It's Government Week for county
Hernando County will celebrate National County Government Week May 3-9. Focusing on this year's theme of "Greening Our Future," county officials will promote activities to increase public awareness of opportunities to protect Hernando County's natural resources.
Featured in a variety of media formats will be information about how our residents can protect our resources by conserving water, recycling, practicing environmentally friendly landscaping and gardening techniques, learning about our environmentally sensitive lands program, and practicing alternative transportation methods that conserve money and fuel.
Next week, you can find topics on display at the following locations:
Florida yards and neighborhoods, Spring Hill Library, 9220 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill; the way to go greener with transportation, Main Library, 238 Howell Avenue, Brooksville; and conserving and protecting our natural resources, Utilities Customer Service Office, 7429 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill.
Three Focus on Hernando programs will be broadcast on the local government channel featuring county services related to "Greening Our Future." See the broadcast schedule at www. hernandocounty.us/hcgb for times, and note that the programs will also be webstreamed.
Residents may tour the Cypress Lakes Preserve in eastern Hernando County on Wednesday and learn more about Hernando County's Environmentally Sensitive Lands program. Find out more and register for the tour by calling the planning department at 754-4057.
National County Government Week has been sponsored by the National Association of Counties since 1991 to raise public awareness and understanding about the roles and responsibilities of the nation's counties. For more information, please contact the Community Relations Office at 540-6780.
Brenda Frazier, Community Relations Coordinator for Hernando County Government
New water lines are unnecessary
I applaud Hernando Commissioner David Russell and columnist Dan DeWitt for their commonsense opposition to piping water into the rural area southeast of Brooksville because water from some of the wells there contains arsenic at concentrations above the standard of 10 parts per billion (ppb). The arsenic levels in most of the wells are below 50 ppb, which was the standard until recently.
The state has already provided filters that remove the arsenic from the drinking water at a fraction of the $15 million cost of piping in new water. And there is no need to filter the bath and irrigation water, as neither poses a health risk since the arsenic cannot enter the body through inhalation or absorption.
Far worse than wasting $15 million in taxpayer money, the new water lines would lead to unwanted development of land set aside for rural and agricultural use. Developers would leverage the public water supply into approval for one subdivision after another. We need this like we need a hole in the head.
George Foster, Bayport
Humane Society makes us proud
Congratulations is certainly in order for the Humane Society of the Nature Coast. This "little shelter that could," as they have been called, has captured fourth place in the Zootoo makeover contest. I find this amazing as they competed with thousands of shelters throughout the United States.
Not only are the staff and volunteers to be commended, but also the caring folks of Hernando County. So many people made a major effort to participate in the Zootoo activities, and rallied neighbors and friends far and wide to also be a part of the contest. This speaks well for our community, in my opinion. We're a rural county with a small population, but what a caring heart we've shown for our homeless animals in need of a shelter until they are adopted into a forever home. I'm proud to be a resident of this fine group.
I've lived in this area for the past three years and knew the shelter existed, but I'm sorry to admit I never paid much attention to its needs. This Zootoo contest sure made me understand what the shelter is all about and it brought not only the problems, but the dreams of this wonderful facility into the public eye.
Hopefully, the momentum that has been generated will continue. It would be wonderful to see the $10,000 that was won be used as seed money to begin the badly needed renovation project to enlarge and improve the facility. It would also be wonderful if all of the folks who participated on Zootoo, and others who didn't, volunteer to help with the project, be it fundraising, making a donation, finding businesses to donate labor and materials, or providing one of the many services required in such a project.
I'm ready to roll up my sleeves and get started; hopefully, many of the other caring folks in this county are, too.
Jeanne Nociti, Brooksville
Alexander, three on board must go
As Wayne Alexander has been using our county as no more than a stepping stone toward his own interests (the least thing on his mind is our children's welfare), he should be ousted, kicked out, shown the exit door as soon as possible. Forget about severance. His violations do not merit it. It has become obvious, perhaps not to the three blind members of the board who backed him up despite his actions, that Alexander has been playing in three different fields.
He has been using both teachers and administrators as pawns, moving them around at will, supposedly to increase the quality of education in the county. By chance, he may have hit a spot or two where that has been the case, but in general creating a major mess of discontent and consequently low morale throughout the ranks.
When caught off base the first time, he did say, "I have every intention to work and move our district forward and do what's best for the kids." Oh, really? Either he or three members of the board have a very short memory, for that was not that long ago.
He was given a second chance then. But the bad boy had done it again, using board members as his toys, and goes out for yet another job search behind their backs, as well as behind the backs of all his staff. If this is not a flagrant violation of his contractual agreement, as well as his own promise, nothing will ever be.
Fortunately for him and unfortunately for the children of this county, there are three blind members on the board who allow themselves to be Alexander's toys. Hard to fathom, for they are all well-educated individuals with the ability to see what the man's game has been.
And to side with a man who has shown this flagrant disrespect toward members of the board, our children, teachers, administrators, parents, union and all who care about the education of our children, is tantamount to showing a total lack of concern for our kids. As former teachers, this is a shame. We voted for them because we thought they really cared. At least that's what they led us to believe during their campaigns.
Their latest showing leaves us with a very bad taste in our mouths, for it shows not only disrespect and a lack of concern, but also a betrayal of our trust in them. My personal congratulations to board members Pat Fagan and James Yant for having the courage to speak out in favor of our kids. As for the other three, I hope that when they come up for re-election, we will remember and send them packing along with Alexander.
Carmelo Delgado Brooksville