Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Letters: Enterprising shoe-shine boy should be encouraged

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


Tuesday’s letters: Writer should look to his own mistakes

Is anyone ever wrong anymore? | Dec. 8Writer should look to own errorsIn Mitch Daniels’ article about people who have been wrong, he finishes with the statement that our lives would be greatly improved with more people saying, "I was wrong."He mi...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/11/17

Monday’s letters: Don’t drill in Arctic refuge

Arctic National Wildlife RefugeStop plan to drill for oil in refugeOur nation faces yet another effort to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge reserve to oil and gas drilling. Drilling in the Arctic simply doesn’t make sound financial sense. W...
Published: 12/08/17

Sunday’s letters: Tax bill puts U.S. on right course

The GOP’s regressive tax plans | Dec. 5, editorialTax bill puts U.S. on right courseThe Times is already crying wolf over the new tax cuts, claiming that the new laws "could" result an increase in the national debt of $1.5 trillion over the next ...
Published: 12/07/17

Saturday’s letters: Don’t inject political money into churches

Tax billKeep political cash out of pulpitA provision buried in the 429-page House tax bill, Section 5201, nullifies the Johnson Amendment, which protects houses of worship from partisan politics by prohibiting them from endorsing or opposing politica...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Friday’s letters: Most unpopular tax bill ever

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3The most unpopular tax bill ever"Democracy dies in darkness" is the motto of the Washington Post. At 2 a.m. on the dark morning of Sunday, Dec. 3, 51 Republicans approved the most wildly unpopular tax bill in U.S. h...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Thursday’s letters: Give your child the gift of reading

Fatherhood Involvement in Literacy CampaignGive your child the gift of readingPart of a successful game plan in sports is identifying plays that can put points on the scoreboard. Whether I was playing quarterback at Florida State or running the point...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/06/17

Wednesday’s letters: Bill gives small businesses tax relief

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3Small businesses get tax reliefThe Senate and House have now passed their respective tax bills. Once Congress sends a final package to the White House, President Donald Trump will deliver us the most powerful tax re...
Published: 12/04/17
Updated: 12/05/17

Tuesday’s letters: Transplant bill will help Medicare patients

November Letter of the MonthThe winning letter addressed the unresponsiveness of elected officials.Representatives aren’t listeningFor whom do our legislators work? I ask because my Florida senator doesn’t appear to work for me. I drove 27 miles on N...
Published: 12/04/17

Monday’s letters: A citizen’s heroic act

Suspect arrested | Nov. 29A courageous citizen’s actOn Nov. 28, a courageous act occurred in the Tampa Bay area. It was one that law enforcement professionals applaud and hope becomes more frequent. An ordinary citizen did the right thing and spo...
Published: 12/01/17

Saturday’s letters: Historic preservation process needs fixing

A preservation problem | Nov. 25, editorialApplication process needs fixingThere is a reason why smaller rather than larger groups of property owners are getting together to seek historic district designation: It is St. Petersburg’s application p...
Published: 11/30/17
Updated: 12/01/17