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Letters to the Editors

Mall's rejection, in long run, might have cost county more


© St. Petersburg Times
published June 23, 2002

Editor: Re: Wal-Mart plans to build Sam's Club on SR 50, June 20 Times:

Just an observation from a Hernando County resident of 13 years. First, let me say up front, I am not against the groups that are advocates for anti-sprawl, although I am not a fanatic concerning the subject. I enjoy green space, but recognize the need for commercial establishments in Spring Hill.

I find it ironic, however, to remember years ago when the Oak Sound housing project, which included a mall at or close to the entrance of Spring Hill, was thwarted to conserve land and reduce sprawl.

As it turns out, and I realize hindsight is 20/20, it may have cost us more in terms of green space to have eliminated the proposed mall. Perhaps Sears would have been part of that mall, as well as Belk's, saving that chunk of land at State Road 50 and Mariner Boulevard. Perhaps Wal-Mart would not be so quick to erect all these supercenters, and now possibly a Sam's Club, if it had competition from a mall.

What has been accomplished? We will have three supercenters in the county, maybe a Sam's Club, and the entrance to Spring Hill that was so important to save several years ago won't have a mall, but it will have an Eckerd and a Wal-Mart Supercenter.

I guess the bottom line, as I see it, is we may have created a larger monster.
-- Robert Cracolici, Spring Hill

Commissioners haven't learned from mistakes

Editor: Wow, color me stupefied. When the affordable housing mess was sprung on an unsuspecting public, it was presented to us as a fait accompli. Chris "Hands-tied" Kingsley and the rest of our rope-burned Board of Commissioners said the issuance of building permits for those controversial sites near the so-called upscale subdivisions was merely a "compliance issue," the result of zoning decisions made long ago that effectively tied their hands and could not be changed now.

Newspaper articles stated that the politicians had a desire to get the public more involved in the decisionmaking process so this would not happen again.

Now, one sentence in the the June 20 news article, Wal-Mart plans to build Sam's Club on SR 50, leapt off the page when I read it:

"County commissioners were miffed that the property owner gave them no hint of his plans for the property when it was rezoned two weeks ago (emphasis supplied)."

Does this mean that after 600 people showed up at Wellington to vent their anger, and countless letters were written to commissioners, senators, newspapers and the governor, these representatives of ours were taken by surprise again only two weeks ago, the result being another hand-tying zoning decision?

Enough is enough. This can only be the result of gross stupidity or corruption. Our path is clear: Throw the rascals out.

In the event that a nuclear waste dump or a concrete plant is not sited where my house now stands before the next election rolls around, I will still be eligible to vote in Hernando County, and I will remember in November.
-- John Campbell, Brooksville

List of sports figures missing a crucial name

Editor: Most influential people: Sports wouldn't be the same, June 20 Times:

I agree with staff writer Brant James' list (and I know the list was complied from outside sources) of key figures in Hernando County sports, but it seems to me they missed the one person who was a direct influence on eight of the 10 people, and who probably should be number one on the list (sorry, Ernie Chatman). That is Tom Varn.

I know Coach Varn is no longer with us, but trust me, his effect on the people of this county will never be gone.

Also, couldn't you find a picture newer than 15 years old of Coach Chatman?
-- J. Patrick Skipper, Brooksville

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