Friday, April 27, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Letters: Focus next superintendent on funding shortfall

Superintendent's top issue: funding

As the Hernando County School Board begins its process to find a successor to Superintendent Bryan Blavatt, it is disturbing to discover how little some of the board members actually know about the position's fundamental responsibilities and the intellectual acumen necessary to succeed. A board majority lazily approved Dianne Bonfield's embarrassing and flawed logic that the applicants needed a master's degree in education.

The school superintendent in just about any district in the United States is first and foremost an administrator. He or she has to simultaneously manage fiduciary responsibilities to the state and to the district. This executive must be able to effectively encourage and advance our schools toward excellence with quantifiable results. Let's not preclude capable applicants from applying because of a few board members' naivete. It reflects poorly on all of us.

It would be encouraging if the board discussed how the next superintendent might work with the Florida Department of Education to reach funding parity with neighboring counties. The board and Hernando's next school superintendent both need to learn how much funding we're losing annually and stop the bleeding. Until they understand the severity and the history of the problem they cannot work together to correct long-standing inequities. State funding is integral to the success or failure of any school district. When a school board accepts crumbs (according to DOE, Hernando ranks 61 out of 67 counties in per-student funding) without protest, that must change. What will this board do? And, what should it ask its new superintendent to do about it?

Let's hire a superintendent with the vision to lead and determination to secure adequate financial support for Hernando schools. And once we make the selection, let's give him or her the opportunity to succeed. No need to micromanage unless your own judgment is suspect.

Gregg Laskoski, Spring Hill

Cement industry can't blame regulation | Oct. 12 column

Let kids explain to their parents

Dan DeWitt's column on the politics surrounding the cement industry is right on. It should be presented and fully explained to every elementary school class in Hernando County.

The students will grasp the seriousness of the situation and explain it to their parents, who, so far, don't seem to realize the political manipulation being done to their kids future/health. Determined kids can light a fire under adults like no one or nothing else.

Leon G. Atkinson, Brooksville

Citizens' sinkhole handling wasteful

I have concerns about the process that Citizens has concerning sinkholes. Not everyone has experience with the process and I only have word-of-mouth information, but I am concerned. When sinkholes are identified, the process of repairing the home does not seem to be economically sensible nor timely. The identification to repair process takes more than two years. This doesn't appear to be an emergency situation.

For instance, for a home insured for $300,000 but now appraised for much less, Citizens prefers to fix the sinkhole for the $300,000 rather than settle with the homeowner for one third of what it will cost to stabilize the sinkhole. The repair is only warranted for five years.

It seems to me that Citizens would come out ahead by settling with the homeowner and demolishing the location instead of stabilizing the sinkhole. Thus sinkhole insurance just might be more reasonable. All that cash that is being transferred to sinkhole repair companies would possibly transfer to demolition companies and still provide jobs.

Kathleen Payne, Spring Hill

Make impact fees mandatory

There is no question whatsoever that impact fees should be imposed on every new addition to the community. The economy should not have anything to do with it. The builder or developer walks away with the profit and the buyer is left to pay for the improvements.

I live on a limerock road and in order to have it paved, someone must get all the neighbors to sign up pledging to pay their portion of frontage.

If an impact fee was collected in the beginning of development and placed in an interest-bearing account by the county, then, when sufficient funds had been accumulated, roads could be paved without placing a burden on the homeowner to solicit the funds.

There is no justifiable reason not to require impact fees.

Edwin M. Carle, Brooksville

Dog waste on beach disgusting | Oct. 11 letter

Dog parks pose little disease risk

I, too, am a nurse and think it's absurd a letter writer believes any child would be playing in the waste of any dog anywhere.

Does she stop her child from going to the hospital? There are more virulent diseases there then any dog park.

Besides, when you take your dog to the vet for shots, they do stool and blood checks on the animal to check for diseases.

Janet Mudge, Weeki Wachee

ER nurses at Oak Hill go extra mile

Oak Hill Hospital celebrated emergency nurses week last week. This year's theme was "Every Patient + Every Time Making a Difference," which reflects our dedication to patients requiring emergency care.

