Can jury avoid being deceived?
Isn't our legal system a wonderful thing? Lawyers for Luc Pierre-Charles say his brother, Andre, is a likely suspect in two killings. This is supposed to be a cause for a term called reasonable doubt.
If the defense can feed to the jury that there is reasonable doubt in a case, then the accused should be found not guilty. This looks like a spinoff of Boston Legal where two brothers accuse each other of committing the murder. The attorney tells the jury that if there is reasonable doubt on which one committed the murder, how could they find the defendant guilty and possibly send an innocent person to jail?
Then we have Angela Brooks come into the picture to confuse the issue by making the statement that she overheard a conversation from Luc that night when records show his phone was turned off.
Now we add Jeremy Henry into the picture that when he saw that he was a person of interest on TV he wasn't very happy. Imagine that, Henry was found shot to death a couple of weeks later. I guess dead men tell no tales.
Will the jury buy this deception or will they look at the facts of the case and make their decision on what is known?
Wesley Hawkins, Spring Hill
Let's move beyond party affiliations
My husband is registered as a Democrat, and I'm only a registered Republican so that we can cover the vote in the primaries.
When it comes to the general elections, we have always voted purple.
We are not red or blue, but the new purple as our president has requested of all of us.
In reply to Karen Thurman of the Florida Democratic Party, instead of blasting the latest illiterates of the Republican Party, why not spend some time cleaning up your own house?
What about the Democrats who rudely chose not to even RSVP to the invitation to the inaugural festivities? How low-class is that? Maybe once we weed out the smallness of ourselves, we can focus on what's really important for all of us.
Mary Wich Karnstedt, New Port Richey
Cathi Martin resignation
Mike Simeon is the right choice
During the last elections, Mike Simeon was a candidate against Mrs. Martin and eventually lost during the elections. Now that she has resigned her position I am requesting that Gov. Charlie Crist appoint Mr. Simeon to the seat on the board.
Why am I requesting this, or even better, now that I live in Orlando why is this of any concern to me? In the past four years, government has become more than just a passing fancy to me. It has become a key concern. In the past few weeks here in Orlando, there have been talks of budget cuts for schools. Whenever there is a talk of a public forum, the local politicians involved always speak of how these budget cuts are going to affect teacher jobs. There is never a concern for how they are going to keep the same quality education for the students.
I have learned that whenever politicians get involved in education, their primary concern is keeping teachers unions happy and thus earning votes. There is never a concern on behalf of the students. I have known Mr. Simeon my entire life. He is a man of upstanding character and values. He has entered teaching as a second career choice. His first was in management. I believe this makes him a better candidate, since his former career has taught him how to run an efficient business while also delivering a quality product. I know that children should never be thought of as products, but they are products of our educational system. One that needs to put the children first. Not votes.
Jeff Rampino, Oviedo
Water violations need a response
I was a code enforcement volunteer with Pasco County. I had a meeting with code enforcement about the watering problem in January. I told them that there were numerous people who water early in the morning, sometimes two to three times a week. They told me to get a picture. The only problem with that is, a picture won't reproduce in the darkness.
I made the suggestion that why don't they have officers start at 4 a.m. instead of at 8:30 a.m. These people are not watering at that time of day. We are in crisis with our water. I informed Commissioner Michael Cox of this situation, and he had no response.
The code enforcement division only goes out on calls when there is a complaint. If maybe they would have started to crack down before, we might not be in the situation we are in now.
By the way, people are still watering two to three times a week.
Ron Ciceri, New Port Richey
Are we seniors being forgotten?
It looks like the stimulus dollars are for financial support to the auto industry, banks, etc. Also, there are people collecting unemployment benefits to help them and I am sure there is other money that some citizens are being able to use.
My concern is that we are senior citizens and worried about our savings, which are rapidly decreasing. I wonder if there is any consideration to give a benefit to seniors to help us get through these terrible times?
Louis Schiavo, Port Richey
PETA has it all wrong on Stearns
The tiger cub and wallaby article was great. Too bad PETA jumps to conclusions when they have no knowledge of a situation. I am very pleased that Kathy Stearns of the rescue and rehab center replied.
Due to the tiger cub story, I took the tour and also had contact with the tiger cub and baby wallaby. These interactions were very strictly supervised with two handlers and no more than four people at a time. The wallaby was also a rare treat. She was extremely gentle and also had been rejected by the mother.
Stearns Zoological is a very pristine center. In addition to their big cats, they also had bears, a pot-bellied pig, numerous birds, monkeys and deer. It was an educational walking tour that I recommend. All of the animals seem happy and well taken care of. Throughout the tour I was amazed that it did not smell like animals. Everything was very clean.
I give this facility a lot of credit for doing what few can. This is a 24/7 job. You certainly cannot call in a pet sitter for the weekend.
The sad fact in all this is that people should not have these animals as pets. PETA should send out that message and go after the truly cruel wildlife pimps. Maybe if PETA took in these animals, they would better understand what a wonderful job Kathy Stearns is doing at her facility.
Lynn Oliver, Wesley Chapel
Re: Homeless children
There are facts behind numbers
To read that article at face value you'd think we had a horrible situation in the U.S.
Funny how those reporters failed to dig into the numbers because they had an agenda that needed filling. And as we now know with the media, agenda trumps truth.
Allow me to clarify with information from a March 10 opinion piece from the Wall Street Journal Web site:
Most homeless kids actually live in homes. Fifty-six percent of them are doubled-up, defined as "sharing housing with other persons due to economic hardship." By this definition, the meathead on All in the Family was homeless. Seven percent are listed as living in hotels, a category that, in the report itself, also includes motels, trailer parks and camping grounds. What's wrong with living in trailers? Does that mean my son's two kids are homeless?
Twenty-four percent live in shelters, which can be either emergency and transitional, like those fleeing domestic violence, struggling with addictions, or working to reunite with children in the foster care system.
The remaining unsheltered, (3 percent) or "unknown/other" (10 percent) may be abandoned in hospitals, using a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings, and living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations.
Where's your integrity when reporting on stories, St. Petersburg Times?
Vilmar Tavares, Spring Hill
Please leave Lock Street alone
Enough is enough about Lock Street. The longtime residents of Lock Street have fought the county for years on this name change. The County Commission agreed to include a second name for Lock Street. For what?
I think Margarita Romo should stop. This is not a Miracle Street. The county has let this woman come in and just take over our little neighborhood. If you have to name a street for them, go downtown and change one of those street names. All you see on Lock Street are drunks, prostitutes and crime. It wasn't like this when we grew up.
We have come to accept the double name. Quit letting someone cause so much unhappiness to us old-timers. Leave our street as Lock Street.
Pat Kelly, Dade City