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Disney now run by 'big money boys'

Re: Disney objects to use of founder's quote in pamphlet, Feb. 2. The Walt Disney Company tells all of our day care center children that they cannot have Mickey Mouse's picture on their walls. They tell the Academy Awards they cannot have a performance by Snow White, and now the Greater Orlando Coalition against Pornography can no longer quote Walt Disney for fear that the public may get the impression that there is a connection or association with the Walt Disney Company.

The quote from Mr. Disney: "Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children" gives you an insight of how he felt about the youth of our country and one can't help but feel that he would have no objection to using his quote against the fight on pornography.

Mr. Disney appeared in our town in Pennsylvania for a dedication of an elementary school named in his honor and he certainly had no objections to the Disney characters that appeared on all of the walls of the school.

But, now that the big money boys have taken over his wonderful characters and enterprises, they no longer care about our youth or family entertainment. Yesterday your paper announced another increase in admission prices, but that does not reveal that a 50-cent ice cream bar that you paid $1.60 for may now cost you much more. As a visitor to the park, you are a captive to the price gouging on refreshments, etc. in order to pay the chairman of the board in excess of $40-million a year.

Mr. Disney's dream of good, wholesome family entertainment has now been made unreachable to the average middle-class and below families.

The logo of the Disney Company should be a picture of Mickey Mouse with dollar signs for ears.

John T. Campbell, Brooksville

The other day I heard and saw on television an orchestra playing music from Walt Disney's Snow White.

How come they can "do dat"?

Henry K. Keel, Hudson

Re: Discord at Disney, Feb. 7.

The musicians are having problems again at Disney World with contractual specifications. Most of these people are fine musicians, highly professional and they deserve more pay and much better treatment than they've been known to get.

This always happens when corporate mentality prevails, which in itself is probably the greatest impediment to social progress within the history of mankind, and I feel safe in saying that this is especially sorrowful in view of the fact that Walt Disney was a warm, artistic, beautiful soul who wanted to see artistic endeavors receive the very best patronage.

Walt would melt in his ice-cap if he knew that the very important contributors to the creative side of his enterprise had been treated in the slightest side unjustly.

Don Dean Sr., Tampa

So I see that Joe Montana is celebrating his Super Bowl victory by taking his family "back to Disney World." I'm sure he'll run into other sports figures, some movie stars, and an occasional savings and loan executive as these are the only people that can afford to go there. Somehow the concept of a family outing got lost in the world of big business.

I have nothing against Mr. Montana, an obviously very talented man who deserves to be well paid, but it was the average "Joes" who made this thing fly in the first place.

If Mr. Eisner starts to push out this "used-to-be middle-class" he may find himself holding his ears instead of his wallet and feeling rather "goofy."

Richard T. Host, Palm Harbor

I am pleased to see that Walt Disney World is no longer issuing free passes to legislators.

One is bound to believe that these bountiful favors to elected officials while charging the customer top dollar must be for special consideration of Walt Disney World when necessary.

It is good to see this custom dispensed with.

Mary Schilling, Largo Freedom is relative

Redner Defended, letter to the editor, by Luke Charles Lirot, Feb. 4.

In defending nude dancing establishments, Mr. Lirot uses such terms as choices, freedoms, expression, free society, beauty, and art, and he does so for a reason: All are sacrosanct concepts deserving of our protection, if not our admiration. However, the principle of individual liberty is a far cry from the simplistic notion of doing as one wishes.

It seems we will bear almost any amount of social evil in the name of freedom, so perhaps the meaning of freedom, as employed in Mr. Lirot's model, bears examination.

My experience with the type of establishment in question involves two incidents. One occurred several years ago, when I visited a club in South Florida with a friend, who happened to be an assistant state attorney building a case against the club's owner. The girl who was on stage at the time, I learned, had grown up poor and parentless, was a single mother, was addicted to drugs, and was doing this because it was the only way she knew how to make money. She was also 15 years old.

The other incident was more recent, when several "gentlemen" friends (who shall remain nameless) visited the Mons Venus for a pre-wedding stag party. They described an atmosphere of graphic prurience, with tattooed, naked women being paid to (rub up against) patrons (in an obscene way).

Regarding the first incident, I must ask: Where was that girl's "choice"? What "richness and passion" did she get from this great free society? As to the second, I find it difficult to imagine these men emerging from that gynecological display with any respect for women in general, and I question the letter writer's curious interpretation of "beauty and art." From what I'm told, the audience at the Mons Venus is not, for the most part, comprised of art critics and modeling agency scouts.

Freedom, then, is relative: Some individuals may do as they please, while others must contend with a resulting curtailment of freedoms, such as the right to not be objectified by men and the freedom to drive along Dale Mabry at night without getting hit by stray bullets.

