I must applaud James Carlson and the Orlando Weekly for your feature article, "How to end up in prison" `April 6`. It was really well-written and interesting. It is wonderful that this level of journalism is available here locally, and for no cost as well.
I'm not sure what the moral of this story is, and maybe there is none. I hope the moral of the story is not that someone other than Robert is to blame, or that his two-year prison sentence is unduly harsh.
I honestly sympathize with the conditions he was growing up in with his parents' divorce and his delinquent peers. But he must understand how much his actions affect all of us. Us law-abiding, insurance-buying and tax-paying citizens have to pick up the bill for Medicaid, the police force and court costs, as well as the new Honda for the person whose car was stolen. Not only that, he very well could have killed innocent people. Two years is probably a bargain.
Jonathan Little, Orlando
Billy Manes: My dear, dear boy! You are hilarious! I knew Jane `Wiedlin` was crazy from the jump `Blister, March 6`! You don't just walk away from success; she was the first to leave the group. When will she and Lisa Bonet ever learn?
I teach reading at Boone (it's not so bad … really) and I enjoy your writing style. Did you know that most magazines and newspapers are written on a fourth- to sixth-grade reading level? Not your column, chil' (said with hand on hip). That being so, it's nice to get some elevated words and thoughts from a modern-day poet such as yourself. I'm an academic snob. And you? My muse, forever and ever and ever and ….
Charlotte Brown-Gonzalez, Orlando
Love on the LYNX
Golly gosh! I'm so surprised to learn that you had such a low response to your plea for a girlfriend to take on a date on the bus `Happytown™, "Diary of a LYNX rider," Jan. 26`. I can't begin to imagine why. (More on sarcasm at a future time.)
I could go on and on. But I won't. I'll just direct your attention to what everybody else already knows: Riding the bus is not "romantic." It can even be unpleasant, a fact which you frequently point out as you write about riding LYNX. But why dwell on the negative?
Look, when I first came to Orlando, I was told by some that this was an "experimental" community. I was led to believe that I might see new and bold ideas tried out here. So, where are these bold new concepts? At Disney World? What is the monorail at Disney World going to do for Orlando? Absolutely nothing.
What I would like to see is some kind of merger between the fixed-route, timetable-run bus system and something more flexible, like a taxi service. It's not that I want to do away with buses entirely. There are some routes that work and have value. But there are some areas that have a need for transit service and the need is not being adequately met. Yes, you can call a taxi, but if you're a low-income person, taxis can get expensive.
The real problem might be that we have unfair competition between a private transit service (the taxicab companies) and a publicly funded, taxpayer-supported service (the LYNX bus). I'm tempted to suggest that we kill LYNX entirely, or turn it over to private enterprise to see what they can do with it, but I'm afraid I'll touch off a riot. I don't want to leave low-income groups or handicapped and elderly without transit, but I'm frustrated by what I see as a lack of innovative thinking.
William Hannah, via the Internet
Editors' note: "Diary of a LYNX rider" author Steve Farholz did find love (or something like it) on the LYNX; read all about his car-less romance next week in the April 27 firstname.lastname@example.org