Concentrate on saving our river
I saw where Hernando County might team up with the city of Brooksville to renovate the sewage system in South Brooksville. Lord knows it doesn't take much to see what the leaking Brooksville sewers have done to our lakes. From what I've seen, I know the storm system there consists of a huge ditch that's most always filled with garbage. But that open ditch is much easier to clean and maintain than a pipe with the same garbage thrown in.
From what I've seen of the existing sewers in Hernando County, the one in most need of renovation is the one in Weeki Wachee, which services homes along the most pristine river in our area. The real problem is the exfiltration of sanitary sewage into the Weeki Wachee River. During high tides there is so much water infiltrating the sewer system along Westwind Street that it practically runs clear. This can easily be seen by looking into any of the sanitary manholes in that area.
The sewage pumping station there at the corner of Shoal Line and Alpaca can't keep up with the flow due to all the fresh water infiltrating the sewer system. It runs most all of the time futilely trying to keep up with the flow. If there's water flowing into the system at high tide, then you can bet that there's sewage flowing out into the river at low tide when the water table is down. I'm sure these leaking sewers must be contributing to the rampant algae growth along the river.
The repair of leaking sanitary sewers along the Weeki Wachee should be a top priority for federal and state grants. We should concentrate on trying to save the clear waters of Hernando County for our children's children and quit worrying about special interest groups such as people wanting to take their yachts in and out of Hernando Beach.
Alan Daniel, Weeki Wachee
Perspective needed with Raid
In prefacing his journal, The Fremantle Diary, at the conclusion of his busman's holiday tour of America in the summer of 1863, English Lt. Col. James Arthur Lyon Fremantle observed that " … nowhere is the ignorance of what is passing in the South more profound than it is in the Northern states." He offers "a sentiment of great admiration for the gallantry and determination of the Southerners, together with the unhappy contrast afforded by the foolish bullying conduct of the Northerners, caused a complete revulsion in my feelings." Thus we have a first-person, unsolicited account of the struggle that gripped our nation for four long years in the 1860s.
To watch a modern version of the conflict, be it movie or re-enactment, is to do so without perspective. We cannot put ourselves in their place, any more than one of them could successfully drive a car after a similarly short introduction. The results of columnist Dan DeWitt's Jan. 20 attempt are no less tragic than Johnny Reb running an ambulance into a crowd of people. While well-meaning, both are without proper introduction.
Mr. DeWitt's inaccuracies in the cause, motives and results of the war for Southern independence are a product of the education he is so proud of. History books, which have led many astray, are a synopsis of events, unfortunately viewed through the eyes of a politically correct publisher. They attempt to summarize what cannot be abbreviated.
I am a retired teacher and Confederate re-enactor with the 8th Florida, Company B, Hardy's Corps. I invite those interested in the Civil War (which it was not) to join us either on "school days" (the Fridays before re-enactments), or wander our camps before and/or after events, and ask lots of questions.
Ralph Epifanio, DeLand
Electric cost increases unfair
I have been a Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative customer since my arrival in Florida in 1983 and have experienced many changes in service throughout the years, some in the positive side, others in the negative. Being a customer is not an option that can be negotiated and becoming a customer depends on the geographical location of your residence. In other words, if you live in a WREC serviced area, then you have no choice as to who supplies your electric energy. Unfortunately we get stuck with abusive energy fee increases backed up by a useless and corrupted Public Service Commission that offer no protection to the users. You could say that we are dealing with a monopoly that thrives on the middle class trying to make a decent living.
It is evident that WREC has determined to break the middle class users by increasing the cost of the energy fee sporadically. In 2004 the percentage used to determine the cost of the energy fee was .03534 multiplied by kilowatt hours used, while in 2009 it was increased to .05419. This is known as the "fuel adjustment charge" to compensate for the rising cost of coal. It is such an unfair and abusive practice that forces the users to pay more for the cost of coal than the actual amount of the energy used. In other words, the cost of the fuel (coal) charged to you will be greater than the actual fee charged for the KWH used. While the price of the coal has gone down, the fuel adjustment fee remains at the same level.
It seem that each time we experience a few days of cold temperature, the energy charges outrageously skyrocket into orbit. My December 2009 electric bill was for $152.52 for 1,234 KWH used. A week of cool weather comes by and WREC sends me the January 2010 bill for $541.62, for 5007 KWH used. If the cold spell would have lasted another week then my electric bill would have been $1,084. The sorry part of this story is that the bill has to be paid. The only option left is to move out the WREC service area, or better yet, leave the state of Florida.
What do you think will happen to our senior citizens whose income derives from Social Security and perhaps some small pension. Do you think they can afford to pay electric bills of this nature? Will WREC turn off their electricity for lack of payment?
Robert Rodriguez, Spring Hill
Thieves worsen couple's bad luck
To the people who stole our central air/heat unit: My husband worked in the school system for 13 years as a special education aide and the last three as an ESE teacher. He is highly qualified with three teaching certificates. He lost his job with the budget cuts almost two years ago and because of his age, 60, cannot get hired.
We have lost our home of 18 years to foreclosure. No, we weren't mortgaged to the gills or driving expensive cars. His car has 235,000 miles and mine has 176,000. We are in the process of moving into a tiny trailer.
Sometime between 7 p.m. Jan. 19 and 7 p.m. Jan. 20, several people came into the property and stole the central air unit. We do not have insurance, we can't afford it. I have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and need the air-conditioning.
I am trying to support us on my $300-a-week retail job. Seems we are not poor enough to qualify for any type of help. There is no way for me to replace this heating and cooling unit, so we will have to do without heat and air. I hope you people are proud of yourselves and spent the $200 or so you got from the metal recycling place wisely and not on drugs. The loss will dramatically effect my health and our well-being.
Bonnie Lewis, Spring Hill
Make kids walk Jan. 27 letter
Walking to school has many pros
I believe the letter writer is right, providing there is a parent or responsible adult to walk with the children. The benefits are incredible: Walking a total of 2 miles a day; talking provides social interaction if, as I hope, no parent allows their child to walk and play handheld games; it may even make a difference in health care as exercising can help curb childhood obesity.
I have believed for a long time that a huge money saver for the school transportation department would be to eliminate the half-days of school. By the time the bus picks up and delivers the children to school, it is time to turn around and go back and pick them up and take them home. Take two half days and give the teachers a whole work day. That would leave the buses in the barn for a whole day. The savings on fuel, mileage, wear and tear, etc., would be substantial.
P. Love, Spring Hill
Mall group not a motorcycle gang
I am one of the many who are lucky to have made some really good friends at the Lake Lindsey Mall. I am very happy that I have found a place to come and hang out with my friends, either by riding my motorcycle or by car. The people who work there make everyone feel welcome.
The crowd is a mix of people ranging from retired and current doctors, law enforcement officers, local business owners, airline pilots, military, plumbers, electricians, firefighters, you name it.
Just because a lot of us ride motorcycles does not make us a motorcycle gang. Take a good look at us and you recognize someone who has come to your aid in the not so distant past and will continue to do so.
Justin Krumholtz, Inverness