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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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Todays Letters: Sheriff wasn't left with case backlog
Letters to the Editor
Published February 8, 2008
Child team to help fight Fort Myers' backlog Feb. 7 article
Fawn Moore is mistaken about the number of backlog abuse/neglect cases the Pasco County sheriff inherited from the Department of Children and Families in 2000.
The Pasco Sheriff's Office took over child abuse investigations in April 2000. The only backlog cases the sheriff assumed responsibility for belonged to the two to three Department of Children and Families investigators Sheriff Lee Cannon hired. All of his new people started with zero cases and no backlog. DCF kept the backlog cases it created, with the exception of the backlog belonging to those two or three investigators the sheriff hired.
I recollect DCF had 500 to 600 backlogged cases in April 2000. At that time, I worked on the DCF team that closed all of the existing backlog cases DCF had in Pasco. All the backlog cases were closed by Sept. 1, 2000.
Ms. Moore may want to review a May 17, 2001, article in the Times archives: Child abuse reports stack up.
According to the article, the Pasco Sheriff's Office had 2,544 backlogged cases one year after it took over child abuse investigations. The agency closed less than 200 cases in the first year, I believe, and DCF placed a team of experts in the Sheriff's Office to clear up the problems and to train the sheriff's staff. The Pasco Sheriff's Office created its own debacle. Sheriff White replaced the abuse investigations manager, and made other changes to get the work out of the mud.
But DCF never walked away leaving the sheriff with a mess.
James B. Johnson, Port Richey
'Foreign citizens' deserve better Feb. 5 letter
More arrogance and ignorance
As a native New Yorker and a 14-year resident of Florida, I humbly request an apology from the writer regarding the reference to (U.S. Rep Ginny) Brown-Waite and New Yorkers as "arrogant and ignorant."
Remember, "people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones." His smear proves him guilty of what he accuses New Yorkers - arrogance and ignorance. And, I add "intolerant."
Most of us have had the fortitude and strength to ensure a decent and comfortable retirement. Does the fact that we accomplished our goal bother the writer? If so, he's going to have to live with it!
Dolores Amoriello, Hudson
Wrongheaded remark warrants swift apology Feb. 3 editorial
Puerto Ricans will remember
Check your facts, Ginny Brown-Waite. As an elected official sworn to represent citizens of the U.S., your ignorance and insensitivity will not be excused or forgotten by the Puerto Rican community.
If you knew any of the following facts and still referred to Puerto Ricans as "foreign citizens," we must assume the remark was racially motivated.
Puerto Ricans have been citizens of the U.S. since 1917. They have served in every war and military action since World War I and are presently serving in Iraq. In Korea, Puerto Rico suffered the largest number of casualties of any ethnic group. They pay import taxes on many items, from food to autos. Large companies, such as U.S. pharmaceuticals, enjoy tax concessions and cheaper labor in Puerto Rico.
Whether born in the U.S. or Puerto Rico, the Hispanic families in the area still have strong ties with Puerto Rico because we have families on the island. They are not "foreign citizens."
Frances Gonzalez,Spring Hill
Brown-Waite owes an apology
In the Guam newspaper, there was an article about a comment U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite made in a news release referring to the people of Guam and Puerto Rico as foreign citizens. It further stated that she opposed including the territories in a recently approved economic stimulus package since they do not pay taxes.
I am surprised at her lack of knowledge in this area and can say, unfortunately, that it places her on the same level as most ignorant Americans who had not been paying attention in their social studies classes during their formative educational years.
Let me educate her on a few things about Guam. We are born U.S. citizens. We are required to utilize, like all Americans, Social Security cards such as that pictured on her Web site, as well as U.S. passports.
Guam plays host to U.S. military installations. Some of these installations had only, in the recent decade, returned land to the original Guam owners, a few who are luckily still alive, or to the few descendants who were/are on the island. These same owners had gone without paid compensation in the form of say, back rent, for its use by the military as far back as possibly before 1950.
The U.S. government is conducting a base realignment of a major military installation in Okinawa, Japan. Guam is targeted as its new home due to its military strategic location.
A number of Guam's people have served and continue to serve and die in battle serving in our American military. You will find both veterans and active duty Guamanians based in and now residing around Jacksonville.
It is my hope that should Brown-Waite truly be a woman believing in continuing education, that she will do so about her knowledge of Guam and the United States territories including Puerto Rico. I do believe that a number of Puerto Ricans and possibly Guamanians are members of her district and it would be in her best interest, as an elected official, to provide an apology for her lack of thought or for the lack of thought of the staff member who was responsible for putting his foot in her mouth.
Maria R. Gonzales, Dededo, Guam
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