Wednesday, April 25, 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


Wednesday’s letters: How we plan to improve foster care in Hillsborough

Improving foster care inHillsborough | April 19, editorialOur plans for helping kidsThis editorial poses many good questions. The Department of Children and Families’ peer review report is expected to be released soon. And while we welcome the an...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Pasco Letters to the Editor for April 27

Stop Ridge Road extension, reader saysWhen I spoke at the Dade City meeting of the Pasco County Commissioners on my opposition to the Ridge Road Extension, three of them responded, but only when my three minutes of free speech expired, and I could sa...
Published: 04/23/18

Monday’s letters: Term limits don’t work

U.S. Senate campaignTerm limitsdon’t workGov. Rick Scott has begun his run for the U.S. Senate with TV ads promoting term limits for representatives and senators. Aside from the probability that this would require a constitutional amendment, I think ...
Published: 04/22/18
Updated: 04/23/18

Sunday’s letters: Problems with high-speed rail

Thanks, Gov. Scott, for ghastly I-4 drives | April 18, Sue Carlton columnProblems with high-speed railIn her Wednesday column, the writer bemoaned the traffic on I-4 and blasted Gov. Rick Scott for turning down free government money for a high-sp...
Published: 04/21/18

Tuesday’s letters: Student journalists push to save their newsrooms and independence

Save student newsroomsAs professional newsrooms shrink, student newsrooms have become an increasingly important source of local coverage, holding not only our universities accountable but also local government. We write these articles, attending meet...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/24/18

Saturday’s letters: Don’t weaken rules on fisheries

Florida fisheriesDon’t weaken rules on fish stocksMembers of Congress are proposing changes to an important ocean law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, that would adversely affect coastal states including Florida.Since it...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18

Friday’s letters: We owe it to our children to teach them history

If we don’t understand past, future looks grim | April 19, Daniel Ruth columnThe history we owe our childrenIt’s not often I agree with Daniel Ruth, but this article was spot-on. I’m not sure when the schools started ignoring Germany’s World War ...
Published: 04/19/18

Thursday’s letters: Gun research can save lives

Gun ownershipCommon ground: Find the factsThere are many areas in the current debate about guns and gun ownership where both sides must agree to disagree. But there is one area where common ground ought to exist. That concerns the need for continuing...
Published: 04/18/18

Wednesday’s letters:

Poverty and plenty in bay area | April 7, editorialStruggling poor are not a priorityI commend your newspaper for continuing to produce real and relevant news, particularly the recent editorial pointing out that a prospering Tampa Bay should not ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for April 20

Bar Association celebrates Law WeekPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1958, as the first Law Day to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Every year on this day, we reflect on the significance of the rule of law and rededicat...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18