Now is the time to build courtrooms
There's a lot of talk about shelving the construction of the judicial center because of the recession. But the thinking behind the delay is the exact reason why it needs to go forward.
In the past month, the trickle of construction that's been going on has ceased completely. A prominent area builder, who's always had an 18-month backlog of office and residential work, has taken to fishing. I believe unemployment is going to go much higher by month's end.
We need to move forward all funded projects for which there is any reasonable need.
The $50 million judicial center will create 1,000 jobs and provide a slew of people buying lunches, gas etc.
Also, it makes economic sense. Costs right now are way down, but if you've been reading the paper you've heard that they're expecting hyperinflation as we come out of the recession. Should that happen, instead of realizing substantial savings, you may never realize your judicial center.
All those empty houses will eventually be absorbed, and the courts will fill and overflow their new facility. We've always had up and down cycles, but we pretty much skipped the last one and we're making up for it now. Knee-jerk and overreaction are now what's preventing us from coming out of it.
Ray Gustafson, Hernando Beach
We all should have agendas
I often read articles and letters accusing someone of having an agenda. Like that is something wrong.
For example, lately some have mentioned businessman Blaise Ingoglia and Commissioner Jim Adkins. I could not understand the problem with that, so I looked up the definition of agenda: aims, possible future, important achievements.
Doesn't everyone have an agenda? Shouldn't we all have an agenda? I proudly admit that I have an agenda, several in fact. This doesn't mean that I'm selfish or looking out for number one. My agenda revolves around anger. I'm angry at our government, local and federal. How long was it after David Hamilton was hired as county administrator that he started cleaning house? I guess no one before him had a clue that any mismanagement was going on.
The Fair Tax. Come on people learn about it. It is bipartisan, it is for the good of all Americans, it's the only fair way that we can distribute taxes.
Affordable housing. Possibly the county could acquire some of these foreclosed homes and turn them into HUD homes. The list is so long, and it is so hard to find a HUD home when you do qualify.
Housing the homeless, job training for those who need to find another field of work, proper education for the many autistic and special needs children in our community.
You see, my list goes on and on. I suggest if you don't have your own agenda, that you get busy and find out what's important to you. Agendas are not a selfish thing; it could mean making people aware of a injustice.
I'm glad when I hear someone has an agenda. I want to know more. So learn about causes, agendas, possible changes before you judge. Together we should unite on important issues that concern our future.
Teri Salzer, Brooksville
Only one hiring: government
I just read that unemployment in Hernando County stands at 12.4 percent, the highest since the early 1980s. This is considerably higher than the national average of 8.1 percent. I have a suggestion to all you people who have been victims of downsizing and other measures these companies and employers are taking as they struggle to survive. Stay away from them. They can't help you. Stop wasting your time making the rounds of all these local businesses, looking for jobs that are not there.
The money these days is in government! Why stand in lines applying for the same job that thousands of other people are applying for as well? You can only collect those unemployment checks for so long, and there are no benefits. You've got to go where that money came from, the public trough. Yes, you've got to go there and latch on to your share on a permanent basis. With a government job, those checks will keep coming in on a regular basis for all your lifetime, and there will be benefits. Yes, benefits like medical insurance, job security and a host of others you cannot imagine. You will even have your own lobbying group in Washington protecting you, seeing to it that nothing will interfere with your continued well-being.
In government, jobs are being added exponentially under our new stimulus packages, and a myriad other new government programs. Government is the wave of the future! President Obama is seeing to it, big time. Government needs you!
Take health care for instance. Under universal health care, dozens of new departments will open. Think of the numbers of people who will be needed just to manipulate our new government database system, to keep track of all the medical records of our citizens, and seeing to it that the doctors are under control and doing what is required.
So what are you waiting for? Get a government job. You will be assuring your future, based on the earnings of all those poor hard-working folks in the private sector, and the taxes they pay (increasingly more), to support the government.
Ron Weaver, Brooksville
Willy's just fine the way it is
What is the county thinking? Willy's Tropical Breeze Cafe on Pine Island has been the best-kept secret in Hernando County for the past 18 years. Besides being absolutely beautiful, it has consistently great food, excellent service and it is spotless. It can be compared to a tiki bar in the Caribbean, but can be found right in our own back yard.
Now, someone has decided that it is time to take bids for the lease on this concession, which, by the way, is owned by Willy. That includes the tiki bar, the decking, etc. The land, of course, belongs to the county. Why would anyone want to change something that has worked so well for so many years? I am not alone in saying that the food is better at this little beach cafe than at most of our county's restaurants.
My husband and I will travel to the beach just to have lunch at Willy's. It is always a pleasant experience. Many times, we are greeted by Willy, who always aims to please. He puts his heart and soul into his business and takes pride in keeping it a tourist attraction.
I hope whoever is behind this idea will reconsider, especially in an economy where many businesses are failing. The thought of someone running a snack bar on Pine Island who may not have the experience required to manage a successful business or who does not live on the island and feel so connected to it, is absolutely ridiculous.
It isn't broken, so please don't fix it. If you want to fix something, try finding a solution to the parking problem or why the bacteria level in the water in the area is not always within acceptable levels.
Patricia Cameron, Weeki Wachee
Carrying on work of Evelyn DeHart
Evelyn DeHart lived 92 years until March 6, 2009, to serve countless numbers of the poor, homeless and mentally ill through her positions as chairwoman of the Democratic Party in the early 1990s and as president for years and years of the Alliance for the Mentally Ill. Evelyn was also a World War II member of the Women's Army Corps, having worked at the Pentagon with the likes of General Eisenhower, among others.
She had a captivating Southern charm and was a teacher most of her working career. She and her husband, Ralph, were active for decades before moving to Florida in establishing neighborhood homes for the developmentally disabled and the mentally ill, allowing living standards to be provided by their own initiatives with oversight guided by mentoring, caring and comforting by the DeHarts themselves.
Here in Hernando County as president of the Alliance for the Mentally Ill, she founded a walk-in center for consumers allowing them total control of activities and the maintaining of the center with operating expenses of some $10,000 a year for which grants were written and fund-raising allowed. Evelyn hosted the annual Christmas party for consumers, encouraged gifts to be distributed and held these events in a major lodge, seating some 300 at times. She also gathered all of her board for the annual November picnic at Deltona Park, and hosted 200 or so consumers working in concert with Harbor Behavioral Center in many of these activities.
Steve Zeledon, a community activist, and I were at her side in the grant-writing and organizing of events along with a faithful board upon whom she relied to share in the liberal considerations for consumers.
B.J. Tipton and Evelyn stood together over 20 years in their ideological considerations for the Democratic Party and drew me into their efforts more often than not. We were among the first in the party to support Barack Obama for president, against the tide of local and state party officials who supported Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Evelyn was always generous with her time and resources, traits passed to her daughter, Lisa, who lives on the east coast and has been back and forth here during Evelyn's lingering illness with pulmonary disease. Mother and daughter easily shared ideology and philosophy. Scores and hundreds carry with us not only memories, but also the will to continue the good works of this beloved angel of mercy among us.
Deron Mikal, Brooksville