Another Publix To Open Off County Line Road

SPRING HILL –
The eighth Publix store in Hernando County will be built along County Line Road, a company spokeswoman said.

The Villages of Avalon – a housing development and new plaza opening at the corner of Anderson Snow Road – will include a 45,000-square-foot store with a bakery and pharmacy.

“It’s our typical, average-sized store,” said Publix spokeswoman Shannon Patten.

It will be located less than four miles from the store located at Mariner Boulevard and less than three miles from the one at the corner of Barclay Avenue and Spring Hill Drive.

Despite the proximity to the other stores, there is no fear of overlap.

“It’s not going to be a replacement store,” Patten said. “There are no plans to close any locations there.”

Construction has not yet begun, but stores generally open within nine months of the groundbreaking, she said. That could mean it would be ready to open by summer 2009.

Since Publix announced it would purchase 49 Albertsons last summer, several stores are being transitioned.

In Hudson, the former Albertsons at Tower Oaks Terrace, located at 12101 Little Road, will become a Publix before the end of the year.

The grocery chain is following its pattern of opening new locations within a few miles of existing stores.

The Hudson store will be located less than four miles from the Publix located at the corner of Hudson Avenue.

Reporter Tony Holt can be reached at 352-544-5283 or wholt@hernandotoday.com.

Pit Bulls Are Shaped By Their Environment

OK, now it is time to take the test. Would you know a pit bull if you saw one? If you look to the right of this article, you will see a pit bull recognition test – the answers are in the box below.

Here are the facts about pit bulls: They are not a specific breed of dog. This is a term usually used to describe dogs from the heritage of three different breeds: American Staffordshire Terriers (AKC), Staffordshire Bull Terriers (AKC) and the American Pit Bull Terrier (UKC).

The public is consistently exposed to the negative stories in the media. Pit Bulls in loving families who are raised as any other pet dog would be, are wonderful companions. The problem dogs are the ones that are poorly bred and/or raised by irresponsible or unscrupulous owners.

It is true that pit bulls have been bred for decades, if not centuries to fight other dogs; a reprehensible practice. But, in all these years of dog fighting, these dogs were not documented as being human aggressive. This has evolved from human irresponsibility. Dog fighting needs to be stopped, there is no question about this, but this still does not equate to human aggression.

While these dogs have been bred for strength and endurance, there other qualities are immense loyalty and gentleness. Even the terrible people who fight these poor dogs would not tolerate human aggression. While these dogs were used for fighting, they were also the family pet. Dogs that exhibited human aggression were destroyed and only the human friendly dogs were allowed to continue breeding.

Dog aggression does not translate to human aggression. Pit bulls being human aggressive is a myth. Poorly bred and poorly treated dogs, of any breed, leads to aggression towards humans.

Pit bulls by nature crave human companionship. Their whole body will quake with excitement at the approach of someone who will pet them and they love human contact and affection. Many of these poor dogs have endured physical abuse due to the myth that they are human aggressive. Even after abuse, they want nothing more than to be part of a family to love and play with.

As with all breeds there are exceptions to the expected behavior and temperament of the nature of the dog and this is true of humans as well. There are good people and bad people, acceptable behavior and unacceptable behavior.

The other myth is that all pit bulls are animal aggressive. This is also false. It is how any animal is trained and treated that will trigger aggression. This is a human failing, not the failing for the poor animal.

We, as owners, need to be responsible in our treatment of all animals. That is the solution to any aggression issues with pets.

Joanne Schoch is the executive director of the Humane Society of the Nature Coast. Got a pet-related question? Send it to For Pet’s Sake, c/o the Humane Society of the Nature Coast, Inc., P.O. Box 10328, Brooksville, FL 34603.

Citrus County Deaths Of Mom, 3 Kids May Be Murder-Suicide

FLORAL CITY – Greg Maslowski called 911 and told them to come quickly. He had just found his stepdaughter and her three boys, all younger than 4, dead in his home.

“I’m outside the house. I’m not going in the house,” he told a 911 operator at about 10 a.m. Friday as his wife screamed and shrieked in the background. “I’m not even going in the room.”

As he spoke with the operator, his wife cried, “Please God. No, no, no.”

The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office is treating the deaths at 4983 E. Stoer Lane in Floral City as a murder-suicide, said Heather Yates, a sheriff’s spokeswoman. Authorities said a firearm was recovered nearby.

The woman, 23-year-old Alicia Chomic, was found in a bedroom with her sons, Anthony Michael Lietz Jr., 15 months; Damian Michael Lietz, 2; and Thomas Anthony Goldsmith Jr., 3. Deputies say the four likely died sometime Thursday night.

