Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Letters: Fine arts learning key to academic success

Our schools: Where music dies

I was recently shown a letter from the principal of Central High School that said there will not be a band or chorus program next year. This is a tragedy. I also found out that Deltona Elementary School has no music or art program. Nature Coast Technical High School did away with their program a few years ago. A lot of other elementary schools have little or no music or fine arts. Some of the middle schools are in jeopardy of loosing what little programs that are left.

Is Hernando County going to be the place where the music dies? Research shows music is actually a foundation of learning. People who have music integrated with the rest of their subjects actually learn more easily then those who haven't. Is anyone here in our county paying attention? Have they not seen that the two A schools in the county have extensive fine arts programs integrated into the curriculum? Why are we letting the fine arts be decimated in our county?

Fine arts have taken a back burner to the standardized tests that only go into verbal and math skills. Why don't the powers that be do the research to see how many of the higher scoring test-takers have been exposed to music and the fine arts? If we sit back and watch this happen without speaking up we are all doing a disservice to our children and to our county.

Valerie Moore, Spring Hill

No impact fees impacts taxpayer

Is it Penny for Progress or Bob the Builder bail out? County commissioners are pushing a one-cent sales tax to fund capital projects. This sales tax increase is in addition to the property tax increase last year, the increase in fees for parks and other services and the most recent increase in water and sewer rates.

Why does the county need the money? Because it needs to recoup the millions of dollars and growing in lost impact fees waived since 2011. Impact fees are assessed on new construction to pay for the impact caused by growth, but to appease political supporters some impact fees have been waived for the past four years. Now the county residents and businesses who paid these fees in the past are being asked to ante up $10 million in intersection improvements at State Road 50 and Mariner Boulevard — the same intersection that will be further stressed by the addition of the new strip mall built without impact fees.

We also are being asked to ante up millions for an economic development trust fund with few details provided and the city of Brooksville also would also get a portion for unspecified capital projects. The numbers the county administrator is putting out make no sense since they are spending more than the is anticipated to be collected. It must be that government math.

The school board needs to oppose coupling the extension of the existing half-cent education sales tax with the county's push for the additional half-cent tax and wrapping it up in the Bob the Builder bail out penny tax. The commission hung the school board out to dry by not voting to impose the school impact fees this year.

Raising the sales tax is not a sure thing regardless of the support from the builder and business community because the only folks benefiting are those who are the cause of the problem.

Anne Kraus-Keenan, Spring Hill

Oak Hill chapel is moving, but safe

Many people have approached me to express concern because they heard the chapel on the first floor of Oak Hill Hospital was going to be eliminated. I didn't realize that so many people (patients, volunteers and visitors) visited the non-denomination chapel at the hospital.

So I called hospital CEO Mickey Smith and asked him if the chapel was closing. He assured me that the area where the chapel exist now will be used for another purpose, but the chapel will be moved to another location.

Thank you, Mr. Smith. Concerned folks can breath easy. Your chapel is not going away.

Nick Morana, Spring Hill


Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Friday’s letters: Freight trains are infrastructure that works in Tampa Bay

Railroads are infrastructure that worksFreight trains carry the loadCentral Florida is our state’s fastest-growing region. We’re on track to outpace South Florida’s growth 2-to-1 over the next several years. Great news for our local economy, but it n...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Charter schools aren’t the enemy

Don’t plug your ears when schools ask for tax | May 20, columnCharter schools aren’t the enemyAs an educator, I am astounded when I hear claims from school board members that charter schools take away funding from the local public school system. ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: Trump’s words insult our Canadian visitors

Trade disputes torpedo G-7 summit | June 10Canadian visitors are owed apologyLike many Pinellas County residents, I’m pleased that we receive thousands of Canadian "snow birds" as part-year residents. Not only do they enhance our economy, but by ...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/13/18