Zoning board saved landmark
Well deserved kudos, thanks and appreciation to the Hernando County Planning and Zoning Commission (Lisa Hammond, chairperson; and Ron Pianta, director of county Planning and Zoning Department) for its unanimous 4-0 vote recommending rezoning denial of the landmark Spring Hill entrance.
Spring Hill does not need another medical office complex just to keep the multiple unoccupied white elephant structures company. Hopefully, this conscientious action by the commission will be a respectful, stark reminder for Dr. Pariksith Singh of Access Health Care and any like-minded others, not to further contemplate similar buildings.
My wife and I have been proud Hernando County homeowners for 13 years. In our opinion, Spring Hill is a one-of-a-kind flourishing community, not an insignificant seniors-only, rest-and-recreation-driven tank-town meant to be bled for unwarranted, unjustified personal gain. One need only drive bucolic Powell Road and countless similar byways to recognize those unmatched highlights.
Chuck Schlakman, Spring Hill
Jail tour reveals neglect, flaws | June 19 article
Article's quote was out of context
Recently Barbara Behrendt was on a tour with Maj. Mike Page and Lt. Jim Powers of the Hernando County Jail. They had made a stop in my office, where they observed "This is crap" written on the dry erase board.
I had written this comment because at the time, I was in tears, having to take my personal belongings out of the office that I have occupied for the last three years. This comment was not written in a derogatory manner toward CCA or the jail. I am very upset that my comment in my personal office was quoted in this paper and had it appeared that the comment was in relation to the condition of the jail.
Having to leave the place that I've called my home away from home for the past three years is extremely upsetting. And it's not only been that way for me; it's been that way for a lot of people working at the jail, some employed for more than 20 years. I, along with my co-workers, have had to go through the extremely arduous task of filling out an application that is time consuming and lengthy. We've all done it with the hopes of making the cut. Most of us are very upset that things are happening the way that they are but have come to understand and accept the reasoning behind CCA's decision.
"Crap" is not the way we feel about our jobs or the structural or cosmetic condition of the jail. Crap is how we feel about having to walk away from a place that we've called not just a job, but a home and a family.
I love my job, I love the people, I love everything about where I work. This paper has made it appear that I do not. Shame on Ms. Behrendt for making it appear anything but.
Audrey Howe, Spring Hill
Board member rejects union help
I have decided that I will not seek or accept the endorsement of any organization that is involved in collective bargaining with the Hernando School Board. I think that there is an ethical question in accepting campaign contributions and endorsements from such groups.
I appreciate the dedicated employees in our system and will continue to work with them to provide a quality education for our students. My feelings are completely personal and do not apply to my colleagues.
Dianne Bonfield, Hernando School Board member
Nugent's interest in spill is political
After reading the June 18 St. Petersburg Times article on Hernando Sheriff Richard Nugent's flight to view the Gulf oil slick, I was struck by the number of hats he is wearing. He is Hernando County's top law enforcement officer. He will be taking control of the Hernando County jail the end of August. He is running for Congress (the primary election is also near the end of August). And now apparently, he has assumed the role of environmental protector.
After his 4½-hour C-130 Gulf survey flight, the sheriff was suddenly struck by just how serious this disaster is. He stated: "We saw plenty of patches of oil moving in toward the coast... What was striking about it was that nothing out there was trying to capture it. You know eventually it's going to reach the shore." Nugent said the view from the air just reinforced how much he wanted to protect the entire coastline of Hernando.
The week before Sheriff Nugent visited with the aquaculture industry in Cedar Key and said, according to a campaign press release: "Cedar Key residents and business owners have endured devastating storms and hurricanes in the past. After meeting with the hardworking members of their aquaculture community, I am confident they will persevere through these uncertain times just as they have always done. But how much of this could have been prevented?"
From the Nugent for Congress web site in the June 16 blog post he states:
"It isn't America vs. BP — it isn't Democrats vs. Republicans — and most of all it isn't about politics. When I was in Cedar Key this past weekend talking to clammers and fishermen, they want to know what Washington was going to do to keep this disaster from coming to them. The President offered nothing for Cedar Key and nothing for our shrimpers from Hernando Beach."
It appears the sheriff fails to grasp what the critical priority should be. One has to wonder just where he has been for the past 60 days as this catastrophe continues to play out before the world. Massive quantities of oil are gushing (not spilling) uncontrollably and we have no guarantee when this floodgate can be contained. The obvious priority is to cap this sea floor geyser!
Is Sheriff Nugent knowledgeable about the tides and currents? Is he familiar with the Gulf Loop and how it feeds into the Gulf Stream? Does he know and understand the ecological and environmental ramifications of the deep water oil plumes? If this oil continues to hemorrhage, this crisis could have global implications — not just for the coastal areas in the sheriff's own congressional district.
It is obvious to anyone informed that the good Sheriff's words are nothing more than political pabulum and pandering. Apparently, candidate Nugent is using the oil slick to grease the wheels of his congressional campaign. Oddly, the words of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel come to mind, "Never let a good crisis go to waste."
Patricia Moore Rewis, Spring Hill