Not only do we save the lives of people suffering trauma, heart attack and stroke, but we do offer more to our community to truly make a difference.

We hosted a group of home-schooled students, ages 8 to 15, on a tour of the services and treatments performed in an emergency department. We offered education on safety planning to prevent poisonings in the home, as well as viewing the X-ray of a special patient teddy bear that swallowed a penny. The students gave us a heartfelt thank you that made us feel special and appreciated.

We spent a day with the community at the annual health fair. We offered education on poison control, popcorn, a duck matching game with prizes, and bright and cheerful helium balloons. We spoke to many people of all ages and heard wonderful stories about how they have appreciated our emergency services.

Our emergency nurses have been recognized with accolades and awards for dedicating themselves to a higher level of professional commitment, to be the best that they can be. They have obtained their board certification in emergency nursing and received the first-ever Lantern Award given from the Emergency Nurses Association. As the only ER to require board certification and the only ER in Florida to receive the inaugural prestigious award, we can say to our community that we care about being the best.

Cathy Edmisten

Director of Emergency Services, Oak Hill Hospital


Friday’s letters: Why just single-member districts are a bad idea for Hillsborough

Murman’s bad idea on districts | April 20, editorialSingle-member districts’ flawYour editorial opposing single-member districts in Hillsborough County is totally correct. I have served as Miami-Dade county manager twice. The first time (1976-198...
Updated: 12 hours ago

Thursday’s letters: A surgeon responds to story about a needle being left in a baby’s heart

All Children’s surgeon left a needle in a baby’s heart | April 22My view as one of the surgeonsI am one of the physicians discussed (but not interviewed) in this article. Whatever the motive for such an article, I disagree with many of the claims...
Published: 04/23/18
Updated: 04/26/18

Wednesday’s letters: How we plan to improve foster care in Hillsborough

Improving foster care inHillsborough | April 19, editorialOur plans for helping kidsThis editorial poses many good questions. The Department of Children and Families’ peer review report is expected to be released soon. And while we welcome the an...
Published: 04/23/18
Updated: 04/25/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for April 27

Stop Ridge Road extension, reader saysWhen I spoke at the Dade City meeting of the Pasco County Commissioners on my opposition to the Ridge Road Extension, three of them responded, but only when my three minutes of free speech expired, and I could sa...
Published: 04/23/18

Monday’s letters: Term limits don’t work

U.S. Senate campaignTerm limitsdon’t workGov. Rick Scott has begun his run for the U.S. Senate with TV ads promoting term limits for representatives and senators. Aside from the probability that this would require a constitutional amendment, I think ...
Published: 04/22/18
Updated: 04/23/18

Sunday’s letters: Problems with high-speed rail

Thanks, Gov. Scott, for ghastly I-4 drives | April 18, Sue Carlton columnProblems with high-speed railIn her Wednesday column, the writer bemoaned the traffic on I-4 and blasted Gov. Rick Scott for turning down free government money for a high-sp...
Published: 04/21/18

Tuesday’s letters: Student journalists push to save their newsrooms and independence

Save student newsroomsAs professional newsrooms shrink, student newsrooms have become an increasingly important source of local coverage, holding not only our universities accountable but also local government. We write these articles, attending meet...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/24/18

Saturday’s letters: Don’t weaken rules on fisheries

Florida fisheriesDon’t weaken rules on fish stocksMembers of Congress are proposing changes to an important ocean law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, that would adversely affect coastal states including Florida.Since it...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18

Friday’s letters: We owe it to our children to teach them history

If we don’t understand past, future looks grim | April 19, Daniel Ruth columnThe history we owe our childrenIt’s not often I agree with Daniel Ruth, but this article was spot-on. I’m not sure when the schools started ignoring Germany’s World War ...
Published: 04/19/18

Thursday’s letters: Gun research can save lives

Gun ownershipCommon ground: Find the factsThere are many areas in the current debate about guns and gun ownership where both sides must agree to disagree. But there is one area where common ground ought to exist. That concerns the need for continuing...
Published: 04/18/18