Griping seniors, don't be selfish | March 28 letter
It's hypocritical to slam health law
I agree wholeheartedly with this excellent letter. Why is it that government programs are good if they benefit me, but we don't want other groups to share in them?
I haven't researched it as yet, but I'm sure that there was plenty of negativity concerning the passage of the Social Security bill back in 1935, also. Would all those who want to turn back the clock and stop their Social Security payments please stand? And what about Medicare? I don't remember having met anyone who decried the benefits received from Medicare.
Esther Bender, Spring Hill
Vinyl wall needed to restore privacy
We live on Corrine Avenue about a block away from the Elgin Boulevard expansion. Although we do not have a drainage problem, the project has been extremely loud, shaken the house and kicked up a lot of dust.
Since they knocked down the houses behind us, we also have been staring at a house scheduled to be moved, sitting on a truck bed, for at least a month.
Looking to the future, we will be subjected to even more of the same and complete exposure to the building of the new road with no privacy afforded us. A proposed vinyl wall would be greatly appreciated. Please give us our privacy and peace back, and maybe even a barrier from garbage and wind.
Lorinda Eldredge, Spring Hill
Wall would set pricey precedent
The folks on Elgin Boulevard do not need a wall. That will open up a can of worms that will spread to other road projects.
When Mariner Boulevard was widened no one got a barrier, and the traffic really zips by their houses. There are many other residents whose homes are very close to the street and don't have barriers. Are they now going to ask for one also?
We can't afford to appease everyone and there will be many more projects like this.
Robert Van Istendal, Spring Hill
Our priorities don't include wall
Whoa! I could understand if the Hernando commissioners were trying to put up shrubs or trees to be a noise barrier for those unfortunate residents still facing onto the improved section of Elgin Boulevard. But for the life of me I cannot grasp why the people whose back yards are going to be within 65 feet get a plastic wall of pity.
Talk to anyone with property facing Deltona Boulevard, Spring Hill Drive or Mariner Boulevard; they likely have much less than 65 feet of buffer from the road and some have no sidewalks, either.
Side road residents can do like everyone else and plant shrubs to deaden the sound and be thankful they don't have to contend with the same issues as those on the south side of Elgin. Put an earthen embankment up like on Forest Oaks if you must, but no more plastic.
The south side residents should be the ones protected from the noise as they were the unfortunates having to stay put in their depreciating homes while the north side residents made a killing on their houses and moved on to greener pastures.
Shame on Commissioners Jeff Stabins and Rose Rocco for even thinking about spending more cash on anything other than sidewalks for schoolkids and walking residents everywhere.
Doug Adams, Spring Hill
Funding the arts pays dividends
March 25 was the third annual Arts Day at the Capitol in Tallahassee. Across the board, the arts are one of the first programs slashed when we face budget constraints. Many view the arts as a luxury rather than a necessity. In a time when unemployment is at an all-time high and many face losing their homes, funding for the arts is a difficult topic to broach. But arts and culture are not just good for our communities, they are good business for our communities.
In 2009, the Americans for the Arts released its comprehensive study, Arts and Economic Prosperity III: The Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts and Culture Organizations and Their Audiences in the State of Florida. This study, commissioned by the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs and Citizens for Florida Arts Inc., gives us empirical evidence that the arts and culture bring economic vitality to the state.
For every $1 that federal, state and local governments invest, arts and culture organizations create $5 in revenue for the public sector. In 2008, $196.7 million was generated on the state level and $249.7 million on the local level by cultural organizations. Nearly 75 percent of all visitors to the state participate in an art or cultural activity, and those tourists spend more, on average, than those visiting Florida for other reasons ($631 to $457).
In Hernando County, there are over 35 arts-related nonprofits. If you like to paint, we have a group for that. If you like to sing, we have a group for that. It you are a quilter, a gardener, a poet or a wood carver, we have a group for that. These organizations exist almost solely on private donations. The members of these organizations volunteer many hours to bring cultural activities to this area. They do not ask for money or recognition; they simply want to inspire creativity and improve the quality of life for their fellow citizens.
Drive around Brooksville and look at the beautiful murals. Check out the art gallery at Nicholson Engineering. Visit the Hernando Beach artists market. The arts and culture abound in Hernando County in new and exciting ways every day.
Now is the time to start the discussion to increase funding for the arts and culture. We have the opportunity to move forward and make our community stronger, to attract new residents and new businesses and to become leaders in the state cultural landscape. Let your local and state legislators know that the arts are important to our way of life in Hernando County and the state of Florida. Support the arts and culture for a better future.
Myndee Fleury Washington, executive director, the Hernando County Fine Arts Council
Legislators enjoy their own 'tenure'
Let's make a deal. I'll support the Florida Legislature's desire to abolish tenure for our teachers if our legislators first abolish tenure for themselves.
I'm offering the anti-gerrymandering proposal in which voting districts are redrawn in ways that do not ensure the re-election of every single incumbent — in ways that do ensure competitive elections. Of course, if that happens, we'll be less likely to have legislators eager to declare war on our educators.
Many years ago I had a choice between a job at Pasco-Hernando Community College or a college in New Mexico (which paid more). It was a difficult choice. I chose PHCC and have had a most rewarding career. With our current legislators firmly entrenched, that same choice today would be much easier.
Richard Downing, Ph.D., Hudson
Muslim families deserve thanks
My husband and I were among the many attendees at the mosque open house on March 27. The new mosque is impressively beautiful. We were welcomed with warmth and as honored guests. Excellent presentations and literature on the true meaning of Islam were available, but it was the living exponents of that faith who revealed it best.
The weather was blessed just as Hernando County is blessed by its Muslim community here, especially by the many professionals who have worked so hard and continue to do so liberally to provide a much-needed free clinic in Brooksville. We owe them and their families enormous thanks. May Allah continue to bless them.
Patricia Vigneau, Spring Hill