Dredging project boon to Manuels
Finally the dredging of the Hernando Beach channel has received the approval of the County Commission. It is a project that should have been approved years ago.
It comes with some heavy costs both in money and honesty. As the key part of the agreement the county will pay the Manuel LLC $196,000 and at least 40,000 yards of cleaned sand free of charge for the Manuels to destroy wetlands. The agreement also means that the county will roll over and play dead on the permitting of this action. What do the Manuels give the taxpayers? They will agree to drop a lawsuit where they were suing the county (the tax-payers) to block the use of county-owned land to put the spoils. The timing of the suit insured that the state funds to help the county finance the project could be withdrawn.
I hope that someone at some level of government (county attorney, sheriff, state Department of Law Enforcement) will take a good look at the deal, which surely stinks.
The commissioners should take a look at the government-employed advisers who are giving them advice on how they should vote. What are their motives? Recently they have been advised that we should close many sewage treatment plants and spend a lot of money on improving others so that we can more efficiently produce reclaimed water. Does this mean residents will have access to the reclaimed water for their lawns? No, this will go to existing and as yet-to-be built golf courses. Why does it seem that the advisers are always giving advice that only benefits big business such as developers and the Manuel LLC?
I hope the voters will remember the costs and who approved these costs in future elections.
Larry Simpson, Hernando Beach
Put new court at old hospital site
The old Brooksville Hospital with some 13 acres is still prime property for a judicial complex. The property, before it was sold, was appraised at $3.2 million. It was sold for $1 million. Now it is up for sale again at about $8 million, a bargain for a judicial complex with parking, the downtown location and the buildings have been totally restored having had asbestos removal and renovation.
Judge Merritt has brought to the public the desperate need for space, location and convenience to his judges, court staff and personnel. Building on the third floor of the government center for another court room is risky because heavy traffic might jeopardize the structure of the building. Even on the second floor, one can feel the floor creak with heavy traffic.
In Ohio, I was a court administrator and our judge actually wrote a court order for his budget and court improvements to commissioners holding them accountable to the court for compliance. Maybe, Judge Merritt can exercise his judicial influence in the same context.
Deron Mikal, Brooksville
Can you spare a dime? April 2, article
Business venture at core of Web site
Mrs Erb's interview in the Times said she and her husband live with their son and daughter-in-law, and they receive $1,900 a month between a pension and food stamps.
I am the mother of five (two are now adults). My husband works two jobs just to pay the bills, and he doesn't even bring home $1,900 a month, and we do not qualify for food stamps.
How do they qualify for food stamps? Perhaps the Department of Children and Families doesn't know they are living with their children, so as not to include their income when calculating food stamps.
When accessing their blog, there is a link that takes us all to a Web site titled "Iris and Me Affiliate Marketing" (www.irisandme.com) which, at first glance, is a Web site of the husband's. Upon further review, it is actually his blog, which he referred to as "the official wealth creation page of Michael Erb", which instructs those reading to "push the magic button to YOUR cash bailout." It is an advertisement encouraging people to join a "profit pulling Web site" at either bronze, silver or gold investment amounts, and states that it is "amazing how quickly our compensation plan can place cash in your hands daily thru the Internet."
After taking into consideration the alleged plight of bankruptcy, desperation and homelessness, let me ask: if "Affiliate Marketing program" is as great as the Web site says, why is the family in the position they claim?
If it is a failure, shouldn't they then stop attempting to recruit others into a virtual bankruptcy much like their own? Or is going public with the "charity for Iris" blog, through both the newspaper, the television, and the Internet, simply a way to further their own personal business venture, the "96k Cash Bailout Community"?
D. Lee, Spring Hill
Homeless shelter needed in county
I have been reading a lot about this drug and alcohol treatment center. I see that there are some concerned residents, where were these residents when they pulled the permit for this facility? Why are they complaining because the facility wants to expand its business and to help more people that suffer from this disease of alcohol and drug addition.
I am glad that Hernando County Commission and Planning Board are recognizing the need for such facilities, we will have three such facilities now. I remember the first one back in the late 1980s, they were doing everything to stop such facilities from opening in Hernando County.
Now, that were have those facilities, how about some homeless shelters like the one in Pasco County, Holy Grounds? Why is the county leaders preventing these type of facilities, with all the homeless here in Hernando County?
Gary Mercer, Spring Hill
Social Security deceived retiree
Time for me to go back to work and cancel Social Security Title 2 until I'm 66? I retired early age 62 based on two lies. One, that I would get a pension cost of living adjustment from my long time employer and that Social Security would also have cost of living adjustments keeping with reality.
I really wouldn't have a problem if real costs of living go down reducing our benefit but we only buy food, insurance, utilities, medical, taxes and transportation. Nothing else. My IRA lost 30 percent of its value and is no longer producing any revenue due to the zero investment returns of all instruments.
Now, on top of everything else that has happened you are sending us $250 in May only to give us little or nothing for 10 years which is the same as saying a 30 percent reduction in spendable money in the face of constantly rising Medicare and prescription fees.
Social Security is all spent on goods and services every month, not invested on Wall Street. Our Florida homeowners insurance has gone insane and we now will get dropped by State Farm in two years making it even worse.
It is time to put new people in charge of the Social Security Administration if they even consider this as an option. Also the Congress must be made to keep their hands out of the trust completely in the future.
Doug Adams, Spring Hill