Re: Mass transit or mass exodus?
More seem to be moving out, not in
Outlying communities are crying for mass transportation so residents can save money getting to work in Tampa and St. Petersburg while enjoying the allegedly cheaper cost of living and lower taxes of the lesser-populated counties.
How do we figure all this? Personally, I would enjoy a ride on a train/bus once a month or so for entertainment purposes in the big cities, maybe enjoy a couple of drinks without fear of a DUI on the way home. That would be a pleasant trip on a weekend when the trains/buses are not so heavily utilized; or a special event worth visiting where parking can be quite a problem.
But occasional use isn't going to support a "for-profit" system, is it?
The declining population in the outlying counties appears to be a mass exodus from rural living back to the cities, or out of the state in many instances, for even cheaper living.
There are five foreclosed homes for sale within a quarter-mile of my house in an established neighborhood in Spring Hill right next to old Timber Pines, a 6,000-person retirement community. I'm not allowed in there, so who knows what goes on in the gated communities?
Five nearby restaurants, which employed many people, have closed in the last six months. I have observed a dozen service businesses disappear overnight also. Do you think those 100 workers and owners are able to commute an hour to Tampa? I think not, especially if they have to pay $6 to $12 in tolls round-trip.
Wal-Mart is now the largest employer in our county, outside the government itself. THE Bus, the only mass transportation available in Hernando County, is constantly being threatened with extinction by the residents and the county commissioners. Taxicabs cannot be considered mass transportation.
One by one, the lesser-privileged are being forced to literally "walk away" from their homes and rentals because no one can live on a $7 per hour job or Social Security payments alone.
Hernando County workers are being forced into unionizing because they got a 2 percent raise (and layoffs disregarding seniority) while police, fire and education unionized workers all got 5.5 percent (and no lost filled positions) via their unions negotiating for them. Sad, isn't it?
Do we need mass transit? Or do we have mass exodus already?
The only mass transportation I have been seeing is U-Haul rental trucks leaving the area and the state. There used to be 1,000 people a day moving into Florida. Not anymore.
Doug Adams, Spring Hill
Re: THE Bus
Light rail could be the best way to go
Maybe if I rode THE Bus to work every day I would learn and remember the best way to get where I want to go on it.
We live near Howell Avenue, about a mile north of Brooksville City Hall. There is not a way to go there directly on THE Bus. If I get on at our nearest stop, Howell near Lakeside Drive, at 6:36 a.m., it's 7:30 a.m. before I reach Brooksville City Hall.
I can walk that fast.
Coming home is a breeze. From City Hall it takes THE Bus six minutes to reach my stop. The last bus of the day leaves Brooksville City Hall at 4:30 p.m. and arrives at Howell near Lakeside at 4:36 p.m. Early for a worker.
On one of my bus adventures, I walked all the way home from Wal-Mart on U.S. 41. More than once I've walked from Brooksville City Hall. Bad planning on my part.
I, too, have a car, a bicycle and am a good walker. But, I ride THE Bus because I want this area to have public transportation.
In Detroit there were both streetcars and buses. If students lived a mile from school, they were issued a bus pass. Elementary schools were walking distance in every neighborhood. There were no school buses in the city of Detroit in the 1940s and 1950s.
The last time I visited Germany, in 2002, students were riding subways, buses and streetcars. True, there are cameras and plainclothes security guards, but the system works without school buses.
I had a wonderful time using the public transportation system in Munich and met more friendly people than I would have had I used a rented car. Also, I missed the nightmare of busy traffic and sparse parking places. City transportation in Munich extends by train out to small towns so many people commute to work from villages miles away.
We could have a rail system to Tampa and Orlando. Now is the time to start planning it. It can be done.
Doris Taylor, Brooksville
Re: THE Bus
Officials should ride bus for a day
Just when THE Bus is really needed, Independence Day! Great day to not run THE Bus.
I am really concerned about the County Commission. The thinking of the board seems not too friendly toward the general population. I'd like to see all government employees ride for a day or two, and I mean getting to a pickup location first. People for the people should first walk in the voters' shoes.
Learning through experience would sure change the whole mess people live through daily.
Linda Kirkwood, Brooksville
Re: 4.6 GPA doesn't pay tuition | July 27, news story.
Much greed in university system
In my humble opinion, Ms. Amber Moller should apply to the University of Virginia with the sole intention of being rejected because she is an out-of-state resident from Florida. Then, bring a lawsuit against the NCAA, University of Florida and University of Virginia for lacking the integrity to look out for any student trying to get a fair, appropriate and equivalent education.
I have always been stunned by the for-profit behavior of the public universities and higher education as a whole. Why isn't there any leadership and/or take-charge attitude within the University of Florida and or the NCAA or the public officials in Florida?
It is my sincere opinion that those in the administration of most colleges today could not care less about a student's education.
Another great example of this is when a collegiate coach quits whenever he feels like it and moves on to a higher-paying job and/or jumps at what is perceived as a better team to coach. There is no penalty or repercussions, and no care in the world for the athletes who must remain with the coach's former school or pay a severe penalty if they leave.
The schools today have more greed then should ever be allowed in a system that pretends to nurture, care for, and educate our children.
The governor of Florida, state senators, our congresswoman, state representative and every person who cares about common sense and what's right should correct the wrong that has taken place in this case. Shame on the University of Florida for its lack of leadership, direction and common good.
The University of Florida has proved that the only motive of the university is to make a profit off of anyone it can. There is no interest or motivation to help a student learn anything. Profits come first.
In my opinion, the president of the NCAA (Myles Brand) should step in and fine the university for what I find to be egregious conduct. But, I guess it's not the president of the NCAA's job to show leadership.
I've also forwarded my comments directly to the NCAA, UF and Florida State officials, and I've not received a single reply.
Jim Fike, Spring Hill
Re: August primary
Have your say by casting a ballot
There is a very important primary election on Aug. 26. The purpose of this letter is to remind nonparty-affiliated voters and independent voters to vote on election day. There are several very important, nonpartisan races that will be decided in the primary election. These races include two Circuit Court judge races.
I would like to remind and urge all registered voters, regardless of their party affiliation, to vote in the primary.
Arden Allen, Homosassa