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Saturday, Mar 28, 2015

Letters to the editor


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VA claims are the main problem

I read with much interest the letter from Deron Mikal (Re: VA needs more funding, June 22), who knows what he is talking about. The VA system is in a sad state.

I have no problem with the health care I receive, but as Deron mentioned the claims. The system tells you to put in a claim. You do and most of the time within three or fours months you have your denial. Your next step is to file and appeal, and this is where the system really bogs down.

I was denied a claim in 2008. I filed an appeal. They said I never did. I showed them proof. Next, they said it was lost. After a letter to the White House, it was found and they said I would go to the top of the list as I had waited so long. Guess what? I still haven’t heard a word.

I have two others in appeal that are more than three years old. One is anxiety related to PTSD. An outside psychiatrist examined me and said I suffered from severe anxiety related to my service. I spent 15 minutes with a physiologist at the VA, and in three weeks had my denial. I am now being treated by a psychiatrist at the Newport Richey Outpatient Clinic and he has recorded my sessions with him and he firmly believes that what I am going through is related to my service time. That has been going on for over three years, and still nothing.

So two psychiatrist say yes, and a physiologist says no, and that’s who the VA believes. He did ask me if I had any fights growing up. Of course I did. I grew up in the 1940s. He asked if I was mistreated as a child. Yes, I was spanked when needed and it didn’t do me any harm. These are some of the questions asked during my short time with him. And in his evaluation, I did not suffer from any anxieties.

I believe some of our politician’s think that some of us vets are looking for a free ride and that is not true. When I was discharged I had high blood pressure. Within a month of separation I was denied a job because of it. I even had a sworn testimony from the man who got me the application for the job. Unfortunately, the company Kraft Foods is no longer there, nor is my family doctor who treated me for blood pressure and anxiety. The VA denied it, and that is the one that goes back to 2008.

I am a veteran of the Korean War, so you know what age category I am in. I will be dead before I hear anything. Can’t someone light a fire under these people to get these claims settled? The battle cry from some of us vets is “Deny, Deny, then pray they die.”

Jack Joyce

Spring Hill

Conservation, development can work together

Hernando county has an identity problem. We sit in the heart of the nature coast, setting aside large tracts of land for nature, as we should, while we have a growing population that would like to get more jobs closer to home.

Anyone who knows the story of our ghost town, Centralia, knows what happens when an industry is left unregulated. The entire northern half of our county was clear cut of all it’s trees. When the trees were gone the town left. Leaving behind an environmental disaster. In our time, we check this with regulations, preservation and a master plan for the county. Preservation and conservation are a big part of our county identity.

Growth and conservation can be accomplished hand in hand. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. One only needs to look around this great country of ours to see how other communities accomplished this. Our national parks, for example, bring in millions of visitors and dollars every year while still preserving conservation. Silver Springs State Park in Ocala, is another example.

Here is where I get confused. Why is it OK to clear cut and burn 50 acres of trees to build a new shopping center, parking lots and roadway projects but doing the same to build say another gulf side beach or RV resort is so evil? Which of those choices are more in harmony with the idea of the Nature Coast?

With the lack of manufacturing in our county, we rely heavily on our service and retail business. Lets look for other ways to attract outside money to our county and provide a setting where we can get money into local businesses while still maintaining our identity as the nature coast . A minor league ball park and a 4 star RV resort for example. The Interstate 75 and State Road 50 area would be ideal since both Tampa and Orlando are within driving distance. Unless Busch Gardens is willing to relocate to Hernando County, one big project is not the future. We may need several smaller projects to attract families here. Either way growth and conservation can be done in a way that benefits all of us.

Eugene OReilly

Weeki Wachee

A note to county commissioners

It’s been a very busy two weeks in Hernando County. It is starting to look like the chaos that comes from the federal government. Issues on every side. Hard to concentrate on what is taking place.

