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Tried in the media

I enjoyed the latest Happytown™ column `Jan. 7`. I really did. I appreciate that you've noticed my candidacy for the Florida House of Representatives, and appreciate your sense of humor about the circus that was the Rifqa Bary case here in Orlando.

If I can comment on one thing, I'd appreciate your indulgence. My op-ed that appeared in the St. Petersburg Times that you quoted was written for what I think was a good reason. The case was a media case. It shouldn't have been, but it had not only been hijacked by activists who don't know a thing about the Bary family, it had in reality been engineered by activists who didn't know a thing about the Bary family. DCF, the guardian ad litem and I were all on the same page. Only a bunch of bloggers and some opportunist attorneys stood between some of us and the goal of repairing a family, which is what my practice and passion are devoted to.

What I wrote was part of a legal strategy to get some of those who I can usually rely upon to respect liberty and parental rights to just take a pause while the thing made its way through court. Its target audience was people I could relate to, but who had the wrong sense about the case. I thought that was important to do as a service to my client, and that's why it was presented as a conservative Christian speaking. That was the point. Back then I was getting hit from both sides, and had to decide what direction did the most good for my client. That's what good lawyers do.

Anyway, gentlemen, thank you for a good write-up. I hope it won't be "one hell of a ride," as you predict. I hope to keep it somewhere around between the Pirates of the Caribbean and Dueling Dragons in thrill level.

Craig McCarthy, Orlando

Dog pile on Billy

I was overjoyed to see the Orlando Weekly publish the comments from Bernadette Maier regarding the incoherent ramblings of columnist Billy Manes `Comments, Jan. 7`. I, too, have written the Weekly previously about the unreadability of his columns and cannot help but wonder why this man is paid (I assume he's paid) to write this mess. My apologies to Mr. Manes, who may be a super nice guy for all I know, but I must agree that he appears to be in need of some serious help, be it with substance abuse or just plain mental problems.

One positive note: He makes reading James Joyce look like child's play.

Karilyn Rust, Orlando

Feather ruffler

Bao `Le-Huu`: Your column is amazing for the simple fact that it ruffles so many feathers `This Little Underground`. Once the feathers are ruffled you have to adjust and an adjustment is always in order to keep a vibrant music scene. Keep it up, homie!


We can all get along

Thank you Lindy `T. Shepherd` and Mighk `Wilson` for an article that helps clear the air on pedestrian and bicycle safety `"Mr. Bicycle," Jan. 14`. Much of what Mighk mentioned can be done (inexpensively!) to help make Orlando and the surrounding metro areas a place where all — pedestrian, cyclist and motorist — can peacefully and safely co-exist.


Best practices

Lindy `T. Shepherd`, you captured the essence of "best practices" in cycling very well. Admittedly, it's easy when you have a great interview subject like Mighk `Wilson`, but you did a great job of letting him tell his story, rather than filtering it through the usual fear-mongering stereotypes.

John Schubert, via

Digging our scene

I live in Fort Lauderdale and had to make the three-hour drive up to see Midlake and Sarah Jaffe at the Social last week `This Little Underground, Jan. 7`. I'm really excited to see how well the Orlando scene is doing and how far it's come. Keep up the good work, you Orlandonians! Be grateful for what you have. Down here "local" does equal "yokel" and that's despite the fact that we're a major metropolitan area. The Midlake/Sarah Jaffe show was like coming up for a breath of fresh air for me.





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