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Published Jul. 12, 2010

I couldn't agree more with the idea of eliminating parking attendants at our local parks. If a county employee needs to be on site then he or she could be doing routine maintenance in lieu of sitting at a pay station.

I just hope the tickets dispensed for parking are fair to all. By fair, I mean the cost to park an RV or truck and boat trailer should be more than to park an auto. And parking an auto should cost more than parking a motorcycle or scooter. There should be designated parking for RVs and boat trailers along with separate parking for motorcycles and scooters.

And what about bicycles? If you're going to charge to park a motorcycle then you have to charge for bicycles, too, right? It's only fair to charge for the amount of parking area being utilized by the actual vehicle. One person on a scooter shouldn't be charged the same amount to park as what another is charged to bring their kid's party in an RV.

Alan Daniel, Weeki Wachee

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Look at teacher pay in context

Our teachers should be commended for the jobs they do and for the impacts they have in the present day and years to come. But our teachers need a time for self-reflection and to see our county for the big picture.

I wonder if our teachers realize we are paying an outside union funds that could have helped renew some of the 115 teachers contracts that were not renewed last year.

I have about 12 years of experience with unions across the country and one thing remains the same: They are driven by money and prosper off the labor and sacrifice of others. They are designed to leverage employers by creating one loud voice out of hundreds to thousands of individual voices.

When unions first came about, they were heavily needed as contractors were taking advantage of workers and taking risks with their lives. They helped set pay standards, minimum wage, OSHA standards and child labor laws. They have had their place in history and have helped a nation grow by example and through force at times. But that was then and this is now.

I believe in teachers getting paid what they earn. I also believe that as long as our School Board exhausts all avenues for funding inside of reasonable, then their raises should not be touched. But for the sake of argument at hand: Our schools are graduating below the state average, and Florida is one of the worst-performing states in the United States. Hernando County has a 75.4 graduation rate. One in four kids fails to graduate high school, and our teachers and their union are screaming for respect by way of a raise. The argument can be made that the numbers have been rising in recent years, but when they were dismal to begin with, one can only go up.

Hernando County teachers make on average $41,362 annually as of 2009, and yet in 2008 the median household income for Hernando was only $39,552, with unemployment still rising.

I commend the teachers for the jobs that they do and for the commitment they make, but my frustration is in the details and undesired results.

Daniel Blevins, Hernando Beach

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No incentive for firework citations

This is in response to the letter writer on July 8 who complained about the sheriff's inaction regarding the Fourth of July nuisance fireworks.

I have written on this issue over the years, as have others. The Sheriff's Office under Richard Nugent will not take any action. There are two main reasons. First, Nugent is an elected official. To stop the fireworks he and his minions would have to give out many citations to law breakers. That would tick off many voters who would not vote for him. A no-brainer.

Secondly, the Fourth of July and New Year's Eve are holidays. God forbid Nugent should use these days to enforce the laws.

So what can be done? Force county commissioners to cut Nugent's budget to a point where he will have to make it up by handing out citations for exploding illegal fireworks.

Paul Kapral, Spring Hill

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