Pasco-Hernando bus route needed
I recently moved to Hudson and am planning to make this my permanent home. Due to financial insecurities, I do not drive at present. I would like to take public transportation to work, shopping, etc.
I am, however, finding it difficult to travel from Pasco County to Hernando County. The Pasco bus north route ends on U.S. 19 and Little Road. The Hernando bus south route ends on U.S. 19 and Spring Hill Drive.
I have phoned both and was told I would need to find my own ride between stops, thereby defeating the purpose of using public transportation. If I had a ride, I wouldn't be using the bus.
My suggestion is for both routes to extend to County Line Road and serve residents of both counties.
Connie Bohm, Hudson
Re: THE Bus
Bus service will be used if extended
I say yes to Jim Adkins, one of our new county commissioners, for checking other bus services that started like Hernando's THE Bus, and then were extended into rural areas and to stores and to where new homes were being built.
People will ride THE Bus if they can catch it, if the stops are close to their home. As you know, we have been waiting for Saturday service for the six years.
Expand THE Bus so that all the people know the buses are coming up the road they live on. They may just park their cars and jump on to find happy faces, kind drivers, and a great ride. It will be a pleasure, as it has been for me the past six years.
Rosemary Sonnenberg, Spring Hill
Planning now can save big later on road costs | Dec. 28 editorial
Two sides of road can compete
Sticker shock? I never cease to be amazed how commissioners can be shocked and awed by laws that have existed for years.
Remembering back to when this project was being openly discussed and privately performed by the Mixson Group as an absolute necessity, am I the only one who remembers the long discussion about which side of Elgin Boulevard to tear down for the road?
Nobody really wants to live on that soon-to-be-wide-and-fast road, but the people on the south side had more homes so they got to stay.
My suggestion to county Commissioners Adkins and Stabins is to contact the people stuck on the south side of Elgin and see if enough of them are willing to sell at a more reasonable price than the lawyered-up greedy people on the opposite side still holding out.
Who cares if the road is straight as an arrow? So it ends up with a bend or two. Maybe it will slow people down a little. Deltona and Northcliff are certainly not straight collector roads.
Once the northerners on Elgin are faced with owning a $91,000 home on a busier road and a messy construction time, they might decide to negotiate down from their dream prices of near $300,000 for a Spring Hill bungalow.
Give the Elgin southerners a shot at their dream too, which is merely leaving with their skin in tact.
Doug Adams, Spring Hill
Re: Students take on the economy | Dec. 21.
Economy needs brain trust's thrust
Congratulations to Grace Gordon, teacher of marketing management at Central High School. If high school students can develop ideas about the economy, think of what highly educated economists could do under appropriate conditions.
I don't understand why our president hasn't assembled about 50 of the country's leading economists from our universities and industries, brought them to Washington, and let them brainstorm and come up with the causes and the solutions that will get the economy on the increase.
It can be done and it shouldn't take more than two weeks. Then announce to the American people the plan, get everyone's cooperation. What a shot in the arm this will be for morale. This doom and gloom feeling has to stop.
Nick Morana, Spring Hill
Re: Influx swamps pet shelter | Dec. 25
Animal shelter needs your help
In today's economy, when donation dollars are more precious than ever, our community has the opportunity to expand our animal care without spending a dime. All it takes is a community effort. Individual people working toward the same goal can make a difference.
The Humane Society of the Nature Coast is currently competing for a $1-million makeover. ZOOTOO.com is sponsoring a contest to award one lucky animal shelter a needed makeover. ZOOTOO.com is a great Web site full of valuable pet information, pet photo contests and pet product reviews for all pet families.
For every person who registers and uses the site, our local Humane Society accumulates points. The 20 shelters with the highest points become eligible for the $1-Million Dollar Makeover. Just select the Humane Society of the Nature Coast as your designated shelter.
The Humane Society has been climbing steadily in the point count and with the support of our community has an excellent chance of making the top 20. Currently, our local Humane Society is the leading animal shelter from throughout the Tampa Bay area, ahead of the larger cities.
Never underestimate what a small community can do when it pulls together. In these difficult financial times our community pulling together can make a Christmas miracle happen for the neglected, abandoned and abused pet so in need of our help.
Register at www.zootoo.com and let's save lives.
Joanne Schoch, executive director, Humane Society of the Nature Coast
Re: Tip based on level of service | Dec. 22 letter
Servers depend on tip income
The letter writer's ridiculous opinion on tipping hit a raw nerve. I worked in the food service industry for over 30 years and people with attitudes like his are the reason I got out.
Did it ever occur to him that serving is a very difficult job and is both physically and mentally grueling? I would like to see how long he would last as a server!
One can tell just by the tone of his letter that he is one of the many here who need a little information on how the food service industry works. First off, the acceptable area one should tip is 18 to 25 percent, depending on the type and amount of service required (casual vs. full service fine dining, wine service). If you can't afford to tip properly, take another letter writer's advice and stay home!
The majority of servers are paid $3.77 an hour by their employer. This comes out to $30.16 for an eight-hour shift — big bucks! Most of you would not get out of bed for that wage. In those eight hours, they spend around an hour or more doing prep and "side work" and are not on the floor generating tips.
Technically, by law, the server is to receive minimum wage during hours not worked generating tips, but they do not, and the Labor Department allows restaurant owners to get away with it.
I'd also like to mention a couple of pet peeves of mine to those who drink only water when eating out. My experience has been those drinking free beverages usually require more service than those who do not. It does not add any amount to the bill.
Also, plate sharing. When a couple shares a $6.99 dinner and has two waters, it is not acceptable to tip out on the cost of the bill, about $1.50 to $2. Keep in mind the server had done extra work (served a cost-free beverage, served two people) under these types of circumstances and tip accordingly.
Also, 99 percent of servers are required to tip out fellow employees a certain percentage of their total sales — I repeat, total sales — not on their total tips generated to supplement their wages, which are less than minimum as well. This can include bus person, bartender, expediter and sometimes kitchen crew and host.
It is another way the owner cuts his labor costs at the expense of the server. These tip-outs can add up and severely affect their take-home money if people do not tip properly.
For example, when people tip little or none, this actually costs the server money. Let's say the dinner cost $30. The customer feels service is not up to his standards and tips nothing. Server at the end of shift pays a percentage of sales (his $30 minus 5 percent = $1.50 cost to server).
So, to the people who eat out, please keep this information in mind when the bill comes. It's a tough profession.
Gail Mitchell, Spring Hill