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