Chomic, who has recently lived in Pasco County, and her older children were on a bed; her youngest child was in a bassinet.

Citrus County records list Greg and Vickie Maslowski as the owners of the property, identified as a mobile home.

The Maslowskis were taken to an area hospital, suffering from distress after discovering of the bodies, deputies say. They weren’t there when the deaths occurred.Citrus County Sheriff Jeff Dawsy said Chomic’s mother was so upset authorities were not able to talk to her much.

“It’s very tough for us to pull a lot of information out,” Dawsy said. “We will be interviewing her again tomorrow, but we felt right now that we have enough information.”

Deputies said Chomic had moved back to the home of her mother and stepfather with the children in the past week. Public records indicate she had lived for the past several years in Pasco County.

Chomic’s mother, Vickie Maslowski, and stepfather came home Thursday night and noticed that the door to the room Chomic shared with her sons was closed. The stepfather said on the 911 call that the couple thought Chomic and the children were sleeping.

“There was no sort of movement or anything,” Dawsy said. “So they never went in and checked. So we’re taking it from there and moving back on a timeline.”

Friday morning, Chomic’s mother went into the room and found the bodies.

“The problem is, is I’ve got three people that look like they’re passed away in my … three children,” Greg Maslowski, 45, told the 911 operator. “My wife’s going crazy.”

Investigators have contacted the boys’ fathers and said they had not found a suicide note or letter.

Reached Friday evening, Greg Maslowski declined to comment.

Little was known late Friday about Chomic’s background or what might have led her to kill her three children and then herself. Public records show she had lived in Pasco County from at least 2004 to 2007, at several addresses in New Port Richey and Port Richey.

One of those addresses was the Ebenezer Vincent apartments in New Port Richey, a small apartment complex of about two dozen units, populated mostly by lower-income residents. Several neighbors at the complex contacted Friday evening said they did not know Chomic.

Floral City is a rural community about 60 miles north of Tampa. The home where the apparent murder-suicide occurred is on a quiet street near farms and open fields.

Neighbors said they didn’t hear anything unusual Thursday night or Friday morning and couldn’t recall having seen the mother and her children before.

Neighbor Tammy Shelton said she didn’t hear gunshots and that her three dogs – who normally respond to anything, even car lights – didn’t appear to hear anything, either.

Neighbor Alicia Diamond said her own father heard the victim’s first name and rushed home from work, worrying that his daughter was dead.

Tribune reporter Josh Poltilove, and News Channel 8 reporter Peter Bernard contributed to this report. Information from the Associated Press also was used in this report.

Hooters Gal Makes Second Swimsuit Calendar

SPRING HILL –
The scenery is a major draw for any Hooters restaurant.

Beautiful women like 19-year-old Kaylie Kushmer greet you, serve you food and say “goodbye” as you walk out the door.

For a lucky few, they had a close-up view of a photo shoot – one that included the local Hooters waitress in a black, two-piece swimsuit decorated with sparkling rhinestones.

“The customers were coming in and they were getting a behind-the-scenes experience,” said a giggling Kushmer.

They might have had the closest look at the bubbly brunette, but they surely are not the only ones who were able to see her don the skimpy swimwear.

For the second year in a row, Kushmer has been featured in the annual Hooters Calendar. Her latest photo can be found at the bottom of the June page of the 2009 edition, which is on sale at all Hooters locations and online.

The tanned and slender business student stands 5 feet 9 inches tall. She has long curly hair and her bright eyes change color whenever there is a change in her mood, she said.

They were a grayish-blue on a recent afternoon as she gleefully talked about her calendar shoot, her fondness of Hooters and her future.

Kushmer is a full-time student at Pasco-Hernando Community College and plans to transfer to the University of South Florida next year. After that, she wishes to attend law school.

The Central High School graduate was born in Brandon and relocated to Hernando Beach while a sophomore in high school.

Her managers at the Spring Hill restaurant learned of her second consecutive inclusion in the calendar before she did. Instead of simply telling Kushmer, they threw her a surprise party and announced it then.

Up to 15 percent of the waitresses across the country sent photos to the calendar committee. The judges chose about 80 out of the thousands of submitted photos.

Kushmer was not the only one from the Spring Hill location who tried out for a chance to be in the calendar. The competition side was the one thing she found unappealing. Her smile vanished for the first and only time during the interview when she mentioned it.

“There are others here who tried out who should have made it,” she said.

Kushmer first applied at Hooters when she was 16 years old. To be a hostess, one must be 17. The minimum age requirement for a waitress is 18.

The hiring manager politely turned her away following her first visit, but as promised, she reapplied on her 17th birthday and was hired. One year later, on the day she turned 18, she worked as a waitress for the first time. It was a double shift.

