Our mission is to protect our 
environment and natural resources, thereby preserving quality of life in Citrus County.

We do this by monitoring local government, researching issues 
and disseminating relevant information through our  members and delegates. We are all citizen volunteers.
Government Affairs Meetings
10a.m. on the 4th Monday of each month held at the Cadence Bank on CR491 in Beverly Hills
Contact: Tom Mize- Chair: 


Also see our very colorful and
informative Facebook page.
It contains some different information also.**

 The latest update for the extension of Suncoast Parkway 3 to continue north from SR44 up through Citrus County to parallel I-75 north past Jacksonville has been put on the back burner. FDOT will be concentrating on relieving traffic on I-75 by widening I-75 and making other improvements.      
   Info on current activities of the Task Force

The Suncoast Parkway and all related 
projects are very important for our county and community groups to maintain updates. This area will hold all links to 
assist you. 

 New Update:




  • What: Florida Turnpike Enterprise open house on “coastal connector”
  • When: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12
  • Where: College of Central Florida, Lecanto
  • On the Web: www.coastalconnector.com (Note: as of Tuesday, the website was not yet active)

Contact Chronicle reporter Mike Wright at 352-563-3228 or  mwright@chronicleonline.com.



 The Florida Channel has agreed with FDOT to
videotape all remaining I-75 Relief Task Force
meetings. FDOT is also negotiating for live-
streaming the remaining Task Force meetings. 
TUNE IN http://thefloridachannel.org/, and learn 
about this process that threatens our Florida. 

Please also see ENR tab on menu as many items have been moved and new items appear! Stay informed!!







Minutes  -  Regular Meeting

January 10, 2018

Meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m. by outgoing President, Janet Barek.   Citrus County Property Appraiser, Les Cook, is introduced as the Installing Officer for the 2018 Council Officers.  Those new officers, and the organizations they represent, are: President, Kate Betsko, League of Women Voters; 1st Vice-President, John Wade, Audubon Society; 2nd Vice-President, Tom Mize, Beverly Hills Lions Club; Treasurer, Karen Esty, Shelter Me Citrus; Secretary, Teddi Rusnak, Kings Bay Springs Alliance.  Following installation, Kate Betsko announced the following standing committee chairs:  Bud Osborn, Education;  Maxine Connor, Environment and Natural Resources; Tom Mize, Government Affairs.  Chris Lloyd was introduced as the Program Chair.   Executive Board member, Theresa Waldron presented outgoing President, Janet Barek, with a gift certification and thanks for her service.

Guest Speaker, Les Cook addressed the assembly regarding potential impacts of the proposed homestead exemption, as well as offered an overview of county property values.  Among the news for 2018: most new homes being built in the county will be sold at or over $200,000; the Homestead Portability is expected to be extended for 3 more years; the valuation of Duke Power’s new gas plant will offset the the tax loss of the two old coal plants being shut down.  Mr. Cook also mentioned that the commissioners had endorsed the Florida PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) program for county residents wishing to make specific energy efficiency home improvements, e.g. addition of solar energy panels.   It was noted that the commissioners have also endorsed the League of Women Voters solar energy co-op project.  (Details from the Property Appraiser’s presentation can be found in the attached  pdf  document,   CCC_10Jan2018_PPT.Jenette)

Chuck Dixon, Director, Planning and Growth Management for the School District, reported that the student enrollment has increased by 182 students in the current school year., with the majority of the growth in the lower grades.  He noted that if this trend continues, the District may be planning some construction in the future.   He offered a review of the effect of home-schooled and private school students on the district’s administrative recording of diplomas issued.  Also noted was the clearing off CR491 and SR44 for a safer school bus turnaround at the pre-school / day care center at that location.  Discussion from the audience followed these topics.

Det. Lahara, Citrus County Sheriff’s Office, reported that two new auto thefts were reported in county.  The accident rate was down 17% in December, however there were two fatalities due to speed and texting while driving.   Set. Lahara stated that the non-emergency telephone number to be used to report distracted or reckless driving is:  352-726-1121.   He was asked what the Sheriff’s Office plan was for the expected gang crime increase as the Suncoast Parkway is extended into the county.  Det. Lahara responded with tactics used in other areas, e.g. Orlando.

Secretary Teddi Rusnak reported that a quorum had been met.  The December 2017 minutes were accepted as published.

Treasurer Karen Esty reported a balance of $2035.85 as of January 9, 2018.

Environment and Natural Resources Committee Chair, reported that the Solar co-op launch date is set for February 22.  

Chris Lloyd gave a brief report on planned guest speakers for future meetings.  He noted that attendance had fallen off  in the past year but hoped the Council could set a goal of doubling attendance by the end of the year.  to that end he urged all to invite others to meetings.

