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Letters to the Editors

Indigent care plan needs pledge

© St. Petersburg Times,
published July 25, 2001


Editor: Re: "Plan offers new focus in care of the indigent," Hernando Times, July 20 edition.

I am very concerned about the new indigent care model approved by the Health Care Advisory Board. I volunteer at the Hernando Doctors' Clinic, and experience tells me that indigent patients will not be accepted to get care at doctors' offices as proposed.

I have had the sad experience of wanting to refer a patient I saw at the free clinic to a specialist and being told that no physician in that specialty in Hernando County would see an indigent patient in his/her office. In a second experience, I personally contacted a physician in another specialty after being told that no physician in that specialty either would see an indigent patient in the office. I was told just this month that he would not see the patient in his office but might consider volunteering in the free clinic.

It seems to me that before the county decides to withdraw funds from the Doctors' Clinic and put them into a system that is presently just an idea, the county should have a written commitment from every doctor in the county willing to see indigent patients in his/her office and the number he/she will see each month. Only then will the county know whether or not the number of generalists, and number and variety of specialists willing to offer care in their offices for the truly needy in our community is really sufficient.

Dr. (C.J.) McGrew, with his staff, has done a tremendous service to this community. Let's be sure we have a functional system up and running successfully to care for the medically needy indigent before we jeopardize the only system we have by withdrawing funds from the Hernando Doctors' Clinic.
-- Dr. Beatrice S. Braun, Spring Hill

Democratic leader's attack was uncalled for

Editor: Mr. (Dom) Cabriele's pompous attack on Mrs. (Mary L.) Wright (Bushes, GOP policies form recipe for ruin) in the July 15 paper left me believing that he has certainly been watching too much TV (The Weakest Link). His vicious assault was uncalled for in any venue. Informed voters know that HMOs are under the jurisdiction of the federal government, (U.S. Rep. Karen) Thurman's arena.

As chairman of the county's Democrat Party, his malicious words toward one he disagrees with sound all too reminiscent of the last eight years of lying lackeys, spinning stories regardless of the truth.

High-profile Democrats, both nationally and locally, have shown, as Mr. Cabriele proved through his rant, that most are truly the "missing link" to the voter.
-- J. Heard, Brooksville

Administrator is right to go slow on hospital

Editor: I read on the front page of the Hernando Times (Hospital waits to negotiate its move) that the executive committee to move our hospital is in a hurry to have this project completed and is pushing our county administrator, Paul McIntosh, who is taking his time to assure the move is a proper move for all concerned.

It is about time we have a county leader who cares for the people and not rush or be rushed into anything that is not good for the entire county. We live in the South; do things the way of the South. Slow. And when all facts are in and weighed, then act.

Way to go, Mr. McIntosh.
-- Jim Nico, Ridge Manor West

Officials show restraint in Seven Hills case

Editor: I would like to thank Commissioner (Chris) Kingsley and County Administrator (Paul) McIntosh, as well as all of the other commissioners, for their intelligent decision to have the purported violations in Seven Hills investigated.

Jean C. Marin seems to think that people should not have a government responsive to the problems of the citizens. When one area has 70 violations for the same problem, and nothing new has been introduced into the area for years, it is reasonable, rational and intelligent to seek assurance that citations are accurate and necessary.

It is possible the county could have made an error, or that a judge may not feel citations are warranted. What sense would it make to have yards dug up and trees and bushes removed, only to find out a week later it was not necessary?

If Jean C. Marin had been paying attention, she should have noted that this issue was brought up before the whole board and action was requested. A well-organized effort has followed. I understand county staff, the county administrator, the county attorney and Frank McDowell, the Code Enforcement Department head, are working diligently and cooperatively with the Seven Hills Executive Board and the development's property manager to provide a fair decision -- good or bad to those affected.

Ms. Marin, County Ordinance 88.5 is still intact and being enforced. If you understood government and how it works, you would have realized that when this issue was brought up before the board, there was no motion by anyone to repeal this ordinance. Further, Ms. Marin, it would have taken at least one public hearing and the vote of at least three commissioners to effect that sort of change.

I applaud the board's efforts to be fair and responsive. This is a sterling example of leadership and of how government should work for the people, not as Ms. Marin suggests, using a charter government issue to create a police state.
-- Jean Nikodem, Spring Hill

School Board needs to look within for leader

Editor: Re: Hernando County superintendent of schools

Why does the Hernando School Board always seek a new superintendent from outside of the county?

I believe in promoting from within, and if we do not have any principal, assistant principal or even assistant superintendent capable of performing the job of superintendent, the School Board must not be providing the proper training and advancement possibilities for these employees. I find it most difficult to believe that we do not have several employees capable of such a task. I personally know of at least one person who I believe would make an excellent superintendent.

When the search begins, let's first look in-house for a competent replacement before going elsewhere. In all fairness, we have to provide promotional possibilities to our own people.
-- Raymond A. Wing, Spring Hill

Biking article flawed without helmet in place

Editor: Having been a big advocate of mountain biking for the past eight years and having built many miles of trails in the woods for mountain bikers, I found Times staff writer Brant James' article on "A Rugged Ride" of interest.

Most disturbing, however, was the beautiful, big, color photo of James riding without a helmet!

The article says: "Wear a helmet. (You have one skull)." Yet the photo shows how stupid the writer can be. This is a terrible portrayal to the youth who don't know how easy it is to have a serious accident on Croom trails.

If James is too dense to figure out that he should have a helmet on for the photo, then at least your editors should have caught the problem.
-- Raymond S. Miller, Spring Hill

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