Farmers market didn't pay for site
The recent articles regarding the new farmers market on Cortez and Mariner boulevards caused me to pause and reflect. Yes, the idea is a good one for the vendors who have an outlet for their goods — also for residents who have an opportunity to buy the handmade and locally grown products.
But what about the effect on the two nearby shopping centers and their tenants? Are people aware that the ground the vendors were on, the unpaved area, is privately owned? All of the paved parking areas around that lot belong to Western Way Plaza and are maintained by the merchants in the entire shopping center through their monthly rents and monthly common-area maintenance charges.
Customers of the farmers market were taking up the parking of the year-round stores on Saturdays, and the owner of the dirt lot reaped a profit, but had no cost of providing parking, restrooms, trash removal, lighting, insurance or maintenance. Likewise, the sponsors of the farmers market paid nothing to the shopping center owner for the use of the property. The Western Way owner was only defending the rights of his tenants to the parking spaces.
I am glad to see that the county officials finally contacted the sponsors and helped them to comply with the requirements for their business. All of the tenants of Western Way had paid a good deal of money for the required permits for their businesses.
We should not blame the merchants of the two shopping centers for the difficulties the farmers market experienced. Hopefully the enterprising organizers have learned something and will find a permanent location that has the facilities both their vendors and their customers need and for which they pay a fair price. It is not fair for some businesses to pay high fees and comply with all of the regulations for operating their businesses and allow others to ignore them.
Marianne Hopkins, Brooksville
Fund solar power, not nuclear power
On Oct. 24, the Public Service Commission will consider a proposal to authorize Progress Energy Florida and/or Florida Power and Light to spend $20 million and $196 million respectively in addition to millions already spent by both entities for nuclear power planning to supply energy to Florida.
I am opposed to the use of nuclear power. I am opposed to advance funding of nuclear power facilities in Florida as requested by Progress Energy and PFL. I am a Progress Energy customer. My 91-year-old mother, Yvonne Meade, is a resident of Hollywood and a FPL customer and I speak on her behalf as well. Neither she nor I want to prepay for nuclear power.
There is no safe way of disposing of nuclear waste and recent events in Japan have proven that nuclear reactors are not safe. Furthermore, it is way too expensive.
We would prefer that this funding be invested in solar power in Florida. This is the Sunshine State — why put millions into something dangerous when we have an abundant source of clean, renewable energy available from the sun? If Germany and other countries can do it, we certainly can tap this abundant source of energy as well. Get with the program. Go renewable!
DeeVon Quirolo, Brooksville
Time for local trauma center Oct. 6 guest column
Trauma center would save lives
I wholeheartedly agree with the views expressed by Dr. Rao Musunuru underscoring the importance of having a fully equipped trauma center for Pasco-Hernando counties. Having practiced medicine and cardiology in Hernando County for 30 years, I can certainly attest to the fact that the number of accidents and trauma have gone up exponentially in our region. U.S. 19 along the west side has become especially a dangerous road to travel because of the burgeoning traffic, despite the opening of the Suncoast Parkway.
We all know that motor vehicle accidents is certainly one of the major causes of death in this country, and sadly it seems to fell many in the prime of their youth. Often, the victims can be saved if proper treatment is given in a timely fashion. As Dr. Musunuru emphasized, the transport time to Tampa or St. Petersburg for the severely injured victims currently is a major determinant in the outcome and hence the necessity to improve the situation. We already know the establishment of state-of-the-art cardiac diagnostic and treatment facilities in Pasco and Hernando counties have saved thousands of lives in recent time.
M. P. Ravindra Nathan, M.D., Brooksville