Clear-cutting fiasco mows down justice, too
Letters to the Editor
Published September 14, 2005
Several neighbors and I complained about clear-cutting of trees going on in Homosassa, on South Farm Point. Over a month has gone by since the initial complaint was issued. Deputies were called, as was the County Code Enforcement office.
We were told by the county that the person was to be fined $250 per tree for clear-cutting without a permit and that the person refused to stop clear-cutting. I find that fact to be incredible, but I was given assurances that justice would be done. Yeah, right!
Going over the permit information, I find no records of fines being issued, no repercussions for denuding more than 5 acres of land of every tree. God knows how many gopher tortoises were buried instead of relocated.
But the one simple fact that boggles my mind is that after a month of stripping the land, a permit was issued on Aug. 30 to this individual to clear trees.
Ah, the good ol' boys are at it again. Those in charge in Homosassa just don't get it.
I think the St. Petersburg Times ought to investigate this fiasco and see that those responsible are charged.
-- David Becker, Homosassa
The following letter was sent to the Board of County Commissioners and is being reprinted here at the author's request.
If sheriff wants new radios, he should make budget cuts
I have seen written a suggestion that the Board of County Commissioners use windfall property tax revenues to pay off the $2.5-million outstanding on the sheriff's radio system purchased in 2002. I believe that the sole purpose would be to allow the sheriff to approach the commission soon after approval of such a motion with a request for yet a newer radio system.
You see, his radios cannot communicate with the state of Florida's emergency operations system. Had the sheriff made a rational purchase, he would right now be able to communicate with the state using his Motorola radios; moreover, he'd have instant backup, supplied by the state via mobile communications units, should his entire Emergency Operations Center be wiped out.
He knew all that going in; nevertheless, the sheriff opted for an inferior communications system, in fact, an obsolete system. And he persuaded the commission to approve it.
Should the sheriff be in need of an excuse concerning his radio situation, I would hope he would be told to find the money by budgetary cutbacks; say, for instance, that his vehicles be shared among all deputies, all shifts, thereby reducing vehicle numbers by two-thirds.
That will help out, and I'm guessing there are other forms of fat to be trimmed within his department.
-- James M. McIntosh, Lecanto
Motorcycles are economical, deserve respect on the road
With gas prices at the $3 mark and possible shortages looming, we in the Tampa Bay area must do our part to conserve fuel. I, for one, will park my big sport utility vehicle in the garage and use my motorcycle to get to work and run errands. I will use my SUV to tow my boat or camping trailer.
There are tens of thousands of motorcycle owners in the Tampa Bay area. With gas prices as high as they are, more and more people will use the economical motorcycles (50 mpg on average) for everyday use, such as riding to work and running errands, instead of the common weekend recreational riding.
This is a plea to all motorists: Please look out for motorcycles. Give them the same right of way that any vehicle would be allowed. Too many motorcycle accidents occur when automobile drivers just don't seem to see the smaller motorcycles.
Motorcycles are here to stay, and ridership is growing rapidly. Car and truck drivers must be vigilant about motorcycles on the road or precious lives will be lost.
Drive safely and look out for motorcycles.
-- Paul Attard, Brooksville
[Last modified September 14, 2005, 02:15:34]
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