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Be wary of strangers trying to see, buy your home

Letters to the Editor
Published May 27, 2005

Editor: Citrus County is being invaded by unscrupulous land merchants who prey on our elderly, especially people who live alone.

Postcards and letters from strangers may arrive in your mail as bait, offering to buy property and requesting a response. They may come from faraway places like California or Miami. These are not recognized local Realtors. The letters are often signed with only a first name, as if they know you. Do not answer these letters.

As a followup, someone may come to your door and claim to be a new neighbor, as if they simply want to be friendly.

They work for outsiders, and they can disappear at the first sign of trouble, for they may not be the actual property owners. They pretend they want to help. Their plan is to enter your home and look for any possible problem which they can use against you. Then they harass the homeowner by reporting any supposed problems to local and state agencies.

These agencies are required to respond to such complaints, check your home and see if any complaint is worth a court case. If you refuse to let them in, they have the authority to use sheriff's deputies to check the complaint.

By Florida law, you are not told who made the complaint. The unscrupulous land merchant tries to confuse you and intimidate you by using public service agencies, and then he offers to buy your home.

If anyone seems to be doing this to you (especially if you are elderly or are living alone) call the Sheriff's Office and report it as harassment.

These people don't care about you or about your neighborhood. They are trying to buy properties at a low price and sell for a quick profit.

Properties are selling at unusual prices today but you must never allow anyone to frighten or confuse you into selling in a hurry.

-- Lee Cloward, Inverness

Response to Ibanez exhibit surprising

Editor: Re: Pastels exhibit opens eyes to the power of art, May 20 letter.

It was certainly a surprise to read the lyrical response of Barbara Burke to the Jorge Ibanez opening at Galeria San Sebastian.

I am grateful for Barbara's compliments regarding the show and festivities on May 14 and appreciate her celebration of both the energy of Ibanez's pastels and the support in our community for art.

However, I do think it is necessary to note that this support has been expressed quite emphatically by our local politicians, press and entrepreneurs, many of whom were, in fact, in attendance for our event on the 14th.

I shudder at the thought that an invitation to a gallery reception would bring with it the daunting imperative, "Attend and be noticed or risk criticism of gross neglect of the arts and the health of your very soul!"

The gallery is a pleasant space for artists and art lovers to meet and exchange ideas for mutual benefit. I have been amazed and honored by the enthusiastic response of this community to what Galeria San Sebastian offers and hope that our relationship will continue to be, like the pastels of Jorge Ibanez, vibrant, enduring and transformative.

-- Kelli Sebastian, Inverness

It's time to dissolve Crystal River

Editor: One of the highlights of Tuesday's forum to discuss dissolving the city of Crystal River was having Phil Price go over the numbers.

Phil is a very knowledgeable accountant and understands the bottom line when it comes to government and he showed us all how dumb it is to continue spending money needlessly.

Crystal River taxpayers would be freed of the taxes that allow the city government to exist. He pointed out that the city is too small to shoulder a $3-million budget, and residents would be better off financially if they join the county. The burden would be lifted.

He asked the audience the question of "Why haven't Lecanto, Floral City, Beverly Hills and Homosassa never opted to incorporate?" It simply isn't worth it.

Most of the people who attended got a good eye opener from the well laid out presentation that was presented by George Renshaw, Claire Titus, Gail Jannarone and Phil Price. Too bad our city couldn't conduct business as well.

I have not been in agreement with them on some issues in supporting the city manager's move to annex but it is becoming clear to everyone that this city is operating on its last leg.

From what it sounds like, the city government is on life support and has a terminal illness. Let's put it out of its misery and vote to dissolve. We will still be Crystal River without the incorporation.

Besides, city hall would make a lovely community center where residents can put the building to productive uses with parks on each side.

-- Eric Palhof, Crystal River

[Last modified May 27, 2005, 00:39:13]

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