Letters for December 11, 2003
All those damn kids are the problem!: As a recently retired police captain with 30 years of service, I have seen my share of death and destruction, particularly as it relates to the carnage that is occurring and has occurred on our highways. With this in mind, I attempted to keep an open mind while reading Eric Barton's December 4 ("The Blink of an Eye,") article outlining the details of this tragedy. It took the life of a police officer, forever changed the lives of his family, and hopefully affected the driver responsible for the policeman's death.
Perhaps I missed something, but nowhere in the article did I detect any remorse on the part of Sonia Ortiz, who at the age of 24 already has three children and another on the way. What I did look for was some semblance of social responsibility on her part, but it appears there was and is none! What we had was an irresponsible person who had no business getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, since no exigent circumstances were involved. Furthermore, she not only lacked a valid driver's license but also insurance and registration. The end result was the tragic and unnecessary death of Officer Thomas Morash, who was socially productive and responsible, not only to his family but to his community.
It is obvious that there are and well should be social consequences for the irresponsible and negligent actions of Ms. Ortiz. Since it is blatantly obvious that Ms. Ortiz does not and will not have the financial capability to pay the Morash family for her negligence and irresponsibility, it appears that the only recourse will be for her to spend a period of time in jail. At least there she cannot become pregnant again and might, just might, learn a trade so she can become a responsible human being instead of just a "homemaker" or perhaps "baby producer."
Tragically, there are thousands of Sonia Ortizes, and we pay in one way or another for them each and every day.
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Or maybe it was just her sense of responsibility: I read this week's cover story, "The Blink of an Eye," with great sadness. It is truly a tragedy for both families involved. And I say that not just because the one who died was a police officer. It could have been any person. I don't make that statement lightly either, as I work in police communications and the father of my children is a law enforcement officer.
I do feel for the driver, Sonia Ortiz, who stuck Thomas Morash, because it was in fact an accident, and that could have happened to any of us, if not for the grace of God.
But the point that rings true that was stated in the article is that Ortiz should not have been driving to start with. First of all, she hardly was on an emergency mission. She was on her way to the store to buy soda for lunch! The article goes on to say that she does not have a driver's license. The Honda she was driving was uninsured and not registered. It was her common law husband's vehicle. Unfortunately, she is not alone when it comes to things like this in South Florida. Many motorists think they are so special that they don't have to abide by the rules. We have to wait in the long lines at the driver's license bureau. We have to get our vehicle registered. We also have to pay astronomical insurance rates for our cars, including covering uninsured motorists. We are almost afraid to file a claim for fear of the insurance companies either raising our rates or dropping us.
Now, perhaps her reasoning for not getting all the proper and costly paperwork was money or the lack of it. With three young children and one more on the way I could see that might be the case. But we all have to learn to be responsible for our actions.
DavieGet used to it, bud!: With apologies to pipes big and small, Tailpipe acts as if this is something new to the scene ("That Hand in Your Pocket," Edmund Newton, December 4). Carnivals, as a matter of unfortunately well-known fact, are a rip-off. For lack of a better colloquialism, "Duh!" Carnivals are much like personal relationships. You need to know what you're in for (if you're old enough to drive to it, then you should be aware of the entire situation. That is, unless you were left on an Amish doorstep as a child and raised during a perpetual series of good-natured barn-raisings).
You have to accept something for what it is. Expect nothing more. Go with that attitude and you'll have a good time. Looking for a cheap family fun deal? Try introducing the kids to the amazing wonder that is our state... and I don't mean Disney. There's the Everglades, the ocean, the history (yup, we have one). Carnivals are traditionally trashy and rampant with questionable delicacies almost guaranteed to make you an award-winning Crohn's Disease mimic. That's part of their cultural charm. Their "thingness." Accept it and move on.
And stay away from sharp blades, too: I just read Wyatt Olson's November 27 article, "United States of Jesus," and found it very interesting. It seems to me that all the preachers and politicians mentioned in the piece are determined to turn this country into some sort of dictatorship, where people have to be constantly afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing.
They want to impose Christian beliefs on all of us and make non-believers suffer if they do not conform. These people hide behind the Bible their bigotry and narrow-mindedness and FEAR things and people who are different from them. They say they are practicing the word of God. Seems to me they are practicing and trying to impose a doctrine of hate in this country. God taught us not to hate, but to love. How can executing homosexuals and mentally retarded people be construed as love? It can't.
These radical Christians and their so-called leaders have to remember one thing: The devil can take on a pleasing form. We should all be aware of that before we pick up the sword in the name of someone who pretends to know God.
West Palm Beach
You don't know news. He knows news.: So the New Times invents a reporter who writes an untrue story, based in part on a fake website created by the invented reporter ("Anarchy in a Briefcase," Greg O'Shube, November 20). The New Times publishes this untrue story as if it were true. Then the New Times makes fun of local reporters and police for taking the New Times seriously enough to make a few curious calls about the untrue story ("Our Own Smarty-Pants," Greg O'Shube, November 27).
No worries -- if anyone believed any stories published by the New Times before you pulled this dumb prank, nobody will again. How sad that you can't break some real news in your town. But that would require real reporters, of which you apparently have none.
But don't forget the drinks: Jen Karentick's November 20 article, "Michelangelo's Pizza," made my mouth water. I've been to Anthony's a number of times and totally enjoyed each selection that we ordered. I just wanted to add two thing your article did not point out: the ample wine list and bar "waiting area." Both are welcome additions to complement a casual dining experience.
Loria's looking a lot like Wayne: Tristram Korten's "Power to the Pudge!" (October 23) was quite simply the best outside-the-box thinking I have read in a very long time. Every last one of his People's Pudge Fund suggestions would work: court-ordered ticket purchases, a Miccosukee casino partnership, tax surcharges on Hummers, federal asset-seizure participation, hip-hop subsidies, Ecstasy bulk-sales taxes, and market-specific fundraisers.
It's a shame we can't get the powers that be to use their heads so creatively. Thanks for the G.E.N.I.U.S. piece.
Editor's Note: Sadly, nobody took us up on Korten's proposal. Adios, Pudge...last in a line of great emigrés.
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