Monday, June 25, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Traffic doesn't justify Hernando airport tower

Airport's tower a waste of money

With the federal sequestration spending cuts taking effect and 168 FAA contract control towers facing closure proceedings by April 1, could we possibly be looking at a closure of the monument to tax dollar waste in Hernando County?

In 2008, the Hernando County Airport administration, under Don Silvernell's charge, submitted a report in support of spending $2.25 million to build an air traffic control tower and an estimated $450,000 to operate it.

The report said Hernando County Airport (now known as Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional) would conduct over 90,480 aircraft operations per year or 7,540 aircraft operations per month. At present and since the tower's commencement, the numbers are closer to 4,300 per month during tower operations (7 a.m. to 10 p.m.) or less than 60 percent of what was required to meet the criteria for spending taxpayer dollars.

Currently to cover the shortfall in required operations the airport would have to conduct approximately 10,580 operations per month for the next seven and a half months to meet the minimum requirement. In simpler terms, there would have to be one aircraft operation every 4 minutes and 30 second for 24 hours a day for the next seven and a half months.

How could the numbers be so far from reality? Maybe a better question would be, how many jobs did spending millions of taxpayer dollars create? Better yet, where is the much-needed oversight of the airport administration?

What happens to the tower if the federal funding gets cut? Will the tower close or will the powers to be continue to spend taxpayer money to fund it? Is a tower a great idea, sure it is. However it did not meet the criteria required to spend all of this taxpayer money. Did Hernando County politics get the cart ahead of the horse again? You decide.

The good news is that if the tower gets closed due to federal budget cuts, the airport administration can blame Congress. Maybe the airport administration should spend some money on getting horses before they spend money on carts.

Robert Rey, Brooksville

Road rage leaves man reeling | Feb. 28, article

Victim created bad situation

David Archer brought a lot of his troubles upon himself.

I'm not making excuses for the dump truck driver. I drove dump trucks, along with tractor trailers, for 29 years.

If driver David Archer had exited the Walgreens at the front exit, and made the left turn under the traffic light, then nothing bad would have happened. He decided to get lazy and hog the traffic in order to make his U-turn, and his actions upset the people around him.

A person is expected to mature by the age of 50. If he did what I think he did, then he has no one other to blame but himself for inciting violent behavior in his fellow motorists.

G.F. Brda, Spring Hill

Pushing a no-kill solution for cats | Feb. 24, article

Don't allow cats to run loose

My wife and I have had cats as pets for 45 years. Usually two, so that they have company and a playmate. We get them from the ASPCA. They never go outside.

Cats that are outdoors are an invasive species. I had previously read a report from a Midwestern university that put the number of birds killed at about 400 million annually. Recent studies put that number of twice that for birds and an equal number for small mammals.

Catch, neuter, spay and release is no way to deal with this problem. Once they have been caught, they should never be released back into the environment. If necessary, they should be euthanized. The Burmese python is devastating to the Everglades wildlife. The cat invasion is throughout the country. Attitudes about this problem need to change.

I walk my neighborhood almost every morning and I see cats running in and out of open garages, lying in driveways, stalking through vacant lots and running through yards. These are not just killing birds and small mammals. They are the same cats that come to my house to fight with my cats through my window screens. I've had to replace almost all of my screens.

We cannot leave any windows open at night from fear that they will tear holes through the screen. They have also shredded the screens on my neighbor's windows. He also has an indoor cat. If we were to shoot these pests, some would call it animal cruelty.

The owners of these cats are the ones guilty of animal cruelty. Not just for the birds and mammals they kill, but the danger they put their pets in.

Dogs are not supposed to run free and are to be on a leash when outside. Cat owners need to be subject to the same rules, and fined if not obeyed.

Cats left to run free should be picked up by Animal Control. If they have no identification and cannot be placed with responsible owners, they should be euthanized. Those that can't be caught should be shot and killed as vermin.

And I love cats!

E. Patterson, Brooksville

Deputies need to enforce dog law

I have been trying to have something done about a dog that roams my yard. I called the Sheriff's Office. It sent an officer out who told me that I had to fill out a complaint and have the time and dated photos. I can also call if I see the dog out for any length of time.

I called. The dog is not out when they arrived because they showed up three hours after I called. They leave.

The dog comes back. I get photos, print them and fill out the paper that should have been filled out by the officer. I call them.

The next officer who came was different from the first. He said he would give it to the officer who came previously. So still nothing is done. The first officer gets the photos and paper, calls me and says I have to have it notarized, so she brings the paper back to me. Now I have to waste more of my time doing their job.

In the meantime, the dog is allowed to run around with no tag or leash. I have called the county commissioners, and they have not gotten back to me. I think it is sad that I have to jump through hoops and do their job. I keep my dog in a fence and tagged and with me. He is not allowed to just roam.

Reva VanOchten, Masaryktown


Monday’s letters: College instructors need classes in active shooter training

Active shooter perceptions disproven | June 21We need active shooter trainingThe only guns that I had seen before coming to the United States of America were in glass cases in museums. When I came to America to get a Ph.D. in English at the Unive...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Friday’s letters: What a new Rays ballpark would mean

Rays exec hints at stadium timeline | June 15What a new ballpark would doThe Tampa Bay Rays 2020 organization is working diligently with local business leaders and civic organizations to rally support for the Rays’ new ballpark in Ybor City. The ...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Thursday’s letters: On immigration there has to be a better way

‘Zero tolerance’ ignites outrage | June 20Find better way on immigrationOver the years I’ve voted for candidates from both parties. My observation of the Trump administration’s policy on immigration is not about politics. It has to do with having...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/21/18

Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18

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 ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

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...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

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...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

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