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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: Program helps prevent damage
Letters to the Editor
Published December 19, 2007
Like many other homeowners in Florida, I have been dismayed with the constantly rising cost of homeowners insurance coverage. Many owners are having great difficulty in making the greatly increased premium payments in order to maintain coverage for their homes. Some homeowners have even elected to drop insurance coverage altogether due to the cost. All Florida homeowners can be thankful for yet another mild hurricane season for 2007 that is in the history books.
Approximately two years ago the state of Florida created a program to help homeowners reduce the damage to their homes caused by hurricane force winds. The program is called the "My Safe Florida Home" wind inspection program. The program entitles each owner of a site-built, single-family residence in Florida to a free wind inspection by a state-certified wind inspector. More information is available at the Web site, www.mysafefloridahome.com.
The inspection is designed to evaluate those areas of a home frequently damaged by hurricane force winds. The inspector evaluates the construction of the home's roofing assembly; the roof frame attachment to the foundation walls; bracing of gable end walls in the attic space; the presence of secondary water barrier protection; the garage door installation; and the presence of steel rebar in the masonry foundation walls. In addition, all opening dimensions of the home (windows and doors) are measured by the inspector. The data collected at the home site by the inspector is then sent electronically to the state.
Once the data is compiled by the state, a final inspection report is sent to the homeowner. The report makes non-binding recommendations to the owner if any weak areas of the home were identified that could be exploited by high wind conditions. Under certain circumstances, up to $5,000 in matching state grant money may be available to homeowners to help pay for hurricane hardening of the home.
I am a believer in this inspection program. I had my home inspected, and as a result have received a refund check of over $600 from my wind policy. In these times of high costs, savings of any amount are truly welcome.
I have been a Florida certified wind inspector since the inception of this state program. The state of Florida has not done a very good job of getting this program information out to the public. Most Floridians have never heard of this free inspection program.
Al Carter, New Port Richey
20 years of service answered with 'no' Dec. 13 story
Red Cross there when disaster hits
We were volunteers for more than 10 years with American Red Cross. We did volunteer work with Stewart "Chuck" Oringer. Volunteers are loving, caring family. My heart goes out to the Oringer family for their loss.
I was very disappointed with the Times and Oringer family for trying to put down such a good organization that helps so many people in need, which volunteers such as Mr. Oringer and ourselves work so hard to give a helping hand.
People donate money for disaster only. If the Oringer family had a house fire, a Red Cross volunteer would be the first one there for the family as Mr. Oringer did many times for others.
Volunteer rewards are hard work, many hours and no pay. Expect nothing in return. Just giving of yourself for service.