She wore a sash that advertised her birthday to everyone. She set a personal record for tips.

Kushmer’s photo is seen by managers as an inducement for customers to spend more money – or at least buy more calendars. She laughs whenever they remind her.

“They try to convince us it helps sales,” she said. “They’ll tell us (before our shift), ‘You have to sell 500 calendars and there’s no excuse not to because Kaylie’s working today.'”

Her inclusion in the 2009 calendar also allows her to take part in activities with the other models. When the group visited Kushmer’s location for a recent appearance, they warmed her heart with compliments about her co-workers and customers.

“They kept saying, ‘That’s the nicest (restaurant) we’ve ever been to,'” she said.

She wasn’t surprised by the comments. She remains employed at the U.S. 19 location because of the comfortable atmosphere. When she attends school in Tampa, she might entertain the idea of signing on at a second Hooters, but she has vowed to continue waitressing in Spring Hill during the weekends.

“This restaurant is much different from the others,” Kushmer said. “It’s a lot more fun and easygoing.”

Because she goes to school during the week, most of her work hours are scheduled for the weekends. Football season is particularly busy and draws the most regulars.

She loves the chain so much she has hopes for a successful, lucrative career as a business attorney that would grant her the capital to purchase her own Hooters restaurant.

In the meantime, she plans to focus on her studies, relish her job and pile on more happy memories.

As long as future calendar shoots remain a possibility, Kushmer’s bosses do their best to ensure she doesn’t detach from her roots. Tampa might be bigger and the lights might be brighter, but Hernando County is home. Those reminders never stop coming.

“They keep telling me that under my name it had better say, ‘from Spring Hill, Florida,'” she said. “It will. I love it here.”

Reporter Tony Holt can be reached at 352-544-5283 or wholt@hernandotoday.com.

Business Briefcase 285187

Hernando-Pasco Hospice promote Young, Brown

HUDSON Hernando-Pasco Hospice Inc. has promoted W. Richard Young to senior vice president of financial services and Nancy L. Brown to senior vice president of clinical services for the not-for-profit agency, which serves Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties. Both are based out of the administrative office in Hudson. Young joined HPH in 2007 as chief financial officer and will continue to oversee the agency’s $65 million annual budget, cash flow and investments. In his new role, Young will take charge of HPH Homecare. The latter is a not-for-profit affiliate of HPH which provides homecare services in Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties. Brown will oversee HPH’s patient and family care programs in its tri-county service area in addition to managing the bereavement, staff education, quality improvement, volunteer and spiritual care departments. Presently, HPH serves more than 1,000 patients daily who are affected by a life-limiting illness regardless of their ability to pay.

Dr. Higgins attends Clinical Assembly of Osteopathic Specialists

SPRING HILL Dr. Michael W. Higgins attended the 2008 Annual Clinical Assembly of Osteopathic Specialists last month in Boca Raton. The Clinical Assembly was three days of intensive training on current trends, techniques and new treatment options for joint replacements, sports injury and other orthopedic conditions. Higgins specializes in non-operative and operative management of the spine and general orthopedic conditions. His office is located at 10429 Spring Hill Drive. He can be reached at 352-688-6035. For more information, visit www.hernandoorthospine.com.

Prostate Cancer Support Group will meet today

BROOKSVILLE The Florida Cancer Institute-New Hope will hold its regular “Man to Man” prostate cancer support group at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 6. Cosponsored by the American Cancer Society, “Man to Man” meets on the first Monday of every month at the Florida Cancer Institute-New Hope’s Brooksville Center, located at 7154 Medical Center. Among the topics most frequently discussed are the importance of early detection, signs and symptoms of prostate cancer, prognosis, disease stages, incontinence, and impotence, the various treatment options including hormone therapy and medications and the latest research and treatment modalities. Speakers include physicians, nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, social workers and others. For more information call Mary Capo at 352-596-1926.

Anderson to speak at Tuesday support group meeting

SPRING HILL The Florida Cancer Institute – New Hope recently announced Dr. Norman H. Anderson will be the guest speaker at its upcoming women’s breast cancer support group meeting from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7. The support group will meet at its center, located at 7154 Medical Center Drive. Anderson is chief executive officer of the Robert Boissoneault Oncology Institute in Ocala. He graduated from the University of Florida’s College of Medicine in Gainesville, where he also completed his internship and residencies at the Division of Radiation Oncology. He also holds undergraduate degrees in chemistry and mechanical engineering from the University of Central Florida and a degree in clinical psychology from Emory University in Atlanta. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, call Tambra Randazzo at 592-8128. Florida Cancer Institute – New Hope is affiliated with US Oncology, the nation’s largest health care services network dedicated exclusively to cancer treatment and research. It has six locations throughout Pasco and Hernando counties. For more information, call 1-888-206-0054 or visit www.FloridaCancerInstitute-NewHope.com.

