Schenck seeks law's repeal | Feb. 11
Drug law needs implementing
Has Rep. Robert Schenck lost his mind?
If not, how could he advocate the repeal of the drug databank law? Not only law enforcement needs this law implemented, but we conscientious physicians and pharmacists do, also.
Every time I write a prescription for a controlled drug, I worry and wonder whether the patient will use it for anxiety or panic, or will sell it for 10 times its worth to an addict or an experimenting teen who may combine it with others and take an overdose, possibly fatal or else requiring emergency room care at high cost to all of us and jeopardizing the person's entire future.
I have no way now to know if the patient is a doctor shopper and getting multiple prescriptions and going to multiple pharmacies to get them filled. Pharmacists have the same concerns. They carefully check with me if a patient is trying to refill a prescription early but have no way to crosscheck with other pharmacies on other prescriptions for the same drug.
We have waited already two years since the law was enacted to have it implemented. Please work to have it implemented soon, not to have it repealed.
Beatrice S. Braun, M.D., Board Certified Psychiatrist, Spring Hill
He wants to be part of problem
State Rep. Robert Schenck thinks a drug database is just Big Brother at work and he wants to protect citizens from a database controlled by the worst entity in the world — our own state government which intends to use it to track purchases of dangerous drugs that are killing record numbers of people.
I often wonder how we got so far behind controlling dangerous drugs, and it seems Rep. Schenck wants to be part of the problem instead of the solution. Its impossible to control any epidemic without a database of those affected, and this drug problem is an epidemic.
His effort to repeal this needed control smacks of another data-base a special interest wanted kept secret. Several years ago the NRA with the help of our gun-loving Legislature made the database of those who had concealed handgun permits a secret. It seems too many researchers were publishing results that significant numbers of these permit holders were getting into trouble with the law, something the NRA continues to deny. However, we must take the NRA's word for it since no recognized researcher is now able to study that database.
State Rep. Schenck has not revealed the special interest or interests he is trying to protect. Are we to believe there aren't any?
Art Hayhoe, Wesley Chapel
Fire commission is ruining district | Feb. 11 letter
Costs rose for good reason
Commissioner John Pasquale states the Spring Hill Fire Commission's meeting costs went from $450 to $1,278 per meeting, but he neglects to tell why the costs rose. They rose because the size of the agenda grew and accordingly the attorney fees went up. The reason the agenda grew is that the majority of commissioners decided to govern the district according to Florida Statutes Chapter 191, rather than just continue to rubber-stamp Chief Rampino's wishes and actions. This was as a result of the last election in which both winning candidates ran on the platform of active governance and oversight.
The statement made by Commissioner Pasquale about apparatus callout maintenance is misleading. The mechanic in one year has been called from home five times and if he worked a five-day 40-hour week instead a four 10-hour days, there would have been fewer callouts. All the callouts came at a great expense to the district and could have been handled by an outside vendor like Hernando County does. I thought Commissioner Pasquale was complaining about wasting taxpayer money when this action increases the cost to taxpayers by a large amount. I guess he wants to have his cake and eat it too!
Talk about excessive spending, Commissioner Pasquale was a major player in pushing through the collective bargaining agreement extension without public input and little fanfare by the old board, handcuffing the current board in its attempts to cut costs. Take a look at the new agreement and see that everything the union bragged about giving up comes back with even more expenses starting Oct. 1, 2011.
To really protect the taxpayers the board must be proactive in reducing expenses and costs. The board at its last meeting refused to come to grips with a budget shortfall which means that three commissioners, Pasquale, Amy Brosnon, and newcomer Sherry Adler, are not really fit to serve the taxpayers of Spring Hill nor the union members who depend on sound financial judgment and decisions for their jobs. Their inaction only hastens the demise of the independent fire district. Remember as of Sept. 30, 2011, the district will have no source of revenue as the proposed taxing authority was defeated soundly.
Ian Norris, Spring Hill
Please, no more home building
Hernando County commissioners have lost sight of what Hernando County is and needs to survive in this economy. Our commissioners approve more building and yet ignore the massive surplus of homes, retail and commercial space that is available already.
They approve a town and turn their backs on the residents who live in the county. They justified the town project by stating it will bring new jobs into the area. They fail to see that the only companies that move to the new town will just be relocating from other parts of Hernando leaving even more voids in areas like Spring Hill and Brooksville.
We need to see Hernando County for what it has always been and where its future needs to be directed once again. Hernando County has always relied on being a retirement community that is affordable with a health care presence that provides for seniors. The building boom had changed that for a few years raising prices and veering the county off course. Homes are now back to reasonable prices, and health care is still the dominate industry.
The county needs to once again go after seniors and market to those looking to retire. Hernando has to get back to its roots and take advantage of the poor market and low prices. Wake up commissioners and see that you cannot build our way out of this, you cannot solve the present problem by doing the same thing that helped get us here.
Nature Coast, health care, affordable homes, stores, dining and parks are what will save this county. Stop building.
Daniel Blevins, Hernando Beach
Re: Dan DeWitt column | Feb. 13
Out-of-town cyclists, stay home
As a more than 20-year resident of St. Joe, those of us in the community are well aware of the cyclists who venture out on the roadways.
If you come to our community and dare venture out between 7 and 8 a.m. on a Saturday, you have to be prepared to encounter a pack of riders driving down the middle of the road blocking traffic and daring you to pass them. Sometimes there are as many as 20 in the group taking up the entire lane of traffic, making it dangerous for anyone not wanting to stay behind them and drive 10 mph. They will not move over.
If it is not 20, it is four or five, again riding full abreast in the road, blocking traffic. When you come up on them you dare not honk because they will yell and gesture at you.
Our tax dollars are spent to build the best bike trails in the state right here in Pasco County, so why do these people come up from Tampa to ride, be rude and block our roadways?
Any cyclist who wants to recreate on a two-lane road with vehicles and does so at 5:30 p.m. on a weekday, bears some of the responsibility.
As we talk in our community, if you are coming up from Tampa to cycle in Blanton, St. Joe or Darby, stay home!
Edward Matthews, Dade City
TV commercials stupid, harmful
Too much of anything is harmful. Too much sun or too much food, etc., causes damage to the individual. The same I can say pertains to television. Not the programs we watch but the number of commercials that are shown.
Children and seniors watch a lot of television. They are bombarded with commercials and, let's face it, many commercials are downright stupid. They are an insult to our intelligence and just because we want to watch a particular program, we are subjected to four of five commercial breaks per hour with five or six commercials per break.
I've noticed that some people hit the mute button when the commercials come on. Others record their favorite shows and when they watch them, they fast-forward the commercials.
Has TV advertising gotten so cheap that it takes 18 to 24 commercials to pay for an hour's programming? Heaven help us.
We need more channels that don't have any commercials at all. After all, we pay good money for the privilege of watching TV.
Nick Morana, Spring Hill