Theresa Waldron raised the question of organization membership privileges versus associate membership.  The President deferred that issue to the next Executive Board meeting.  

Among the announcements from the floor were:  Shelter Me Citrus will have a barbecue fu raiser on March 24 at the Central Citrus Community Center (formerly Beverly Hills Rec Center), tickets are $10; Alzheimer Care Giver Workshop will be held at the NatureCoast Unitarian Fellowship Hall in Holder on February 10, 10am - 12 noon, free to the public; Citrus Springs Civic Club is holding an indoor garage sale on March 30 and 31, Citrus Springs Community Center, 7am - 3pm;  School District Science Fair, January 30, County Auditorium; League of Women Voters guest speaker at the February 13 meeting (Crystal River Library) will be Diane Toto.   

The meeting was adjourned at 10:45 am.

Respectfully submitted,

Teddi Rusnak


 Environment & Natural Resource Report
   (Update 1-30-18)


Monsanto, BASF, and EPA Make Dicamba a Restricted-Use Pesticide—What That Means




Events at the Valerie Theatre for February 2018


February 17 @ 3:00 PM & 7:30PM
Discover the perfect balance of musical entertainment and humor with Three on a String! From the first song to the standing ovation, you'll be entertained by four talented and experienced gentleman. Three on a String is a long-lived bluegrass quartet. The group was founded in 1971 by banjo player Bobby Horton, guitarist Jerry Ryan, and bassist John Vess.  From the first song to the standing ovation, you’ll be entertained by four talented and experienced guys who have paid their dues, know the business and want to share their good time show with you!  

"I want to thank Three On A String for the great music.  It was a pleasure seeing you, although our visit was too brief." George Bush, President of the United States

"Three on a String is pure entertainment! We always look forward to having them on the show"  Rick Burgess, The Rick and Bubba Show


Edited Image 2016-04-20 19-35-14



February 4 @ 3PM
A Star Is Born is a 1954 American musical film written by Moss Hart, starring Judy Garland and James Mason, and directed by George Cukor. Hart's screenplay was an adaptation of the original 1937 film, which was based on the original screenplay by Robert Carson, Dorothy Parker, Alan Campbell, and from the same story by William A. Wellman and Carson, with uncredited input from six additional writers—David O. Selznick, Ben Hecht, Ring Lardner, Jr., John Lee Mahin, Budd Schulberg and Adela Rogers St. John. In 2000, the 1954 film was selected for preservation in the US National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." The film ranked #43 on the American Film Institute's 100 Years...100 Passions list in 2002 and #7 on its list of greatest musicals in 2006. The song "The Man That Got Away" was ranked #11 on AFI's list of 100 top songs in films.

February 9 @ 7:30PM Friday Night at the Movies!
The Big Lebowski is a 1998 British-American crime comedy film written, produced, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. It stars Jeff Bridges as Jeffrey "The Dude" Lebowski, a Los Angeles slacker and avid bowler. He is assaulted as a result of mistaken identity, after which The Dude learns that a millionaire also named Jeffrey Lebowski was the intended victim. The millionaire Lebowski's trophy wife is kidnapped, and he commissions The Dude to deliver the ransom to secure her release; but the plan goes awry when the Dude's friend Walter Sobchak (John Goodman) schemes to keep the ransom money. Julianne Moore and Steve Buscemi also star, with David Huddleston, John Turturro, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Sam Elliott, Tara Reid, David Thewlis and Flea appearing in supporting roles.

February 11 @ 3PM
Woman of the Year (1942) is an American romantic comedy-drama film starring Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn, written by Ring Lardner, Jr., Michael Kanin and John Lee Mahin, directed by George Stevens and produced by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. The film's plot is ostensibly about the relationship between Tess Harding, an international affairs correspondent, chosen "Woman of the Year," and Sam Craig, a sports writer, who meet, marry, and encounter problems as a result of her unflinching commitment to her work. In 1999, this film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

February 18 @ 3PM
My Favorite Year is a 1982 American comedy film written by Dennis Palumbo and Norman Steinberg, and directed by Richard Benjamin, which tells the story of a young comedy writer. It stars Peter O'Toole, Mark Linn-Baker, Jessica Harper, and Joseph Bologna. O'Toole was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor.

February 25 @ 3PM
Days of Heaven is a 1978 American romantic drama film written and directed by Terrence Malick and starring Richard Gere, Brooke Adams, Sam Shepard, and Linda Manz. Set in 1916, it tells the story of Bill and Abby, lovers who travel to the Texas Panhandle to harvest crops for a wealthy farmer. Bill encourages Abby to claim the fortune of the dying farmer by tricking him into a false marriage. Days of Heaven has since become one of the most acclaimed films of its decade, noted particularly for its cinematography. In 2007, it was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". It continues to appear in polls of the best films ever made, and appeared at #49 on a BBC poll of the greatest American films.

