Business owner deserves support
John Callea, owner of the Rising Sun Cafe, stepped forward to help out a young boy using his summer to raise money for a religious trip by shining shoes at the courthouse. I don't know Mr. Callea and have only been in his restaurant twice in the 12 years I have lived in Spring Hill, but it seems to me that his name appears very frequently when Brooksville is in need of some kind of community support, whether on an individual basis — like 12-year-old Patrick MacGregor — or for larger events like the weekly farmer's market or the Blueberry Festival or helping the homeless and our veterans.
I also read where the cafe is in some financial difficulty because of the economic slowdown. Well, it seems to me it's about time I made another visit to this restaurant to help support a couple who seem to be doing so much for our larger community. If even half of the 170,000 residents who live in Hernando County were to say "thank you" by having a meal in their restaurant this year, not only would we all have a nice meal, but we'd be able to help a family who has always been ready to help us.
Kathleen East, Spring Hill
Blame lawyers for decision
I disagree with columnist Dan DeWitt. There is a villain in the situation with the shoe-shining 12 year old. But, no, it's not Brenda Frazier, she is merely doing her job. And, no, it is not a hard-hearted county bureaucracy. Dan is right, public space cannot be turned into ad hoc flea markets so a permitting process is perfectly appropriate.
The true villain in this is our litigious society. Governments and businesses must pay out enormous amounts to protect themselves from shark lawyers. Obviously, the cost is then borne by the taxpayers and consumers.
If ever there was a poster boy for the need for tort reform, it is 12-year-old Patrick MacGregor
Ray Kelly, Spring Hill
Work ethic will last a lifetime
What a pleasure to read the story concerning Patrick MacGregor,
All is not lost when you see the picture of a young man such as Patrick taking the initiative to earn money for a mission trip the old fashioned way with hard work on his part. He is already establishing a work ethic that will guide him through his entire life. And incidentally, praise should go to his parents for encouraging such habits.
Congratulations to you, Patrick, once again. Do not change.
Julia Jinkens, Brooksville
Fire fee gimmick is unfair to the poorest | June 16 editorial
Property tax system in turmoil
Your editorial opposing a fee structure for fire protection exposes a serious lack of logical thinking.
You espouse the theory that fire protection should be based on a property owner's ability to pay and you then jump to the conclusion that it equates to their assessed property value. I know that the ad valorem property tax being levied under the current system has little relationship to an owner's ability to pay.
The current property tax system is a total mess. With willy-nilly exemptions it has always been a mess and now with sinkhole reductions, it is even worse. The property tax one pays is no longer based on the value of the property and it is certainly not a measure of one's ability to pay.
Calvin Mehuron, Spring Hill
Bill explains health care woes
Recently, I cut my finger while pruning a hibiscus bush. No big deal, except I couldn't stop the bleeding. I went to the emergency room at Spring Hill Regional Hospital. I was seen promptly and given a tetanus shot and the wound was closed with surgical glue.
Then the insurance explanation of benefits arrived. The hospital billed my insurer $3,658.99, which included $469.35 for a tetanus immunization and $498 for Dermabond (surgical glue).
I was a registered nurse before I retired and these charges seem extremely excessive to me. My insurance paid $251.51, and the hospital settled for that. No wonder health care in this country is out of control.
Barbara Miles, Spring Hill
Sinkhole homes' values on target
The Hernando County Property Appraiser has properly done his job of true valuation for sinkhole homes. They are worth less than before the issue. Within 100 yards of my repaired sinkhole home are two other identical homes by the same builder.
My completely repaired house is valued at $52,000 by the county, $66,000 by Zillow and cost $124,000 in 2005 and that is its current insured value. The identical house next door, built at the same time, has a nonrepaired sinkhole, is in foreclosure and is valued at $54,000 by the county and $57,000 Zillow. The house across the street is the same model built in 2003 for $86,000. It has a non-repaired sinkhole and is valued $29,000 for tax purposes and $54,000 by Zillow.
Fortunately for us we did not buy our house to flip, but are retired and plan on living out our days here. Value means nothing to us. Had the state or county had the good sense to require boring samples under home-building lots, this would all be a moot point.
Doug Adams, Spring Hill