John Cross is an example for all
After reading the story by Jean Hayes about a great man, John Cross, I would like to thank Mr. Cross for his generous gift to the Toys for Tots program for the children of Hernando County. Here is a family man who the children of this county can thank for what they receive on Christmas.
We do have a lot of generous people in this county who come out to help run Toys for Tots and a lot of people who donate toys to our program.
On the other hand, we have a small group of people who run the Hernando County Fairgrounds who should take a lesson from Mr. Cross and learn that the action they took made it impossible for us to meet their demands to use the fairgrounds this year. They should learn what it means to give instead of taking from people who volunteer two months of their time to make sure children in Hernando County have a nice Christmas.
Maybe they don't know about the spirit of Christmas, but I wish them a very Merry Christmas anyway.
Sal Barone, Spring Hill
When will costs follow gas prices?
When can we expect relief? Just a few months ago oil was at $145 a barrel. The other day it closed at $46, effectively a 68 percent drop. Gasoline was $4 a gallon and is now about $1.83, a 54 percent drop.
So the question now becomes, with fuel prices so low, when can we expect airlines to stop those exorbitant charges for baggage? When will airfares fall, when will food prices go down, and probably just as important, when will electricity prices go down since now the utilities companies will be paying so much less for the fuel to drive their generators?
Remember, for over two years we kept getting told the reason these things were going up was because of oil prices going up.
Also ask yourselves, when will school districts and other government agencies, currently using fuel predictions in their budgets reflecting the $145-a-barrel price, trim those budgets to be more closely aligned with prevailing prices and put those funds to use elsewhere in the local/county/state budgets? Or, will there be no oversight of this and budgets stay inflated?
I guess maybe we should start contacting the public service commissioners and our local representatives. Keep their feet to the fire. It may mean the difference between raising taxes or laying off an employee.
I understand some delay may be expected because long-term contracts were locked in for fuel based on the higher prices of several months ago and little can be done immediately, but now is the time to let these folks know we're on to them and watching. And waiting to see what they do.
Vilmar Tavares, Spring Hill
Foreclosures should be avoided
A few days ago there was a news item that stated, "The Bank of Scotland extended foreclosure proceedings for six months from the normal three months."
That makes Florida's offer of 45 days an embarrassment. Note the normal extension was 90 days in the UK even before the world's financial system collapsed.
We should change our laws to make foreclosure the ultimate last resort. Face the reality that the very banks that are all getting bought up or bailed out approved these people for the loans to put a way too fancy roof over their heads. Obviously, they thought they could boot them out in short order and sell for a profit later. So they should have to wait to boot them out.
We all know that the banks are losing a small fortune processing these foreclosures anyhow so they might as well help the needy.
Almost every working family is only a couple of paychecks away from financial ruin due to uninsured illness or long term employment loss. Most of us realize this and have empathy for those getting evicted.
Foreclosure is not a solution; it is a dilution.
Doug Adams, Spring Hill
This isn't a time to fly into space
Please tell me why people are so proud when we send a rocket into space.
How can anyone justify that? We are starving to make it through the week, and, wow, let's go watch all that money go up in smoke? Every time I hear of NASA, I picture little kids with rotten teeth or flies in their faces.
Doesn't it make sense to put the aerospace people to work in schools, etc., until we can afford to go looking for whatever in space?
Why bother thinking even when tens of thousands of dollars are spent on fireworks? Celebrate what? Hunger?
Linda Kirkwood, Brooksville
Times are too bad to watch the news
How do we keep up with all of these mail cards and beautiful, colorful, expensive letters and do the right thing? (I mean the donations.) Do we go pick or just give to the first one who asks for a helping hand?
Well, in 2009 we should all start to know what we are in for.
No jobs. There are no trade schools in Hernando County, so I guess we might all go back where we came from.
I don't even watch the news because it's too sad to see what's going on right here, where I live.
Rosemary Sonnenberg, Spring Hill