Chamber’s business social is Tuesday

BROOKSVILLE The Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce Business After Business Social will begin at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7. The host and sponsor is Green World Path Inc., located at 1665 Donto Way. There will be an organic meal, dessert and wine tasting. There also will be live music and dancing. For more information, call 796-0697.

Florida Farm Bureau annual meeting will begin Wednesday

ORLANDO Hundreds of farmers and ranchers from across the state will convene Oct. 8-10 at the Peabody Hotel in Orlando for the Florida Farm Bureau Federation’s 67th annual meeting. Organized around the theme “Growing for Tomorrow,” the meeting will offer events centered on Florida Farm Bureau Women, Young Farmers and Ranchers and legislative action and education. Voting delegates will elect the president and vice president and adopt the policies that will guide the organization during the next 12 months. For more information on the annual meeting, contact Rachel Kudelko at 352-378-8100, Ext. 1030, or e-mail her at Rachel.kudelko@ffbf.org. Information may also be found at http://floridafarmbureau.org/annual_meeting. The Florida Farm Bureau Federation is the state’s largest general-interest agricultural association with more than 140,000 member-families statewide. Headquartered in Gainesville, the federation is an independent, nonprofit agricultural organization.

Wireless Zone/Verizon Wireless will host ribbon cutting Wednesday

SPRING HILL The Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce announced a ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place for new member Wireless Zone/Verizon Wireless at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8. The business is located at 4385 Commercial Way. For more information, call Jaime Sheridan at 727-514-9702.

Hanna’s ‘Into the Wild’ to film at Weeki Wachee Springs Thursday

WEEKI WACHEE Jack Hanna, famed wildlife expert and television personality, will be at Weeki Wachee Springs attraction Thursday, Oct. 9. He will film a portion of his made-for-kids reality show, “Into the Wild.” The unscripted series documents Hanna’s adventures throughout the world as he encounters fascinating animals and cultures. The highlight of the filming will be when the show’s star jumps into the spring to swim with the world famous mermaids. “Into the Wild” recently won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Series. For more information, call the park at 352-596-2062 or visit www.weekiwachee.com.

Caregiver Support Group will meet Thursday

SPRING HILL Florida Cancer Institute-New Hope will hold its Caregiver Support Group at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9. The group meets the second Thursday of every month at the Florida Cancer Institute-New Hope’s Spring Hill Center, located at 10441 Quality Drive, Suite 203 in the Medical Arts Building next to Spring Hill Regional Hospital. For more information call Dorothy Hiller at 352-688-7744.

Networking at Noon is Friday

BROOKSVILLE The Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce will hold its monthly luncheon from noon to 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10, at the Brooksville Country Club, located at Majestic Oaks at 23446 Links Drive. The cost for this month’s Network at Noon is $10 with a reservation, $15 without a reservation and $20 for nonmembers. Cancelations must be made 24 hours prior to the deadline (Wednesday, Oct. 8). For more information or to make a reservation, call Patty Himmelberger at 796-0697, Ext. 18.

HBA supports H.E.L.P., application deadline is Oct. 17

SPRING HILL The Hernando Builders Association would like to encourage the citizens of Hernando County to learn more about the Housing Enhancement Loan Program (H.E.L.P.). The Hernando County Housing Authority is now accepting applications for this program, which is designed to provide assistance to seniors and very low income residents who are experiencing conditions in their home that pose a threat to the health, safety, or welfare of the household occupants and may not meet current health, fire and building codes. The H.E.L.P. program will provide zero interest loans of up to $37,000 to help senior households with the cost of repairs. To qualify, applicants must meet certain age and income requirements and the residence must be a house and not a mobile home. Applications are being accepted until Friday, Oct. 17. For more information, call the Hernando County Housing Authority at 352-754-4160.

Sponsorships, booths still available for Oct. 18 Health Fair

BROOKSVILLE Sponsorships and booths are still available for the fourth Annual Hernando County Health Fair, which will be held Saturday, Oct. 18. The annual event has drawn as many as 2,000 visitors. Various sponsorship packages are available starting at $500. The Health Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Brooksville Elks Lodge 2582, located at 14494 Cortez Blvd. More than 65 local health care businesses share information, give demonstrations and provide free health screenings for the community. Interior booths are available for $135 and a limited number of outside booths also will be available for $110. Complimentary samples from local food establishments will be available as well as live music and entertainment. Flu shots will be offered for $30 each (Medicare and most insurances will be accepted). Current presenting sponsors include Oak Hill Hospital, Brooksville and Spring Hill Regional Hospitals, the Nature Coast Community Health Center, Elks Brooksville Lodge 2582 and Hernando County Health Department. Media sponsors include Hernando Today, WWJB AM Radio, TBO.com and News Channel 8 On Your Side. Additional major sponsors include Florida Cancer Institute-New Hope, Gulf Coast Spine Institute, Hernando Gastroenterology Associates, Hernando Orthopedic and Spinal Surgery – Dr. Michael Higgins, Medicare Health Options, Spring Oaks/Forest Oaks The Grand, Stolte Eye Center, Summit Imaging, THE Bus and WellCare. For more information, call Denise Nohejl at 352-544-5206.

