Fest funds blur state, church separation | Dec. 5 Dan Dewitt column
No tax money for ministerial group
Thank you to Dan Dewitt. I appreciate his sharing with his readers the history lesson he received from Assistant County Attorney Jon Jouben. Evidently our Founding Fathers had very good reasons for making sure that the United States had no established state church. Consequently, many different religious groups have co-existed amiably throughout our more than 220 years.
Unfortunately, our county Tourist Development Council needed the same lesson as they were not knowledgeable enough regarding federal and Florida constitutions. They allowed county tax money to flow into the coffers of the Brooksville Ministerial Association for their Christian music festival scheduled for July 3. By their misplaced generosity, won't they be opening the floodgates to other religious organizations asking for money in support of their proselytizing?
If this unlawful generosity with our tax money is not withdrawn, won't Hernando County be open to lawsuits, perhaps by the ACLU? And wouldn't that be costly to the county?
Doris Zenn, Weeki Wachee
Antitax advocate should join real cause | Dec. 7 Dan Dewitt column
Stay the course, Linda Hayward
I don't picture Linda Hayward's efforts as undermining local government. If our county commissioners the past few years had done their jobs, you wouldn't even know Linda Hayward. The "capable and experienced" incumbents she helped toss out squandered our tax dollars and would still be on the same track were it not for people like Linda.
As for our protection from excess taxes (if we have any, please list them), I saw none in the rapid rise of taxes poured on us by the County Commission. Only after crowds showed up at budget hearings last year did we get any relief.
As for hampering county government due to rising costs, guess what? Taxpayers are facing the same thing. It seems you are saying, keep government fat and taxpayers poorer. Linda Hayward does have a real cause.
Ross Keith, Hernando Beach
Re: Brooksville prostitution sting
Bill defendants for legal costs
At what point am I supposed to feel sorry for the people arrested in the prostitution sting? With the country in a recession, and high taxes and budget cuts affecting law enforcement agencies and the criminal justice system, why not impose investigative fees on the defendants by the prosecuting agency?
Neighboring law enforcement agencies already charge $70 for misdemeanors and $130 for felonies when people are arrested. Let the people committing the crimes offset some of the personnel hours in these operations.
The Public Defender's Office complained that private wreckers were not utilized to impound the suspects' vehicles. I guess from the Brooksville Police Department's view, why would you stop the operation and have unnecessary down time to wait on a tow truck, when it would be more feasible to have an officer drive the vehicle to headquarters down the street, so the undercover officers could set back up again with little or no down time? It's called time management.
Lori Lee, Brooksville
When will costs follow gas prices? | Dec. 8 letter
Blame high prices on cost of diesel
I understand the cost of gas has gone down. However, the price of diesel fuel has not. These big trucks you see out on the interstate hauling the produce and other foods are all fueled by diesel.
On the West Coast where it all comes from, the price of diesel fuel is much higher than it is here. So by and large the price of gas isn't the cause of high prices; it is the cost of diesel fuel. I imagine that the cost factored into the budgets the letter writer mentioned is based on the price of diesel as well as gas. A lot of equipment is run on diesel.
Shirley Saxton, Brooksville
Gift of blood is ideal for holiday
As many of us prepare for the busy holiday season by buying gifts, spreading holiday cheer, and making donations to those less fortunate, only a small percentage of us will take the time to give blood.
LifeSouth Community Blood Centers, like many blood centers in our country, struggles to meet patient and hospital needs during the holiday season. Schools close for the holiday break, churches offer extra holiday services, often becoming too busy to host drives, and many businesses operate on a small staff during the holidays.
It is ironic that during a season that is about giving, merriment and joy, our community blood supply often dwindles to emergency levels. Statistics show that one out of every three people will need a blood transfusion in their lifetime. Cancer patients, trauma victims, premature infants, sickle cell patients, and people undergoing surgery, as well as victims of earthquakes, floods, fires and storms are just some of the people who rely on the gift of blood to survive.
If you take a moment, you can probably think of someone you know or love who has received a blood transfusion. We all expect blood to be available to us, but it still remains that only a small fraction of us who are eligible to give blood actually do.
Giving blood isn't hard; it just takes a little time, about 30 minutes total. The actual donation takes less than 10 minutes and the donor qualifications are simple. Blood donors must be 17 years or older, weigh at least 110 pounds, be in good health, and not have donated blood in the last 56 days.
If you are healthy, and meet the donor eligibility requirements, please add giving the gift of life to your to-do list this holiday season. Save a life. Donate blood.
Gus Guadagnino, Brooksville
Advisory Board chairman
LifeSouth Community Blood Centers Hernando Region
Thanks for help in locating a son
My family and I would like to send a sincere, heartfelt thank you to several people in Hernando County and to the Corrections Department of Sumter County.
My 11-year-old son was missing on Friday. The wonderful, resourceful Hernando County Sheriff's Office responded rapidly to our panic situation. They were professional, courteous, and pulled out all the stops. The personnel spent hours helping us to find him and returning him to us safely.
Sumter County supplied dogs to track him. The helicopter pilot(s) spent hours in the sky looking for my son, and located him.
The 911 operator kept me calm enough to get all the necessary information to help my family and myself reunite with my son.
The wonderful people in our community drove around in their cars looking for him, and people walked through thick brush with flashlights trying to find him.
Thank you all for the prayers and for his safe return home.
Karen Kenney, Spring Hill