Don’t be fooled

Your story on Cameron Kuhn hopefully raises awareness to readers about the risk of buying into a high-rise development, whereby they’re led to believe they are making an informed investment (aka “scammed”), based upon a residential building selling out quickly `“Things fall apart,” Oct. 18`.

The state of Florida should require that all residential developers register with a statewide clearinghouse that discloses the status of residential building and subdivision sales (actual sales versus pending sales, along with an automatically calculated percentage of units sold versus unsold). Such a measure would be updated every 48 to 72 hours, available online as public record, with any necessary fees paid by the developer. Furthermore, the developer would be allowed to advertise “actual sales” only, as a building is filling up (or not).

This is the reason why I never put a single deposit down on any downtown Orlando residential high-rise development during the proposed marketing and construction phases. I didn’t have a legally supported basis that a building was quickly selling or sold out. Nor did I believe the Orlando Sentinel’s claims of pre-sales construction hype of such developments. A Realtor can’t even properly advise a prospective buyer, without a more accurate basis for verification.

While I don’t think that all developers intend to mislead prospective buyers, I do believe that such nondisclosure has contributed to the nationwide condo bust, whereby many buyers were unknowingly making less-informed decisions.

Finally, it’s a damn shame that Phil Diamond is the only city council commissioner (according to your story) who was wise enough not to support the passing of the city’s incentive package, which appears to have been hasty, foolish and scheming. The Plaza may be a contributing high-rise to Orlando’s skyline today, but wait and see what it looks like half-empty two years from now.

Daniel L. Bray, Orlando

The marrying kind

Billy Manes: I just wanted to tell you how impressed I was by your recent article `“Mantrimony,” Oct. 4` As someone who lost a partner to AIDS and dealt with many of the issues you discussed, I learned very quickly how much our “lifestyle” can be very difficult! My partner of four years, who just moved away, and I actually created all of the paperwork you mentioned and now I am going through the process of updating all of the forms. Best of luck to you and Alan!

Eric Ercole, via the Internet

Good to know

In reference to the review of Wes Craven’s Deadly Friend `Twisted Terror Collection, Film & DVDs, Oct. 4`, the scene where the late character actress Anne Ramsey gets her head exploded with a basketball was added in later. The “suits” at Warner Bros. didn’t like the first cut of Deadly Friend, so they had Wes Craven go back and put that scene in. Originally Anne Ramsey gets throttled to death by Kristy Swanson.

The suits didn’t like the original title of the movie either; at first it was just called Friend, but they changed the title.

Wes Pierce, Orlando

Thank you, George Bush

Five years ago when Congress voted to authorize the use of force against Iraq, only us paranoid conspiracy theorists thought that Bush was obsessed with going to war, that he was lying, and that he would get us bogged down in a never-ending occupation. In the past paranoid people like me were marginalized as crazy wackos with overactive imaginations. But now we have a president who has validated our position. Now we are seen as prophets.

So I want to say thank you, President Bush, for helping us earn a respectable place in society. I’m just hoping this time that people will listen to us as we worry that Bush is going to start yet another artificial war with Iran. I don’t want to have to look back five years from now and say, “I told you so!” again.

Marc Perkel, via the Internet

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