Food vendors announced for Health Fair

BROOKSVILLE Food vendors for the 4th Annual Community Health Fair have been announced. The following local food establishments will offer complimentary samples of their signature items to those who attend the fair – Boston Cooker, Brooksville Natural Foods, Chick-fil-A, Coldstone, Honey Baked Ham, Marco’s Pizza, Mediterranean Pita Grill, Panera Bread, Papa Joe’s, Publix and Starbucks. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, at the Brooksville Elks Lodge 2582, located at 14494 Cortez Blvd. There will be live music and entertainment and flu shots will be available for $30. (Medicare and most insurance will be accepted). For more information contact Denise Nohejl at 352-544-5206.

Jazzercise to take part in Miami Dolphins halftime show Oct. 26

SPRING HILL Local Jazzercisers will help energize the crowd at the Miami Dolphins halftime show at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 26, when they present a dance routine to benefit Breast Cancer Research and Awareness. More than 150 Jazzercise instructors and students from all over Central and South Florida, including 15 from Hernando County, are currently practicing for the show before and after scheduled Jazzercise classes. Each participant also donated money to breast cancer as part of her participation in the show. Jazzercise, which is a fusion of jazz dance, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing movements, has positively affected millions of people worldwide. Benefits include increased cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility, as well as an overall “feel-good” factor. For more information on Jazzercise, call Mooneyham at 352-442-8595. Classes are offered in Spring Hill and Brooksville. For worldwide class information, go to jazzercise.com or call 1-800-FIT-IS-IT.

AVON is fundraising for the Dawn Center throughout October

SPRING HILL AVON Representatives and owners of AVON Discount Store, located at 3513 Commercial Way in Spring Hill, are taking part in October Awareness Month, a month-long fundraiser for both breast cancer and domestic violence. AVON is the largest corporate supporter of the breast cancer cause. The AVON Breast Cancer Crusade has raised and donated nearly a half-billion dollars worldwide since 1992.AVON representatives help by selling pink-ribbon items and doing the AVON three-day walk (all proceeds go to the foundation). Plus, in 2004 AVON started the Speak Out Against Domestic Violence campaign, which has already raised more than $7 million for awareness and support. Local AVON representatives, Susan and John Dixon, sell these products all year long to bring awareness to both causes. They have partnered with the Dawn Center, a local women’s shelter for domestic violence and sexual abuse. For each domestic violence item AVON sells, it will donate $2 directly to this local shelter as well as selling Purple Wooden roses for $1. The store is also a drop-off point for donations of toiletries, gas cards and non-perishables to go to the shelter. For more information on what AVON has for products for these causes, call the Dixons at 352-684-9299 or stop in their store, which is open week days from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Business Briefcase, compiled by Tony Holt, is published each Monday. News releases must be received by the Wednesday before the desired publication date. Items of interest include employee promotions, company openings, closings, expansions and relocations

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Vedelle G. Dalby, 82, of Spring Hill, died Saturday, Sept. 27, at Hernando-Pasco Hospice Care Unit, Chatman Boulevard, Brooksville. She was born in Federal, Pa., and moved to this area 21 years ago from Pittsburgh, Pa.
Mrs. Dalby was a homemaker, president of the Oakridge Fire Department Auxiliary, a member of the Pennsylvania Bowling League, member and past president of the Pennsylvania Club of Spring Hill, and a Christian by faith.
She is survived by her husband, Wilbert.
Arrangements by Merritt Funeral Homes, Spring Hill Chapel.

Joseph J. Bobak, 81, of Weeki Wachee, died Saturday, Sept. 27.
Survivors include his wife, Mary Esther; a son, Kenneth A. Bobak of Weeki Wachee; four daughters, Cynthia Fletcher, Beverly Ann Marusa, both of Brunswick, Ohio, Teresa DeMarco of Medina, Ohio, and Patricia Jo Kackley of Strongsville, Ohio; a brother, Dr. Edward Bobak of Garfield Heights, Ohio; a sister, Helen Danilowicz of San Diego, Calif.; 12 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Arrangements by Grace Memorial Gardens & Funeral Home, U.S. 19, Hudson.

