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Victims fall prey to scams when they let greed overcome sense

Editor: Re: Ponzi scheme hit victim hard, Aug. 7 Hernando Times:

I must admit there is no excuse for Mark Blacher's criminal behavior in deceiving folks and stealing $16-million from them. And I really do feel sorry for Vincent Sacco having lost his life's savings.

Yet, how many times have we read about older folks getting ripped off by guys like Blacher? Each and every time the promise of high returns was made and these old folks are attracted to it like moths to a flame. And each and every time they get burned.

For all the wisdom our senior citizens are supposed to have, and all the quaint sayings they throw around, why do so many neglect the obvious one at work here: when something sounds too good to be true, it is!

The time to take risk with financial capital is when you are young and can afford to absorb the losses. When you are retired, all your money should be in federally backed certificates of deposit, money markets and bonds. The only money you should put at risk is that which you can afford to lose completely. And when you lose it, too bad; it's gone. If you cannot afford to lose it, don't risk it.

Just how many times do these stories have to run before folks get the hint?

Call me cold. Call me calloused. But what we had at work here was only one thing: greed. Greed will be the downfall of many more older citizens like Mr. Sacco. I wish him luck in getting his money back.

Vilmar Tavares, Spring Hill

Kingsley, Robinson, Sullivan

deserve thanks for standing firm

Editor: Thanks to Commissioners Chris Kingsley, Nancy Robinson and Paul Sullivan for their stand on commercial fishing boats in Hernando Beach and their support of the citizens in residentially zoned properties.

It was the complaints of these citizens, over many years, that brought the issue to a head through their membership in the new Hernando Beach Property Owners Association. Earlier in the year, they voted to authorize their board of directors to go to county officials to resolve the matter of having commercial fishing boats docked in residential zones. Many citizens, including the commercial fishermen, voiced their opinions at a commission workshop May 27. County planning and legal staff presented results of their investigations. Then the commissioners voted at their June 8 meeting to exclude commercial vessels 26-feet or longer from mooring in residential areas. Their vote was met by resounding applause from the citizens attending that meeting.

Now, at the first public hearing of that ordinance, Commissioners Pat Novy and Bobbi Mills continue to aggravate the citizens in trying to amend the ordinance by grandfathering the boats that are impacted. Imagine, trying to grandfather boats that the county's own legal department said were not legally allowed to be moored in residential areas. Now we have potholes in the mind.

Yes, there are a few sore-heads, sore-losers and a few old curmudgeons who keep trying to muddy the waters. But there are three commissioners who see that the majority of residentially zoned citizens want their residentially zoned Hernando Beach community to continue as such. Thanks also to those in the community who put in so much of their time in presenting the issues, people like Sandra Hoyt and Julia Jackson. And thanks especially to Commissioner Sullivan for his patient, persistent questioning of those who keep raising smoke screens and seek to distract from the main issue. Their statements reveal they are fronting for others who desire not to speak for themselves.

John Karpiscak, Hernando Beach

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