Most people don’t pay attention to government in general, but this many items are hard to pin down. Look what has happened: Three major items, probably more, have disturbed the sleeping giant. In no order: The Kass Circle event has brought out neighbors for many issues. Up-scaling the oldest privately-owned shopping area that the owner is not interested in. Money in the form of grants, which was someone’s money at it’s origin, has been used to finance its planning (I have not yet figured out who started this). It seems that the plans are typical Agenda 21. We will hear more of this.

The Nature Coast education center, which has garnered $3 million of other people’s money as a gift from the state. Plans to perhaps take over an existing nature preserve and destroy its original concept does not deter the county’s ongoing determination to match this “gift” with more of other people’s money.

The important rezoning for the Mexican company and the local landowners to mine limerock across the street from the hospital and on the main access road to our county.

And the idea that if they combine another half cent tax with the tax for the children, we won’t notice.

These events have stirred the hearts of many citizens. Enough to show up by the hundreds to meetings called by the citizens themselves. And only one commissioner showed up at any of them.

It is a wonderful thing when private citizens have offered $150,000 to “educate” us as to why we should be happy to love an additional tax. My Daddy used to say “follow the money honey and your questions will be answered.”

It is also interesting that a private investigator has been hired to investigate the people who signed the petitions for the red light camera issue and that the city threw to the courts as to hot to handle.

All in all, I see this as a grand awakening of many citizens that had not been paying attention in the past. We hope that their interest laps over to the bigger picture.

Barbara Bartlett

Spring Hill

New leaders will bring new ideas

The mantra so much in the media discussing politics for change revolves around new ideas and vision. Hernando County voters have the opportunity to fulfill this mantra at the polls from the city of Brooksville, the county commission, school board, Florida Legislature and U.S. Congress.

Many voters want a full sweep. “Throw the bums out,” is more often than not heard in conversations and huddles at gathering points.

This may be the year to finally fulfill passions for change in a full sweep as candidates opposing sitting politicians are edgy and ready for action. Susan Duvall surprised us running for school board. Brian Moore surprised us running for commission. Jay Rowden surprised us running for his district school board seat and David Koller surprised us running for Congress out of Ocala. Red light opposition candidates in the Brooksville city races have a good chance of winning as well.

This year you can vote with all your heart and soul.

Deron Mikal


Gather up the sheep

They had better get all the sheep they can find because there is a line of people getting ready to try and pull the wool over our eyes and it’s getting longer every day . Dose anyone really think the present Iraqi leadership is going to put a coalition government in place in four days when they haven’t done it in the last four years?

John Kerry and President Obama can’t expect there is a chance of that ever happening, but to try and save some face for doing nothing to force a change in the leadership there they now make demands for that change with ISIS knocking on Bagdad’s door . The horse has left barn boys, and now you want to close the door? Why are we always surprised and wait until the worst scenario possible is upon us before we act to try and change things? We seem to bury are heads in the sand and hope things will just work out the way we want and then when they don’t we thump our chests and draw lines in the sand and make empty threats that everyone knows now as rhetoric.

This is what happens after all the years of empty threats and backtracking. We get ourselves involved in these sectarian battles that have been waging war for hundreds of years and expect a few air strikes or guided bombs from drones are going to change the outcome.

We have to learn to accept that there are people in this world who think nothing about sacrificing themselves and their families for their archaic beliefs. How do you fight that? The better question is why try? They are never going to change what’s been their way of life for longer than we as a country have existed. The best we can hope for is to co-exist and stay strong enough to keep our way of life intact and prevent that scourge from reaching our shores.

If we can control our tendencies, stop playing the world’s policeman, stop making threats we have no intentions of backing up, there is a chance we can regain our once dominate role and regain the respect of other nations who now laugh when we state our intentions.

On the home front, it seems that finger pointing is the only thing Washington can do anymore. The blame game has crippled the hill and it’s always the other guy’s fault.

Meanwhile, the Mexican boarder has become a supermarket of illegal immigrant children passing through the turnstiles adding millions of dollars in tax burden to all of America workers and no one seems to care enough to stop the flow. As I addressed in the headline “Gather up the sheep” there is a whole lot of wool trying to be pulled over our eyes.

J.T. Woods


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