Mary D. Pallay, 91, of Brooksville, died Saturday, Sept. 27, at her home. She was born in Jersey City, N.J.
Mrs. Pallay worked for a Garage Door Company as a cable roller.
Survivors include her son, Bob Kazmierski of Brooksville; a brother, Edward; two sisters, Jennie and Josephine; seven grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.
Arrangements by Brewer & Sons Funeral Homes and Cremation Services, Commercial Way, Spring Hill Chapel.

Elisa Cintron, 83, of Spring Hill, died Sunday, Sept. 28, at Hernando-Pasco Hospice Care Unit, Chatman Boulevard, Brooksville. She was born in Humacao, Puerto Rico, and moved to this area seven years ago from Freehold, N.J.
Mrs. Cintron was a retired gift and card shop owner in Middletown, N.J., and a member of Christian Life Assembly of God.
Survivors include her husband, Angel G. Sr.; a son, Angel G. Cintron Jr. of New Port Richey; a daughter, Lourdes Cintron of Spring Hill; two sisters, Isabelle Flecha of Fort Lauderdale and Felicity Flecha of Atlantic Highlands, N.J.; seven grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
Arrangements by Merritt Funeral Homes, Spring Hill Chapel.

William L. White Sr., 75, of Ridge Manor, died Saturday, Sept. 27, at his home. He was born in New York, New York, and moved to this area 16 years ago from Miami.
Mr. White was a volunteer fireman during the ’50s in Zephyrhills. He was a member of Kairos Prison Ministry, the Emmaus Community and Spring Lake United Methodist Church.
Survivors include his wife, Lorraine; a son, William White Jr.; four daughters, Denise Flynn, Cindy Burke, Georgette White-Roig and Kimberly White-Pinilla; 12 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.
Arrangements by Turner Funeral Homes, Brooksville Chapel.

Evelyn Huhn, 82, of Brooksville, died Thursday, Sept. 25, at Kindred Hospital. She was born in Manistique, Mich., and moved to this area 16 years ago from Clearwater.
Mrs. Huhn retired from Honeywell and was a Lutheran by faith.
Survivors include her husband, Robert; two daughters, Sharon Sugamosto of Shelby Township, Mich., and Donna Franz of Brooksville; two brothers, Kenneth Schubring of Atlanta, Ga., and Wesley Schubring of Sarasota; a sister, Marilyn Rudquist of Rochester, Mich.; three grandchildren; and a great-grandchild.
Arrangements by Merritt Funeral Home, Brooksville Chapel.

Alma Fleischman, 88, of Brooksville, died Monday, Sept. 29.
Survivors include a son, Leonard; a daughter, Joy; three grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.
Arrangements by Brewer & Sons Funeral Homes and Cremation Services, Brooksville Chapel.

