Bus service can help the economy
As a concerned citizen who relies on public transit, I feel a need to express my opinions. Having special needs, I use THE Bus almost every day and see the potential for it to raise funds in Hernando County by creating more commerce by bringing Hernando County residents to and from work and also to local shops.
All economists agree that the potential economic growth of a community is directly linked to its public transit. Public transit is not an entitlement, it is a need! A need for the community and a need for economic growth.
This county offers more for potential industry than any other surrounding counties. We have a rail park that offers industry the ability to receive raw materials. But as a county we refuse to extend our public transit to bring employees to them. I urge Hernando County commissioners to support the local transit system and see the need to expand our services to Pine Island, to I-75 to assist the people there and to the new Pasco-Hernando Community College campus on U.S. 19.
Take a ride on the bus talk to your taxpayers who need it. I understand that it is a standard practice to cut programs, but when will we invest in the future of Hernando County?
Expanding routes in this county is a win-win investment. Imagine yourself or a loved one losing their means of transportation, what would you do? How would you get to work? How would you get medical care (doctor appointments, medicines, etc.?)
Please, respectively, learn about the importance of public transit and support our Hernando County.
David S. Philipsen, Weeki Wachee
Schools chasing the wrong goal
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, only 27.2 percent of Americans have obtained a college degree, but the majority of high school classes are college prep. Why is the focus of our secondary education system to prepare student for something that over 70 percent of them will not obtain?
The taxpayers of Hernando County have paid for Nature Coast Technical High School, so why is it that when I speak with business owners and managers, they indicate the lack of skilled and trained applicants? I wonder if the school district administration or the School Board has bothered to see what the educational needs of local businesses are.
The School Board and administration have no idea what their purpose and function is. We need to demand that our schools start providing our youth with the knowledge and skills required to become a productive part of society. We need information technology technicians, mechanics, X-ray technicians, not more business or art majors.
So what can we do to correct this misuse of tax money and the educational system indifference to the next generation's future?
We vote out School Board candidates with backgrounds and elect candidates who have had jobs in the private sector or owned businesses.
We need to greatly increase the number of teachers that have had real workplace experience.
We should insist that the school system interfaces with businesses in Hernando County to put in place an educational curriculum and program that will allow the graduates to attain productive jobs here in the county from the local business. This can also be used to attract new business to the county, because we can provide a trained workforce.
We should demand the school system provide continuing education of the taxpayers of the county that will allow them to learn new skills. The residents of the county have been paying school taxes for years and they need to learn new skills so they can get off the unemployment rolls or find a better job.
We need to stop the unconstitutional and unwanted interference from Tallahassee and Washington.
Out of the five high schools, we have only one that is geared to technical education. So 80 percent of the schools are set up for college prep, which will only benefit 20 percent of the students. We need to reverse this and all secondary schools will setup the majority of their curriculum geared toward technical goals. You need just as much math to be a programmer as you do to get into an engineering college, so it will be no problem serving both needs.
Charles A. Williams, Spring Hill
Insurance bill a risky proposition
Homeowners are under attack again. Your Republican representatives are again supporting legislation to increase the costs of home ownership, House Bill 245.
They legislated a raise in your sinkhole insurance last year and now if they pass House Bill 245 your insurance rates will go up again and your protection decrease. The proposed law tells Citizens Insurance to transfer homeowners polices to unregulated, out of state insurance companies, surplus line carriers. The rates are guaranteed at the Citizen rate levels for only one year. They will then go up at the discretion of the insurance company with no caps or Insurance Commission rate review. Higher prices.
If the surplus line carriers go insolvent due to any reason (poor management, the storm of the century) the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association does not provide a safety net for paying claims. Less protection.
Under the proposed legislation you are automatically switched by Citizens to the surplus line carriers. If you do not opt out within 30 days of being notified you are stuck. Why do our representatives continue to serve the interest of the insurance industry instead of their constituents? Call your representative tell them to vote "no'' on HB 245 or they will not get your vote this year. Hold then responsible for their continuing attacks on the home owner.
Lynn W. Lindeman, Hudson
Doing right made America great
In the immigrant communities of my childhood grandmothers usually had the last word, but they were also the teachers in the home. One lesson I remember is "right is right even when no one is doing right and wrong is wrong even when everyone is doing wrong." As children we would roll our eyes and look for the easiest escape. What does doing right get you?
If you are state Sen. Mike Fasano, it gets you stripped of a subcommittee chairmanship and kicked off another committee. Also it gets you the respect and gratitude of working families and the chance to prove that some (very few) elected officials understand that the Constitution is about: laws not lies; people not profits; freedom not fraud; and oaths of office not oaths of loyalty.
Doing the right thing is why America is a great nation, not without problems, but a nation willing to make changes, admit to wrongs and righting those. We are a nation that has withstood turmoil because of leaders who do the right thing. We are a nation of immigrants and grandmothers and brave leaders who put the people above a position.
Peno Hardesty, New Port Richey
Upset at hospital picketers' outfits | Feb. 3 letter
Ironworkers not on the picket line
The author of the letter stated she was upset that "union iron and steel workers (were) picketing Oak Hill Hospital'' dressed as medical professionals.
As the business manager of Ironworker Local 397, serving the west coast of Florida, I can state no local union ironworkers were picketing the hospital nor would they do so under the guise of being medical professionals.
We value the medical profession and would in no way attempt to undermine the quality of care for any patient.
Gregory J. Jarrell, Mango
Help out those without sight Jan. 29 guest column
Doctor corrects column mistake
In this column, I inadvertently used the word diabetic neuropathy instead of diabetic retinopathy.
All patients with diabetes should be checked regularly for retinopathy, as the blindness resulting from retinopathy (affecting blood vessels and retina) can be largely prevented with proper attention and treatment.
Sorry for the confusion.
Dr. Rao Musunuru, Bayonet Point