Noisy peafowl whisked away March 28, article
More and more laws chip at rights
I was infuriated after reading the article in which Susan Horak's noise complaints led to the demise of Bernard Isole's bird farm and livelihood of three decades. At what point are we going to stop tolerating the loss of our rights? The "Johnny-come-lately city folks complaining" quote is no longer a joke or humorous on any level.
I have lived in Florida all my life and have experienced living on the water and having new transplant neighbors get involved with local government and pass ordinances which would not allow my boat to be parked in my yard. I have talked with others who could not park a pick-up in their community.
The justification for these new laws is usually that these things (boats/trucks) are eyesores and devalue their property (usually their second home or investment).
By continually pushing for more and more restrictive ordinances these people are devaluing our property by not allowing personal "highest and best use." I would suggest that if the Horaks and other like-minded folks who do not like the noises and smells of rural living, they can buy a nice little place next to Tampa International Airport. It smells like the city and they can stay very busy trying to shut it down.
Myron Boguslawski, Spring Hill
No need for long Shands flights
Because Bayfront hospital has been purchased by Health Management Associates (HMA) out of Naples, Fla., HMA acquired Bayflite Services, the air ambulance serving Hernando County. So this month, the Hernando County Commissioners were requested to amend an emergency medical certificate of convenience and necessity to authorize HMA Bayflite Services to perform advanced life support helicopter ambulance services in Hernando County.
The commission wisely saw that the helicopter ambulance had changed hands, would need a new certificate, and have set it up for public hearing in April.
The commission and public need to be aware of a possible conflict of interest for HMA to operate a helicopter ambulance. HMA currently owns the Brooksville Regional and Spring Hill Regional Hospitals in Hernando County. The two local hospitals actively advertise a partnership with Shands at University of Florida for cardiac and neurosurgical services. The UF stands for University of Florida.
Currently, HMA patients from Hernando County are being misled into treatment at Shands UF, requiring expensive ambulance transfers over the 100 miles. For HMA to now have a monopoly on air ambulances in Hernando County would increase the profit and likelihood that patients would be unnecessarily transferred to Shands.
There are very good professional neurosurgical and cardiac facilities at Bayonet Point or in Tampa. We do not need the additional delays in treatment for transport and medical costs of transfers to Shands UF. The county commission needs to reject the request for certification in Hernando County as a message to HMA that Hernando County is done paying the company's exorbitant profits
Dennis Purdy, Brooksville
Public health programs vital
Each April, the Florida Department of Health celebrates National Public Health Week and the dedicated professionals that make up our public health work force.
In Hernando County, our mission is to protect, promote, and improve the health of our residents and visitors. This is accomplished through strong partnerships with our three community hospitals, 300-plus private medical providers, local governments, law enforcement and emergency response teams, local education boards, media partners, the business community, nonprofit and faith-based partners, and many generous volunteers.
County Health Departments throughout the state provide many services that local residents are aware of: services like family planning, childhood immunizations, rabies investigation and prevention, and Women, Infants and Children (WIC).
But few are aware of the range of services and broad knowledge base our local health professionals provide. For example, public health employs physicians, dentists, and myriad ancillary medical professionals who provide preventive and restorative services to local residents. It manages all county birth and death records; inspects and permits tattoo, piercing establishments, and tanning salons; inspects public schools to ensure they are safe for children. Public health identifies, monitors and helps prevent/control contagious disease outbreaks at the local level; assists local residents and businesses with emergency planning and preparedness efforts; supports workplace wellness initiatives; supports local education and vocational programs by providing training and internship opportunities; inspects and permits private and commercial septic systems; monitors water quality at public swimming areas. It provides childbirth education and breast-feeding classes; provides education and support for high-risk pregnant women and new moms; provides information, testing, support and treatment for many types of sexually transmitted disease; provides chronic disease prevention outreach; and oversees school medical clinics and student screenings.
In 2012, the Health Department staff in Hernando provided 127,542 services to almost 12,000 clients in our community. Over 20,736 birth and death certificates were issued; 4,159 childhood immunizations were administered; 4,769 WIC clients were served; over 35,424 doses of medication were dispensed to children in 23 Hernando County schools; and 17,290 dental services were provided to 2,876 patients including sealants and fluoride varnish applications in local elementary and middle schools. We provided 20,994 family planning services to 2,373 clients; 13,432 Healthy Start services for high risk pregnant women; and provided treatment to 1,097 clients diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease.
Additionally, during 2011-12, we ensured the health and safety of our community by performing 2,400 regulatory inspections, sampling and monitoring 150 public water wells and conducting approximately 500 rabies surveillance investigations.
Finally, our department has been recognized by Project Public Health Ready for our preparedness initiatives which include specific response plans to a variety of natural and man-made emergencies.
Public health programs result in a strong return on investment. It saves lives and saves money.
Robin Wright, administrator, Hernando County Health Department
Cut number of commissioners
County government, through layoffs and other means, has reorganized staff to cut costs. Reorganization of five-member Board of County Commissioners should follow.
Three commissioners concentrating on official duties are sufficient. They would be elected from three districts replacing the five districts.
Savings on two commissioners include salaries, benefits and secretarial assistance as well as car parking and office space, equipment, supplies and utilities.
James Willan, Brooksville