Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Hernando Letters: Bad septic tanks hurt our water

Bad septic tanks hurt our water

Improperly operating septic tanks in Hernando County are dumping poorly treated and even untreated human waste into and onto the ground, and contaminants in this waste are seeping into our springs and rivers and onto our beaches.

I own a small spring near Bayport, and it is fouled much of the year by the growth of filamentous blue-green algae called lyngbya, a noxious, invasive slime that forms dense mats of rotting vegetation that kill fish, cause swimmer's itch and release a chemical that creates respiratory problems in humans. The same condition exists in Weeki Wachee Spring and other local water bodies. Each year the problem is worse; 30 years ago there was no problem. The lyngbya growth is fueled by nitrate pollution from septic tanks and fertilizers.

The public beach at Pine Island is closed periodically due to high levels of fecal coliform, always attributed in the newspaper to bird droppings. I conducted a small study for the county in 2008 that proved the fecal contamination at Pine Island was derived, at least in part, from human waste. No additional testing was conducted to determine the source of the human waste, but I believe it to be septic tank effluent. Other water bodies near homes or businesses with septic systems are probably suffering the same fate.

Septic tanks should be inspected to ensure they are functioning as intended. Septic tank users, and I'm one, don't pay for waste disposal. The cost for a septic tank inspection every five years will be less than others pay for centralized sewer service.

George Foster, Bayport

Slow drivers, get out of the left lane

I drive and take pictures for a living. I am on a schedule. Is there anyway that someone can get the idea across to the drivers that on U.S. 19, Cortez Boulevard, Suncoast Parkway, Interstate 75, etc., that the law is that the left lane is the passing lane.

Stop sitting in the left lane doing 45 mph — move over and let the rest of us pass. What are you thinking? This is causing accidents.

I've had people pull into the left lane in front of me and then slam on their brakes because they either think they see something in the road or have to make a turn. What are you thinking?

I used to see signs that said "slower traffic keep right." Did we forget this? I drive approximately 100 to 150 miles per day. I am so fed up with this nonsense. Wake up, move over, and stop acting like you own the road.

Stacey Horan, Spring Hill

Know, follow your water restrictions

I see the weekly posting of water restrictions and thought it could use some further details. For instance, water restrictions have nothing to do with the water source. I've had several customers reply, "But I have a well, so I can water every day." The posting doesn't point out that the restrictions are for wells as well as for city or county water.

Also, there is no mention of commercial property versus residential watering. On any given Saturday and Sunday, sprinklers are running on every major thoroughfare. The shopping centers, doctor's offices and banks are among the culprits. Or are they? Who is to know when there aren't any details posted?

The listed water days, by address, should be made clear that this is for all addresses and that the restrictions are for all water sources.

Residents and commercial property owners are aware that Code Enforcement doesn't work on weekends. After hours and on weekends, the responsibility for water restrictions falls on the Sheriff's Office. I'm sure they have more pressing issues than to enforce the water laws, but then again, it would seem to be a good way to generate revenue.

It would pay to have Code Enforcement out on the weekends, and during restricted times.

Larry Franklin, Spring Hill


Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Friday’s letters: Freight trains are infrastructure that works in Tampa Bay

Railroads are infrastructure that worksFreight trains carry the loadCentral Florida is our state’s fastest-growing region. We’re on track to outpace South Florida’s growth 2-to-1 over the next several years. Great news for our local economy, but it n...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Charter schools aren’t the enemy

Don’t plug your ears when schools ask for tax | May 20, columnCharter schools aren’t the enemyAs an educator, I am astounded when I hear claims from school board members that charter schools take away funding from the local public school system. ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: Trump’s words insult our Canadian visitors

Trade disputes torpedo G-7 summit | June 10Canadian visitors are owed apologyLike many Pinellas County residents, I’m pleased that we receive thousands of Canadian "snow birds" as part-year residents. Not only do they enhance our economy, but by ...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/13/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for June 15

Opinion: Commissioners arrogant and incompetentMy wife and I live in Hernando County. As such, we are represented by a Board of County Commissioners where all the members manifest two common traits. Those traits are arrogance and incompetence.The arr...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18