Sunday, June 24, 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


Monday’s letters: College instructors need classes in active shooter training

Active shooter perceptions disproven | June 21We need active shooter trainingThe only guns that I had seen before coming to the United States of America were in glass cases in museums. When I came to America to get a Ph.D. in English at the Unive...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Friday’s letters: What a new Rays ballpark would mean

Rays exec hints at stadium timeline | June 15What a new ballpark would doThe Tampa Bay Rays 2020 organization is working diligently with local business leaders and civic organizations to rally support for the Rays’ new ballpark in Ybor City. The ...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Thursday’s letters: On immigration there has to be a better way

‘Zero tolerance’ ignites outrage | June 20Find better way on immigrationOver the years I’ve voted for candidates from both parties. My observation of the Trump administration’s policy on immigration is not about politics. It has to do with having...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/21/18

Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18

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
Updated: 06/19/18

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