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Property tax hike could pay to beautify Spring Hill

Don't let it become a dump Oct. 11 letter

Tax hike could pay for cleanups

Columnist Dan DeWitt and letter writer Lucille Campana hit the problem perfectly. I have not lived in Spring Hill as long as most but moved here in 2001 because of how beautiful the area was. I understand that the county does not have the money to maintain the hordes of properties that don't look as they should.

Drive down any street in Spring Hill and you will find grass not mowed, junk on properties, etc. Spring Hill should have deed restrictions. Deed restrictions improve property values and keep properties from becoming eye sores. I would live in a deed restricted community, but I could not afford to move into one at the time I moved.

I understand the county does not have the money to enforce problem properties. But, would anybody support a 1 to 5 cent property tax increase for the beautification of Spring Hill? If the money truly was spent on projects that would increase property values and clean up the eyesores, I would not only support it, but I would love to head up the projects up.

We need people like Ms. Campana to live in this community. Please don't leave.

Tim Lee, Spring Hill

Urgent care is a cheaper option

This is in reference to the Brooksville Regional emergency room visit for the 11-year-old that fell off his bike. This is the perfect example of when to use an urgent care center. They are staffed and designed to handle urgent injuries and illness. These centers are open extended hours and weekends to meet the need.

Emergency departments are staffed to handle emergencies. The cost of the care reflects emergent care. It is costly for a hospital to staff and operate an emergency room. Typically, despite their best effort, emergency departments often lose money for hospitals. As a nation, hospital emergency departments are overcrowded and health care dollars are over and inappropriately utilized in them.

The urgent care setting provides a competent, controlled, cost effective alternative to emergency department care.

It is for this reason that my husband, Anthony, and I started Care One of Florida. As the original urgent care center in Hernando County, it was difficult to explain that we were not a walk-in clinic. However, the medical community now understands and many physicians encourage patients to visit us for urgent illnesses and injuries.

Stacie Laviano, Spring Hill

Hospital displays professionalism

I'm sorry that Mr. DeWitt and his family had a bad experience at Brooksville Regional. I read through all of the comments of people who have had similar experiences. I also recognized the slant of Mr. DeWitt to make his point in favor of national health care.

While no system is perfect, and I imagine a government- run system would be even more horrible, and while I could rant and rage all day about that, I have to focus simply on the experiences I have had with Brooksville Regional.

A member of my family was in desperate need of medical attention on Memorial Day weekend. Despite the fact that she could not walk, could not eat, could not do much of anything, the stress of compiling medical bills she could not afford, as she does not have insurance, kept her from agreeing to go the emergency room.

When we finally got her there, with no insurance, the staff treated her quickly and with kindness. When told she didn't have insurance, they didn't blink. They took her information to get her enrolled in Medicaid.

The triage nurse took one look at her and realized the seriousness of her situation and quickly got her admitted. The nurse, the technicians and the doctor all responded to her immediately. She ended up being hospitalized for almost a full week. Not once did they treat her as if she were not a paying customer. Not once did they treat her with anything less than supreme professionalism. Not only that, they genuinely cared about her well-being. As an example, the emergency room doctor who initially saw her visited her the next morning.

Had she not gotten to the ER when she did, if she had not been as petite as she is, I would have lost a very dear family member.

As for enrolling her in Medicaid, which is a government-run program, it's not what I would like. But life sometimes puts us in a pinch. That's what government assistance should be for — those in dire need or in a pinch. I do not deny that there should be reforms in our health care system, but government should not be the primary health care option. I am thankful it was there for someone in need.

Either way, I believe Brooksville Regional would have treated her regardless. The hospitals staff demonstrated the utmost professionalism and they cared for her with a great bedside manner.

Perhaps the long wait times in the emergency room are simply due to the fact that someone else is in greater need of attention and there are only so many doctors and nurses to go around — unless of course, you would like to pay even more. I know I have gotten irritated with wait times before myself, but now that the shoe has been on the other foot, and recognizing that there might be someone who is in worse shape, I will definitely be more patient. And my opinion on Brooksville Regional has gone up, not down, from my experience.

Serena Seifried, Brooksville

STARS thanks Brown-Waite

I would like to extend a big thank you to U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite for her unwavering support to provide the additional funding needed at the Subtropical Agricultural Research Station (STARS) in Brooksville, where my husband is employed.

The mission of STARS deals with various cattle research projects that help beef consumers and the cattle industry in the southeastern United States. Each project deals with a variety of issues, with goals to strive to produce the safest and highest quality of beef, at the most affordable price to the consumer, while still being cost efficient and profitable for the producer. Their research promotes better stewardship of our land and water through better management practices for the cattle industry, thereby improving food safety and food quality for the end consumer: you and me.

Unfortunately, research takes money, and due to several years of a poor economy, the budget at STARS had become so tight that STARS had been placed on an Agricultural Research Service closure list. Without Brown- Waite's unfaltering crusade, closure seemed eminent.

This closure would have caused the loss of as many as 20 jobs at STARS for employees who spend their pay checks in our local economy. Other losses would have included the STARS annual budget, which is mostly spent on orders placed with local vendors, again, helping to support our local community.

Our family has lived in Brooksville for more than 25 years. We have watched our family grow, and along with us, lay down roots in this community where we hope to continue to work and live. Other employees were born here, and still others were raised in this area. I think I can speak for all of us when I say none of us has any desire to relocate to Nevada or Arizona. We all like the ZIP codes we already have, and thanks to Brown-Waite, we can rest a little easier.

Sandra A. Lee, Brooksville

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Property tax hike could pay to beautify Spring Hill 10/14/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 14, 2009 6:03pm]
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