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Letters to the Editors

Graduation ticket setup was poor

© St. Petersburg Times,
published June 7, 2001

Editor: I attended Hernando High's graduation on May 26. The ceremony was very enjoyable and I observed nothing offensive by any of the students. However, what I did find offensive was the accommodations and last-minute distribution of tickets.

The students did not receive tickets until Thursday. The graduation ceremony was Saturday morning. I can't speak for everyone, but I wanted to be sure I had a ticket in hand before inviting a friend or relative to attend.

Each graduating student received six tickets for seats in the high school's gym, and two additional tickets for seats in the school's auditorium. The actual graduation was held in the gym with the majority of spectators sitting on hard bleachers. We were the lucky ones.

The friends and relatives who received auditorium tickets were considered the overflow crowd. They were expected to watch the ceremony by video on a big screen. Imagine trying to decide who gets which ticket.

Who came up with this ridiculous idea?

In my opinion, this plan was rude and insensitive. I understand it caused a great deal of heartache for many families. I hope that in the future, more thought is put into the location of the ceremony. Let's remember, graduation is special.
-- Marilyn Fitch, Brooksville

We all have a right to decent living conditions

Editor: Re: Sale may be respite for city, tenants, May 28 Hernando Times:

Where is it written that because you don't live in an affluent neighborhood you have to survive in substandard conditions? I think the term you should have used was "slum landlord."

Why have these conditions existed for more than 10 years and Mr. Porter has not been held accountable? Ms. Sidor, Brooksville's code enforcement officer, stated we wouldn't believe the size of the file on Mr. Porter. Now the city feels it would be best to condemn and tear down these tenants' homes. Go figure! If the city had addressed these complaints 10 years ago, we wouldn't be discussing it now.

As we try to prepare our county for the future, putting new ordinances in place, planning for appropriate infrastructure, new roads, businesses, etc., I would hope someone from the powers that be would put it on top of their priority list to address and stop these abuses. What's the problem? Sounds to me like everyone is passing the buck and saying "There's really nothing we can do." Bull!

I hope every tenant living in these conditions realizes they can and should call and register their complaints with the city. Call the county commissioners' office at the courthouse. You have the power as a community to stand up and be counted! Get together, make noise, protest, talk to the newspaper, make it your mission. I'll guarantee you will see your homes become livable again.

If he threatens to evict you because you spoke up, call someone. If he threatens to increase your rent, call someone. He only has power if you let him. Don't be afraid; every time you call you take more control. As renters, you have plenty of rights.

For some reason, our city seems to have fallen down on the job. Obviously, they have known for 10 years about Mr. Porter and his treatment of tenants. What's the problem here? The city, county commissioners, health department, code enforcement -- someone -- needs to get it fixed. Who has been in charge of this situation for the past 10 years?

The Times has always championed the underdog over the years and this would be an excellent situation to investigate, and to report why Mr. Porter has been doing business as usual for 10 years and why the city hasn't stopped him. We all have the constitutional right, no matter if we're rich or poor, our ethnic background or religion, to live in decent conditions. Let's get with it!
-- D.D. Churchill, Brooksville

Parts of Spring Hill Drive are embarrassing to see

Editor: What is becoming of Spring Hill?

Almost every day I drive down Spring Hill Drive to U.S. 19 and what I'm seeing is really disturbing. Does no one on that end of Spring Hill Drive care how our town looks to other people? I am embarrassed to see used furniture sitting in driveways for weeks at a time, and cars all over lawns (or what used to be a lawn).

I know other people have expressed the same concern. Can no one do anything to keep this area from looking like a slum? Are there no codes that should be enforced?

When friends or relatives come to visit, I try to make sure they come in a different way so they do not see this area. I used to think this was a nice area, but now I wonder what has happened. It's a shame that the people on Spring Hill Drive who do take care of their property have to live next door to people who just don't care. Is there no solution?
-- Ruth Stover, Spring Hill

Students' job interviews will help them in future

Editor: I recently read two letters in your newspaper that addressed interviews by job applicants. The first reader, a business owner, was lamenting the fact that applicants are not prepared and often are inappropriately dressed. The second reader felt that our time could be better spent if we concentrated on the basic subjects. I would like to answer both of those writers.

First, I hope that Chocachatti students who apply for jobs in the future remember their experiences at our school and impress their future employers with their dress, manners and ability to conduct themselves properly in an interview. Two weeks ago, our second-, third- and fourth-grade students filled out job applications for the jobs they would like to secure during next year's Micro time. They learned how to write a resume and were instructed in what "not to do" and what "to do" during their interviews.

Mrs. Golz's second-grade class wrote about this topic, so I will share their thoughts:

"There are three critical things that a person should remember to do when being interviewed. First, you should kindly, gently shake hands with the interviewer and wait for them to tell you to have a seat. Next make sure you have your resume and your job application. Last, make sure you say "thank you.' These are the things you should do during an interview."

Another student noted that you should "look in the interviewer's eyes when speaking and wait patiently until the interviewer says they are done."

A different student recognizes that dressing appropriately is important. He says, "Try to look normal, like wearing a green shirt tucked in your nice black pants." Another student addresses this same area by saying, "A person being interviewed should wear good clothes."

Fifth-grade students participated in this process by learning how to conduct an interview. I wish one of the newspapers had accepted my invitation to attend this event. Fifth-grade students conducted a mock interview with second-graders to help them prepare for their very first interview. It really brings a smile to your face when you see how serious the students are and what a wonderful job they do.

Lastly, to address the letter that says we need to stick to the basics. To me, these are the basics of life. Students used language arts skills to write resumes and fill out job applications. They practiced their oral presentation skills when conducting an interview or being interviewed, and they learned proper dress, manners and how to conduct themselves in a situation such as this.

l am very proud of the job our teachers and students did during this lesson in life. The students received their letters of acceptance before they left for summer vacation and are anxiously awaiting the start of Micro in September.
-- Norma Foote, Micro Society Coordinator, Chocachatti Elementary School

School mismanagement continues to hurt students

Editor: Re: New job beckons schools chief, June 2 Hernando Times:

I had to chuckle while reading the article about Superintendent John Sanders' possible departure from Hernando County. I do suppose he has made such a mess of things that he can't do any more harm, so he may as well leave.

At least he still has his sense of humor. He promises not to hold the remote possibility of accepting a job in Lee County over the heads of the School Board as they prepare his annual evaluation. Why not? Most of his recommendations have been over their heads anyway!

And it is so nice of the School Board members to want to keep him on board. On a sinking ship, shouldn't the captain go down with the rest of the crew?

It is, however, unfortunate that it will be the teachers and students who once again will be most hurt by this gross mismanagement of county schools.
-- Raymond A. Wing, Spring Hill

Letter writer's question was right on the mark

Editor: Re: Are there politics in the description? June 1 letter to the editor:

Bravo, R.G. Graeter of Spring Hill! Does the Times have to be so biased in its liberal reporting?
-- Allen Harper, Brooksville

Share your views

The Hernando Times welcomes letters from readers for publication.

Because of space limitations, letters should be of reasonable length.

Letters may be edited for clarity, taste and length.

All letters must be signed and must contain the writer's address and telephone number. Addresses and telephone numbers will not be printed.

Send your letter to Hernando Times, 161 E Jefferson St., Brooksville, FL 34601. To fax a letter, call 754-6133. Send letters by electronic mail (in text only format) to

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