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Wednesday, Mar 25, 2015

Letters to the editor, June 21


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Empty symbolism

Two points immediately caught my attention when I read the June 12th article titled "Workforce board gets bad economic news."

The first was the assertion by Dianne Weiss (no relation) that part of PHWB's budget shortfall is due to the federal budget sequestration. The sequester did not reduce federal spending from the previous year, it only reduced the amount of the expected increase. In any case, isn't there something wrong with the PHWB's needing federal monies to meet payroll?

Then there was the county commission's decision to give free bus rides on June 20. THE Bus is a money pit that operates at a loss even when riders pay their fares. The reason for taking on the increased debt? To join the annual Dump the Pump day, a meaningless gesture to make us feel good.  We cannot afford to fund such empty symbolism.

John S.V. Weiss

Spring Hill

Do your part

I do my recycling on weekends and appreciate seeing others doing their "civil duties" as well!

Being as we live in a county "dirt road" situation and must take the reusable waste to a central site, it is something that should be done by everyone.

When I drive through eastern Pasco County and see the "Stop the East Pasco Landfill" signs I think that we all realize that God only made so much land, and when a landfill "cell" is filled, they are going to have to find someone else`s back yard to "decorate."

The complaint here is two-fold, and can be improved by just a few changes by the recycling system managers, as well as the good folk here in Hernando County.

Years ago, we had a small manufacturing business set up off Oliver St. We had a fair amount of cardboard recyclable waste that had to be processed. I often had to show many of the other workers that if they broke down the boxes before stuffing them in to the compactor, that we could bale another 10 to 25 percent.

How does this apply to our county? Try putting cardboard items in the containers say, at the government parking area on any given day, and you will find that the container is clogged with large boxes that people just cram into them.

Then there is the matter of the county people who sometimes man the little recycling assistance out-building on the site. One day I was trying to put cardboard into the bin and I walked over to the "shed" for some assistance.

There was a worker there in the room , and a county inmate laying asleep on the floor across from her. I asked if I could get some help and got that ever so helpful response of "sorry." At least she didn`t tell a lie. If the county has the common sense to have a recycling center, and is going to use inmates to assist, then why cannot this small problem be lessened? In the future, I foresee waste disposal problems not getting any easier, and we should all be concerned.

C`mon folks, this isn`t rocket science, it`s living alongside each other with better management habits. Think about it.

Steven Goodwin


Thank a Farmer during National Dairy Month

June is National Dairy Month, a time to celebrate our state's dairy farmers who take great pride in the contributions we make to the dairy industry, the state of Florida and our communities. We work 365 days a year to be good stewards of the land, care for our cows and produce a nutritious supply of milk for Floridians.

As a second-generation dairy farmer, I know firsthand that 98 percent of Florida's dairy farms are family-owned and operated by hardworking men and women.

The dairy industry's economic impact should not be underestimated. Agriculture is Florida's second-largest industry, and dairy farming plays a key role in its overall viability. The Sunshine State is home to roughly 130 dairy farms, and about 122,000 cows that produce more than 270 million gallons of milk.

Not only do we provide jobs, we purchase equipment, feed and other products that contribute to the economy. Every cow on a farm adds up to $25,000 to the local economy, and every nine cows owned by a dairy farmer can employ one professional in the community.

Moreover, dairy farming requires great sensitivity to the well-being of our cows. We go to great lengths to ensure that the cows are healthy and comfortable, providing high quality veterinary care as well as clean, cool barns.

Environmentally, we strive to be good stewards of the land. Most of us live on or near the land we farm, and we are constantly working with experts to find new ways to conserve water, reduce energy consumption and develop renewable energy sources.

The dairy industry now produces a gallon of milk with 90 percent less land and 65 percent less water, while producing 75 percent less manure than in 1944. Our carbon footprint has been reduced by 63 percent over that same time span.

As people become further removed from the farm, it's important they know that the men and women of the dairy industry have been, and will continue, working hard to produce the milk and other dairy foods that remain healthy staples in our diets.

Ron Aprile

Owner of Aprile Farms in Riverview

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