To Pull Or Not To Pull The Plug

Today, the most routine medical procedure requires your initials and signature in various places to document you are aware of all the possible death scenarios. After you sign off on these possible tragedies so as to decrease medical liability, you are presented with “living will” documents to fill out.
The instructions to fill out this life-and-death decision are generally as follows. “I, John Doe, want to choose how I will be treated by my doctors and other health care providers during the last days of my life. I do not want to suffer unnecessarily and I do not want to be kept on machines that will serve only to delay the time of my death. My choices about treatments which have little chance of making my condition better, if I am unable to make my own decisions, are listed below.”
This official questionnaire asks you to check box “yes” if you want treatment or “no” boxes if you do not want treatment. The box checked will determine if you receive certain types of treatment to, or not to, preserve your life. In other words: to pull or not to pull the plug — that is the question. Before you rush to automatically pull the plug, remember times are changing.
No one wants to exist permanently in a vegetative state only to die. This dependent quasi-dead life would make the person a burden to family and society without awareness of the world or ability to contribute to others. Few, if any, individuals would see this state as desirable. Everyone would want the plug pulled if there is no chance of being a cognizant, feeling human being.
The question that immediately should strike the person filling out this life or death decision document is who is going to determine that your body and mind cannot heal sufficiently to live a meaningful life? A person in an unconscious or permanently confused state cannot make this decision. The professional assessment that CPR, life support, surgery, blood, tube feeding are only going to “delay the time of death” and have “little chance of making my condition better” will be initially made by medical professionals. A designated surrogate will be the one to integrate this information and make treatment choices.
This life-and-death decision has to be based on assumptions about the probability of one’s health improving. The person who would have your best interest at heart would be your most intimate relationship. This person would be best able to protect you in the hospital and decide what would be the best for you. Leaving the evaluation solely to professionals could eliminate the necessary time for your body to sufficiently recoup to make an accurate decision.
There is no medical staff that can predict with certitude the course of an illness or a traumatic accident. The best a group of professionals would be able to do is to make a series of educated guesses of the probability of a person’s chance of recovery and weigh it against the cost factors of keeping the person alive.
Financial concerns influence our cultural attitude toward life and death. Government pricing of allowances for specific services and procedures directly influences the medical industry’s perspective of long-term care. This medical pricing is influenced by the state of the treasury. As the generational war unfolds, young people’s resentment will increase, as they are required to shoulder the burden of the taxes for the “baby boomers,” who have not saved for their own health and retirement expenses. The flood of geriatric patients will result in radical cutbacks in services, especially for the acute and chronically ill, to avoid bankruptcy. The scarcity of resources makes it more difficult to be on the side of prolonging the patient’s life.
The sanctity of life is under attack — especially for the elderly. Prolonging artificial life at all costs as during the 1970s is over. Suffering is no longer seen as an inevitable part of living but something to eliminate even at the expense of ending life. Euthanasia has been passed in Oregon and is being considered in other parts of the USA. Death is the final answer to physical suffering of the patient and psychological pain of the loved ones. Europe is pulling the plug early and is spending substantially less per patient. There is a real incentive for patients to die early.
Before you check the box for prolonging your life, you may be under the misconception there would be no possibility for your recovery. The “culture of convenience” is making it more likely that our government-dominated medical industry might decide to make sacrificial lambs of people over a certain age to appease a more aggressive and politically powerful segment of voters.
Checking “yes” to treatment and designating a trusted loved one to watch over you when you may be temporarily incapacitated is probably the best way to prevent your meaningful life from being snuffed out before God intended. Although a loved one would be hard pressed to go against the prognosis of the authorities, this individual would have the greatest motivation to exhaust all possibilities before giving up on your life.
Death may be cheaper and a final solution to an aging population. But it should not be left in the hands of a medical establishment that receives its instructions from centralized government bureaucrats.

Dr. Domenick J. Maglio, Ph.D., is the author of “Invasion Within” and “Essential Parenting.” He is a psychotherapist and the owner/director of Wider Horizons School.

Cemex To Idle Brooksville North Plant

BROOKSVILLE –
Faced with a hobbled housing market and plummeting demand for its products, Cemex will temporarily shutter its Brooksville North cement production plant by the end of year, company officials confirmed Monday.

“Most” of the employees will be transferred to Cemex’s Brooksville South plant on Cobb Road, but some will be laid off, Cemex spokeswoman Jennifer Borgen said.

“We’ve had a severe downturn in the housing market, and we’re taking the necessary steps to meet those challenges,” Borgen said. “Now, unfortunately, we made the tough decision to idle our Brooksville plant.”

The company plans to reopen the plant on U.S. 98 north of Brooksville “when conditions improve,” Borgen said.

Borgen, a Houston-based spokeswoman who evacuated to Dallas as Hurricane Ike threatened, couldn’t cite the total number of employees working at the Brooksville North plant, how many will get pink slips or what kind of severance package they will receive, if any. Borgen said she’d heard employees were informed of the move Friday but couldn’t confirm that.

Local Cemex officials directed media inquires to Borgen.

The company is moving forward with a $230 million project to build a new cement kiln at its Brooksville South facility on Cobb Road, Borgen said. The second kiln was expected to add some 30 jobs to the company’s roughly 200-member Hernando work force. It now appears those positions will be filled with existing employees.

The company last year bought out Rinker, the Australia-based maker of ready-mix concrete and aggregates, for $14.2 billion. The Brooksville South Plant had been a Rinker facility.

The mining and cement production industries have been among the county’s most stable, said Mike McHugh, the county’s director of business development who worked in the industry before coming to the county.

McHugh said he doesn’t recall a cement plant ever being idled in Hernando County.

“So it certainly speaks to the difficulties in the construction and housing market right now,” McHugh said.

But it also makes sense that the company is moving operations to its new, more efficient facility, McHugh said.

Cemex last week announced total earnings of some $1.25 billion for the third quarter of this year, a decrease of about 3 percent compared to the same period last year.

The company estimates its earnings for the first nine months of 2008 at about $3.55 billion, an 8 percent decline versus the same period last year. About half of the drop of earnings “is the result of the lower expected performance from our U.S. operations,” the company said in the earnings statement.

“We continue to face a challenging economic environment in most of our markets,” Rodrigo Trevino, CEMEX’s chief financial officer, said in the statement. “Volumes during the quarter have been negatively affected by the continuing downturn in markets such as the United States, Spain and the United Kingdom.”

