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Monday, Mar 30, 2015

Letters to the editor, Aug. 19


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Code enforcement needed

After reading Wednesday's "Voices" letter "Badly Done" by Arlene Glantz it brought to mind the years-long battle we the residents of the Village of Hill & Dale are having with code enforcement of Hernando County.

I'm sure Ms.. Glantz can look out her front-room window and see her neighbors' house in Timber Pines. That's something we the residents of the Village of Hill & Dale have a hard time doing. We have uncut vacant lots with six feet of weeds and grass, which is home to vermin and snakes that our families have to live with daily.

These lots are owned by mostly out-of-state residents and grow to these unsightly dangerous vermin-infested eyesores because Hernando County Code Enforcement turns a deaf ear and a blind eye to this every-year occurrence. We have signed petitions, we have called and called, we have personally gone to the Code Enforcement office and asked to get something done, and all we get are excuses and innuendos and the mess still endures.

At best these lots get cut once a year, if at all. This year we are still waiting for the first time. I know Hill & Dale is not "Timber Pines" or "Pristine Place" but we pay taxes too, and the residents here in the Village of Hill & Dale deserve better and should not be subjected to the unnecessary dangers these neglected properties cause our families.

The time is long past when the code the rest of us here in the Village live up to are ignored by these nonresidents. Do the job you were entrusted to do and uphold and enforce the rules and regulations in a timely manor.

James Woods


Red light farce

To answer Mr. Varn's recent question in his Letter to the Editor - How do the red light cameras work for right turns on red? The answer is they simply don't - and don't want to.

I'm not talking about how they actually don't prevent accidents more than they create them, or that they inhibit folks from using Brooksville for shopping. I'm taking about physics and math. Yes, physics - what many of us learned in high school, and what Brooksville City Council, assigned police officers and most judges have probably long forgotten.

You see, the calculation done to determine mph is done too simply - by subtracting two points. The first point is as you approach the intersection, about 50 feet from it. The second point is after the turn again about 50 feet from the intersection.

The two points are roughly 5 seconds apart in time. This two-point approach would be fine if a car were traveling at a constant speed - like on the interstate. However in the situation of a driver coming to an (almost) stop, and then immediately accelerating again after the turn, this approach is about as scientifically ignorant as Mayor Lara Bradburn's no-fluoridation rant.

The fact is that a car's motion when it slows then accelerates as viewed on a distance vs. time plot actually approximates a parabola (remember that word) - not a straight line.

Certainly, using the jerky video footage could be used to calculate the minimum speed, but it's not. Why? Because the minimum speed would actually be far lower. How much lower? Much. In many cases the actual minimum could be less than 3 mph compared to the two-point calculation of 12-15 mph.

Of course, there are other common failings of the cameras, aside from the obvious constitutional issues. (BTW, please thank attorney Peyton Hyslop for his efforts to keep City of Brooksville honest on this front). The cameras don't indicate the light cycle. For instance, they don't indicate whether all lights were simultaneously red at the moment of your "alleged" transgression, whether there's a left turn signal, whether the intersection is actually a three-way, yadda. In other words, when all is considered, the turn on red (although perhaps not a complete stop) was perfectly safe despite what the camera (and its partial data) would like one to think.

Red light cameras are probably a good idea for managing the harshest of red light "crimes" (folks outright running straight through a red light, post-accident investigation, etc). However, these useful purposes don't generate money.

My advice to the City of Brooksville powers-that-be is - if you want to play with math, please make sure your HS Physics is up to snuff first. Same goes for the judges.

James Mastro


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