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High stakes game for manatee

Editor: I am appalled that Crystal River Mayor Curtis Rich shows such little concern for the people of Citrus County by preferring a gambling ship to a manatee education center.

A gambling ship will bring increased harm to the manatee from boat collisions and pollution. Sewage from the boat and restaurant will pollute the river. Increased traffic will cause air pollution, while increased parking facilities will add to the pollution of the water.

This gambling ship will put more drunken drivers on the road, increase crime and increase the need for more police protection.

A manatee education center is more consistent with the Nature Coast and will bring more money than the ship. The gamblers probably will be mostly Floridians and will not need to stay overnight. There are so many places to gamble out of state, but where else can you find so many manatees?

Out-of-staters will visit a manatee education center and will need motels and restaurants. This is the kind of ecotourism we want, not a gambling ship.

What will happen to our dive shops if the boat succeeds in chasing the manatees out of the Crystal River?

Let's chase the gambling ship, not the manatee.

Ethel Albert

Crystal River

Even fewer qualifications

to write letter to editor

Editor: I have to agree with Joe Sandillo's comment in Thursday's Citrus Times that there are few statutory qualifications for serving on the Board of County Commission.

However, I feel it is only fair to point out that there are even less prerequisites to write a letter to the editor. It only takes a crayon, a reasonably blank scrap of paper, a moderate command of the English language and a 32-cent stamp.

At least the commissioners are chosen by the majority of the voters. Both processes illustrate democracy in action.

Charles Jensen

Lecanto

No "bull-headed' thanks

for Webb's protection

Editor: Re: Editor of Editorials Jeff Webb's March 9 opinion column:

Mr. Webb must be commended for alerting us to those "wascaly Wepublicans"(bull-headed was his term) who won't agree with the protective head-gear laws. After all, it's just one more small freedom all of us must give up to protect a dummy (most likely a bull-headed Republican) from ourselves.

Mr. Webb must continue to lead the way because he is a good person, all-knowing, and wise beyond the understanding of the great unwashed masses.

We can now sleep better knowing that Mr. Webb and the government will take care of us.

Anyone who disagrees with Mr. Webb is an insensitive, bull-headed dolt who should be ashamed to breathe the same air as him.

Robert A. Drafts

Beverly Hills

Solution for "exhausted'

School Board: Get on bus

Editor: If it's too "exhausting and dangerous" for School Board members to drive back and forth to Ocala for daylong meetings, why not send them on one of our county buses?

It could drop them off in the morning and come back and pick them up in the evening.

That should be cheaper than hotel rooms, which are not justified for a 25-mile commute, or maybe we can just let them work out whatever they can afford _ shared rides, etc., on their 29-cents-a-mile travel allowance for official business reimbursement.

Mary Emmerson

Inverness

Coverage of teacher's DUI

shows focus on negative

Editor: I guess March 3 must have been a slow news day since your newspaper chose to make a Citrus County teacher front-page news. My question to you is: If it was your chief editor or owner of the newspaper who got a DUI, would you put that on the front page? I think probably not, but because a teacher gets a DUI, it is plastered on the front page. Do we forget that teachers are human, too?

I find no real newsworthy reason for this to be a front-page article other than to embarrass and humiliate that teacher. If that was your purpose, you succeeded. Being a colleague and friend of said teacher, his main concern was with what his students, their parents and his co-workers would think. He really had nothing to be concerned about, however, because anyone who knows this man knows he is a man of integrity who made a stupid mistake.

One reason this article annoyed me so much is that we have asked you to come to do articles on some really neat things that are taking place in our school, but many times you can not find the time to do those articles. But you found the time to print something negative.

I am not condoning DUI behavior because it is against the law and extremely dangerous. My point is you should try to find some news worthy of the front page.

Edith M. Huys

Homosassa

Editor's note: The article "plastered on the front page" was a small digest item about a person stopped at 2 a.m. for allegedly driving on the wrong side of the street and who nearly collided with a police cruiser. Also, the Times has covered numerous events at the school in question, and always solicits ideas for stories and photographs to enhance its school news reports.

Board must exercise care

in charter school choices

Editor: A good friend called recently and asked if I would attend the School Board meeting with her to hear what the members had to say about charter schools. When I called the district office to verify the time and subject matter, I was connected to administration and told that the subject was not on the agenda.

Since there was a workshop on school choice scheduled on the morning of the same day, I thought perhaps the board would discuss charter schools in that setting. However, according to the newspaper accounts, a vote was taken on the issue, so I must assume it was at the end of the board meeting.

During my recent unsuccessful run for the School Board, when asked how I would address the issues of charter schools, my response was, "very carefully." Because I have heard of at least two individuals planning to seek charters who are proponents of (1) home schooling and (2) church school, I hope the board will exercise great care in background investigations of charter applicants.

I admire and respect the dedicated parents who undertake home schooling. I believe, too, that church schools provide worthy service to parents and children of many faiths. But neither group, nor individuals from either group, should be able to take tax dollars from our public schools to implement their parochial positions. (Many home-school parents choose their paths for religious reasons.)

Since the charter school law is quite ambiguous in many areas _ e.g. curriculum content and control _ it seems especially important that the board be scrupulous in its selection of charter school recipients.

Jackie Evans

Crystal River

Glasses donors give gift

of better vision to world

Editor: Thanks to the generosity of Citrus Countians, members of the Inverness Lions Club took more than 3,000 pairs of eyeglasses to the Zephyrhills Lions Club on Feb. 8 to be recycled. These all came from our drop-off boxes.

Lions Sarah Andreichuk (eyeglass chairwoman for Inverness), Greg Andreichuk and Lee Cloward (all from Inverness Lions) participated in a workshop that consisted of sorting, washing, drying and cataloguing the eyeglasses.

The glasses are then sent to a distribution center. They will go to Third World countries to improve the sight of thousands of people.

Anyone needing glasses or exams and can't afford them can contact any Lion for help. We also contribute toward seeing-eye dogs.

Marguerite Hadley

Inverness

Share your views

The Citrus Times welcomes letters from readers for publication.

Because of space limitations, letters should be of reasonable length (250-300 words maximum as a rule).

Letters may be edited for clarity, taste and length.

All letters must be signed and must contain the writer's address and telephone number. Addresses and telephone numbers will not be printed.

Anonymous letters or letters with initials only will not be printed.

Send your letter to Citrus Times, 301 W Main St., Inverness, FL 34450.

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