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Hernando letters: Let THE Bus help pay for itself

Re: THE Bus

Let THE Bus help pay for itself

With the Hernando County Commission finally looking at county expenses, they are looking to take the easy way out. While cutting expenses seems to be the best approach, when those cuts involve cutting services we need to think twice. Cutting services may not realize the savings that the county is counting on; because those cuts also mean cuts in federal matching money.

Admittedly, THE Bus does have many routes with less-than-full buses; but, then what Florida public transit system doesn't? As gas continues to climb to prices that can best be described as insanity, many people are going to be forced to rethink their driving habits. THE Bus is going to be a popular alternative very shortly.

Here's a creative approach to consider: Instead of cutting costs, why not increase revenue? No, I am not referring to raising rates (although fuel costs may make that essential anyway), I am talking about advertising. Many areas have looked at low ridership and been faced with the income/expense dilemma of public transportation. The conclusion reached by other areas? Place advertising on buses. There is space for at least three mobile billboards on every bus that could be sold. This advertising has helped to make many a public transit system more solvent.

I would suggest that before we consider cutting back on services, we consider alternative methods of generating income.

Duane Rieker, Brooksville

Re: 4 steps to help you get off the tar | Feb. 22 guest column by Darcy Maness

Five rules to help kick the habit

Based on personal experience and laced with humor, the column was enjoyable and informative.

As a doctor, I am a witness to the daily struggles and miseries of chronic smokers. Do you know that smoking is the single-most preventable cause of death in the United States? Personal choices aside, the joys of smoking almost always will be followed by the agonies of ill health. And think about the billions of dollars being drained from the economy every year because of smoking-related illnesses, absenteeism, etc. Nearly half of the cancers in the U.S. could be prevented if only we could put an end to smoking. So it is with coronary heart problems and chronic lung disease, as well.

Here are five rules I consider paramount to quitting smoking:

1. Set an example: Parents are role models for children. Smoking habits often start when you are young and impressionable. The best way to quit cigarette smoking is not to have started it at all. If you are a nonsmoking parent, there is a good possibility your children won't get hooked.

2. Open communication: When talking to your adolescent kids who already smoke, always remember how sensitive they are about these issues. Hence, avoid being overtly critical, yet point out the benefits of quitting.

3. Pay attention to the company they keep: Many teenagers succumb to the pressure from their smoking buddies; if they can muster enough courage to "just say no," they can avoid a lot of health problems. If they can't, then encourage them to hang out with nonsmoking buddies.

4. Get professional help: Smokers don't realize that nicotine is a powerful addictive substance. Enlist your family physician or a counselor to get the smoking "monkey'' off your back.

5. It's never too late to quit: No matter how old you are or how long you have been smoking, quitting is always followed by improvement in your health.

Currently in the U.S., about 21 percent of adults and 22 percent of high school students smoke. That is a whopping 43-million people! The United States Healthy People Initiative 2010 campaign aims to reduce smoking prevalence to less than 12 percent in adults and less than 16 percent in youth. A concerted effort by health professionals and all concerned citizens will be critical in the achievement of the Healthy People 2010 objectives.

M. P. Ravindra Nathan, M.D.


Re: How best to pay for sheriff? | Feb. 29 story

Think again on this tax proposal

The whole idea behind Amendment 1 was to lower taxes, not split them up into two or three separate bills that add up to the same total, if not more!

Creating a separate taxing authority to pay for the department would have been a slap in the face to the 64 percent of Floridians who voted Jan. 29 to make it law in Florida.

Back to the drawing board for the next funding idea.

Jerry L. Sellers, Brooksville

Re: Kennel stay makes you dog's best friend | Feb. 20 Dan DeWitt column

Reporter got

the real story

On behalf of everyone who shared DeWitt's stay at the Humane Society of the Nature Coast during his kennel confinement, "We salute you!"

Mr. DeWitt came to us for an inside look at the Humane Society and our program, Heart to Heart, in which we are sharing kennels with our homeless dogs for seven days. To Mr. DeWitt's credit, to get a true feel for what we are trying to do, he moved into a kennel for 24 hours.

We had no clue what his take would be on our shelter or our efforts to raise money for a new building. I would have understood completely if he would have taken one look at us and thought we were nuts. He was a bit surprised as to what he had consented to do when he saw the actual accommodations.

We were impressed that Mr. DeWitt picked one of the biggest and most energetic dogs currently at our kennels, Charlotte. Mr. DeWitt diligently learned dog-handling procedures from our trainer and did his best to adhere to them. He walked Charlotte regularly and gave her his undivided attention and affection. Charlotte is a calmer, more socialized dog due to the time and attention given to her by Mr. DeWitt and we are grateful.

While we would have been thrilled to have him adopt Charlotte, we appreciate that he and his family took the time to evaluate their circumstances to know if they were prepared to care for a pet at this time. Our kennels are filled with pets from families who didn't think through the commitment they were making when adopting a pet. Kudos to the DeWitt family for understanding that adopting a pet is a lifetime commitment and they were not able to make that commitment at this time.

It was not easy for Mr. DeWitt to go home without Charlotte. That was obvious to all of us who watched him say goodbye. We thank Mr. DeWitt, who came to us as a skeptic but kept an open mind and learned who we are and what we want to accomplish on behalf of homeless pets in our community. I wish everyone was so willing to be educated about the realities of pet over-population and the dire consequences.

Joanne Schoch,

executive director,

Humane Society of the Nature Coast

Hernando letters: Let THE Bus help pay for itself 03/04/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 9:25am]
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