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Hernando murder-suicide highlights a need to speak up on domestic abuse

Speak up on domestic abuse

I apologize in advance to those for whom this may be painful to read. But if I silence my voice as others may have, I am part of the problem instead of part of the solution.

The recent murder-suicide lit up our community's eyes to domestic violence in a way that nothing else could have. If we do not learn the lesson we are destined to learn through loss and tragedy, I am afraid we may repeat the mistakes. I do not know the couple involved except by sight, and my deepest condolences to those who knew and loved them.

My questions to our community are: How did we miss the clues? Why did we not act? What must we do to be sure this never happens to another family, well known or not?

Is the crisis of one family more tragic than another when domestic violence and abuse are involved? We know the right answer is "no," although the truth of the matter is, unfortunately, "yes."

I can only hope that by highlighting this we will not let another bruised eye covered by sunglasses and makeup go unmentioned. Or a badly bruised arm, shoulder, back, jaw, etc., go unaddressed before it is too late. And when this known and violent person has been identified within our midst, it is my hope that our community will not turn a blind eye to it again, no matter the level of good that may also be done.

If the emperor has no clothes, let's call it and make him step down. It is my hope that domestic violence will become as taboo as smoking in a public building or drinking and driving. It is so not just a private matter. It is against the law.

Tracy Echols, Spring Hill

Paving roads isn't funding priority | Jan. 20 letter

ATVs are meant for off-road use

When I came to Royal Highlands five years ago, the housing market was booming and I was told by more than one builder that the lime rock roads in my area will be paved. Well, they are sales people. I believe that if the market was still booming, some of the roads would be paved. I paid an impact fee.

I think all young people should be outdoors riding ATVs, I don't have a problem with anyone operating one. But, I predict some young children will be hurt, if not killed, because their parents do not educate them on safety.

The last time I checked, all ATVs are illegal on paved or lime rock roads in Hernando County. Those doing so show a lack of respect and ignorance. They don't care about their fellow man and their health.

So, kick up some more lime rock dust. Who cares? The letter writer doesn't.

David Mays, Weeki Wachee

Paving roads | Jan. 20 letter

Taxes paid, but still no roads

The letter writer said paving roads isn't a priority. I have lived on one for 15 years and the reason I feel I deserve a paved road is I bet I've paid more in my property taxes than the letter writer ever has compared to the services I get.

I have no street lights, city water or road maintenance. Can the writer say the same?

The writer should please try to look at both sides before passing judgment.

Cindy Lewis, Brooksville

Officials' grasp of finances varies

I think Dan DeWitt may have been a little harsh in his Jan. 15 criticism of Commissioner Jim Adkins' vote in support of the quarry city project. I can certainly understand why Mr. Adkins might strain at a picnic table and swallow $83 million. It reminds me of my days as a mental health administrator in county government.

Each month I had to attend the County Finance Committee in case they had any questions about mental health expenditures. At one meeting, the Finance Committee approved $400,000 for a computer software program to be used by the county clerk without raising a single question. On the other hand, I was asked to explain the expenditure of 25 cents for a "no-write" pencil we purchased for making notes on documents we didn't want the copier to reproduce on the copies.

My boss later explained how this could happen. He told me that the Finance Committee couldn't get its arms around $400,000. However, each of them felt competent to know the meaning of 25 cents. When it comes to county finance, we should be pleased that at least Mr. Adkins understands picnic tables. He may have purchased one for his own backyard use. Each person operates at his own depth.

C.D. Chamberlain, Spring Hill

Re: Quarry Preserve

Support of sprawl hurts residents

By promoting urban sprawl, are the Republican Hernando County commissioners just guilty of raising taxes on existing Hernando County homeowners, or selling their souls for 30 pieces of silver to landed interest and developers, or both? I don't know how these people can look at themselves in a mirror when they get up in the morning. Instead of serving the people of Hernando County and its future, they have surrendered their ethics and morals to right wing ideology, campaign money and greed. On the other hand, some of them could be really stupid.

