Dress code should apply to teachers
From my perspective as a parent, grandparent and former School Board member, the dress code issue is being approached from the wrong direction. These days it is hard to tell the teachers from the students (aside from the fact they seem to be too young to be teachers) in that their dress is very casual indeed.
Teachers will insist that whatever unusual method they are using to instruct the students, it is correct because they are professional educators and you, being a lay person, just don't understand. Well, most professionals, including doctors, lawyers, clergy, etc., dress up to their professional level, as is expected. We do not react with confidence when our doctor, for instance, is dressed in blue jeans and plaid shirts. We expect them to be properly dressed. The same for all professionals we come in contact with. Teachers claim, these days, that they want to relate better to the students. Funny that when they become administrators, they dress in suits and ties, in other words, as professionals.
If students are required to dress with clothing deemed to be proper for receiving their education, we will again be able to tell the students from the teachers. The teachers will be the ones who look like ragamuffins.
Richard Dimberio, Brooksville
Let's stop putting developers first
We are having a water shortage so why do the commissioners want to approve large developments that drain the aquifer? Why aren't they worried about the growth that affects the water for all of us?
I agree that we should wait to sell the houses that are empty before building any more and putting more stress on our water supplies, wildlife, and infrastructure. Why would Commissioner Jim Adkins ask to have the impact fee removed? What about the roads and schools it is designed to help? What about all of us who paid our impact fees?
I don't think we need to bow down to the developers, who build houses and can't sell them. I thought Adkins was going to be a new breath of fresh air. I guess I was mistaken.
Citizens of Hernando, write your commissioners and let them know we have had enough. They need to make decisions with the citizens of Hernando County in mind, not their own interest.
Yvonne Martin, Brooksville
Stop building and pay the teachers!
I know of several Hernando County school teachers who have come home or will soon be coming home with notices that they will not be teaching next year. This, after a massive round of layoffs earlier this year already trimmed several teachers from each school in the county. Are you kidding me?
How is it that we are able to spend millions of dollars in construction projects? Many schools have had construction projects this year and we're building a new school from the ground up. How is it that we are able to spend tens of thousands of dollars (and more) to bus children across the street to attend school? Don't get me wrong, safety and quality facilities are great (and can be argued as even being critical). But, be real, are these things more important than the teachers?
Once we get these children safely across the street to these impressive monoliths, who is supposed to instruct them? Is the big yellow bus supposed to improve reading scores? Maybe the big monolith can do a better job of teaching math than a teacher. Let's look at the budget realistically. Is it more important to spend money to get the students across the street or is it better to spend money to teach them once they are there?
We can certainly save money by releasing the teachers, but what will be the real cost? Perhaps it is time for parents to start transporting their children across the street so that we can actually have the teachers to instruct them. We are now entering the realm of hurting instruction. By the way, have we forgotten the class-size amendment? Full implementation is only one year out!
Duane Edwards, Brooksville
Spring Hill doesn't need more homes
How is Commissioner Jim Adkins keeping government cost down by giving an impact fee break to builders? And why do we need more homes built? Are we short of homes in Spring Hill? There are homes that have never been lived in that are for sale.
I don't buy into this putting-people-back-to-work argument. Builders are looking down the road when things pick back up, and then they will have these lower impact fees. Once a government gives something away, it's hard to get it back. Why is it every time we get a new commissioner, he or she falls in love with the builders?
I know its spring, the birds are singing, but let's not get carried away. And I think County Administrator David Hamilton ought to be careful too. It sounds to me that he, like Mr. Adkins, is getting smitten with these builders by saying he will look into impact fees later on down the road.
All I can say to Mr. Adkins is, quit kicking this dead horse. We don't need more homes to be built. If Mr. Adkins wants to put people back to work, why doesn't he get Mr. Hamilton to hire some people to clean up Spring Hill Drive and the other streets around Spring Hill? Sometimes Spring Hill Drive looks like an alley with all the junk that falls off the trucks and trailers that are on their way to the dump. But I guess that's a bad idea, isn't it? We need more empty homes, not clean streets. That would be a service to the people and we can't have that, can we?
Richard Nicks, Spring Hill
A visitor's view of vanishing Florida
I don't live in Florida. My parents do. They, now just my mom, have been there since the mid 1970s. When they first came down, home was a house on a canal in New Port Richey. When the traffic on U.S. 19 got to be too much to deal with, they built further north in Spring Hill. For over 30 years, I have been making trips south a couple of times a year and have witnessed the gradual transformation of the Suncoast in six-month snapshots.
There have always been places that I try to get back to and tell my friends up here to be sure to visit when they make their plans to head south.
In Tarpon Springs, it was the sponge docks, and I would give directions to Paul's Shrimp House, then a restaurant on a back street that moved to a new, better, more modern facility away form the docks. If you want to get a feel for the docks, you're better off to rent a copy of Beneath the 12-Mile Reef than to walk them today. Progress.
When the no-name storm came through, the Pirate's Cove up at Crystal River disappeared. Maybe not what some would first think of as a great Florida restaurant. But the place was unique, the food was good, and if you were up for an air boat ride, look no further.
The last time I came down, when I made the drive down to the Port Tarpon Marina to get a grouper sandwich, the restaurant was closed.
Okay, so what does this have to do with Willy and Willy's Tropical Breeze Cafe? I would not, and do not wish to venture into the world of local politics. We have our own battles to fight up here; so you're on your own with the ones down there. This issue, at least from my more distant perspective, has less to do with government and more to do with who you are as a community, and how you identify your living assets, not just the physical ones.
In the grand scheme of things, what happens on Pine Island and to Willy will not change the world. The sun will come up tomorrow regardless of what happens there. Just without places like Pine Island, and Willy running a hamburger joint named Willy's Tropical Breeze Café in it. Then it all becomes just another snapshot of a vanishing Florida.
John Miller, Canastota, N.Y.
Libraries should be left alone
I suggest the Hernando commissioners leave the library system alone. There are over 82,000 active card members with a system circulation (2008) of over 609, 278.
If the private company in business to make money charges a daily rate for new books, raises the late fee, charges for computer use, would we be better off?
If they had privatized our Social Security like some wanted, where would we be now with the stock market in the tank?
Arthur Croci, former president and member, Hernando County Library Committee