 A reminder that you can buy your tickets in advance to guarantee your seat for the event(s) you want to attend. Three simple ways:

  1. Online 24/7 at www.valerietheatre.org
  2. In person at the Box Office, Thursday-Saturday, Noon to 4PM
  3. By phone during box office hours

 Got a suggestion as to what we might bring to the Valerie, live event or film, drop me a line!



Alan Forino, Director

Valerie Theatre Cultural Center, Inc.

207 Courthouse Square

Inverness, FL  34450
















        Upcoming Old Courthouse Heritage Museum                         Events and Programs -------------------------------
Award-winning author

Good Afternoon, you and members of your organization are cordially invited to attend the Citrus County Court & Citizens Summit in Inverness at the Citrus County Courthouse.

The court is pleased to introduce a new community outreach program of the Fifth Judicial Circuit: “Court & Citizens Summit.” This program was developed in accordance with this Circuit's dedication to strengthening the relationship between the community and the judiciary and in furtherance of the Communication Plan set forth by the Florida Supreme Court.

“The Court & Citizens Summit” will provide information about the court system, the judiciary and court programs. Summits will occur once each quarter and will feature members of the judiciary and court staff speaking on different court related topics.


The Citrus County “Court and Citizens Summit” will be held at the Citrus County Courthouse/Board of County Commissioner’s Chamber, 110 N. Apopka, Inverness, FL, on February 6, 2018 at 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm. The Summit will focus on the Florida State Court System, Why is Sentencing Like Taxes?, What is Stand Your Ground?

Attached to this email, you will find the Agenda for the Citrus County Summit. Please help us get the word out by sharing the flyer.

Please RSVP no later than February 2, 2018 by emailing info@circuit5.org or by calling Susan Berg at (352) 253-1606.  Your local involvement in this summit provides an opportunity to learn more on local topics of the judicial branch of government.  Please do not miss out on this opportunity.

I look forward to seeing you at the summit.




Todd J Tuzzolino

Chief Deputy Court Administrator

Fifth Judicial Circuit

Serving Citrus, Hernando, Lake

Marion, & Sumter Counties

(352) 401-6702

Follow the Fifth Judicial Circuit on social media:
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Lawsuit may stall Suncoast Parkway extension

BROOKSVILLE — A last-minute lawsuit may put the brakes on the long-awaited extension of the Suncoast Parkway north into Citrus County. Construction was slated to begin early next year.
At a Hernando-Citrus Metropolitan Planning Organization meeting last week, city and county officials talked about a push at the state level to move the project ahead even faster. A ground-breaking ceremony was in the works.
But like other steps in the process of building the toll road extension known as Suncoast Parkway 2, within days of that discussion, another shoe dropped.
On Dec. 15, the Friends of Etna Turpentine Camp, Inc., filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over documents it says the agency has failed to provide to the public. The documents support the permit allowing construction of the roadway.
The Etna Turpentine Camp was built in the early 1900s. It was a slave camp where convicts and African Americans were paid only with credits for use at the company store. The camp produced turpentine used primarily in shipbuilding, and the town had more than 50 buildings. The Parkway extension is slated to go through the land where the camp was located.
The Friends group sought the records to determine whether the agency took a hard enough look at the construction impacts on the historic area, "especially when the permit involves destruction of an archaeological site listed on the National Historic Register,’’ according to a news release announcing the legal action.
The Friends group has been seeking documents under the Freedom of Information Act since August, according to the release.
"Etna Turpentine Camp is federally designated as a national treasure that is contracted to be destroyed forever, and we are being denied access to documents supporting the decision to do so," said Friends president Robert Roscow. "If we wait any longer for these documents, the die will be cast, and we will permanently lose a critical piece of our past without public review.
"The public has a right to know how the Fish and Wildlife Service came to its decision and whether that decision was arbitrary and capricious."
Officials from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service offered no comment on the legal filing by the Tampa Bay Times deadline.
Roscow is one of a group of citizens who have fought the Parkway extension. In 2004, he was successful in a lawsuit against the Florida Department of Transportation after the agency refused to grant access to public meetings about the Parkway or disclose details of those meetings.
It’s unclear how the legal action will impact the start of road construction, but the state’s Turnpike Enterprise last month awarded a $135 million contract for the project to Lane Construction of Cheshire, Connecticut,. The 13-mile, four-lane toll road will stretch north from the current terminus at U.S. 98 to State Road 44 in Lecanto.
The project includes the construction of 15 bridges and the extension of the Suncoast Trail, according to a press release by the contractor. Construction is expected to take about four years.
During last week’s discussion by the Metropolitan Planning Organization, Hernando County Commissioner John Allocco said the state has pushed to move up the road extension, especially in light of what happened during Hurricane Irma in September.
Residents evacuating from south of Hernando and Citrus counties crowded onto the Suncoast Parkway. When they reached the end of the road at U.S. 98, they landed on Citrus County collector roads, turning highways such as U.S. 19 into slow-moving ribbons of traffic backed up for miles.
Citrus officials have long looked forward to having the Suncoast Parkway come into Citrus County because of the economic development it might bring. They also are eager to see the roadway eventually move beyond Citrus County borders.
Inverness City Council member Cabot McBride said there had been talk of routing the parkway all the way to Jacksonville.
"At one time that was a big deal, but now it has kind of faded,’’ he said.
In recent months, state road officials have begun a new study to examine routing the parkway to U.S. 301 near Ocala. More details are not yet available, according to Dennis Dix, executive director of the Metropolitan Planning Organization.
"I just think it’s so important that we give relief to I-75’’ somewhere north of Ocala, McBride said. "Otherwise we are shooting ourselves in the foot big time, and that’s just stupid.’’
Nick Nicholson, a Hernando County commissioner who served on a task force trying to relieve Interstate 75 crowding, said the group was thwarted when officials in Alachua County said they didn’t want a major road routed through their area.
"We essentially wasted six months of our time,’’ Nicholson said.
Contact Barbara Behrendt at bbehrendt@tampabay.com or (352) 848-1434.

