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Letters to the Editors

Planet Bubba not county's only source of noise pollution

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 24, 2000


Editor: I am not an advocate of the Planet Bubba night club, nor am I siding with the disgruntled residents who have allegedly endured sleepless nights due to the noise produced from the club. But I do think this sudden rush to outlaw and censor escalated musical decibels and, more precisely, "heavy bass-like music," is extremely myopic of the Hernando County Commission.

For one thing, I am tired of having to be constantly subjected to culturally confused youths in cars, with stereos that cost about five times the value of the vehicle, which blast music that is just rubbish. I like a funky bass or drum as well as the next dude, but it appears to me that most inflammatory musicians these days are not so concerned with the quality of their music as they are with the volatile content.

I'm not saying we should all be listening to Britney Spears or the Back Street Boys (perish the thought), but where is the lyrical genius in shouting "mother @#**!%" every other word? It's not very "down" of me to critique, but when I came out of Target with my 3-year-old nephew recently, a pair of young men in a car were trying their utmost to break the windows of the cars in the parking lot with the volume and remarkably immature, offensive music.

Nobody seemed to be concerned with this form of frequent noise pollution. When builders started work on a home next to mine at 5:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning, the Sheriff's Office said there was nothing they could do. However, when I queried if it would be appropriate for me to play my stereo at a high volume, well, that would have been considered a "disturbance of the peace." Apparently, the Sheriff's Office must believe there is a great deal more harmony in a nail gun than Wagner's Ride of the Valkyrie.

As much as I sympathize with the local residents, it has to be said there are no decent night spots for younger people in Spring Hill. This lack of amenities leads to people going to Tampa, where the drug usage and violence are far more prevalent than in our community. This puts impressionable, vulnerable people at much greater risk.

The county did nothing to protect the interests of the local residents when Bubba's first opened, and it is a bit hypocritical to about-face now. Mind you, it is an election year.

If the county's effort to relieve the unabated noise is genuine, in order to find a common ground so that the club operators and local residents could have found a viable compromise, that is fine. But if this was the first step in trying to censor and drive out more modern and evolved night life for younger people, then that is nothing short of a county dictatorship. And, if so, as the Suncoast Parkway brings more prospective businesses, I am sure the commissioners are going to be curtailing more and more aspects of music. Are we going to have ordinances that prohibit snare drums or rhythm guitars, or should we all just start whispering (or humming) now?
-- Jamie Warwick, Spring Hill

Thinking ahead would provide water

Editor: Re: Do some have right to squander water?, May 18 guest column by G. Ray Heddleson, and Swiftmud's water rules give rise to wealth of questions, May 9 letter to the editor:

If we had some progressive thinking in the county a couple of years ago before the flooding, and dams had been built, we would have saved water. I saw on the television news recently (I believe in Manatee County) progressive thinkers made a reservoir a few years ago. An aerial view of this area showed a large lake; they have plenty of water.

Weekie Wachee Spring's flow rate is 1.3-million gallons a day, 474-million gallons a year. If one-quarter of this water could be saved, that would be 189-million gallons per year. Using impact fees, help from the Southwest Florida Water Management District and maybe the federal government, a reservoir could be developed to store water.

As for Mr. Heddleson's bath being ready, I can remember a few years ago on Saturday nights when the laundry tub was filled for all the kids to bathe. First in got the best; the water was warm and clean. Even second was not too bad. But after four or five. ...
-- Alex Hansken, Spring Hill

Explanation needed in DUI case

Editor: Re: Driver again charged with DUI, May 11 Hernando Times:

To all personnel in our legal/judicial system: You've got to be kidding me!

Here we have a guy who has three priors for driving under the influence of alcohol (just in Hernando County), evades police, fails the sobriety test and allegedly has drugs and drug paraphernalia in his car. What happens? He is released without bail.

Who will explain to all the law-abiding citizens in this county how this can occur?

I thought the purpose of our system of laws was to protect us from people like this.

How many DUIs does it take to get someone off the streets? Will a child or a hard-working father or mother need to be killed first?
-- Vilmar Tavares, Spring Hill

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