How can we turn the future of Brooksville around so that it is of greater benefit to it's residents?
My suggestion is turning downtown Brooksville into a tourist attraction. How? By turning it into a skate park, roller rink, bicycle path, running track and public park. The naturally steep inclines of the roads, sidewalks and landscape – that have far too long proven to be distasteful to leisurely walking and any significant economic attraction for downtown – would put Brooksville on the map as a premier tourist attraction.
Of course, the courthouse will have to be rebuilt somewhere else, say like in the vicinity of the hospital. It has a beautiful and eye-appealing landscape and plenty of acres but that would make it more easily accessible for all Hernando County residents, most of which already live in Spring Hill.
Chase Masters, Brooksville
The Arc of Florida was horrified to learn that the U.S. Department of Justice has accused the state of Florida of warehousing hundreds of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities in nursing homes. Isolating disabled children in nursing homes violates their civil rights. The Supreme Court was clear about this in its 1999 Olmstead vs. L.C. ruling.
The Arc of Florida believes the healthiest environment for an individual with developmental disabilities to live in is their community. Keeping disabled children in nursing homes and institutions places them at an increased risk for physical and emotional health problems. Most perplexing is the well-established fact that these services can be provided at a lower cost in a home and community based setting, versus nursing homes or institutions.
Today's situation did not develop overnight. While the current administration and Legislature didn't cause these problems, they have an opportunity to correct them. As Florida's legislators begin discussing priorities for the upcoming legislative session, Arc of Florida hopes they will take a closer look at this issue and work to ensure that disabled Floridians do not have their civil rights violated. Disabled children must be moved out of nursing homes and back into their communities where they belong.
Mark Barry, executive director, the Arc Nature Coast, Brooksville
My wife and I were among the group of shocked customers of Hollywood Tours. However, we managed to get our money back, salvage our canceled trip and thought might be of interest to share how we did it.
We were scheduled for a two-day and one-night night trip on Nov. 17 with Hollywood Tours from New Port Richey to the Immokalee Seminole Casino. The trip included a one night stay at the Holiday Inn Express and Suites in Fort Myers and $60 free play and two $5 meal vouchers at the casino.
On Nov. 15, we were notified by a late-afternoon recorded phone call from Hollywood Tours that the company was no longer in business, our trip was canceled and there was no mention of a refund. After several unsuccessful attempts to contact them at disconnected phone numbers and visiting the closed office the same day, I called my credit card company, which reimbursed us the total cost of the trip and said they would seek recovery from the tour company.
After getting over our disappointment, we decided to drive to the destination if we could get the same package that came with the original scheduled tour. We contacted the Holiday Inn hotel manager, explained the circumstances and received a 50 percent rate discount. We then contacted the casino's group tours coordinator and were offered $50 in free play for both of us and two $12 food vouchers. After our arrival Nov. 17, the hotel gave us a complimentary night's stay for our bad experience.
We got our money back and we had a great time. If you are mad as hell and won't take it anymore, but have a positive attitude, it's possible to get your money back. Also we found when driving is an option, contacting the scheduled hotel and other service providers and requesting the same perks offered in the original tour package can result in a happy ending.
Dr. Edward A. Coates, New Port Richey