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Letters to the Editors

Despite loss, couple fought for what was right

© St. Petersburg Times, published August 25, 2000

Kudos for "Disenchanted Isles," written by Michael Sandler with research by John Martin (Aug. 18). It was a very well researched story and we certainly know, better than anyone else, how many-faceted it was. Even given the depth that it went into, certainly it was a master feat of juggling as to what to include and what to leave for another time.

Quickly though, we would like to state that our expert said $5,000 was a minimum, not a total loss.

Though not happy with the decision of the land use attorney/arbitrator chosen by the developer, in the end it's what we expected.

The real story here is not our loss, but the loss of an entire community. This case was not just about a loss of view or sunsets; this case was about words meaning something. This was about believing in the integrity of others that when they give their word, especially more than once, they are not lying.

This was about the end of selective enforcement of deed restrictions. This was about believing that an ordinary person still was able to get justice in this world of high-priced lawyers and political connections.

Recently, an assistant state attorney said to us that the age of civil lawsuits brought by individuals was virtually a dinosaur. He said: Just look at the litigants on the court's calendar. There are no individuals (maybe Bill Gates)!

We can sleep at night; we fought for what was right to the best of our ability! The American Revolution was started by not more than 30 Yankees. We need a few more to keep this fight going.
-- Ron and Madeline Moos

Impressive article shows depth of news coverage

The North of Tampa article "Disenchanted Isle," written by Michael Sandler with research by John Martin (Aug. 18) is by far one of the best written, best researched stories that I've read in any newspaper covering the University, New Tampa, Northeast Tampa areas or in any other neighborhood newspaper covering the same areas since I moved to Tampa Palms in 1989.

North of Tampa has raised the bar of journalistic maturity one more notch to where it's now become a leader in the coverage of local neighborhood news. And this is very impressive, because North of Tampa was the newest kid on the block. I hope this type of quality journalism will become a North of Tampa standard that will set a benchmark for all others to follow.
-- Bob Doran Tampa Palms

Anti-gun coalition tramples on our rights

The Florida Collation To Stop Gun Violence ("Residents Protest Wal-Mart Gun Sales," Aug. 20) is a group of people who are more smoke and mirrors then substance or principles.

Arthur Hayhoe and this group have continually brought forth a very prejudiced, intolerant, or worse yet, bigoted attack on citizens and businesses when one or both speak up for their Constitutional rights as related to sale or ownership of firearms.

A store such as Wal-Mart performs market research and responds to this as the best way to serve a community. But Hayhoe's claim that rifle sales near Wharton High School are not wanted by him or his group -- because it's too close to that school -- is a baseless and unfounded complaint. There is no more impact on high school students then if a car dealer went in at that location.

Arthur's convoluted reasoning then indicates that all persons of good will, as citizens selling or purchasing firearms, should be viewed as evil and intolerant. As for the safety of children, this could not be further from the truth, Mr. Hayhoe! It's time you stopped trampling on everyone's rights for your own misguided beliefs and unlawful demands.
-- James W. Coakley, New Port Richey

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We invite you to share your opinions on local issues.

Readers may write letters to the editor, which will be published in the North of Tampa section of The Times on Fridays or Sundays.

Send them to Letters to the Editor, The Times, 14358-B N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, FL 33618. E-mail:

Please be sure to include your address and phone number for verification.

We are also interested in guest columns from residents about issues of concern to the community.

We reserve the right to edit columns for accuracy, clarity and length.

If you are interested in submitting a guest column, call Marlene Sokol at 226-3467 or John Hill at 226-3379.

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