Agency fails another child | May 21
Caseworkers tried to help
I take issue with your headline, "Agency fails another child," concerning the beating death of 13-month-old Ezekiel Mathis and the charges against his mother's boyfriend, Damarcus Kirkland-Williams.
My reading of the article leads me to believe that the caseworkers in the Department of Children and Families were the people who were working the hardest to save this child. Certainly the 21-year-old coward charged with beating the boy to death failed the child. The mother, and anyone else in her family who might have influenced her to keep Kirkland-Williams away from her children, failed the child. The office of Attorney General Pam Bondi who, according to the article denied three requests from DCF to deal with the case, failed the child.
I commend the DCF caseworkers for being, by appearances anyway, the only adults in this baby's life who tried to save him.
Dan A. Sparks, Redington Beach
Agency fails another child | May 21
Mother is to blame
Your headline should have been "Unfit parents fail another child." The blame ultimately goes to a mother who brought this violent man into her children's lives and did nothing about it. How does a mother allow this? Let's stop passing the blame. The mother is responsible, not an underfunded, under-manned and overworked government agency. The "village" is not responsible for raising the child. The parents are.
Charles Bacchi, Palm Harbor
Where was Bondi's office?
A person who only read the headline "Agency fails another child" would think that the Department of Children and Families was to blame for this poor child's death. They would be wrong. Damarcus Kirkland-Williams was to blame for this death. The next person responsible would be the child's mother for allowing her children to be exposed to Kirkland-Williams. The child's sibling had already been removed because of horrible abuse inflicted on her. DCF seemed to do all it could, within the law, to try to extricate this child from this horrible situation.
If anyone in state government could have stopped this death from happening, it was Pam Bondi, the state attorney general. After all, DCF had tried to remove the child from the home but was denied by Bondi's office.
Kenneth Holder, Lutz
'Taj Mahal' judge must go | May 19, editorial
Judge entitled to defense
I take issue with the editorial concerning the recently filed charges against 1st District Court of Appeal Judge Paul M. Hawkes. These charges are just that — charges — and this just begins the JQC proceedings. At this point, the JQC has not found against Judge Hawkes, and he is entitled to present a defense.
As to the charges that relate to the building of the courthouse, I have doubts that they could support any finding of violation of judicial ethics, whatever our view of the judgment involved. Judge Hawkes did not personally benefit from the construction of the building and, so far as I know, there is no indication of any corrupt act in the process of the planning and construction of that building.
We do not have to agree with the way that Judge Hawkes dealt with others to say that, like anyone else who has been charged, he should have an opportunity to present his side of the case.
Sandy D'Alemberte, Tallahassee
JQC bashes 'Taj' judge | May 18
Lawmakers share blame
Judge Paul Hawkes didn't accomplish this feat single-handedly. He had help from some of our elected officials — the ones on television talking about government spending being out of control while sending home the pork and selling out to lobbyists and special interests. So lets be clear: Behavior that the JQC finds reprehensible is business as usual for our legislators.
Terri Headley, St. Petersburg
GOP struggles to cope with loss in Jacksonville | May 20
Memo to Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos: What don't you get? The populace is on to your social engineering scheme. We see the falsehoods of "let's get to work" as demonstrated by the railroading of destructive legislation, orchestrated by you. None of it had anything to do with creating jobs. Is your reading material limited to tea party leaves, which are sinking faster than the Titanic?
A black Democrat defeated the Republican candidate in a Republican city. Better study it real hard.
Doug Bauer, Clearwater
Session pleases tea party leaders | May 21
The tea party is very pleased with the legislative session because there were no new taxes passed. But to all the tea drinkers, if you live in a house or a condo in Florida, your homeowners insurance is going up by 15 percent every year, every time the insurance industry feels the need. Gov. Rick Scott shut down high speed rail, but he will spend millions to dredge the Miami port so larger container ships can come in filled with products made by jobs from other countries. Scott is creating more jobs; they are just not in Florida.
James Quinn, Seminole
Obama's proposal for Israel
Turning back history
It is sheer folly for President Barack Obama to suggest in his speech that Israel should turn back lands won in the 1967 war that resulted in the occupation of the West Bank and the Golan Heights. This would be akin to Mexico asking for the territory back that was acquired by the United States in the war with Mexico in 1848, or the state of Texas, which was annexed in 1845. How about France rescinding the Louisania Purchase in 1803 or Spain rescinding their claim on Florida in 1819? It makes no sense; therefore, it will never happen.
Earl A. Myers Jr., Tampa
Stand up for Israel
Shame on President Barack Obama for suggesting Israel give up land won in a war fought because those surrounding countries wanted to annihilate Israel and still do. Those countries make no bones about their hatred for Israel. Yet our president wants Israel to cede back to its enemies land that gave their enemies an advantage. Give Israel's enemies an inch and they'll want the whole country.
Richard Valentine, Palm Harbor