The Times has outlined in detail how costly this will be for Hernando County taxpayers. Urban or suburban sprawl is against any intelligent community planning, at any government level, worldwide. Then again, we have a right wing Republican County Commission. It's like the business establishment, landed interest, and developers own their own political party, and county commission. Remember when the Republican commissioners transferred the cost of impact fees from the builders/developers to the existing county homeowners and tax payers, in a county already overbuilt? I'm an ex-Republican turned Independent.

Ken Lang, Spring Hill

Pest issues plague Brookridge area

I am asking for help in solving an on-going issue in Brookridge Mobile Home Park in Brooksville, or at least in letting residents there know what is located in their park. We have two rat-, cockroach- and termite-infested homes on Moonlight Avenue behind our home.

Neighbors have had to treat on a regular basis to keep from being infected by these neighboring homes at their own expense.

I contacted one of Brookridge's board of directors and discussed these issues and was told the place will eventually collapse and then the rats will be gone. Not true. Where do the rats, termites and cockroaches go? They will go to all homes in Brookridge. This is a real issue for all of the homes in Brookridge.

Since last year, we have had to live with one home's attached building being collapsed and piles of trash and debris on their lawn. We have to keep our shades drawn to keep out the unsightly view.

This is not a sudden problem. This has gone on for years and now is out of control.

I believe the Brookridge directors should be the ones to address this issue. They need to put up a fence around the two homes and have exterminators treat the places to protect other residences in the park. Why should the surrounding neighbors need to pay high prices to have their homes treated?

Our home is our investment and what is it worth today? What will yours be worth with these issues in the park?

Sue Levenseller, Brooksville

Re: Fuel tanks need upgrade

Incompetence mars cleanup law

For someone who has dealt with the California State Water Resources Board on a cleanup of a defunct gas station, I say if you own a gas station and haven't complied yet, shame on you.

But, if you are part of the agency that is suppose to enforce this 19-year-old law, well, then, you're incompetent. By the way, giving anybody more time to comply is still incompetence.

Get with the program and institute the laws. That is the problem with this state. Every agency is not short-handed or short on funds, they are just flat out lazy.

I love this state, but shake my head all the time.

Frank Burskey, Spring Hill

Far from Fla., and happy to be there

I have a confession to make. I escaped from Florida. I was held a prisoner for 31/2 years while my home was languishing on the real estate market. I was released when a couple from New York took pity on me and bought my home.

I am also free from the worry of when that next hurricane will hit, the never-ending increases in homeowners insurance, the never-ending brutal summers, the replacing of grass and bushes every time they freeze in the winter, the worry of sinkholes, termites, bugs, the Hernando County commissioners who seem to care more about builders than the people who put them in office, the neighbor's dog that barked constantly, cars rumbling by with that rap boom-boom noise that kids today call music, the crumbling neighborhoods, and too many other things to mention.

I did leave some good friends behind, but I keep in touch.

Where did I move? Green Bay, Wis., where I can sleep with my window open in the summer, watch deer come to my back yard and eat the corn I put out for them, the different birds that come to my feeder, the hundreds of lakes that I will be fishing soon.

The only thing I am sorry for in leaving Florida is that I couldn't have done it sooner. To those who still dream of escape I say, hang in there. It will happen.

Richard Nicks, Green Bay, Wis.

Pooch moment gives us hope

We were in a drug store recently and I bought a couple of new squeaky toys. The young man at the check-out counter said, "What kind of dog do you have?" I said, "She's a mix, mostly terrier."

At which point, my husband whipped out his phone and showed the clerk a picture of DaCee, our pooch. Then the clerk pulled out his phone and showed us pictures of his three dogs, identifying each by name.

Just when you think the whole world's rotten, something happens and you realize, it's still good. Small pockets of good maybe, but good nonetheless.

Sheron Kitchens, Spring Hill

>>Your voice counts

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Hernando murder-suicide highlights a need to speak up on domestic abuse 01/21/10 [Last modified: Thursday, January 21, 2010 5:40pm]
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