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Fire official should adjust or quit board

Re: Spring Hill Fire Rescue District meetings:

Editor: Fire Commissioner Richard Martin is back from Iraq and does not like that in his absence the other four commissioners have changed the time of one of the board's two meetings a month to the morning. Martin and some others believe that because he served in the Middle East, everyone owes him anything he wants.

Martin knew when he signed up for the Army Reserve he might be called up, and he knew if he was, that would create a problem with his position as fire commissioner. He liked the money for the two meetings a month and the two weeks of summer camp. Now that he is back, he wants the other four commissioners to change meetings to fit his schedule. It is owed to him for his service in the Middle East.

Martin should accept that in his absence, the meetings were changed, and deal with it as anyone would. He should ask his employer to allow him to make up the time he misses from work to attend the one morning meeting a month. If his employer will not let him switch and he is unable to represent the residents of Spring Hill, Martin needs to quit his position as fire commissioner or look for a new job. According to the governor, unemployment is almost nil, so if he quits his job, he will have no problem getting a new one. Wal-Mart has plenty of jobs starting at $7.50 an hour without benefits, working less than 40 hours a week.

Many veterans like myself spent four years of our lives in the military, some I know in worse places than Martin did, and do not expect everyone to bow down to us. We did it because we believe it was our duty to our country. When we came back, we did not expect special treatment and we did not get it. Now some returnees believe they are special.

Wake up, Martin: You are no better than anyone else. You followed orders and did what you were told to do, and got paid far more than I and many others who served.

Andrew Wells, Brooksville

Grief over death of cat

shared by many readers

Re: Bustopher the cat:

Editor: I want to thank arts and entertainment editor Barbara L. Fredricksen for sharing the story of Bustopher. Ms. Fredricksen describes with eloquence the grief we animal lovers feel when we lose a beloved pet.

Her description of the pain she is experiencing from Bustopher's untimely death so closely mirrors the pain I felt last July when my beautiful Siamese cat, Kati, died of kidney failure at the age of 16 years.

It is comforting to know there are people out there who understand how much animals can be loved, and how much they are missed when they leave us. I hope this letter will give back to Ms. Fredricksen at least a small measure of the consolation she provided for me, and others like me.

I like to think that all the Bustophers and Katis are in a place where the window sills are always sunny.

Barbara B. Booker, Spring Hill

Column on Bustopher

brings back memories

Editor: Thanks go to Barbara Fredricksen for her column mourning the loss of her dear friend, Bustopher.

It surely brought back sad memories to anyone who has lost their favorite pet. We share her grief.

Carl Dohm, Brooksville

Humana's pullout not

forgotten so easily

Re: Humana returns services to county, Jan. 21 Times:

Editor: Is this the same Humana that pulled out of Hernando County with little or no notice, leaving thousands of people with no health care at all? Leaving some of us stranded with no health insurance for more than a year until we could find and enroll in new, affordable medical care?

Thanks, but no thanks, Humana. The wound from the stab in our back is healing nicely now, and I want no part of you or your services.

Grace E. McMillan, Spring Hill

Armadillo Cafe's record

clouded by retelling

Re: Clearing the record on the Armadillo Cafe, Jan. 21 letter to the editor:

In order to clear the record, we must first get our facts straight. At no time did arts and entertainment editor Barbara Fredricksen ask me "what happened" to the Armadillo Cafe. That column was her personal opinion, which mirrors the opinion of many Spring Hill residents. I have not had any contact with Ms. Fredricksen in more than a year, when she was a customer at what was my restaurant at the time.

For the letter writer to infer that I may have had prior knowledge of Cumberland Farms' intention to demolish the building is absurd for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that I agreed to payments spread out over the next five years, none of which I will ever see.

The current owner states that Cumberland Farms canceled the cafe's lease, knowing full well that she never bothered to get a new lease. Had she done this, she would now have some legal recourse if, in fact, it is the decision of Cumberland Farms to demolish the building. I don't believe that is the case.

As far as following my recipes "religiously," I'm not even going to go there. True, the increase in competition for diners' dollars does make it a challenge to survive; it also forces one to put their best food forward and keep things honest, which is the intent of this letter.

Mark Peloquin, former owner

Armadillo Cafe, Spring Hill

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