The company projects its domestic cement volume in the U.S. for 2008 to decrease by around 18 percent; ready-mix volume to decrease by about 28 percent; and aggregate products to decrease by about 28 percent.

The continued decline in the residential construction sector is the main culprit, company officials said. That decline, in turn, affects the industrial and commercial sectors.

Foreign-exchange fluctuations, including the depreciation of the Mexican peso, have also taken a toll on earnings, Trevino said.

The news comes as Hernando’s unemployment rate continues to climb, hitting 8.4 percent in July, according to the state’s Agency for Workforce Innovation. The state’s jobless rate is 6.1 percent.

Reporter Tony Marrero can be reached at 352-544-5286 or lmarrero@hernandotoday.com.

Obituaries

Carmen “Chick” Camorata, 86, of Spring Hill, died Monday, Sept. 8, at Oak Hill Hospital. He was born in Elm, N.J., and moved to the area in 1991.

Mr. Camorata served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was a volunteer firefighter for the Hammonton New Jersey Fire Department.

Survivors include his wife, Gladys; son, Skip Conover, of Spring Hill; daughter, Darlene Camorata; sisters, Catherine O’Toole, and Rose Camorata; and four grandchildren.

Arrangements by Brewer and Sons Funeral Home, Spring Hill Chapel.

Survivors include his son, Neil F. “Freddy,” of Brooksville.

Arrangements by Merritt Funeral Home, Brooksville Chapel.

Patricia A. Breslin, 53, of Spring Hill, died Friday, Sept. 12.

Survivors include her son, Patrick Breslin-Williams, of Pennsylvania; and three sisters, Maureen, Frances and Nancy.

Arrangements by Downing Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Spring Hill.

Lorraine M. Hewitt, 87, of Spring Hill, died Saturday, Sept. 18, at her home. She was born in Ashland, Pa.

Ms. Hewitt was a former librarian and a member of the Women’s Army Air Corps. She also was a member of Holiday Rambler Chapter 92, American Legion Post 186, Brooksville Lodge 2582, Moose Lodge 1765. She was the founding member of the Elite Investment Club and past lady president of the Elks Ladies.

Survivors include her daughters, Sue Van Horn-Marsh, of Spring Hill, and Barbara Adams, of Camp Hill, Pa.; six grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

Arrangements by Turner Funeral Homes, Spring Hill Chapel.

Large Firms Behind Power Plant Proposal

BROOKSVILLE –
The energy investment firm proposing a gas-fired power plant on mining land north of Brooksville apparently has some heavy-duty financial backing.

A spokeswoman for JP Morgan Chase, a global financial services firm, shed some light Friday on the hierarchy of companies behind the plan for a 1,200-megawatt, natural gas-fired power plant on Florida Crushed Stone property between the Suncoast Parkway and U.S. 98.

Florida Power Development LLC is the corporation proposing the plant project that is dubbed SunCoast Power, said Tasha Pelio, a New York based spokeswoman for JP Morgan.

Florida Power Development is a subsidiary of Central Power Holdings, owned by Arroyo Energy Investors based in Houston, Texas.

Arroyo had been owned by Bear Stearns, one of the largest global investment banks and securities trading and brokerage firms before its collapse earlier this year. JP Morgan acquired the firm in May.

Arroyo has interests in natural gas and electric power generation facilities throughout the country and in Florida, including plants in Polk and Orange counties that sell power to Progress Energy and Tampa Electric Company, according to the company’s Web site.

Pelio said the Brooksville plant proposal is still in the early stages and declined to comment further. Florida Crushed Stone officials have not returned calls.

The plant infrastructure would be built on 75 acres of reclaimed mine land on Florida Crushed Stone’s 580-acre property, according to an overview of the project provided to the county planning department. It’s unclear whether the Florida Power Development would lease or purchase the land.

The plant would take three years to build, cost an estimated $1.3 billion, and would employ about 40 full-time employees.

The plan is a response to Progress Energy’s request for proposals for projects to help meet the region’s burgeoning energy needs. The facility needs to produce a minimum of 1,159-megawatts and the power needs to be available for commercial delivery by June 1, 2013.

The overview noted the plant would be supplied with natural gas through a new line built on Florida Crushed Stone property to tap into an existing line to the west.

The project does not require a change to the county’s comprehensive land use map, but the county commission would have to OK the site plan.

The project “needs the blessing of Hernando County to remain competitive in Progress Energy’s selection process,” the overview states.

The plant would be built in Commissioner Diane Rowden’s district. Rowden hadn’t seen the proposal by Friday.

“If it would help lower our power bills, that would be nice, wouldn’t it,” she said.

Reporter Tony Marrero can be reached at 352-544-5286 or lmarrero@hernandotoday.com.