One big, happy county

It is ridiculous to think that cutting property taxes will lift a financial burden off the citizens of Orange County `"How to bankrupt local government," Feb. 8`. Local government still has to pay the bills. So our sales taxes will increase therefore forcing people to buy things online and driving local businesses away, utilities increase, gas taxes increase, programs and services will get cut or experience budget cuts resulting in even higher crime with less patrols on the street. Property taxes are too high. The system can be fixed by lowering the current operating cost of local government. Consolidation of all government services would save millions. Orange County is made up of at least 10 different cities. All have individual governments. Excess spending could be controlled by having one mayor, council, parks and recreation, animal control, etc. Many of the larger cities have successfully operated this way. A few examples are Jacksonville, New York, Kansas City and Louisville.

Our local government needs to be more accountable by uniting all of the governments in the county and getting rid of all of the boundaries so all the citizens within Orange County receive the same level of services. Therefore, making government more efficient and passing the savings on to the citizens by lowering the millage rates and decreasing the property taxes.

Roy Monson, via the Internet

Being Tyler

You want to be me when I'm the Single Guy, but you don't want to be me when I show up on MSNBC to actually shoulder some media accountability for the Anna `Nicole Smith` train wreck `Happytown™, Feb. 15`? Where are your priorities, Weekly?

Thanks for helping keep my name in the Orlando press and subsequently keeping me in free drinks at the Sapphire.

Tyler Gray, via the Internet

War is profitable

Regarding "Who'll stop the war?" `Feb. 15`: This war will end when Halliburton can no longer make billions anymore.

Bill Turnbull, Clermont

What would Jesus eat?

This week marks the beginning of Lent, the 40-day period preceding Easter when Christians have traditionally abstained from meat and dairy products in memory of Jesus' 40 days of fast and prayer before dying on the cross. With religious devotion giving way to self-indulgence, Christian denominations gradually receded to meatless Fridays, then even fewer dietary restrictions.

Yet, Jesus' powerful message of compassion and love for all living beings still applies.

It's a time when animals are raised for food under abject conditions of caging, crowding, deprivation, drugging, mutilation and manhandling. When they are trucked to the slaughterhouse for days without food or water, then bled, skinned and dismembered while still conscious. Each of us has a personal choice to make. We can continue to subsidize these sins against nature with every food purchase. Or we can show our respect for Jesus' message by accepting a nonviolent diet of vegetables, fruits and grains first mandated in Genesis I:29.

Lent provides a splendid opportunity to explore the rich variety of meat- and dairy-free foods at our favorite supermarket.

Oswald Caldona, Orlando

Paramount: Please hire Wes

In reference to the article "In defense of Ryan Reynolds" `Jan. 25` by Cole Haddon: Ryan Reynolds is a hunk and he is funny. Reynolds would be perfect for a remake of the classic The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, a project that's been languishing at Paramount for nearly 10 years. And I'd be the perfect screenwriter for it.

Wes Pierce, Orlando

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