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Re: Appraiser's aerial property photos violate privacy, Dec. 22 letter to the editor:
Editor: I feel that Dominick Ruggiero's letter regarding the Hernando County Property Appraiser's posting of aerial photographs of tax parcels as a part of the tax record is a bit overprotective. It is clear he does not understand the advantages of this new service.
Aerial photographs of Hernando County have been available since 1944 and have been published by the Property Appraiser's Office since before 1980. They always have been available to the public. This year they became available online. The purpose for having the aerials is to show the location and condition of the property. Real estate professionals and appraisers have a genuine need for this information.
With vacant property it is easy to not be able to tell where it is, and with developed property it aids in determining the condition of the land and spotting easements and encroachments. There is not a real estate broker in the county who has not inadvertently put his for sale sign on the wrong lot.
The aerials are good. If you look at one that shows of one of my properties, you can see our cat lying on a picnic table poolside. I can't see how that violates my security and I have read of several court cases in this newspaper that agree with me. Aerial observation is not an invasion of privacy.
I want to thank the Property Appraiser's office for offering this important service to the taxpayers of Hernando County.
Re: Instead of protesting, put energy into supporting, Nov. 24 letter to the editor from Rachael Rodriguez:
Rachael Rodriguez questions "What those people want and what do they get out of protesting?"
"Those people," the NatureCoast Coalition for Peace and Justice (NCPJ), want the safe and prompt return of the troops from the quagmire of war in Iraq.
"Support the troops" means more to us than sticking a magnetic yellow ribbon on the trunk of our cars or trucks or placing a yellow ribbon on a tree in front of our homes. We are dedicated to the troops' well-being and that of their families in their struggle to realize the American dream. This means maintaining a constant public awareness of the tragic circumstances in which American troops are being killed and maimed in a war and what brought them to it. The NCPJ supports the troops by speaking out for their safe return.
Ms. Rodriquez's urging demonstrators not to be "sore losers," and to "throw in the towel" makes the matter of war sound more like a sporting event than the deadly business it is. However, the fight is not over. There can never be enough "towels" to absorb the tears and sorrow this war has brought to the American people.
The answer to the question about "what they get out of protesting" lies in the heart of each of us demonstrating patriots. Beyond the aching knees and backs we frequently share, there is the general realization that it is time to stand up for those principles of democracy and freedom to which the American people have always aspired. We cannot, in good conscience, stand by while American values are sacrificed in the name of failed policies.
If, by our actions, we can help to save the life, limb or eyesight of one soldier, Marine, national guardsman or ready reserve veteran, the efforts of the NatureCoast Coalition for Peace and Justice will be well regarded. This is what we hope to "get out" of protesting the war: Peace.
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[Last modified December 25, 2004, 23:08:18]