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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Today's Letters: Nuclear power needed to curb climate change
By LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published July 22, 2007
Crist's nuclear bolt sends flutters July 15, story
I would like to commend Gov. Crist for including nuclear power in his plans to combat global warming and to condemn environmentalists who continue to oppose it. Climate change is projected to cause a rise in sea level and an increase in atmospheric turbulence such as hurricanes. Both problems will impact Florida immensely.
Nuclear power has been used widely throughout the world with few problems. Other countries have constructed nuclear plants at acceptable costs. Environmentalists must abandon their irrational fears of nuclear power if we are to successfully battle climate change. They must properly set their priorities. Otherwise many will believe that the dangers from climate change are no greater than the dangers from nuclear power and the fight against climate change will fail.
Arthur Volbert, St. Petersburg
In regard to Gov. Charlie Crist promoting the use of solar power, I think we will save a lot of money in Florida. I speak from experience.
When my wife Dorothy and I purchased a house in 1980, Dorothy had the contractor install two solar panels on our roof for hot water. We purchased a 125-gallon tank for hot-water usage. We lived in that house for 20 years and we were told by Florida Power (now Progress Energy Florida) that we saved approximately 23 percent on our power bill due to turning off the switch on the hot-water heater. When we did not have enough hot water (which happened, I believe, three times in the 20 years), we turned the switch on for hot water for about 20 minutes - all this thanks to solar power (the sun's rays).
When we purchased the solar panels, we didn't pay any tax. In fact, there was a government rebate at that time.
Every time you look at the sun's rays going into cement, think of the sun's rays that could be used as a source of power. Solar power can save money.
Jim Cersosimo, New Port Richey
I have a suggestion concerning an alternate sources of energy: wind.
Hundreds of windmills could be placed around the Capitol building in Tallahassee. There is enough hot air circulating around up there to power the structures for eternity!
Mary Baker, St. Petersburg
Water follows money
What wet and wild Florida could learn from the arid West July 8, Perspective story
The headline was a surprise but has more than a grain of truth! More than 4 1/2 feet of rain falls in this state every year. We have five separate regional water regulatory agencies to ensure adequate quality and quantity. Throughout the West, no state has more than 20 inches of rainfall per year. Tampa Bay Water is currently building the largest desalinization plant in North America, is five years late, over budget by $40-million dollars and still not complete.
Meanwhile Florida is chronically short of water and suffering from drought, forest fires and water rationing in most cities. This clearly demonstrates a lack of intelligence, a lack of will of the citizens, or more ominously a subversion of the will of the people.
Every Florida citizen is intelligent enough to know an adequate supply of water is necessary for his or her well-being. The water authorities hire intelligent geologists and engineers. Certainly the lawyers who write the rules and contracts are intellectually competent. So where does this lack of intelligence come from? Can it be the scientists are giving their bosses bad advice? Is it that the lawyers haven't yet learned to write enforceable rules and contracts? No, these people are not making the decisions. They are doing what they are told to do! So, whose intelligence is being used, or misused here?
One lesson people in the Western United States learned many years ago: Water no longer flows downhill, it flows toward power and money!
Albert L. Richardson, Bradenton
Followers of Jesus
There are Catholics and then everyone else July 15, Perspective story
Luke 9:49-50 refutes the premise that Catholics hold an exclusive franchise on the Christian faith. Luke's Gospel reads, "Master", said John, "we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us."
"Do not stop him," Jesus said, "for whoever is not against you is for you."
Catholics were probably the first organized followers of Jesus Christ, but to assert that Catholics are the only true followers is presumptuous and does not help bring people to Christ. In fact, this assertion has driven many people away from his church.
I encourage my Catholic brothers and sisters, of which I once was one, to listen to Jesus. In Luke 10:2, Jesus said, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few." We (all other Christians) are disciples of Jesus Christ, even if we don't follow the pope. We are not against Catholics and Catholics should not be against us. Instead, we should all be for Jesus.
K.R. Adams, Largo
No room to judge
There are Catholics and then everyone else July 15, Perspective story
It's easy to have a holier-than-thou-attitude - but you better live the walk and not just talk the talk.
Isn't it a little bit ironic to hear the pope pontificate how Protestant faiths are not "true" and just faith communities and that the Catholic church is the "true" apostolic connection.
I guess a large number of priests, to the tune of $660-million, didn't get the pope's memo when the Los Angeles archdiocese paid out this settlement for pedophile abuse.
Isn't there a Bible verse about having a plank in the eye while judging the speck in someone else's eye?
Evan R. Jones, St. Petersburg
Unseemly view of a victim
A father's wrath July 15
As the victim of a violent, life-changing crime, I was disturbed by the tone of the Times' photo-essay detailing Mark Lunsford's preparations for making a victim impact statement against the man who raped and murdered his daughter. By titling the piece A father's wrath and highlighting Lunsford's unacted-upon feelings of "vengeance," the Times played into stereotypical views that crime victims are dangerous, irrational people who must be kept as far as possible from the administration of justice.
That's offensive. Victims are already forced to endure unbearable realities: the crime itself; their status as mere "state's witnesses" to the most intimate and terrible experiences of their lives; defense attorneys who game the system and don't hesitate to degrade the memory of their loved ones. Facing this, Lunsford should be admired for his restraint.
This is a man, after all, who had to watch his 9-year-old daughter's killer play with coloring books in court in a cheap play for sympathy. I can't help but believe that if Lunsford was the convicted, instead of the victim, his feelings at this juncture, however violent, would be examined with more respect.
Tina Trent, Ruskin
Land of opportunity
America's peaceful outsiders July 15, Bill Maxwell column
Bill Maxwell has again wasted his writing skills whining about perceived injustice to blacks and what others owe them. In this column he tells us we should be thankful blacks are not suicide bombers, and he wonders why they are not.
Perhaps it's because blacks, like virtually everyone else in America today, have more opportunity to make decent lives for themselves and their families than any sizable group of people in the history of civilization. Or perhaps the hip-hop culture is a form of suicide being used to destroy all of us without the use of explosives. Maybe they are making leaky boats with which to escape this hellish country.
Maxwell should give us a top 10 list of reasons why blacks aren't suicide bombers. If "they are not as violent as portrayed" is No. 1, the rest should be a hoot!