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Bring out your dead (carts)

Great article `"What's with all the carts?," Aug. 24`. As a Colonialtown resident it drives me nuts to see all those shopping carts scattered throughout our area. Almost any day of the week I witness yet another cart on its death walk.

Wouldn't this be a cool solution: The homeless should be allowed to deliver carts back to their rightful owners in exchange for a small fee, similar to the empty-bottle return programs in some states. There wouldn't be a stray cart anywhere in our area. The stores get their carts back (cheaply), the homeless get a few bucks, the area gets cleaned up and we wouldn't have to pay higher prices due to stores spending money erecting barriers or rigging their carts with electronic locking devices.

Angelo Cane, Orlando

How they do it in California

Thanks for writing a great article on a pet peeve of mine `"What's with all the carts?," Aug. 24`. Did anyone you spoke with when you researched the article compare Florida to California and their cart recovery program?

In California, each shopping cart has a toll-free telephone number stamped on it. You call the number and a local contractor collects the cart off the street. This is a statewide program and is paid for by the California retail association. Storekeepers get their carts back and the streets are cleaner!

Also, in some New England states, a contractor is a licensed shopping cart recovery agent. He spends his days collecting carts and returning them to the local stores. He pays the state for his license and the stores pay him to collect carts.

Alex Maza, Orlando

Harsh words

Wow, that seemed like an unnecessarily harsh review `of M. Ward in CD Reviews, Aug. 24`. First off, the Kris Kristofferson comparison is off-base as Kris is someone that set out to be a songwriter first and foremost. When Kris was getting started all sorts of songwriters with songwriters' voices — people like Leonard Cohen, Randy Newman and Jimmy Webb to name a few — were putting out albums based on the public's sheer curiosity for hearing the writer sing his own hit song. M. Ward, to my knowledge, never set out to be just a songwriter.

Moreover, most of those songwriter albums are nothing more than high-budget demos with the producer arranging and setting the tone for the writer's songs.

M. Ward's production touches are far too peculiar to be put in that category.

I must admit that I've yet to purchase the new album but have thought that his past three albums have been a sheer joy, full of inventive arrangements, wonderful playing and full of songs that seem to come from their own strange universe; basically, everything you should want from music.

If Mr. O'Connor wants some more straightforward singing I suggest he pick up the latest Rob Thomas album.

Shawn R. Conroy, Winter Park

Head spinning

Funny! I know you're kidding but if you think Rush forced you to listen to "prolonged, profoundly unpleasant blasts of musical self-indulgence, forcing `you` to reside in an auditory environment defined by high-pitched squeals, overly busy bass and obnoxious paradiddles that seriously stunted `your` emotional and physical development" `"Rush to judgment," Dog Playing Poker, Aug. 17`, then you haven't listened to Yes' Tales From Topographic Oceans or any of Gentle Giant's music. Guaranteed to make your head spin like Linda Blair on speed. Great column, though.

Ivan Diaz, via the Internet

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