Get involved with your school board
If you, your family, friends or neighbors are school bored, as far too many Hernando County residents are, then become school board active and involved. The non-jaded future education of our children and grandchildren is critically important.
Numbers tell a story. In 2008, of 122,979 registered voters, 72,690 or 59 percent voted in the Hernando School Board election. In 2010, it was a disappointing 42 percent.
How about a few test questions? Term of a Hernando County School Board member? Who are the current board members by name? Salary of a dedicated board member?
Perhaps the major upcoming announcement is the replacement choice for the open seat. The local Republican Executive Committee will possibly recommend an applicant. Reminder: a bona fide educator is necessary if not required as the replacement member. We all have learned nationally how dangerous mind-boggling inexperience is to government and could be to the school board.
If you are active and involved in school issues, you deserve vigorous appreciation. If not, please become active and involved.
Chuck Schlakman, Spring Hill
Donate vehicle to aid Crime Watch
The Crime Watch in Hernando Beach has a very old and dilapidated sheriff's car. It has almost 200,000 miles and is in need of many repairs, including a transmission. We have to do all of the maintenance such as oil, filter, fluids and even the gas. The gas mileage is terrible because of the condition of the car.
Although we are grateful to have some sort of a vehicle, we are forced at times not to cover all of our territory. We patrol Hernando Beach north, central, south and Forest Glen.
What I am hoping for is some civic-minded citizen or dealership to come forth and donate a vehicle to us. I know it is asking a lot but it is tax deductible.
John Thomas, Hernando Beach
Roosters, rats are growing nuisance
Here in Hernando County, they say it is illegal to keep fowl in residential neighborhoods right? Well, someone should tell code enforcement.
Several complaints have been made to code enforcement by various people in the area about roosters that crow at all hours of the night. We cannot sleep with our windows open, and now with the heat coming, the smell is really bad. Rats are running through our yards even in the middle of the day, but code enforcement said it cannot find a problem.
What happens when our children get bit by rats? Will something be addressed then? A little too late, I think. This has been an issue for two months now with no resolution.
Bill Moffitt, Spring Hill
Do all you can to prevent accidents
Every year, nearly 150,000 people die from unintentional injuries in the United States. This year, an estimated 30 million will sustain injuries serious enough to require an emergency room visit.
In 2009, Hernando County reported 128 deaths from injuries with more than 25,000 injury related emergency room visits. Many of these injuries were considered preventable because steps could have been taken to prevent them from happening. Examples of preventable injuries include injuries sustained from not wearing a seat belt, head injuries received by not wearing a bike helmet, falls, burns, drownings, accidental poisonings, etc. Such injuries can be traumatic for the injured and their loved ones, and can be quite costly. Medical expenses and lost salary resulting from injury can devastate a family.
National Public Health Week is April 4-10 and this year's theme is "Safety Is No Accident." The Hernando County Health Department would like to remind residents that there are many things we can all do to reduce the risk of the most common injuries.
Among them: Buckle up; insure smoke alarms are working properly, clear pathways to prevent tripping, wear protective clothing when needed and keep dangerous items out of children's reach.
The Hernando County Health Department, along with many other public service organizations, works hard every day to equip local residents with resources to lead healthier, safer lives. For information, contact the Hernando County Health Department at (352) 540-6817 or visit www.doh.state.fl.us/DEMO/InjuryPrevention/index.html.
Even one seemingly small preventative action can have an ever lasting impact.
Elizabeth A. Callaghan, MS, LD, administrator, Hernando County Health Department
Praise fire rescue for public service
The Spring Hill Fire Rescue District has been in existence since 1974. In all that time, the district has never been in the red, always operating within the budget. There are no bill collectors knocking at our doors looking for a monthly payment because there are none.
Deficit spending is the reason our country is in such a mess and I will be an adamant critic of any such policy. I'm also sure that all of the board, all five commissioners, would never allow this to happen. No, I have not spoken to any of the other commissioners. I just have a gut feeling that they would not allow this to happen.
I've been one of your commissioners since 2008 and I have religiously asked on a bi-weekly basis if we were within our budget and that we were not overspending. The answer was always that we were well within the budget.
The district continues to safeguard the funding by finding efficiencies and cutting spending every chance they get.
Since I've been a commissioner, the rank and file have not asked for a pay raise and have also agreed to an increase in their health insurance payments beyond what the district offered. That has to say something for the membership.
The firefighters and police officers are your first line of defense in any and all types of disasters. Rather than criticize them for their dedication, loyalty and integrity, go up to one of them and thank him or her for their service to your community and your family.
John Pasquale, fire commissioner, Spring Hill Fire Rescue EMS District