Thursday, April 26, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Support Hernando libraries to avoid service cuts

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Our libraries are in danger of vast cuts and possible closures. They need our support in letting the county commissioners and county administrator know how much we value the resources, services, and programs they provide.

Let me highlight just a few: Quality programming for all ages from toddlers to teens to senior adults; numerous databases to assist with continuous learning; free internet access; a vast array of resources on countless topics from test prep, to travel guides, to parenting advice; hundreds of thousands of books to enjoy and produce lifelong readers in our children; and magazines, DVDs, downloadable e-books, books on compact discs and music.

Did I mention every Hernando County citizen has free access to these resources and programs? Let's rally together in support of this timeless institution of knowledge and enjoyment.

Please call, write or e-mail your commissioner today to support sustainable funding for your public library system.

Renee Fischer, Spring Hill

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I believe that the commissioners of Hernando County and the residents they represent deserve a few facts before making a no-bid commitment to spend $13 million over the next four years on a new radio system.

There are three other viable providers of these advanced networks. Other Florida cities (Lakeland) and counties (Sumter), in exactly the same situation as Hernando County, followed their procurement policies. They hired a consulting engineering firm to write and evaluate unbiased requests for proposal that resulted in massive savings compared with earlier sole source offers.

The Hernando Sheriff's Office implied that only by keeping the 17-year-old radio network in service with this emergency first step and slowly replacing it in phases will they avoid throwing away their existing radios that would become "boat anchors." This is a false choice. By keeping the proprietary radio network's channels in use for an extended period of time, he ensures that the county will only be able to choose Motorola radios over the next four years. There are options available from other vendors that would cut in half the cost of replacing the obsolete radios. This opportunity was not considered. By replacing the entire network, the county will still have two years to shop for new radios at half price and bidders can also offer financing.

When I worked for a competitor of Motorola's in 2009, I asked our engineers to prepare a list price turnkey proposal to replace the Hernando network and all radios. The list price to replace the system and radios did not exceed $10 million. The Florida state contract offers 25 percent discounts and RFP bids have historically been offered at much deeper discounts.

Most procurements made during ''emergencies" are ill conceived and wasteful. I encourage Hernando County to hire a consulting firm that specializes in assisting counties with these procurements so that you may consider all money saving options in these trying times.

Jeffery Hunt, Oviedo


Thursday’s letters: A surgeon responds to story about a needle being left in a baby’s heart

All Children’s surgeon left a needle in a baby’s heart | April 22My view as one of the surgeonsI am one of the physicians discussed (but not interviewed) in this article. Whatever the motive for such an article, I disagree with many of the claims...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Wednesday’s letters: How we plan to improve foster care in Hillsborough

Improving foster care inHillsborough | April 19, editorialOur plans for helping kidsThis editorial poses many good questions. The Department of Children and Families’ peer review report is expected to be released soon. And while we welcome the an...
Published: 04/23/18
Updated: 04/25/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for April 27

Stop Ridge Road extension, reader saysWhen I spoke at the Dade City meeting of the Pasco County Commissioners on my opposition to the Ridge Road Extension, three of them responded, but only when my three minutes of free speech expired, and I could sa...
Published: 04/23/18

Monday’s letters: Term limits don’t work

U.S. Senate campaignTerm limitsdon’t workGov. Rick Scott has begun his run for the U.S. Senate with TV ads promoting term limits for representatives and senators. Aside from the probability that this would require a constitutional amendment, I think ...
Published: 04/22/18
Updated: 04/23/18

Sunday’s letters: Problems with high-speed rail

Thanks, Gov. Scott, for ghastly I-4 drives | April 18, Sue Carlton columnProblems with high-speed railIn her Wednesday column, the writer bemoaned the traffic on I-4 and blasted Gov. Rick Scott for turning down free government money for a high-sp...
Published: 04/21/18

Tuesday’s letters: Student journalists push to save their newsrooms and independence

Save student newsroomsAs professional newsrooms shrink, student newsrooms have become an increasingly important source of local coverage, holding not only our universities accountable but also local government. We write these articles, attending meet...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/24/18

Saturday’s letters: Don’t weaken rules on fisheries

Florida fisheriesDon’t weaken rules on fish stocksMembers of Congress are proposing changes to an important ocean law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, that would adversely affect coastal states including Florida.Since it...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18

Friday’s letters: We owe it to our children to teach them history

If we don’t understand past, future looks grim | April 19, Daniel Ruth columnThe history we owe our childrenIt’s not often I agree with Daniel Ruth, but this article was spot-on. I’m not sure when the schools started ignoring Germany’s World War ...
Published: 04/19/18

Thursday’s letters: Gun research can save lives

Gun ownershipCommon ground: Find the factsThere are many areas in the current debate about guns and gun ownership where both sides must agree to disagree. But there is one area where common ground ought to exist. That concerns the need for continuing...
Published: 04/18/18

Wednesday’s letters:

Poverty and plenty in bay area | April 7, editorialStruggling poor are not a priorityI commend your newspaper for continuing to produce real and relevant news, particularly the recent editorial pointing out that a prospering Tampa Bay should not ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18