Monday, June 18, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Theft of roadside memorial cross adds to heartache

Memorials stolen from a family still grieving | C.T. Bowen column, May 6

Memorial cross theft inflicts pain

I know how the family feels. My son was killed by a drunken driver on Spring Hill Drive in 1992; I put a memorial cross up and low and behold someone stole it.

I put up another cross with a sign behind it saying "if anyone doesn't like this cross, call me. " I even poured cement in the hole before I put the cross in, and again it was taken. I constantly wrote letters to the editor when that happened. I can't believe that someone would steal something like a memorial cross from the road side. I said it was sacrilegious and their parents didn't teach them anything.

I had my street name changed to my son's name and again, the street sign was stolen many times. It's the sign of the times I guess.

I have passed the spot on Elgin Boulevard many times and wondered about who it was and said a little prayer. My heart goes out to his family.

Carole Birkeland, Spring Hill

He's out and this time he means it | May 9 article

No big loss to see Stabins finally go

Great news! Finally, Jeff Stabins is out of the race for Hernando County Commissioner. No big loss. We will replace him with some one who will do his job, listen to the public, and not wondering around the court house during the meetings.

My only regret is that during his eight years on the board he collected approximately $500,000 in salary from the taxpayers of Hernando County. A half-million for what? He should have been fired long ago.

I am glad that he changed his party affiliation because, as he said, he grew apart from the philosophy of the Republican Party. I do not think he will be missed by the Republicans.

Anthony Palmieri, Spring Hill

Incompetence by county a big cost

I don't understand how the county can issue a building permit, let the contractor start building and then stop the construction.

We decided to build a pool. Our contractor got the permit based on his engineered design and dug the hole, laid all the rebar and footings. He called for first inspection and was told the building codes had changed, he shouldn't have been given the permit to start. So, we are thousands of dollars into this and have to start over, or fill the hole.

The cost to do a geological survey they require and to lay pilings under the pool is exorbitant. Doesn't the permitting department know the codes? Why should I as a taxpayer have to suffer this incompetence. We should be grandfathered in and the permit should stand.

These new codes are being interpreted by people who are not engineers. Their interpretations are going to put building contractors in this county out of business.

Crystal Arnold, Hernando Beach

Timber Pines folks are giving

Last week, Relay for Life was held at Weeki Wachee High School to raise money for cancer research. The Timber Pines Tennis Club raised the most money in Hernando County, more than $4,000.

Several months earlier, the same tennis club gave $5,600 to five food banks in Hernando County.

That is only one of our many clubs that help with money and time in our county. Oh, what terrible people who live in Timber Pines?

James Conides, Spring Hill

Volunteers blast animal workers over a dog's death April 29 article

Remove manager to upgrade shelter

Since John Sholte (a Teamsters business agent) voiced his opinion, I wish to voice mine.

First, it's obvious Mr. Sholte is no animal lover. All of these animals deserve a chance, even if it's only a small one.

He needs to look at the facts. PetLuv has an agreement with the county because of all the other mistakes Animal Services has made.

(Animal Services manager) Liana Teague should lose her job. I'm sure if she's removed, another opening will be made for her.

Veronica Pereira, Spring Hill

Help save a kid as guardian ad litem

Mother's Day is fast approaching and like most people, I will take part of the day to reflect on all that my mom has done for me over the 50-plus years since she delivered me into the world.

I will recall her words of wisdom, caution, encouragement and praise, and the one or two scoldings that were well deserved. I'll smile, as I think of her dancing in the kitchen with my now deceased father, and shed a tear or two as I reluctantly allow the fact that she has cancer to intrude into my consciousness.

Regrettably, many children in the Brooksville area will not experience similar recollections on Mother's Day. For them, life with mom has fallen far short of our collective expectations.

Their mothers' addiction to drugs and alcohol and/or the poor choice of mates, have left them with memories they would just as soon forget. It's left them with a longing, that despite the realities of the situation, never seems to abate.

Right now, there are more than 300 abused and neglected children, who through no fault of their own, are involved with the judicial and child welfare systems. Most of these children are younger than 7. Given their circumstances, they're living with relatives or willing strangers. They're waiting and hoping their moms will be able to turn their lives around. They want to return home to fully embrace and celebrate Mother's Day.

The guardian ad litem program is a state and county-funded organization that relies on trained volunteers to help such children deal with their difficult and challenging circumstances. Under the supervision of a human services professional and attorney, the volunteer advocates for the child's best interests in court and with community service providers. They shepherd their child through the ups and downs of the process and see to it that the child doesn't simply become a number on the courtroom docket. Very often, they become the one adult upon whom the child can rely for support, guidance, assistance and reassurance. As one child said to me, "My guardian became my hero."

Beginning Thursday, May 17, the guardian ad litem program will offer a pre-service volunteer training program at the Brooksville Regional Hospital. Persons interested in becoming a volunteer may call Lynn Sennett at (352) 274-5231 or email her at [email protected] Others, who simply wish to learn more about the program, may visit our web site at

This year, as I think of my Mom on Mother's Day, I will also think of the Hernando children who are less fortunate than me. I will pray that with the help of a guardian ad litem volunteer, their moms may one day be like mine.

Marcia Hilty, Ocala, Guardian ad litem director, 5th Judicial Circuit


Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Friday’s letters: Freight trains are infrastructure that works in Tampa Bay

Railroads are infrastructure that worksFreight trains carry the loadCentral Florida is our state’s fastest-growing region. We’re on track to outpace South Florida’s growth 2-to-1 over the next several years. Great news for our local economy, but it n...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Charter schools aren’t the enemy

Don’t plug your ears when schools ask for tax | May 20, columnCharter schools aren’t the enemyAs an educator, I am astounded when I hear claims from school board members that charter schools take away funding from the local public school system. ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: Trump’s words insult our Canadian visitors

Trade disputes torpedo G-7 summit | June 10Canadian visitors are owed apologyLike many Pinellas County residents, I’m pleased that we receive thousands of Canadian "snow birds" as part-year residents. Not only do they enhance our economy, but by ...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/13/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for June 15

Opinion: Commissioners arrogant and incompetentMy wife and I live in Hernando County. As such, we are represented by a Board of County Commissioners where all the members manifest two common traits. Those traits are arrogance and incompetence.The arr...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18