Dan Dewitt column July 7
County should evolve past event
This letter is 17 years in the making. And now that Dan Dewitt has weighed in, so will I.
When I first moved to Spring Hill all those years ago and saw the events blurb for a "machine gun shoot," I actually thought it was a joke or at the least an arcade-style shooting range.
When I found out it was for real, I called my family in New York and said, "You will not believe this. Hop a plane and come see for yourself. This ad actually says, 'bring the kids — free! And $1 hotdogs!' "
In my family, we are all responsible gun enthusiasts, having had to obtain the legal pistol permits and ownership licenses necessary to be gun owners in that state.
I mailed copies of that first ad to my family to show them I wasn't kidding and got a boatload of calls with hysterical laughter at the other end.
Somehow, I thought Hernando County might evolve over time, and each year just before the 4th of July, I fervently hope not to see this ridiculous waste of ammunition being hyped in the Times. So far, it only gets worse .
I know that each time I went to the gun range, I had the scary sensation of what my weapon was capable of, and it was only a .38-caliber. The comments made by the people in Dewitt's column and in other articles make me believe they think this equivalent to a roller coaster ride.
Randi T. Rosmarin, Spring Hill
Brooksville dress code is a disgrace
I'm offended by the city of Brooksville's ridiculous dress code! The town, the county, the state and places nationwide now seem to have a description of city workers that Jeff Foxworthy might've written.
To my surprise, this issue even made its way into the Denver Post. This policy may have put Brooksville on the map, but not in a favorable way. My friend in Colorado asked me what type of disgusting characters my husband has to work with!
So, who came up with this silliness? Is there a city worker who looks like this to prompt this policy? Is this even about a male employee or is one of the ladies in City Hall turning heads with her cleavage or mini-skirt and causing the hen house to get jealous?
The option of wearing underwear is a personal choice and it's an invasion of privacy to question this. The good Mayor of Brooksville was apparently the only sensible person to see that this policy was a public embarrassment waiting to happen that is impossible to enforce. Doesn't the City Council have more important issues to deal with?
The employees of the city of Brooksville deserve an apology from the City Council or the city manager for the disparaging light that has been cast upon them nationwide. It's not funny anymore and they have become a laughingstock. This was evident when my husband was wearing his city uniform and a complete stranger asked him if he was wearing underwear.
So, to whoever thought this up: Issue an apology and focus your attention on something more important, which is to improve Brooksville rather than embarrass it!
Polly Russell, Ridge Manor
Red light cameras
Cameras timed to make money
The argument that if you don't run the light you won't get a ticket is a hollow argument. If you look honestly at what causes a red-light violation crash and what the city of Brooksville is actually citing, I don't blame people for avoiding the town.
Your typical right angle crash occurs eight seconds into the red light. Most red light crashes involve activities like DUI, fleeing police, not paying attention — actions that a camera won't stop.
What you find them doing is using short amber times. The intersection of Broad Street and Martin Luther King is around 3.72 seconds of yellow. Just up the road at the shopping center service road the yellow is 4.1 seconds. I timed this myself earlier this year, same road, same speed limit. It is not the only dubious amber time. The one for the left turn at the Wal-Mart (Wiscon Road and U.S. 41) is 3.41 seconds but a similar left turn at Jefferson and Jasmine was over 4.2 seconds. Some might say that this was a mistake; frankly, it is intentional. This vendor's operation in Baytown, Texas, got busted using three-second amber times when Texas state guidelines said it should be no less than four seconds.
Stop line violations are no doubt planned based on the special camera at Jefferson and Ponce De Leon. Also, in my work timing the lights I noticed the light camera at Wiscon flashing when no one ran the light.
The reason the camera vendor and the city do all this is because they need a certain number of violations per day to make it worthwhile. Does it sound like someone trying to reduce red light runners? Don't sound like it to me.
This is a scam. When engineering improvements like longer amber lights are employed, violations go down. Georgia required an extra second of yellow at red light camera intersections. The result: Violations have gone done so radically that a number of Georgia towns are dumping the cameras because they can't make any money.
Stephen Donaldson, Dade City
1895 exam shows education decline
I am very glad there is an outpouring of letters denouncing the latest hair-brained idea from our professional educators; the no-zero concept. It is just one more step in watering down the quality of the education provided to our children.
Our schools have become a baby-sitting service more than an educational facility, and not a very good one at that. The teachers have no disciplinary authority and the parents are not required to answer for the conduct displayed by their dear little sweethearts. But the most serious problem today is the quality of education being provided, as evidenced by the lack of knowledge in any field by our graduates.
I received by e-mail the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 in Salina, Kansas. It is a five-hour exam with the following subjects and typical questions in each:
Grammar (time, one hour)
Give nine rules for the use of capital letters.
Define verse, stanza and paragraph.
Write a composition of about 150 words and show that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.
Arithmetic (time 1 hour, 15 minutes)
Name and define the fundamental rules of arithmetic.
Find the interest on $512.60 for eight months and 15 days at 7 percent.
Write a bank check, a promissory note and a receipt.
U.S. History (time 45 minutes)
Give the epochs into which U.S. history is divided.
Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton, Bell, Lincoln, Penn, and Howe?
Orthography (time one hour)
What is meant by the following: alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication?
What are the elementary sounds? How classified?
Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis, mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup.
Geography (time one hour)
What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
Describe the mountains of North America.
Name and locate the principal trade centers of the US. Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each.
These are only samples. There were 10 questions in all but one subject area and many were more difficult than those cited above. This was an eighth-grade final examination.
Fred Willett, Spring Hill
Congress' profits are suspect
Just before Martha Stewart was charged with insider trading I read an article that showed that Congress' investing profits average over 30 percent annually.
Even professional traders can't match those numbers. Professionals usually average 15 to 20 percent. The only explanation has to be insider trading on contracts the federal government hands out.
I want to see trickle down ethics. Why isn't there a class action lawsuit of the public versus the royalty in Washington, D.C.? Why don't they follow the same rules they force on us?
William Gilbert, Weeki Wachee