Liberty of conscience, expression, taste and pursuit is indeed a precious ideal. How sad that it must exist at the expense of decency and dignity. What else is there to "understand"? Ms. Melone's excellent article merely told the truth.

Deborah Newell, Ruskin War never declared

Re: Prisoner of war status given to Noriega, del Cid, Feb. 3.

The invasion of Panama was to oust an unwanted dictator and to bring to justice a "drug conspirator." A war is waged against a "country" which would involve all the people of Panama.

In this case, a declaration of war was never mentioned.

Bob Schallehn, Largo Life and death decisions

Recent letters to the editor would lead readers to believe the doctors of Florida actively work against legislation dealing with life-prolonging procedures. The truth is, we worked long and hard lobbying CS/HB 494 and saw it passed and the governor veto it. To say we "sweet talk the governor into a veto" is untrue and the statement from one totally uninformed on the issue.

The bill in summary provided for the withholding or withdrawal of sustenance as a life prolonging procedure under certain circumstances.

The bill recognized an express declaration (living will) of an individual to have sustenance withheld or withdrawn and provided a procedure for the withholding or withdrawal of sustenance in the absence of a declaration in limited circumstances after certain requirements were met.

Procedural safeguards included a requirement that consent be obtained from certain individuals and that the patient be examined by two physicians who are not employed by or have no financial interest in the facility where the patient is receiving care.

The process of life and death decisions would be much easier on all concerned if there were clarifying laws supported by clear regulations.

It is doubtful that the 1990 Legislature will address the issue in the absence of a decision by the Supreme Court in the Browning case.

This is not expected until next summer.

William E. Coletti, Executive Director Pinellas County Medical Society, Largo Noise pollution

I feel I must reply to the letter writer who complained about "those young people" and their rock music.

Has he ever heard the loud music and TVs that some of our senior citizens play? Regrettably, as we age many of us (I'm in my 60s) start to lose our hearing, and many of those who have hearing aids refuse to wear them either because of vanity, incidental noise, or because the batteries are weak they must increase the sound volume on their radios, tapes and TVs.

For those of us who don't have a hearing problem, the noise from others' radios, tapes and TVs is more bothersome than rock music. You can always move away from rock music, but sometimes moving away from loud radios, tapes and TVs is impossible. Even with the doors and windows closed, you can still hear the noise, and many times our windows and doors rattle from the drum beat.

If everyone would have the same TV program or the same radio station or tape music on, then we could listen to theirs and save some money on electricity.

It works both ways.

C. Kesich, St. Petersburg 'Adopt a highway'

On Feb. 1, there was an article in the Times from Tallahassee stating that the anti-litter campaign was to begin on television.

My husband and I have spent the last two summers in the Greensboro-Highpoint area of North Carolina. The first summer we noticed signs along highways that read "Keep Carolina Green." Last year, there were added signs on the interstate, city and country roads that stated "Adopt a Highway," under which was written the name of the organization that would be responsible for a stretch of road - about two or three miles beyond the sign.

Our grandchildren signed up at their school (junior and senior high) to participate in the clean-up. Each student volunteered a Saturday twice a year.

The county provides bags, which are bright orange, to place the litter in. Bags are tied and left by the side of the road for pick-up.

This could work for Florida.

Christine Reese, Clearwater

We are very encouraged at the receptivity of the Tampa Bay business and media community to our vision for a Tampa Bay Conservation Fund.

Our goal is to have a $500,000 revolving fund to protect greenbelts, open spaces, wetlands and points of public access along the Hillsborough River. We hope to accomplish this within three years.

Based on our experience elsewhere, for every dollar the Trust for Public Land expends, $10 worth of land can be permanently protected for public use. Combined with our ability to act quickly to protect threatened properties, we believe the Trust for Public Land can make a significant difference to the quality of life in the rapidly urbanizing Tampa Bay area.

Susan Ives, Director of Public Affairs, The Trust for Public Land, San Francisco, Calif. Not the victory sign

Re: The picture of the German soldier on the front page, Feb. 2.

Your correspondents indicated that the soldier was making the "V-sign" or "victory" sign, but that is incorrect. In Europe, the backward peace sign means something completely different. The sign he was giving the photographer is the equivalent of the middle finger here in the United States.

David G. C. Ison, Matt Fleece, Jim Scavino, Marc Malone, St. Petersburg Beach Compensation law reform

Re: Companies get tips on ways to cut compensation claims, Feb. 2.

As a Florida employer, I ask: How are the rates going to be lowered enough to make a difference when the insurance companies are paying out more than they take in?

The legislators will have to do a lot more than require attorneys to be more specific in their claims.

Major reforms need to be made in the compensation laws.

Compensation should be for the truly injured and not for people to retire on.

Barbara Joule, Clearwater Share your opinions

We invite readers to write to us. Letters for publication should be addressed to Letters to the Editor, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, 33731. They should be brief and must include the handwritten signature and address of the writer.

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