Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Hernando letters to the editor for July 7

River advocates seek solutions for waterway June 30, story

It's time to stand up for our rivers

I am an old-timer. I have lived in Florida most of my life, age 8 until now, 60 years or so, with brief forays into the Northeast. I have watched with dismay the degradation of our springs, woodlands and the obstruction of our coastal views. In the 1960s, Weeki Wachee was a clear, fast-running river replete with eelgrass and needle fish. It was mesmerizing to stand next to its banks and watch the water flow, crystal clear and cold in the summer. I lived on it briefly in the late '70s, when I would walk out on a cold winter morning and watch the mist rise and the manatees swim in the warm waters.

Things change, no doubt. But if we want to preserve this river for the future, and I presume that this is the case, we need to manage this asset with care. I believe we need to consider designating it as a wild river above a certain point. That means no power boats, limits on the number of kayaks and tubers per day and more marine patrols to keep the litter and drinking off the river. I know this is not a popular stance with those who seem to feel we can use the river with no concern for its upkeep. But the bill for this attitude has come due. There are so many people on the river now that I will no longer use it. This is not the only river I no longer use. The Chassahowitzka has become a destination river for many, and they are destroying it, as well.

There are others like me with like attitudes. We need to help those who are not educated to the need to manage these areas, who simply don't get it. It is important that with this management we also educate and volunteer to help. If not, we will see this river go the way of White Springs and Suwannee Springs in North Florida, dried up or no longer flowing enough to be called a spring.

Cynthia Ryalls Clephane, Brooksville

County libraries benefit all ages

I hope you reconsider closing any of our libraries. They are a vital necessity for all age groups in Hernando County, starting with our babies who start loving books as soon as they can turn the pages. Toddlers love coming to Storytime.

School-agers love working on computers for their homework and having access to being educated through the world of books. Libraries give access to cooking, painting and books for discussion groups. Older people enjoy getting out of their homes and enjoying a movie and popcorn with new friends. Where else can they afford to be taught to be skillful with all the new computer technologies?

Please keep all the libraries accessible to Hernando residents.

Loretta Hager, Spring Hill

High cost of spring cleaning; Stop fracking, save Big Cypress | June 9, story and June 23, letter

Fracking doesn't contaminate wells

Dan DeWitt recently published an excellent piece about the good work done by lawmakers, including Sen. Wilton Simpson and others, during the 2017 legislative session to clean up Weeki Wachee Spring, and I commend him for making the public aware of its dire state — which was scientifically proven to be contaminated by lawn fertilizer and septic tanks.

Notice, however, that DeWitt's column makes no mention of hydraulic fracturing, commonly coined as fracking, because it has nothing to do with Weeki Wachee and the important cleanup that is now taking place. I was confused to read Brooke Errett's letter to the editor in response to the article. Ms. Errett ties the safe process of hydraulic fracturing to Florida's polluted springs and waters, calling for a preemptive ban despite not having any scientific evidence to support her claim specifically about hydraulic fracturing.

There is no recent scientific evidence that hydraulic fracturing poses a threat to our waterways. For nearly 70 years, hydraulic fracturing has helped bolster our country's energy supply. The practice has been tested and refined for decades. Not to mention, fracking falls under at least eight different federal regulations as well as multiple state and local laws.

Ms. Errett seems to have inaccurate information about fracking's effect on our drinking water. I want to be clear: There have been no confirmed cases of groundwater contamination from hydraulic fracturing in the 2 million wells fracked since the 1940s.

When you forgo emotion for scientific facts, it is clear hydraulic fracturing would only benefit Florida and the rest of the country. Fracking provides a safe way to become more energy independent and reduce our reliance on war-torn countries for energy, and a preemptive ban without any scientific evidence serves no beneficial purpose to our great nation.

Lt. Col. Dennis Freytes, U.S. Army (Retired) and co-chair of Florida Vets4Energy

Comments

Wednesday’s letters: St. Petersburg’s culture, vibrancy impresses

St. PetersburgImpressive culture and vibrancyI recently visited Tampa Bay and celebrated New Year’s weekend in downtown St. Petersburg. I was awestruck by what I encountered and experienced. It has been several years since I last visited, and the tra...
Updated: 12 hours ago

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Jan. 19

Re: Walking leads to shocking catalogue of trash | Jan. 12 column Bring back anti-littering campaignJust came back from the beautiful, clean city of Singapore, where there is a $1,000 fine, plus community service for littering. I think a presiden...
Published: 01/16/18
Tuesday’s letters: Trump’s accomplishments unheralded

Tuesday’s letters: Trump’s accomplishments unheralded

President Donald TrumpAchievements go unrecognizedAre Americans even aware that our economy is healthier and growing much faster, that ISIS has been defeated and lost their territory, that China and other countries are buying more American goods and ...
Published: 01/16/18

Monday’s letters: Don’t be fooled by drilling turnaround

Deal blocks drilling off Fla. | Jan. 10Don’t be fooled by turnaroundWhile I am very grateful that Florida has been taken off the table regarding offshore oil drilling, it is clear this is a political move to champion Gov. Rick Scott as he conside...
Published: 01/14/18

Sunday’s letters: Left wing late to the #MeToo cause

#MeTooDemocrats come late to the causeThe Times devoted an entire page to the #MeToo issues on Sunday. The ironies here for longtime observers are nearly boundless. Twenty years ago, folks like myself were called "prudes" and worse because we found P...
Published: 01/13/18

Saturday’s letters: A wall of towers isn’t progress

Skyline takes shape | Jan. 7A wall of towers isn’t progressFirst of all, once the 17 projects currently under way are completed, there will be no "skyline." There will be a wall of buildings blotting out the sun and sky. St. Petersburg has become...
Published: 01/12/18

Friday’s letters:

Gang raped at 17. Getting help at 65 | Jan. 7Help available for assault victimsEach sexual assault survivor has a unique story to tell, and Evelyn Robinson’s experience illustrates many of the emotions, and society stigmas, faced by survivors.Sex...
Published: 01/09/18
Updated: 01/11/18

Thursday’s letters: Opioid bill could do more harm than good

Opioid bill opponents line up | Jan. 6Bill’s potential to harm patientsLegislators are proposing putting more restrictions on physicians’ ability to prescribe pain medications. Yes, the addiction problem is a serious one, and the law seems well-i...
Published: 01/08/18
Updated: 01/10/18

Wednesday’s letters: Beware candidates backed by billionaires

DeSantis declares governor run | Jan. 6Beware the billionaire backingThis line says it all: "The congressman already has the support of the president and several billionaires." If you continue to vote for billionaire-backed candidates, you will g...
Published: 01/08/18
Updated: 01/09/18

Tuesday’s letters: Drilling not worth the risk to Florida

Trump’s plan: to drill | Jan. 5Drilling not worth risk to FloridaAs a Republican and a supporter of President Donald Trump supporter, I am appalled by the proposal to drill for oil off Florida’s Atlantic and Gulf coasts, whose beaches and economi...
Published: 01/08/18