Last mission to repair the Hubble telescope Hubble space telescope discoveries have enriched our understanding of the cosmos. In this special report, you will see facts about the Hubble space telescope, discoveries it has made and what the last mission's goals are.
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.
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Today's letters: Portability could turn and bite back
Letters to the Editor
Published January 24, 2008
The portability provision of Amendment 1 has the potential of becoming a taxpayer nightmare with catastrophic results. Let's assume that an elderly couple decides to downsize their home after the passage of the law. In the process, they wish to transfer their considerable Save Our Homes tax benefits from their original home to their new home. They sell their home, purchase another, and, begin to enjoy continued tax savings. So far, no problem; but then things can get real sticky.
The opponents of the pending law have already promised to challenge portability in the courts. Many of the top legal experts who advised our state legislators in the preparation of this amendment also warned our lawmakers that opponents may be able to prevail in legally knocking down the portability clause on federal Constitutional grounds. Despite this warning, our lawmakers proceeded in haste to insert the portability clause into the pending amendment.
That brings me back to my example of the elderly couple. If the courts find that the portability provision, as written, is in violation of our federal Constitution, how will this affect our elderly couple and other homeowners who moved their SOH tax savings? The end result may be that these buyers, who thought that Amendment 1 protected the transfer of their SOH savings, now find themselves legally compelled to pay the same property taxes as new buyers just entering the state.
What guarantee does Amendment 1 provide to guard against this possible nightmare? The answer is none!
This is an ill-conceived, rushed-to-the-altar amendment. We need to send it back to the governor and our legislators with the comment "This proposal is flawed, try again."
Vote "No" on Amendment 1.
H. Browning, Brooksville
Amendment will spark economy
I support Amendment 1. I believe the current bad economic conditions in the housing market are a result of the flawed property tax structure. We need change now.
The current property tax is regressive. It tends to bear down harder on those poorer families because they spend so much more of their income on housing. Voting "yes" on the amendment will exempt an additional $25,000 from taxable value thereby allowing those on fixed or low to moderate incomes to pay less taxes. This freed up tax money can then be used to buy other goods and services that would bolster the economy.
The property tax is divisive. Since the true value of any property can't be known until it is sold, it requires assessors to estimate values, which has resulted in huge differences and inequities within districts. These value differences and inequities have pitted neighbor against neighbor, district against district. Voting "yes" on the amendment would help level these value differences by exempting an additional $25,000 and allowing homeowners the flexibility to keep or take with them their current savings.
The current property tax structure encourages a kind of fiscal zoning that perpetuates the lack of affordable housing by requiring larger minimum land and home sizes that increase the costs and increase the tax base but discourages building smaller, more affordable homes.
Voting "yes" will be the first step in reversing the bad effects high property taxes have had on the housing economy.
Lynda Ghaedi, Spring Hill
Re: Suspended teacher deserves back pay Jan. 15 Andrew Skeritt column
Teacher shouldbe fired from job
After passionately defending suspended teacher Shawn Bingham, I wonder how Skerritt feels now, after learning that Mr. Bingham was arrested on a charge of driving with a suspended license?
The license had been revoked for 60 months because of habitual traffic offenses. His suspension from school was related to a wallet he found in the school gym, and which was missing $75. He did not take it to the lost and found and that was a violation of policy.
It seems to me that this man has no regard for the law and should be dismissed from the Hernando County school system.
Bruce Miller, Spring Hill
Re: Simple solution to traffic problems Jan. 16 letter
Respect is the real traffic solution
The letter writer misses the road rage point completely. Road rage is a personal option; no one gives it to you. A person chooses to act out. The writer did not state anything about posted speed limits. Were they doing the posted speed limit? If they were going below it, could there have been a reason? No one owns the roads.
A friend of mine believes if one is doing the speed limit on a multilane highway the driver should move over for him to speed past. Until I get a letter from the state of Florida saying I can drive any speed I want over the posted limit, I will do the posted speed limit. You have the option to go around me.
There have been no "this is a fast lane" signs on any highway I have seen. There are "slower traffic keep to the right" signs, but that is for drivers going below the posted speed limit. We live in a fast-forward society, in all aspects of our lives. Maybe slowing down a little is better than getting whiplash looking in mirrors and out windows and not focusing on your driving.
Smoothing traffic flow will never be achieved till we respect each other on the road and slow down. None of us are perfect drivers, but we also have the ability to be more aware of how we drive and the consequences of how we drive. Stop shoving blame on everyone else and take care of yourself.
And, yes, I do sometimes get angry at someone's driving, but I refuse to be brought into an unstable thinking pattern over it.
Chris Ennist,New Port Richey
Your voice counts
We welcome letters from readers for publication. To send a letter from your computer, go to www.tampabay.com/letters and fill in the required information. Type your letter in the space provided on the form, specify that you are writing the Hernando section of the newspaper, and then click "submit." You also may cut and paste a letter that you have prepared elsewhere in your computer.
If you prefer, you may fax your letter to (352) 754-6133, or mail it to: Letters to the Editor, Hernando Times, 15365 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville, FL 34613.
All letters should be brief and must include the writer's name, city of residence, mailing address and telephone number. When possible, letters should include a handwritten signature. Addresses and telephone numbers will not be printed. The Times does not publish anonymous letters.
Letters may be edited for clarity, taste, length and accuracy. We regret that not all letters can be printed.