Keep it local

I’m with you on the idea that the local stations should put less emphasis on crime and instead focus more resources on local politics and investigative reporting `“Be afraid. Be very afraid,” Sept. 20`. But when you make mention of at least two national news items that you said went unreported, I have to wonder if you understand the difference between a local newscast and the network nightly news.

Surely there are plenty who would like to hear from local residents impacted by national politics, or how, somehow, the resignation of the attorney general will affect Central Florida, but really, this time could be better spent on other stories. Sure, when we have another victory against the Bush administration, I love to hear it all over the news as much as everyone else.  But I don’t really care to hear it on my local news. Good job with the story, but don’t let your passion for politics carry you too far away from the issue at hand.

  Sean J., via the Internet

Not onboard

Preposterous it is `3:10 to Yuma, Film, Sept. 6`. When the Peter Fonda character is shot in the chest and almost dies, how can he be back on his horse as good as new in 30 minutes? Absolutely ridiculous. Did you notice that the handcuffs miraculously disappeared from Russell Crowe after he was on the train? How did that happen? Also, who was on the train to escort such a dangerous man to prison? He acted like a Connecticut commuter on the train. Whistling for the horse was a little over the top, too.

 Dale K., Ocala

Circus freaked

As a graduate of the University of Central Florida, I was very disappointed to learn that the UCF administration has decided to continue to allow abusive animal acts at the new on-campus arena. Universities are supposed to create an environment for broadening your mind, not a throwback to antiquated and barbaric entertainment like animals in the circuses. The most recent decision to keep leasing the arena to the Shriners circus should be offensive to anyone who cares about animals. The animals in the circus are not willing participants in the show. They are forced to perform and often pay the ultimate price. The USDA report on the animal circus that comes to the arena tells the truth behind the hype, lights and glamour of the show.

But of course, if the officials responsible for the new facilities do not have enough vision to see the need for water fountains in the Florida heat, I guess I was hoping for too much when I expected them to make a compassionate decision about animal acts at the arena.

Bryan Wilson, Winter Springs

You are garnish

Poor Prime Minister Maliki.  He’ll rant, he’ll rail against Blackwater mercenaries as they shoot their way through his country, but quite soon, President Bush will tap him on the shoulder and remind him that the head of Blackwater is a top Republican donor, the scion of one of the wealthiest families in South Carolina and co-founder of Focus on the Family, to boot. Bush will then remind Maliki that the only way Iraq’s Republican sponsors will survive the 2008 election is if high rollers like Blackwater keep donating. If that means U.S. contractors continue wandering the roadsides dispensing Saddam-style justice as they see fit, then so be it.

The unspoken message is that Blackwater will be in Iraq long after Maliki has gone. Yeah, being a figurehead isn’t always easy, but as another figurehead once reminded a roomful of federal prosecutors, “We serve at the pleasure of President Bush.” Like Alberto Gonzales, Maliki will soon realize he’s about as essential as table garnish, and just as easily replaced.

Naomi Hilt, via the Internet

Department of Corrections

Due to an editing error, last week’s story regarding Orlando’s new ban on nighttime panhandling `“Beyond the box”` misstated the period that the ban is in effect. Panhandling is now banned from sunset to sunrise.

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