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Letters to the Editors

Bustling foster family is just in the wrong place


© St. Petersburg Times
published October 4, 2002

Re: Family accused of being a business, Sept. 26

Editor: I'll add my 2 cents worth from the opposing side in the Forest Lakes brouhaha over the foster home/family. Almost every letter on this has been either supportive or at least sympathetic to the Gourlays.

I think it's not so simple. Their house is about the same size as mine, so my first thought was, "Where can they put 11 people?" When my daughter's family visits, we are six -- and almost on top of one another as it is.

I was in the area on another matter, so I drove by the house in question. Since that subdivision is villas and condos, I would imagine mainly older people live there. Not curmudgeons like me necessarily, just tending to empty nesters and grandparents. The lots are small. That house is on a corner lot with chain-link fence covered by sheeting (a visual/dust barrier). There are swings, a trampoline and other stuff in the back, which is right on the side street.

What they are doing is certainly commendable, but if I were a neighbor, I'd be none too pleased. I would bet that the "running a business out of the home" angle is the only way for the homeowners association to attack the problem. I applaud what the Gourlays are doing, and most of their neighbors probably do, too. But nine kids in that house in that neighborhood? Sorry.
-- Ernest E. Lane, New Port Richey

Homeowners associations continue terrorizing families

Editor: Well, here we go again. The homeowners association is suing another family for having too many foster children because the association considers having foster children a business.

These clowns who run these associations make me sick. They must get some kind of sick thrill out of acting like bullies and holding whole communities hostage.

They are forever sending threatening letters or calling their attorneys. Of course, they don't have the guts to knock on your door and confront you face to face. They do it by hiding behind their letters or their attorney. I strongly suggest that everyone write their state representatives and strongly urge them to change the law so we can put a stop to these bullies once and for all. Only then will we be free of these tyrants.
-- Alan Chadwick, New Port Richey

Forest Lakes Estates hubbub sends message to young people

Editor: My hat is off to the St. Pete Times for exposing this meanness and a big hooray for the people who have been writing letters voicing their opinion on the Forest Lakes Estates matter.

Young citizens of Florida remember this as we get to be seniors: Do not act this way.
-- Stephene Jones, Port Richey

Amendment would save on prescription drug costs

Editor: There is a great concern regarding the cost of prescription drugs. I have some good news.

The Gutknecht Amendment to the 2002 Medicare Drug coverage Bill, (H.R. 5186) if passed, will drastically reduce the cost of prescription drugs.

How? If passed, this amendment will allow pharmacies, drug wholesalers and individuals to purchase prescription drugs from FDA-certified manufacturers in other countries. These drugs are as safe and effective as those available now. The only difference is the cost.

The FDA, in collusion with the drug companies, has a quasi-monopoly that forces Americans to pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. This limits competition that would lower costs. For more information on the prescription drug cost crisis, log on to www.stopfda.org.

U.S. Rep. Karen Thurman, D-Dunnellon, our congressional representative in this area, needs to be contacted and asked to support this amendment. Her number is (727) 849-4496. Remember, there are more consumers than drug company lobbyists.
-- Jon Kueny, New Port Richey

"Writeress' should have been clear, called actor an actress

Editor: Barbara Fredricksen, in "Steppin' Out," says two actors are playing male and female lead parts in My Fair Lady.

Is Meredith Inglesby a female impersonator playing the part of Eliza? I thought Meredith was a male name, as in Meredith Wilson, the great composer.

Then I saw that "she" has the title of Ms., so she must be a female. If she is a female, why don't newspaper writers refer to stage females as actresses? Surely female actresses are not ashamed of being female.

The two sexes are different. They are programmed by nature for different purposes. Most people know this and this is why I can't understand why writeresses can't see the difference. It would be very helpful to me to have females use the female designation, such as actresses, etc.

We have enough confusion in America now. Writers and writeresses should strive for clarity and clear communication to their audiences.
-- Charles Derer, Hudson

Preserve Second Amendment to protect against tyranny

Re: Constitution doesn't give everyone right to pack a pistol, Sept. 20 letter
-- Editor: First, I want to say that I appreciate the letter writer's personal sacrifice during WWII, to preserving our way of life and the liberty we all enjoy. No doubt, he fought on the battlefield for our Constitution to include the entire Bill of Rights.
Sadly however, it seems today that too many people feel that because the Bill of Rights was adopted more than 210 years ago, parts of it are obsolete. Part of this thinking is because it hasn't happened in our lifetime or during that of an older surviving relative or friend that can tell us or reinforce for us from a firsthand account, the reasons for things being as they are.
Unfortunately, selectively discarding parts of the Bill of Rights is the first mistake that a society such as ours can make that will unlock the door to tyranny.
Until Sept. 11, 2001, we believed that we could never be attacked on our own soil by a foreign force. We all believed this despite the fact that on Aug. 24, 1814, British troops invaded the city of Washington. Despite that, 123 years later, on Dec. 7, 1941, on the island of Hawaii, our naval forces were attacked by surprise by a military power we were not at war with. Despite those lessons, we felt secure, at least until Sept. 11.
The same holds true regarding the potential for tyranny, today or in the years ahead. The founders of our government recognized that tyranny can never be contained by the passage of time, the good intentions of people or principles written on a piece of parchment. They realized that freedom and liberty have a price and it requires eternal vigilance. Remember, they experienced tyranny firsthand, studied the recurring theme of tyranny throughout history and had placed everything at risk to form this nation. Therefore, as a means of ensuring that the potential for tyranny could be kept in check, for the government that they were about to form, the general population had to have a means to defend that freedom should the need ever arise.
Thus, the Second Amendment is about more than the average citizen protecting his or her life, which in itself is a God-given right. It is also about ensuring through peaceful means that our liberty and rights are preserved, because a people should never have to fear a government and those who govern them.
Ed Mejias, Land O'Lakes

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