1. Archive

School Board has money to complete ball fields

Editor: It is with great sadness that I heard that Nature Coast Technical High School does not have athletic fields for its spring sports. It is a shame taxpayers paid to have this school built and it is not complete.

I believe that the money is in the hands of the School Board, yet members are dragging their feet. It is not fair to the students at this school to not be able to participate in extracurricular activities because a few chosen individuals want to do something else. High school is about students' enjoying the whole experience, which means school and extracurricular activities, including athletics.

Even though I do not live in the county anymore, I feel the county needs to move in another direction. Voters need to change a few people on the board. Good thing this is an election year. Someone in the community needs to stand up and help make a change, or more things will be left undone.

Board members, spend the money and finish the school before you put additions on.

Mark Kantor, Lutz

Big, fancy schools teach taxpayers a thing or two

Editor: The Hernando County School Board could afford its many needs without raising taxes if they would discontinue building "Taj Mahals" and construct clean, functional buildings.

The buildings they are constructing are simply putting money in an architect's pocket, along with the extra cost of fancy materials and future maintenance.

These fancy buildings do not give our students a better education; our teachers do. I do not believe that our students, parents and teachers really care about or appreciate these fancy structures.

The constant raising of taxes by the School Board and County Commission is beginning to hit home.

Bob Boutcher, Spring Hill

Clearing the record

on Armadillo Cafe

Re: Restaurant missed . . ., Jan. 10 column by Arts and Entertainment Editor Barbara Fredricksen concerning the Armadillo Cafe in Spring Hill:

Editor: We did not "give up" on the area. The truth is that the owners of the building, Cumberland Farms, had decided to demolish it. Apparently the decision had been made before we even purchased the restaurant from Mark Peloquin, but we were never told about it until late July. Both the Armadillo and the Chinese restaurant next door had the leases canceled, and we had to be out by the end of December. Maybe Ms. Fredricksen should have contacted us and asked us, instead of the former owner, what happened.

As far as our kitchen going downhill and the creativity of our food and "Mark Peloquin's Jack Daniels steaks," all of our recipes were from Mark and were followed religiously to keep the quality the same. We continued to employ Mark's chef, Ivan. Additions were made to our specials board, such as regional favorites, crawfish etouffee, jambalaya, Bourbon Street pork chops and oysters Rockefeller. We also continued to serve the Pacific Rim favorites and lobster thermador on special occasions. If Ms. Fredricksen had visited more often, and ordered something besides appetizers or a Sunset Special (a low-cost meal), she would have seen that the food was just as good.

Every business has a falloff when there is a change in ownership, and with the increase in competition for the dining dollars with St. Sebastiaan's and Ruby Tuesday's opening, it made it especially hard. Now, thanks to Ms. Fredricksen's statements, it will be very difficult to reopen our business, even though we have a list of more than 200 loyal customers who have asked us to notify them of our status. All of them were aware of the situation, and I wonder if their reaction will be the same as mine _ to cancel my subscription.

Dawn Miller, owner

Armadillo Cafe, Spring Hill