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Today's Letters: Save sympathy for the real victims

Letters to the Editor
Published February 17, 2008


American nightmare Feb.10, story  

In the future, please do not insult the intelligence of your readers. The man in the "nightmare" is portrayed as a victim. He was no victim, and if he was, it was by his own doing.

This story had nothing to do with this man's inability to pay his mortgage, as the writer tried to convey. His problems started way before he bought this home.

Nowhere in the article did it say he was working two jobs, that he was pounding the pavement for work. Nowhere did it say he tried to borrow money from friends or relatives. Nowhere did it say he tried to sell or even rent out the property. These are the things you do when you are an upstanding citizen.

This guy decided to steal from Wal-Mart and Sam's Club, and he also had a previous record. He did not have clean hands to begin with. Now he is charged with destroying the lives of innocent people, the real victims.

Does this sound like what normal people do when they can't pay their bills? Do we normally pour gas on people or put bullets in their heads if we can't make our payments?

Let's give the real victims sympathy.

Carol Sanchez, Largo  

Growth: For Floridians, enough may finally be enough Feb. 10, Perspective story

A narrow perspective

Down at the St. Petersburg Times there is a one-size-fits-all mentality that seems to pervade everything, including Sunday's commentary on Florida's population growth. The perspectives that flow from the Times apparently assume that everybody lives in an overbuilt place like Pinellas County.

This perhaps explains why liberal reporters would attempt to offer homilies about growth management to the citizens of some remote spot like Taylor County, or some place up in the Panhandle, places where the local economies are starving for new and diverse kinds of investment.

Only a few of Florida's 67 counties are urban environments, but whether in Miami, Jacksonville or here in the Tampa Bay area, that area's editors and publishers would regulate land development with a heavy hand.

There are loads of energetic, imaginative and talented young writers who happen to write from a conservative perspective. Maybe the Times could hire one or two to handle the "conservative" beat.

Jim Parker, Lakeland

Sharp growing pains Feb. 10, editorial

A race to the bottom

The quote by Sen. Victor Crist in your editorial said it all: Our leading politicians have no interest in meaningful growth management and will instead pander to our irresponsible real estate industry.

I see this firsthand as a Leon County commissioner, where my colleagues approve comprehensive plan amendments that result in more sprawl, more pollution and more demand on public services. As with many local commissions, the real estate industry gets its way.

Adding insult to injury, this same industry bankrolled the campaign for Amendment 1 to roll back property taxes to force cuts in needed programs. As a result, future growth will not pay for itself - as if it ever did in Florida - and we will be even less competitive in the global economy.

Our inadequate public schools, universities, transportation system, health care and other failures mean we will fall even further behind the rest of the world. The only race we will win is to the bottom.

Community Affairs Secretary Tom Pelham has sincere intentions to end growth abuse, but the Legislature and governor will trump his best efforts. That's why I signed the Hometown Democracy petition, contributed to its campaign, and look forward to its being on the ballot.

Bob Rackleff, Leon County commissioner, Tallahassee

Why she decided to stand by Bill Feb. 10, Bill Maxwell column

A missed opportunity

I believe this column does not address the real problem many of us have with Hillary Clinton.

Hillary has always prided herself as being a proponent for children; that is why I believe she missed an opportunity to tell the teenage population, especially, that her president's behavior in the Oval Office with Monica Lewinsky was wrong, unacceptable and unbecoming of a president. Had she shared this straightforwardly and candidly with the nation, she could have sent a much needed moral message to an already morally bankrupt society. Her silence in this matter indicates a lack of prudence and good judgment.

I do not believe I am bashing Hillary Clinton but rather putting an expectation where it rightly belongs. I believe enormous power demands enormous responsibility.

Fran Carideo, Tampa

Why she decided to stand by Bill Feb. 10, Bill Maxwell column

She seeks to help

Once again I agree with Bill Maxwell. I do not think Hillary Clinton should be held liable for her husband's foibles. The fact that she has now decided to help her country recover from the Bush years shows her to be a very strong woman. She will be able to lead this nation back to greatness.

Also the Bible says, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

Richard Simon, Pinellas Park

Portability faces challenge Feb. 13, story

Where's the problem?

The only thing I see challenged here is common sense. Any tax "discriminates" against somebody just from the mere fact that some people have to pay it while others don't. As long as the tax law is clearly laid out and everybody in the same set of circumstances either has to pay it or not, I see no problem.

I just see opponents of Amendment 1 throwing out a lot of speculative arguments in order to overturn the clear will of the voters.

Leonard Martino, Tampa

Questionable connection

The front-page story linked the crime spree that resulted in five murders to a home loan that the suspect was marginally able to afford. Does your staff believe that these crimes would not have occurred if the suspect had been denied the home loan and was forced to rent?

Many people find themselves in serious financial difficulties at some point during their lives. Very few turn to crime and violence to solve their problems.

Leon Davis Jr. has a record of living beyond his means and has committed crimes to support his lifestyle. That should have been the headline. The home loan had nothing to do with the crimes.

Terry Hobbs, Hernando

American nightmare Feb. 10, story

Questionable connection

The front-page story linked the crime spree that resulted in five murders to a home loan that the suspect was marginally able to afford. Does your staff believe that these crimes would not have occurred if the suspect had been denied the home loan and was forced to rent?

Many people find themselves in serious financial difficulties at some point during their life. Very few turn to crime and violence to solve their problems.

Leon Davis Jr. has a record of living beyond his means and has committed crimes to support his lifestyle. That should have been the headline. The home loan had nothing to do with the crimes.

Terry Hobbs, Hernando