Saturday, May 26, 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: NFL finally listens to its fans

NFL moves to endanthem protests | May 24NFL’s action comes too lateThe NFL owners are, after two years, finally growing some courage.Before these kneel-downs became the elephant in the room, team owners could have taken action to minimize the imp...
Published: 05/24/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Sunday’s letters: As Jews, we should not be afraid to criticize Israel

Published: 05/24/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Saturday’s letters: Bayshore fatalities didn’t have to happen

After two fatalities, speed limits cut | May 25Cameras needed on BayshoreOnce again, two pedestrians have died as the result of careless drivers who were speeding. Once again, the Times and other media outlets are filled with opinions about the c...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Friday's letters: Thanks to jurors for fulfilling civic duty

May is Juror Appreciation Month Thanks, jurors, for your service Trial by a jury of one’s peers is among the bedrock guarantees that make our representative democracy exceptional. Without it, the courtroom fates of defendants and civil litiga...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Thursday’s letters: Heated chemotherapy won’t treat most ovarian cancers

Heated chemotherapy has promising results | May 16Cancer treatment not a cure-all While we were pleased to see the story about ovarian cancer treatment, we are concerned that the article could mislead many patients. The treatment described has be...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/24/18

Wednesday’s letters: A princess gives us a lesson to live by

Royal treatment | May 21Princess offers advice for us allThe radiant and joyful Princess Anna Noela Lokolo of the Democratic Republic of Congo, recent Eckerd College graduate, has given us a huge gift in her parting words. "If people have a negat...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/23/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Central High School bomb threat suspect to be tried as adult | May 4Angry mob rhetoric not helpfulWe have observed the public discourse surrounding the case of Mizella Robinson with increasing unease. A sampling of the more common sentiment...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Proposed TECO Solar Plant Opposed to the TECO solar plantAs a 21-year resident and property owner, I am writing in opposition to the proposed Tampa Electric Company solar plant in rural northeast Pasco County.The solar plant will be .2 miles from...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Tuesday’s letters: If you don’t like the Electoral College, then amend the Constitution

The popular vote | May 20, letterIf you don’t like it, amend ConstitutionA recent letter supports the idea that a state should be able to change its Electoral College vote to match that of the national popular vote winner as opposed to the result...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Monday’s letters: Focusing on the mental state of shooters misses the point

Texas high school shooting | May 18Criminals, angry people kill peopleSchool shootings are a distinctly American phenomenon. But shootings by people with serious mental illness represent less than 1 percent of all yearly gun-related homicides in ...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/21/18