I got your letter, Rep. Schenck
I got a nice letter Jan. 18 from state Rep. Robert Schenck, thanking me for replying to a recent survey. He told me feedback was very important to him and that the survey told him "overwhelmingly" that the people of his District 44 were against raising taxes, government revenue, and increasing regulations. Boy! That's really astounding news! Who'd ever thought it?
He went on to tell me he has constantly voted to downsize state government and will continue to do so. And he offered me the opportunity to contact his office if I ever had the need.
Other than that, he said nothing. Certainly nothing worthy of the letter's expense.
Perhaps I should accept it for what it really was, an unannounced political plug for re-election?
Leon G. Atkinson, Istachatta
What they want in a leader Jan. 15 article
A good leader, a good staff
Commissioners need an administrator who will lead by delegating challenging tasks to staffers.
They (staff members) will develop their skills and so increase their value to the government. Morale will improve.
James A. Willan, Brooksville
Lumping holidays together? Well . . .
We used to have separate holidays for Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, then we made one day called Presidents Day.
Why is it that Martin Luther King Jr. gets a separate day? We should make one day and honor all. I'm sure there will be more to honor as time goes by. Make one day and call it Honor Day.
Louis Delape, Spring Hill
Can we telegraph our future? Hmm
The speed with which we communicate today really baffles me. Everything has to happen right now. Some newsworthy event happens halfway around the world and we know about it within seconds!
Thanks to the proliferation of the cell phone, we can pretty much reach anyone whenever we want. Texting, instant messages, email on our cell phones, we can't communicate fast enough.
And now we have the iPhone where we don't even have to put a finger to the screen to send a text. Merely speak the message and whom it's meant for into the phone, and it will be sent.
It makes me a little nostalgic for a different time when we moved a slower pace, when we didn't expect an immediate response to every communication. I find it fascinating to look back from whence we came to give everything perspective. I compiled a list of my favorite outmoded means of communication:
The carrier pigeon. Can you picture a bird with a satchel strapped across its chest transporting a message across the land? It just seems so archaic, so last century.
The telegraph. In its day, a revolutionized communication, displacing the pony express.
The telex or teletype. The typewriter was the first mode of texting. It worked as long as you could read a long, narrow printout with a series of holes on each side. I remember using it in the office of the U.S. Maritime Commission in 1943, my first job.
The fax machine. You run your document through but are never really sure it makes it to its destination, but it was a major advancement into the world of immediacy.
The U.S. mail. I hate to sound the death toll for the Postal Service, but let's face it, very few of us communicate through the mail anymore. When one gets a handwritten letter, however, it's actually a bit of a thrill. Growing up, we knew what time the mailman came and we would run down to check our mailbox. Good things came in the mail: letters from pen pals, new issues of magazines, albums ordered from Columbia Record Club.
The telephone. To go in my life from a fixed-to-the-wall, rotary dial phone with a party line, to a cordless land line is the most miraculous of technological advances.
The newspaper. Television and the computer have reduced readership but as an 86-year-old retiree, I enjoy reading the newspaper every morning during breakfast. The tremendous amount of news in the paper significantly outweighs what we get on the television or the computer.
While I wrote this (handwritten on lined paper and faxed to the newspaper), new advances in communication are being discovered and are a bit mind-boggling to me. I'll leave it to my grandchildren and the younger folks to wrestle with them.
Nick Morana, Spring Hill
Gun lobby puts cuffs on commissioners Jan. 20 Dan DeWitt column
Let's holster that idea right now
If this gentleman in Spring Hill is allowed to sell guns from his home, which remains to be seen, we need to ask if officials will require a mandatory background check of all buyers or will he sell firearms to complete strangers, no questions asked, cash only?
If one walks into any gun store and makes a purchase from a federally licensed dealer, a series of regulations must be followed (including a criminal background check) under penalty of law. But if someone's home is turned into a convenience store for firearms, the most likely scenario is that prohibited people could show up at the door.
Have the Hernando County commissioners thought about this angle? Will the commissioners see this as a public safety issue or cave in to the gun lobby, as Dan DeWitt wonders? It's time for the commissioners to start thinking about containing the gun violence in the bay area instead of supporting a home-based gun store. The real question is: Do the commissioners have the courage to do so?
Tom Burke, Clearwater
Editor's note: According to the application on file with Hernando County, the proposed home-based business must meet federal standards for background checks and other firearm-sale regulations.