Saturday, April 21, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Letters: Program to purchase environmentally sensitive land is at risk

Land purchase program at risk

It is unfortunate that such an unusual rain event struck the Peck Sink construction site while the berms were still in a vulnerable, non-vegetated condition.

I do not fault the engineers, who cannot plan for such extreme events while also minimizing construction costs. However, I was a little miffed that while the source of funding for this important storm water project was acknowledged, the county's environmentally sensitive lands program was not credited as the source of funding for acquisition of the land.

The ESL program's purchase of the 112-acre Peck Sink property set the stage for this storm water project, which will protect the quality of our groundwater — meaning the primary source of our drinking water. ESL has been a bargain for the county for over 22 years now, and it is important for Hernando residents to have such a program. It leveraged the use of state funds to expand and develop both the Pedersen and Bayport park sites, and to purchase the Cypress Lakes Preserve. It also funded acquisition of the Fickett Hammock Preserve. And it could disappear in November if voters do not choose to continue the ESL program after their overwhelmingly support for the referendum that created it in 1988.

The Board of County Commissioners has redirected the annual ESL funding to pay for mosquito control the last two years. Now they have opened the door for demise of the program by placing the question of its continuation on the ballot this November. While mosquitoes can certainly pose a public health risk, mosquito control is at best a Band-Aid. That money is gone, and we now have nothing to show for it. But land; "it's the only thing that lasts" to paraphrase the line from Gone With the Wind.

The ESL program is a wonderful investment in our future and it is important for Hernando residents to understand the benefits they derive from it before going to the polls. The next time you go to Bayport Park to fish or enjoy the sunset, or go picnicking at Pedersen Park, or hiking at Cypress Lakes Preserve — or open your tap at home and clean drinking water pours out — I hope you will appreciate the role of the ESL program in maintaining our quality of life.

Eugene Kelly, Brooksville

Spay, neuter your pets to save lives

Attention all cat owners: Get your cats fixed. It doesn't cost that much and will save countless cat lives.

Hernando County Animal Services, as usual, is overrun with kittens. At this time of year, between May and October, the shelter takes in upwards of 200 kittens. It is the beginning of the breeding season.

Can you imagine how many of those poor kittens will not be adopted even with the "2-for-1" special running now? It means too many kittens will be euthanized because cat owners did not get their cats fixed while young.

If you have a cat (or dog) please save lives by spaying and neutering your pets.

Nancy Eslick, Brooksville


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

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

Wednesday’s letters:

Poverty and plenty in bay area | April 7, editorialStruggling poor are not a priorityI commend your newspaper for continuing to produce real and relevant news, particularly the recent editorial pointing out that a prospering Tampa Bay should not ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for April 20

Bar Association celebrates Law WeekPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1958, as the first Law Day to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Every year on this day, we reflect on the significance of the rule of law and rededicat...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Tuesday’s letters: Stop cooperating with ICE

Sheriff’s ICE policy blasted | April 10Pinellas should end partnership with ICEPinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri recently participated in a community conversation on his controversial agreement with ICE to voluntarily detain immigrants in the...
Published: 04/16/18

Sunday’s letters: The future of oyster production

Shell game | April 15Future of oyster productionThanks to Laura Reiley for an excellent synopsis of the current state of oyster production in Florida. The collapse of the Apalachicola oyster fishery is merely the latest example of the demise of a...
Published: 04/14/18

Monday’s letters: Public education is foundation of the nation

Voters beware of ballot deceptionApril 13, commentarySchools’ role underminedIt was with great pain that I read (not for the first time) that we must be aware of "ballot deception." Public schools were founded to make sure that future generations of ...
Published: 04/13/18

Saturday’s letters: Health Department should butt out

Judge: Grow pot, Mr. Redner | April 12Health officials should butt outThe Times reports that the Florida Department of Health filed an appeal to the decision allowing a man who is a Stage 4 lung cancer survivor to grow pot in his backyard for his ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/13/18