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Editor: It has become apparent that employees of Oak Hill Hospital and others have decided to take swings, via Times letters to the editor page, at Commissioner Diane Rowden for trying to spearhead a campaign to allow construction of Brooksville Regional's new hospital.
It is ironic these barbs are coming from removed pontificators who deem the broadening of health services in Hernando County as invasive to Oak Hill's client base. I use the term "client" instead of "patient" because I am hearing more and more stories from friends and colleagues, stemming from Oak Hill's business junta, about "clients" not being admitted from the emergency room until they have paid co-pays or other sundry expenses.
This more mercenary approach to financial remuneration is, in no small part, caused by Oak Hill's not having competition from other health care providers. I am sure these practices have produced a palpable strain between administration and nursing at Oak Hill. Oak Hill's nursing and physician staff do a wonderful job and they do not deserve to be slighted by the temerity of eager bill collectors.
However, this is all the more reason to provide an alternative to Oak Hill. Competition breeds better customer service and, in turn, better patient care. It is foreseeable that Oak Hill can only improve if it is pressed to compete with other hospitals. It is unfortunate that certain individuals who have decided to unveil their claws at Commissioner Rowden can't comprehend that inhibiting a wider array of medical services can only have long-lasting repercussions for a community that is burgeoning exponentially.
-- Steven Lockton, Spring Hill
Editor: While not looking to create or further a bandwagon effect in defense of Oak Hill Hospital chief executive Jaime Wesolowski, I do feel it's important to speak in support of recent writers' comments regarding County Commissioner Diane Rowden's frequently publicized defamations.
It's enough for me to know that Mr. Wesolowski is a gentleman and a nice person, and simply on those terms does not deserve the treatment he's received from a member of the County Commission. In addition to that knowledge, though, is my contention that Ms. Rowden cannot speak as she has and continue to defend her diatribes as those of a concerned, private citizen.
As an elected official, she cannot throw quotes toward the media and then stand back and say she's doing this as a private citizen. She is not a private citizen in her role as a county commissioner. As letter writer Max Laudun correctly pointed out, speaking out as she has and then defending her speech as those of a private citizen is an abuse of power, and given the speed with which she defends her actions, it's an abuse that apparently she is aware of.
I believe residents of Hernando County not only should disregard her remarks, they should remember them clearly at the next election.
-- Dennis McCarthy, Spring Hill
Editor: Recently I have been discouraged about the number of negative comments made about the people of Timber Pines. I find this very confusing and I can only attribute those remarks to ignorance of the contributions to the community made by Timber Piners.
I'm not referring to paying higher taxes or supporting local businesses. We choose to live in Spring Hill, and those things come with the territory. What I am referring to are things that do not come with the territory, such as contributions made by our Charity Fund, clubs, committees and many villages.
The Charity Fund of Timber Pines gives support to eight of our local charities (Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Hernando-Pasco Hospice, Dawn Center, Habitat for Humanity, Daystar Hope Center, Holy Ground Homeless Shelter, Alzheimer's Family Association and the Salvation Army). In addition, scholarships are given to seniors at Springstead High School.
Many of our clubs and committees also contribute to outside charities and give scholarships.
During Christmastime many of our villages support and "adopt" families in need by contributing new clothing, food, toys and living essentials.
We volunteer in hospitals, hospices, senior residences and schools.
Please understand that I am not trying to "blow our own horns." I am just trying to set the record straight. We may live behind a wall, but we are very much a part of the surrounding community.
-- C. Amato, Spring Hill
Editor: For the past few weeks residents of Timber Pines have been subjected to different forms of animosity from a certain group of residents who are either jealous or don't realize they are not making sense when they write these letters to the editor.
Timber Pines is a retirement community. We think it is paradise. We have paid our debt and are grateful to live here. Who cares if Wal-Mart is building another building? Your kind will be the first in line when it opens.
Most of us are veterans who have done our time in the service of our country, and not everyone goes to the bank every day. We are on pensions and live day to day just like you. If you can't say anything nice about senior citizens, it is best to be quiet and someday, when you reach 55, you can come behind the wall, too.
Why do you think it is a crime to want to live in a place where cars, trucks and boats are not parked on the front lawns, and everyone takes pride in their property?
-- Vincent DeMatteo, Spring Hill
Editor: Re: Close vote rejects incinerator proposed in Ridge Manor West, Jan. 29 Times:
I see our county commissioners voted on the proposed incinerator in Ridge Manor West. I congratulate Commissioners Betty Whitehouse, Nancy Robinson and Diane Rowden for their considerate vote. I spoke to Commissioner Robert Schenk prior to the vote and asked him to vote against the move. When we lived in Phoenix, they brought in a similar unit, assuring us of no pollution. Six months later I was put on oxygen as a result of this incinerator. Mr. Schenk said he had a portable incinerator in his area now, and it does not create any smog.
I asked him why don't they keep this in his area. He said the people did not want it there. This shows me that somebody is trying to move a problem from his area to an area across the county.
On the campaign trail, Mr. Schenk promised a "town meeting" in any area before any decisions were made in that area. Another campaign promise broken. We have another election coming up in two years. Now is the time to start to look for people who would serve the people, and not only selected areas.
Hernando County is growing very rapidly; we need leaders in our county who will take in the interests of the entire county, not just small sections.
-- James C. Nico, Ridge Manor
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