Right-hand turns raking in fines
I spent a number of years as a K-9 officer at the Orlando Police Department. I recently got a ticket for violation 316.075(1)(c)1. It appears while making a right-hand turn onto Wiscon Road at U.S. 41 (Broad Street) in Brooksville the light changed in 0.8 seconds and I got a ticket.
I asked Brooksville Police how many tickets had been issued for that violation at that intersection over the past year. The police told me 24,000 tickets had been issued in one year at that intersection. At $158 per ticket that is $3.792 million out of the pockets of citizens who could use the money for food, rent, etc.
Many of the tickets are for making a right-hand turn on red or amber (yellow) and not stopping first at the crosswalk. That will get you a ticket every time. Remember a red or amber light means stop at the crosswalk or white line, wait a couple of seconds to ensure you have a clear path to go and then go.
Keep your money in your pocket and the local economy, not in Tallahassee and the red-light camera companies.
Rick Grim, Brooksville
Merged precincts will suppress vote
I witnessed a travesty of justice, a blatant attempt at voter suppression. By a vote of 3-2, the Hernando County Commission approved the plan of Shirley Anderson, Hernando County's Republican supervisor of elections, to combine several voting precincts in the name of saving a few thousand dollars. This is particularly egregious in the case of two precincts. She has managed to allow only one polling location for the entire city of Brooksville by closing two precincts with long and storied histories.
One of those being closed is Precinct 11 and its polling location in South Brooksville, a low-income, mostly African-American area where the voters have been able to walk to their polling location on Election Day to cast their ballots. Precinct 26 is in Cloverleaf Farms. This is even farther away from the new polling location at Tom Varn Park. Here the residents are used to walking or riding their golf carts to their clubhouse to vote on Election Day.
Ms. Anderson is inflicting a serious hardship on the voters of Hernando County in an effort to save a few dollars. The right to vote is the pivotal right that is guaranteed to all Americans. To make it more difficult to exercise that right is nothing less than un-American. Commissioners Wayne Dukes, Nick Nicholson and Chairman Dave Russell shamefully voted to go ahead with this attempt at voter suppression.
Terry Ogden, Spring Hill
A lot of sidewalks to nowhere
I see sidewalks, or more importantly, sections of sidewalks all over the county. The article about sidewalks along Waterfall Drive states that "The county is limited in the number of sidewalks it can build each year."
I live in Woodland Waters, and we have had barricades at our entrance for many months because the sidewalks in front of our subdivision go a short distance, then stop. There are many sections of sidewalk along U.S. 19, but none of them are usable because they are not connected.
Why would the county start more sidewalks before completing the ones that have been started many months ago? Our homeowners association is tending to the sidewalks in front of our subdivision, but many of the completed sections along U.S. 19 are already covered with grass and weeds.
Who is going to use these sidewalks to nowhere? Who will maintain these walkways and at what cost? Why don't they finish one area before more sections are poured?
Wouldn't it make more sense to consider sidewalks within the various neighborhoods instead of on major highways? Granted, in Central Florida, there seems to kill an amazing number of pedestrians each year. But, I don't see how unconnected sections of sidewalks, many overgrown with grass and weeds, are the answer.
Barbara Miller, Weeki Wachee