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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Today's Letters: Gorgeous lawn is an empty prize
By LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published May 20, 2007
I am getting a little weary of the latest lawn-fashion trend in my neighborhood. It is as though there's a contest to see who can either get away with watering the most, or who can achieve the ultimate "golf course look" on their lawns.
But what's the prize? Fact is, we have a serious drought ongoing. Fact is, we have a serious environmental danger of running out of natural water. So what is the reward these residents are seeking?
Perhaps they want to be the last person to have remembered the day, hour and minute they turned the water on and there just wasn't any.
Brown-lawn residents, unite!
Joyce Morris, Spring Hill
Please help care for my daughter
I write this letter with disgust because of the latest article in the Times about taking away money for services for the mentally disabled.
I have a 17-year-old daughter who suffers from agenesis of the corpus callosum. This is not an injury she suffered during her life; she was born with it. She turns 18 years old this month.
What will happen to her if there are no services for her? I cannot afford to pay out of my pocket for her to live in a group home. I cannot afford to pay for any services she should be entitled to.
I am having trouble just trying to find out who or what agency can help me find any kind of services for her. She is not considered psychologically impaired. She is neurologically impaired and, therefore, cannot receive the benefits that people who are psychologically impaired are able to receive.
I have to apply for guardianship, which will cost me more than $300 in court costs, according to the Hernando County courts, which does not include lawyer fees. Where am I supposed to get this money? I just want guardianship because my daughter cannot, nor will she ever be able to, make logical or rational decisions for herself.
Taking away this money will cause nothing but the closing of facilities and the loss of people who can help the mentally disabled to live a productive life. Shouldn't they be entitled to live the American dream the best way they can? The only way they can is with the assistance of these facilities and services.
I hope Gov. Charlie Crist and the legislators in Florida are willing to give me the money I need to make sure my daughter gets the services she is entitled to. Since Florida is cutting out monies for the disabled, I will have to go through private agencies. I have yet to find a money tree that will be able to pay for that.
I am a single mother and I am concerned about the future of my daughter not only while I'm alive, but when I'm dead. Is she going to become one of the forgotten ones nobody cares about, left on the street because she is unable to take care of herself?
Jeanne Golda, Spring Hill
Put budget in clear language
I hope the residents of Hernando County are paying attention. Our state legislators couldn't agree on a resolution for our property tax dilemma, so now they will have to try again in a special session. Now we hear that our county would like to hit us from another direction.
Gas prices are already hurting every person in this county and there is no end in sight. Still, the county commissioners think this may be a good time to slip in a 3-cent increase? It feels as if our officials are chipping away at the solid foundation that brought so many people here in the first place.
Besides the local government debacles we are faced with, we also have state and federal issues wearing away at our quality of life. I thought our commissioners were working for the average folks, but I'm not sure that's the case.
We need a moratorium on all new taxes until we can all get back on our feet. This is no time to be asking for money. I, like many, have a lot of questions. Like why are we paving roads that are perfectly fine the way they are? Why does a fire station cost $1.4-million? And don't even get me started on traffic circles!
I would like to give our county the benefit of the doubt, so I am asking for a simple explanation, in lay terms, that will prove or disprove what many residents here believe. The information is public, so I ask the Times to please show us where the money is going. I would like to see comparisons of previous years to current data. I want to see the property tax base increases, spending allocations and everything else.
I have heard the argument that we are bigger now and that costs more money. Maybe so, but I want to see it in black and white. I think this is a reasonable request and I hope I am proven wrong.
Patrick Foley, Spring Hill
Attack victims deserve feedback
Re: Dog owners, do the right thing letter by Shannon Casel, May 10
Since my small 18-pound Bichon was savagely attacked and mauled by a pit bull while I was walking him on Oct. 25 of last year, I can understand her frustration with the system.
I encountered the same resistance when reporting the attack on my dog. I insisted that the pit bull be classified as a dangerous dog and was led to believe that it would be so.
However, the owner still has the dog, has no signs posted, he chains him to a tree in an unfenced yard and walks him with no muzzle. Something obviously went awry.
The state statutes are pretty clear and Hernando County's ordinances follow state guidelines. One big problem seems to be that the injured dog owner receives no feedback regarding the outcome of the case, and, secondly, Animal Control determines whether the dangerous dog deserves to be classified as such.
Perhaps when this pit bull has killed at least three dogs he will then be classified as such and then when he kills again - and he will - he may then be humanely destroyed.
There are other dogs in my neighborhood running free and frightening people to the point where most neighbors no longer walk and none will walk with a dog on a leash for fear of being attacked.
By the way, to whom do we report a nuisance dog or dangerous dog before 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., and on weekends and holidays? It would be nice if the county commissioners could look into the Animal Control situation and put some teeth into its enforcement procedures. Feedback to the injured party, in the case of a dangerous dog attack, would be equally nice.