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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: Firefighting fee since 2002 could double
By LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published July 11, 2007
Firefighting fee since 2002 could double
Again Hernando County Fire Rescue is requesting an increase over last year that equals a substantial amount. This year it wants the county commissioners to approve a 24.5 percent increase in the fee. The meeting for this vote is at 10 a.m. July 24 at the Hernando County Government Center.
If approved, this increase will equal an 100 percent increase since 2002. Yes, you read that correctly; our fire-rescue fees since 2002 will double. (In my case, they would go from $97.30 in 2002 to $194.87 in 2007.)
I know we are all concerned with our property taxes and the huge increases we have seen in those amounts. Please be aware that this proposed increase is not under control of the state and not effected by the Save Our Homes amendment, but this is still part of your property taxes.
If you think this increase is too much, contact your county commissioners and/or go to the meeting and voice your opinion.
Elizabeth Pohl-Provost, Weeki Wachee
Is school district fiscally unfit?
I'm sorry, but is there anyone else out there who has a problem with the Hernando County School Board's finance director saying, "It wasn't really any better than the last audit," with regard to the school district receiving more per-student funding than it should have? ("State wants $224,015 back ," July 5)
In a day and age where documentation is everything, and everybody knows it, how does one just casually say it wasn't really any better? Did she not review, revise and implement procedures and processes to address this concern from the last audit? Were her employees not afforded the opportunity for additional training in this area? Is the job just too monumental for the department to handle? These are just a few of the questions that pop into my mind.
I have been in Hernando County for 20 years, since back in the day when Parents on Watch for Educational Rights was organized to address the county's budgeting practices. Twenty years later, we are still seeing headlines referring to the school district's funding practices.
Today, our schools are being asked to be more accountable than ever. Can we be sure that the powers that be got the Adequate Yearly Progress figures accurate? And it appears that miscalculations of per-student funding is a problem not only for Hernando County but for several other counties in Florida! Hello, Department of Education! Where are you?
Carol Palmer, Brooksville
Make Wal-Mart face roadblock
I thought it was too good to be true that Wal-Mart would not fight the decision to disallow a supercenter on Barclay Avenue ("Wal-Mart fights decision," July 7). The company has a history of bullying counties and towns into letting it have its way.
I commend our county commissoners for taking on Wal-Mart, which obviously doesn't care about what it does to residential areas, including one that is surrounded by schools.
I have a solution that will definitely impede the building of a Wal-Mart in our neighborhood. My solution is to immediately put a hold on any plans to expand Barclay to a four-lane road.
With all the talk about having to cut back on services in the county because of less revenue due to a reduction in taxes, it would seem to me that not expanding Barclay to four lanes would save a lot of money. It also would cause Wal-Mart a lot of grief in having to prove to the special magistrate and the state Department of Transportation that the store won't cause major traffic problems on Barclay.
Of course, if it wants the store there that badly, let Wal-Mart executives pay for expanding Barclay.