Democracy hangs in the balance
If the County Commission agrees to extend the interlocal agreement with the Spring Hill Fire Department, they would be ignoring the voters of the Spring Hill Fire District and putting a nail in the coffin of democracy here in Hernando County.
The voters in the Spring Hill Fire District made their intentions clear on Aug. 24, 2010, when they voted against allowing the fire district to levy ad valorem taxes. The vote was 59 percent against taxing authority to 41 percent for taxing authority. Voting is the cornerstone of a free democratic society.
If the Board of County Commissioners allows the Fire District to continue to levy ad valorem taxes, ignoring the will of the voters, this county is no better than the Latin American banana republics and Mideast despots.
Anne Kraus-Keenan, Spring Hill
Lawmakers will hurt themselves
I hope that the public is keeping up on what is going on with our Florida education system and the state lawmakers' proposals. A way to describe things is using the ABC method.
A: Activating event. Our legislators have made poor choices and bad decisions on how they spend our tax money. Now they are trying to make up their losses by taking it from Floridians.
Teachers for our children are not making the salaries commensurate to their job requirements, especially in the primary grades where the foundation for learning takes place.
B: Belief. It is my belief that you get what you pay for. It's not a big secret that the youth of today are not as educated as their predecessors. It's not because they are not being taught properly, it's due to their lack of responsibility and willingness to learn. There are a lot of students who have a hard time reading, writing and using math. Many stores have pictures on the register keys so the individuals taking your order can get it right. At a local restaurant the power was out and the individual behind the register couldn't manually add the bill up correctly or even figure out the tax. Everyone knows it costs more to incarcerate than to educate, so why do we continually allow state lawmakers to get away with the things they do?
C: Consequence. We are going to lose a lot of dedicated teachers. The youth, who don't seem to care anyway, will be pushed through the school system. The new graduates will not be as educated as their predecessors and so the cycle will begin. The world will start to regress.
For the human race to succeed, our youth need education. Parents, stop blaming the school system for your own faults. Spend time with your children. You teach them right from wrong and help them with their everyday struggles. Guide them so they go in the right direction. If nothing else, teach your children how to pull their pants up and wear a hat. Take pictures of them now so they will see how ridiculous they look.
It appears the state lawmakers don't understand what they are proposing. Maybe they think it won't affect them. It will! They will pay the price for their bad decisions.
Wesley Hawkins, Spring Hill
Driving requires our full attention
Small-town newspapers are a treasure. The Hernando Times doesn't come as often as I would like, but I am glad it is still tucked inside the bigger paper five days a week.
Dan DeWitt's recent column about the teacher killed on his bike was sad and thought-provoking. What if, instead of a bike, that had been a big truck? It could have been a triple tragedy. I know distractions are a part of driving, like babies and small children in the back seat, or that call on the cell phone we feel we must answer. I am not even going to discuss texting. Driving has become such a big part of our lives, it's easy to forget that it absolutely does need our full attention.
Bikers and walkers deserve safe space on and by the roads. With gas prices spiraling, bikes and small cars are a good way to save some money. The variation of vehicles on all our roads makes driving especially hazardous.
I can't see any way to avoid having huge trucks, small cars, motorcycles and bikes on the same local roads. We have to share and care about each other.
Doris Taylor, Brooksville