Sunday, March 18, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Hernando letters: Referendum to benefit park land, bus decision puts students in danger

Referendum will benefit park land

In 1988 the voters of Hernando County voted to fund the Environmentally Sensitive Lands Program to give the county the ability to protect lands that have special value. A committee of dedicated specialists and county employees with input from the public have been overseeing the program ever since.

The sensitive lands program protects areas that define the Nature Coast such as the Fickett Hammock Preserve which has some of the best remaining Annutteliga Hammock forest, much of which has been lost to mining and development. The properties are not locked away but are available for everyone to use. There is a modest staff to maintain the properties in good condition and modify them for public use.

In 2011 the County Commission eliminated funding for the program and used the same amount to pay for mosquito spraying. At the same time, they added the maintenance costs for county parks such as Jenkins Creek and Lake Townsend to be paid for by the environmental lands program. This kept these properties open to the public and took advantage of money the program has saved. Of course, when the money runs out, the future of these parks and preserves is uncertain.

The commission was nice enough, however, to give the citizens an opportunity to affirm the Sensitive Lands Program. In the coming election voters will be able to approve a referendum that could give a certain future back to Fickett Hammock, Jenkins Creek, Townsend Park and other beautiful Nature Coast places. Approving this referendum will keep these parks/preserves open to the public, keep them clean, and possibly make Hernando County a better place to live.

Vincent Morris, Brooksville

Bus decision puts children in danger

I am a mother of an elementary student forced to walk to and from school because the School Board decided cutting bus pickup and dropoff routes to students within 2 miles of the school was the best thing to cut in the budget.

I am very upset and completely shocked at this decision. I always thought the School Board was there to make sure children get the proper education and are safe and not in harm's way while in school. Where I live there are no sidewalks or warning signs about children walking to and from school until right before the school property.

It is going to take a child getting seriously injured or killed before the School Board sees that there is a problem with this decision.

I think parents affected by this should picket and protest this decision. This is wrong and our children's lives are at risk.

Shannan Saunders, Brooksville

Fee responsibility not with students

I am horrified, disgusted and outraged by the 250 to 300 students held hostage in the auditorium at Central High School by principal Joe Clifford and eight staff members to collect activity fees and books that have not been returned.

How dare a principal hold kids up among their peers and bully, intimidate, harass and embarrass students and force them to make promises to return text books by a certain date. These students are minors and not responsible for their school's fees. This obligation is for the parents and guardians of these students.

Students at Springstead High with unmet obligations are not able to participate in prom or be issued a parking tag. Principal Susan Duval stated, "if you're going to attend those events and spend money buying tickets, at least you could pay us back." As a grandmother, it is not my financial obligation to pay my grandchildren's school fees. However, if I want to purchase a ticket so they can attend their prom, what right does the school have to say they can't attend?

This is so absurd and ludicrous and I feel angry and disappointed with the school's method of collecting fees and books. Why not send letters to the parents asking permission for their child to participate in fund-raising events to help pay for these fees?

We don't allow children to bully other children, but we are allowing the principal and staff members to bully, intimidate and threaten our children. What's wrong with this picture?

Leah Hayward, Spring Hill


Sunday’s letters: Effort to stem pet cruelty pays off

Puppy millsEffort to stem cruelty pays offThank you to everyone who contacted their legislators, and a huge shout-out to the Tampa Bay Times for letting us know that state legislators were considering a bill to eliminate the hard-achieved gains on lo...
Published: 03/17/18

Saturday’s letters: Insurer focused on repairs, not fees

Citizens hit with $12.7M verdict | March 15Insurer’s focus: repairs, not feesCitizens Property Insurance Corp. has spent the past several years making sure that insurance proceeds for sinkhole repairs are used to restore a home and make it whole....
Published: 03/16/18

Friday’s letters: Put young people to work rebuilding infrastructure

Smart way to pay for infrastructure | March 13, commentaryMake rebuilding a youth project Raising gas taxes to pay for infrastructure may not be the best way to go. I suggest we re-invent the old WPA (Works Progress Administration) and draft high...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/15/18

Thursday’s letters: An alternative for giving: Breadcoin

Panhandling paradox | March 11Innovation in giving: BreadcoinPanhandling is destructive to the donor, panhandler and our community — a guilt trip that erodes personal dignity, respect and self-worth, making the recipient more beholden and entitle...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/14/18
Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Daylight saving timeDaylight bill is bad for businessI encourage Gov. Rick Scott to veto the daylight saving time extension bill. It makes no sense. It puts Florida out of sync with the rest of the country. Commerce will be affected. The entire Easte...
Published: 03/13/18

Pasco Letter to the Editor for March 16

Re: Pasco to test roadside recycling | March 9 column Pasco County (and its residents) have financial incentives to recycle, but the participation rate is low. Clearly, Pasco County either needs to make recycling mandatory — by making residents r...
Published: 03/13/18
Tuesday’s letters: Billionaire’s personal agenda

Tuesday’s letters: Billionaire’s personal agenda

Billionaire targeting young voters | March 7Using youths in personal agendaIs anyone surprised that Tom Steyer is using his extreme wealth to support his personal agenda and the liberal agenda of the Democratic Party? His real motive, hidden in h...
Published: 03/12/18
Updated: 03/13/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for March 16

Re: Pasco to test roadside recycling | March 9 columnOur community, Briar Patch, in New Port Richey has really gotten on board with the recycling program. Many homeowners diligently separate garbage from recycling material and place it curbside f...
Published: 03/12/18

Thursday’s letters: Gun limits, maybe; confiscation, never

Gun controlLimits, possibly; seizures, neverThe antigun left-leaning media constantly refers to the "gun lobby" and the National Rifle Association when trying to ban and even take guns away from legitimate owners. They blame organizations for the act...
Published: 03/07/18

Wednesday’s letters:

February Letter of the MonthThe winning letter addressed the school shooting in Parkland.My generation is fearful, angryI’m a high school senior. I, and people like me, have grown up in a culture of fear — fear of getting shot in our schools, where w...
Published: 03/06/18