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Terror drill delay forced Seven Rivers to opt out

Published May 4, 2003

Editor: Re: Teams rehearse terrorist scenario, Thursday, Citrus Times.

In an article about Citrus County's recent disaster drill, it was portrayed that Seven Rivers Community Hospital opted not to participate. This was not the case.

The hospital received a call from the County's Dispatch stating that it could anticipate receiving potentially radioactive victims (10 to 12 individuals) in approximately 10 minutes. The hospital then went into action putting into place all of the specifics associated with this type of situation (e.g., radioactive decontamination arena, staffing, supplies, etc.)

Seven Rivers continued to be in a state of preparedness for approximately 60 minutes - awaiting the arrival of the mock disaster victims. After a call to the scene, it became known that the activities at the scene of the event were continuing to be focused upon and an anticipated arrival at the hospital was not yet known. A decision was made by the hospital Incident Command Center to stand down and discontinue with the drill.

During the full drill, the emergency department continued to receive and treat "real" patients as they arrived. The decision to stand down was made to permit patient care to continue, uninterrupted.

Seven Rivers Community Hospital is committed to providing health care during emergent situations in our county and is prepared should a real disaster occur.

-- Dorothy Pernu, Hospital spokeswoman, Seven Rivers Community Hospital

Contact Bush to complain about phone rate increase

Editor: The Florida Legislature has sadly sent to the governor SB 654, which is the telecommunications (phone rate increase) bill that will negatively impact Floridians. I and a few of my colleagues in the Florida Senate put the consumer first and voted against this legislation that will raise telephone rates all across the state. Unfortunately, the majority of our fellow lawmakers felt differently and passed the bill.

I encourage anyone who is opposed to seeing their phone rates increase dramatically to contact Gov. Jeb Bush and encourage him to veto this bad legislation. Gov. Bush can be reached at: (850) 488-2272, via e-mail at or regular mail at Gov. Jeb Bush, PL 05 The Capitol, Tallahassee, FL 32399.

-- Mike Fasano, State Senator, District 11

Don't build on property that should be preserved

Editor: Regarding the vacant lot/property on the northwest corner of W Venable Street and the Home Depot/Chili's restaurant, directly across U.S. 19 from Crystal River's airport, between Applebee's restaurant and Home Depot property:

I am very concerned and dismayed that construction of any type of commercial and/or private enterprise will be permitted on the site.

The huge billboard sign stating "the future home of First Federal Savings Bank" is now on this corner property which is a holding pond for hurricane and tropical storm waters. Also, there are cypress trees on this property near Applebee's, which most assuredly tells us this entire piece of property is wetlands and should be preserved as such.

The huge culverts under the roadway from Applebee's to Home Depot allow all standing water not absorbed downward to filter back into the swamp/wetlands to the west. This property is on the west of U.S. 19, in the coastal high hazard zone. Crystal River Airport is directly across U.S. 19 to the east.

To allow building of any type of structure in this area will create more hazards and destruction to the local environment, the traffic flow, and the final demise of what this area has been named: the Nature Coast.

Use some common sense and recognize reasonable and acceptable growth for this county by not allowing further destruction of wetlands, over developmental sprawl of yet another unneeded commercial structure along U.S. 19 when there are vacant stores in the strip malls up and down U.S. 19 from Homosassa to Crystal River.

-- Della A. Bruens, Crystal River [Last modified May 4, 2003, 01:46:30]

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