How many panic attacks?

I arrived at the `Oct. 20` Obama rally around 2:30 p.m. expecting a line `see Happytown™, page 8`. Somehow, the line was directed in an unusual pattern from the north entrance to the arena back to Robinson, then to the west reaching Parramore Avenue, then back east to Hughey, then down Hughey nearly reaching Church Street. It was as if some dumb person decided where the line would go.

We waited in line for three hours and 15 minutes, which was fine, since I expected a large crowd and a long wait. What I didn't expect was for the line to barely inch along; apparently they didn't have enough manpower to fill the stands in a timely manner. Then, when Sen. Bill Nelson began to speak, they had us run — yes, run from Parramore Avenue to the arena north entrance. At the north entrance there was no guidance whatsoever. They just opened the gates and the crowd rushed in. When the viewing area reached capacity, there was no one there to stop people from trying to squeeze in anyway. There were insufficient monitors and insufficient sound for the overflow crowd. Clearly the city was not prepared for the turnout. What an absolute cluster fuck.

Why didn't they: hold the rally inside the Citrus Bowl, where they could easily accommodate 100,000 people; provide sufficient organization and crowd control; provide sufficient trash receptacles? There's trash all over Hughey and Robinson now. Why didn't they ensure that vendors were selling water at a fair price? The caterers from the arena were driving around selling 12-ounce bottled waters for $3 each, which is price-gouging. Why didn't they actually keep track of the people lining up so that they stopped lining them up after the crowd reached its capacity?

It is the city and county government — not the campaign — that is responsible for these necessities. The Orlando Police Department and the Orange County Sheriff's Office did a terrible job. If the crowd had not been filled with law-abiding citizens, there would have been a riot. Oh, and as for all the local news stations: Count the overflow crowd that surrounded the viewing area, and I'm sure you'll find that the crowd numbered nearly 100,000 strong, not 40,000. I hope all of those people actually vote!


Not qualified

I'm not a Lawson Lamar fan, but Mercedes Leon is simply not qualified to be the state attorney `"Tilting at windmills," Oct. 16`. Without the experience of either handling a prosecutor's caseload and understanding the day-to-day requirements of prosecuting cases, or managing a large office (over 130 attorneys and more than 300 support staff), she simply doesn't have what it takes to be the next state attorney. I wish there were another choice besides Lamar, but unfortunately, there isn't.


Better research, please

Mercedes `Leon` needs to do better research. The bingo case was not handled by Lamar's state attorney's office. It was handled by the state attorney general. The whole thing is laughable; she's never even been a prosecutor.

via the Internet

Editor's note: According to Steve Mason, the lawyer who represented the bingo halls in question, "The pure statement `about the bingo case` is true. The statement taken in context is not true." Lamar did file a racketeering lawsuit against the owner of the two of the same bingo halls that the state targeted, and it was dismissed.

A tear to the eye

This story `"A lot of belly for your buck," Oct. 16` brought a tear to my eye because I definitely identified with everything that was said! In my everyday life, I am a shy, introverted individual but being able to dance with Suspira in her studio allows me to be a confident and proud belly dancer!

She really and truly is the best instructor anyone could ask for! No matter how much we all rave about her, we will never come close to being able to explain how much she does for all of us. Suspira and OBD are the best!


[email protected]