 Why We're For Water


Extension to offer Matter of Balance Class


Seeking application for seats on the Citrus Springs Advisory Board


Citizens group represents county


Suncoast Parkway’s new role: ‘Coastal Connector’ (Public meeting information in left column, middle of this page)

Citrus County Animal Services in need of donations for new program


Citrus County Animal Services will be launching a behavior enrichment program which will help decrease the stress of a shelter environment on our furry guests. Shelter enrichment programs help to reduce the stress and boredom of shelter life.  With shelter animals, behaviors such as hyper-arousal, depression, and obsessive/compulsive behaviors are not uncommon when enrichment is not present. Dogs and puppies may display behaviors that make adoptions more challenging simply because they are not given the opportunity to chew, be mentally engaged, or interact calmly with humans. This is especially true for canines that arrive at the shelter with behavior challenges. Research has proven that mental health goes hand in hand with physical health. For example, stress is the #1 cause for upper respiratory infections in cats which creates a vicious cycle that can lead to bigger issues. All shelter animals benefit from enrichment programs. Therefore, we are requesting donations of the following items:

  • Martingale dog collars of all sizes
  • Spray bottles
  • Non-alcoholic extracts like vanilla, lavender, coconut
  • 1 ½ to 2 inch diameter 20 or 40 PVC pipe cut 12-16 inches long, female slip by male thread cap for one end and female cap for other end.
  • Temptation Cat treats
  • Interactive and food puzzle cat toys
  • Cat toys
  • Clickers for training
  • Nylabone Galileo
  • Bubbles
  • Bubble machine
  • Goughnuts (all sizes and types) http://www.goughnuts.com/ 
  • 4ft and 6ft long and 1 inch wide Standard Clip leashes
  • Natural balance beef, chicken or lamb food roll
  • Pupperoni
  • Empty boxes (no tape or staples – shoe box size up to 16inches x18inches)
  • Empty toilet paper rolls/paper towel rolls
  • CD player (5)
  • Calming music for dogs and cats CDs
  • Tug toys (no plush or stuffed toys)
  • Knucklebones
  • Bully Sticks
  • Black XL Kongs
  • Interactive puzzle toys for dogs
  • Low sodium chicken broth
  • Deep large Muffin baking pans
  • Blue, Red, and black Dry Erase Markers
  • Ziploc sandwich bags
  • Working Freezer (1)
  • Carabiners heavy duty
  • Chain
  • Medium size metal bowls
  • Catnip
  • Cat laser lights
  • Cat scratchers (large and small) and/or turbo scratchers
  • All plastic handheld scrub brushes
  • Tomahawk Feral Cat Den Item # TMHK116
  • Jolly balls (10 inch) and Jolly Eggs (12 inch)
  • Pink, Blue, Green, Red, Yellow, and Orange Colored Printer paper
  • 8x11 Laminating sheets
  • Buster Food Cubes or Kong Wobblers (Large and Small)
  • Plush squeaker toys

We are excited to be launching this new program for our shelter animals and if you can help in some small way it would be greatly appreciated. Questions about any of the items we are requesting should be directed to Colleen Yarbrough via email atColleen.yarbrough@citrusbocc.com or (352)-746-8408


                   Citrus County Fertilizer Program


CCCwebmaster Theresa,
Feb 11, 2017, 6:20 AM