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Bad behavior not limited to the homeless

Homeless disrupting our lives | May 10, Bill Maxwell column

Bad behavior not limited to homeless

The aberrant behavior that Bill Maxwell has experienced in his neighborhood originates with individuals who, for a variety of reasons (mental/physical illness, deprivation, arrogance, fear, etc.) have no connection with the community in which they find themselves. It is disappointing that this is labeled as "homeless" conduct. Each incident mentioned is personal — not group — misconduct.

Labeling misbehavior as a stereotypical characteristic of any racial, economic or ethnic group is unproductive. I have encountered homeless individuals adjacent to my home daily for the past 10 years, and neither my wife nor I have every been disrespected by them. The same cannot be said about more affluent revelers passing through our neighborhood to or from downtown entertainment and displaying conduct echoing Maxwell's observations.

As a political culture, we communally made the decision to virtually abandon the mentally ill to the streets. We encourage alcohol consumption rather than discourage it while meaningful treatment for alcohol and drug abuse for the poor is close to impossible to obtain. We elect not to invest in housing and treatment for the dispossessed.

The reason that neither Maxwell nor I have answers to the problems of homelessness is that the causes are complex and solutions will have cost.

John Flournoy, St. Petersburg

Homeless disrupting our lives | May 10, Bill Maxwell column

Homeless create intolerable situation for residents

Our home is our sanctuary. At least it's supposed to be. And in being so, no one should be subjected to being shouted at with profanities, or be bothered or harassed at home in any shape or form. Personally, I don't blame Bill Maxwell one iota for being "mad as hell" and therefore devoting a column to the trials and tribulations of living among the rowdy bunch of homeless people from the Salvation Army facility in his St. Petersburg neighborhood.

Why doesn't the Salvation Army live up to its end of the bargain and simply not allow any trouble? Why should Maxwell and his neighbors have to clean up the mess left by these folks? My guess is that the Salvation Army will get wind of Maxwell's column and hopefully clean up its act. Maxwell's "gifted writing tool" has a way of getting people's attention. He's a sly fox at that.

JoAnn Lee Frank, Clearwater

Homeless disrupting our lives | May 10, Bill Maxwell column

Seek solutions

I felt this piece was a bit one-sided. The Salvation Army provides not only services to the homeless but also hope that they can start their lives over again.

I find it interesting that no positives came out of this story, just complaints about a few isolated incidents. If there is a great need to address these issues, people like Bill Maxwell should become part of the solution and not just be some armchair quarterback using a column to spew more distrust.

Remember that disenfranchised people not only need our help as a community but also someone to be an advocate for them. Maxwell should try it on sometime. He might find the fit a bit tight, but he might also come to realize that talk is cheap. Action is what brings change in any society.

Robert Lopez, Lutz

Taking taxpayers for a ride | May 8, editorial

An easier answer

I read your editorial about our lieutenant governor, Jeff Kottkamp, traveling to Atlanta to a friend's birthday party. On this trip the lieutenant governor had as his driver a state trooper assigned to him by the FDLE. As this trip was duty-connected for the officer, he drove a state vehicle and was reimbursed for his travel expenses.

Your editorial seems to indicate that someone, the FDLE, the lieutenant governor, or the state trooper, should violate state laws requiring the presence of a state trooper with the lieutenant governor 24/7. You suggested an amendment to the state Constitution eliminating the position of lieutenant governor due to the lack of any real duties for that office.

It would be much simpler to merely amend the state law requiring the presence of the trooper 24/7 if this amount of protection is not necessary.

Paul C. Blatt, Dunedin

Nuclear plant takes a big gulp | May 9, story

Outrageous and risky

I couldn't believe what I was reading. Progress Energy plans to build a $17 billion nuclear plant in Levy County, not only adding advance charges to customers' utility bills, but also planning to destroy 765 acres of precious wetlands. This is not to mention the effect that this will have on our already overburdened aquifer.

I think this is an outrage people cannot ignore. I'm tired of reading that the Army Corps of Engineers would so easily grant these permits in the first place.

People should consider better power alternatives such as wind and solar power, rather than risking a nuclear disaster.

Lilly Hogue, Spring Hill

Nuclear plant takes a big gulp | May 9, story

Wallets and water

So not only is Progress Energy depleting our wallets it is much more seriously depleting our natural resources. Isn't there anything that can be done to prevent this potential catastrophe from happening?

What an outrage: first our money and now our water. Enough already.

D.G. Murray, New Port Richey

Excellent care

I am an ear, nose and throat specialist in private practice in Boca Raton since 1979. On March 9, I was diagnosed with severe carotid stenosis. The likelihood of a debilitating stroke was imminent. I sought opinions from university professors in my area, known to be experts in the specialties of neurology, neurosurgery and vascular surgery, who all turned me down as my case was considered complicated.

Miraculously, I was referred to cardiovascular surgeon in Largo, A. Hadi Hakki, M.D. Dr. Hakki quickly assembled specialists into a team and reassured me that they would attend to any and all problems, before, during and after surgery.

Dr. Hakki performed carotid surgery on April 10 at St. Petersburg General Hospital. I was out of the OR and the ICU in a short time. We went through some turbulence but each complication was aborted by the quick intervention of these doctors, and I was successfully discharged four days later.

Above all, I thank God as he led me to Dr. Hakki, who has the heart and soul of a true physician. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank all the physicians, nurses and caregivers at St. Petersburg General Hospital who showed devotion, compassion and interest in my complicated care.

Stela Tudoran, M.D., Boca Raton

Bad behavior not limited to the homeless 05/11/09 [Last modified: Monday, May 11, 2009 8:03pm]
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