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Letters to the Editors

Keep up pressure on lawmakers to win teachers decent pay


© St. Petersburg Times
published March 20, 2002

Editor: Re: Will it take a crisis to pay teachers a decent wage? March 10 column by Greg Hamilton:

First, I don't really know you, and I've never written to a newspaper in response to a commentary. At this point, that is not important. There is only one important element here and you hit the nail on the head: Why can't our politicians wake up to the fact that our teachers, the people who are working long hours to teach our children, are grossly ignored whenever compensation is the issue?

Your message is superb, and I would like to humbly add a few more words to your very strong story: The call for assistance to the persons who are largely responsible for shaping the future of our children.

Let's go at this from a little different angle. A young teacher, who loves his job, loves his students, and they also have the highest respect for him. Seven to 10 years into what he thought would be a successful career, married, owns a home, and has two, maybe three children. Of course, mother works, and dad does coaching to earn extra money. He spends an unbelievable amount of hours coaching, resulting in many excellent young athletes who have the utmost respect for "coach." The extra pay is nothing compared to the hours he puts in, and the many weekends he is away from his family.

Enduring the expenses of today's world for a family like this borders on the impossible. Referring to your article, Mr. Hamilton, I'm an outraged citizen who honestly believes that our political leaders don't have a clue what's happening when the above-mentioned young family is faced with potential bankruptcy.

Thank you so much for your words of wisdom. Let's continue the pressure on getting something done to resolve this serious problem.
-- Jim Stoneman, Homosassa

Protect natural wonders we already have

Editor: It is now public knowledge that Citrus County Commissioner Jim Fowler is not a math expert. That has been proven by his blatantly ignoring the masses and supporting one developer when he voted in favor of the Halls River Retreat project.

In his re-election attempt he is once more proving that not only is he not a math whiz, but that he apparently has not even read the first page of the County Commission's Internet Web site. It proudly states, "Citrus County is known for its beautiful waterways, crystal clear springs and gentle manatees."

His campaign promises are apparently an attempt to make him appear environmentally sensitive by suggesting that a large number of dogwood trees be planted throughout Citrus County.

I have nothing against dogwood trees, or any native trees, and I encourage the planting of native plants anywhere in the county. But to contrive a "natural wonder," rather than protect those we already have, is totally irresponsible.

What Commissioners Fowler, Roger Batchelor and Josh Wooten need to do is make decisions that protect what they proudly list on their Web site as unique to Citrus County: Beautiful waterways, crystal clear springs and gentle manatees.

After all, how many counties in the United States are able to attract tourists who want to see manatees?

Now, there is that old math problem again for Mr. Fowler. Are there more counties in the United States that attract tourists for dogwood trees or for manatees?

It doesn't take a mathematician to answer that question.
-- Pat Casselberry, Crystal River

Had no choice but to seek court's help

Editor: Re: Blackout on Halls River records ends, March 13 Times:

Thanks to Clerk of the Circuit Court Betty Strifler and the Times. For a moment I thought the county attorney may have transformed us to mother Russia with a lock-down on information.

It does disturb me that Development Services Director Gary Maidhof and his minions are taking the position of "I know nothing." I thought they worked for all residents of Citrus County.

If we put this issue in true perspective, we must realize that a lawsuit by residents to stop the development is not what we desired. We had hoped our commissioners would have protected our environment. Since the majority did not, it is either ignore it or seek help in the courts to do so.

This smacks of collusion to me. It's them against us. Somehow I don't quite understand our governmental servants, or masters, as some say, who should be as much for us as they are for the developer. We have no devious or sinister motive; we just want to preserve the Nature Coast.

Even Commissioner Josh Wooten admits we would be better off without the condos, but he didn't have the conviction and courage to vote against them. If he had been on a jury, they probably would have excused him due to his relationship with a party to this deal.

This issue will be settled in the courts unfortunately, but hopefully there won't be any more obstacles from our own governmental employees to make it more difficult for us to pursue an intelligent and honorable conclusion to this matter.
-- Frank B. Hill, Homosassa

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The Citrus Times welcomes letters from readers for publication.

Because of space limitations, letters should be of reasonable length.

Letters may be edited for clarity, taste and length.

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Send your letter to Citrus Times, 301 W Main St., Inverness, FL 33450. To fax a letter call 860-7320. Send letters by e-mail (in text-only format) to citrus@sptimes.com.

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