Saturday, March 24, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Letters: Impact fee vote shows uncaring commission

Commission puts schools, kids last

March 11 was a very sad day for Hernando County schools and its children. In a 4-1 decision the county commissioners voted to delay collecting school impact fees on new home construction from developers for one more year.

It became very evident that: The "good old boy" mentality was alive and well; a small group of business people, builders, and developers run this county; the people are not represented by their elected officials and the burden of financial support for schools is going to fall on those who have the least to give. The rich will just get richer, the poor will just get taxed more.

We naively thought if we met with each commissioner we could find someone who would hear what we said and actually comprehend the severity of the financial situation that faces Hernando County Schools.

But, when we tried to explain to Commissioner Nick Nicholson he made it emphatically clear that he did not care. When asked if the commissioners' reinstatement of road impact fees was an indicator that they put roads above our children, he yelled, "I do not care."

When we tried to explain that there was not a decline in student growth because there were over 1,000 children in public charter, private, or virtual schools and that we had to make sure by law we had space, his voice grew even louder, "I do not care. I will vote against it.''

Thank you, Diane Rowden, for your lone vote of support.

If the first thing that businesses and people check out when relocating are public schools, why is the commission putting schools last? What good are widened and resurfaced roads, if there if no one here to ride on them? What good are newly built homes, if there is no one here to live in them?

Jo Ann Hartge, president, Hernando Classroom Teachers Association

Hospice patients deserve options

In response to the Agency for Health Care Administration's recent approval for Hospice of Citrus and the Nature Coast to expand services into Hernando County, Hernando Pasco Hospice (HPH) has filed a petition for a formal administrative hearing to contest the approval. In effect, the HPH challenge attempts to ensure that the people of Hernando County do not have a choice of provider at the end of life.

Hernando Pasco Hospice completed an application to provide services in Citrus County in 2004 and opened their first Citrus location in 2008, stating that choice is important to the quality of patient care. We agreed with that position given that optimum patient choice resides at the core of excellent hospice care.

Citing potential need for broader services for Hernando County residents with terminal illnesses, the nonprofit Hospice of Citrus and the Nature Coast filed a letter of intent with the Agency for Health Care Administration, signaling our interest in expanding to Hernando County.

In that filing, I said, "The letter of intent is not a criticism of the hospice which serves Hernando County; many counties, including Citrus, have more than one hospice provider."

It is disappointing, however, that HPH, through its petition, is clearly advocating a position that would afford patient and family choice in every other service area statewide except their own. This petition represents a complete reversal by HPH from its previous position that "patient choice" is vital and that all good things happen on the service side when people are afforded provider choice.

The most recent Florida Need Projections for Hospice Programs, published April 2013 by the Agency for Health Care Administration, indicates a growing unmet need for hospice services in Hernando County. Since 2009, the number of admissions for hospice services in Hernando County has declined while the population has increased.

It is expected that the number of people over age 65 will increase 15.23 percent by 2018, creating a need for more hospice services. Another hospice in Hernando County would provide patients with more services and more choices.

Anthony J. Palumbo, chief executive officer, Hospice of Citrus and the Nature Coast


Monday’s letters: Driverless cars on perilous roads

Driverless cautions | March 23, commentaryDriverless carson perilous roadsHaving watched the video of the tragedy in Tempe, Ariz., I believe the police are correct. This accident could not have been avoided as the pedestrian stepped out of the sh...
Published: 03/23/18

Friday’s letters: Think through assault weapons ban

Gun controlThink through assault rifle banI recently emailed a Florida state representative who had pledged, among other things, to ban assault rifles in the state. I asked him if he would ban the sale and transfer of these guns or ultimately make th...
Published: 03/22/18

Saturday’s letters: Tax guns to pay for security

Million-dollar questions | March 21Tax firearms to pay for securitySo public officials are wondering where they’ll get the money for stationing an armed guard in every school. How about heavily taxing every gun? It’s the proliferation of the weap...
Published: 03/21/18
Updated: 03/23/18

Thursday’s letters: School safety requires funding

Constitution Revision CommissionSchool safety requires fundingThe Constitution Revision Commission should consider amending a proposal (45, 93 or 72) to allocate the necessary recurring funding for the new school safety mandates, separate from the ba...
Published: 03/21/18

Wednesday’s letters: Let the teachers decide on guns

Trump touts arming staff as key in plan for school security | March 12It’s the teacher’s call on weaponsPlease, let’s try an alternate view about guns in the classroom. First, it hasn’t gone unnoticed that the preponderance of letters about guns ...
Published: 03/20/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for March 23

Re: Residents object to solar farm | March 16, storyLakeland Electric has shown that residential customers can be incentivized to allow placement of utility-owned solar panels on their roofs. Likewise, business owners can be incentivized to allow...
Published: 03/19/18

Tuesday’s letters: It shouldn’t be this hard to fly

Tampa International AirportIt shouldn’t be this hard to flyI’ve given the train two tries now from economy parking at Tampa airport. It’s a lot of work. How silly to go down one bank of elevators, then take a good walk to the next set of elevators to...
Published: 03/19/18

Monday’s letters: Protect Floridians’ right to privacy

People push for changes at Constitution hearing | March 14Protect Florida’s right to privacyI attended the Constitution Revision Commission’s public hearing at USF St. Petersburg last week. I was there because I thought it was important to have m...
Published: 03/18/18

Sunday’s letters: Effort to stem pet cruelty pays off

Puppy millsEffort to stem cruelty pays offThank you to everyone who contacted their legislators, and a huge shout-out to the Tampa Bay Times for letting us know that state legislators were considering a bill to eliminate the hard-achieved gains on lo...
Published: 03/17/18

Saturday’s letters: Insurer focused on repairs, not fees

Citizens hit with $12.7M verdict | March 15Insurer’s focus: repairs, not feesCitizens Property Insurance Corp. has spent the past several years making sure that insurance proceeds for sinkhole repairs are used to restore a home and make it whole....
Published: 03/16/18