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;Praise Canada

;Billy Manes: I just read your article about the single mother trying to get food stamps and health care ["Don't get sick," Aug. 30]. I feel really bad for this lady because I just went through the same situation. I had the same job for 8 and a half years (I'm 27 years old) when I got let go. I had never asked for any help before, but I lost health care for me and my daughter and she has health problems. I knew on unemployment, with rent being $950 a month, I would never be able to pay for everything. I applied twice and got denied but I applied a third time and got approved.


;Why this happens I'm not sure. I think it really depends who you get as your caseworker. The first two times it was really difficult, and the people were not helpful at all, but the third guy I got as my caseworker was amazing. He put everything through right away.


;Please tell Jennifer Wilson to try again and keep trying. It is so sad that this country is like this when most other places have health care for everyone. I would much rather pay 15 percent in sales tax and never have to see a medical bill or insurance premium in my life, like in Canada. My friend lives there and not only is health care free, she gets a monthly baby bonus for each child (totals $800 a month) until they turn 18. She also gets free day care and money to put them in sports or dance. She makes $25,000 a year so she isn't even poverty-level.


;This is just something they give everyone who has children, since they don't spend all their tax money on wars. This keeps mothers in the workforce, children out of poverty and jail and in the end saves the country money.


;Name withheld by request

;;Greed is good

;Regarding your article "Bust town" [Aug. 30]: Maybe we should be happy for over- ;speculation and thank condo flippers and greedy developers. If it weren't for them we wouldn't have an oversupply of housing (and condo) stock. Now that the mortgage crisis has eliminated easy money, the price of housing can now come in line with actual value. It's all part of supply and demand. And maybe if you can't get the governments to build affordable housing this is a good way to do it. By creating an overabundance of housing through greed, maybe we can make a lot of it available for the lower-income.

;;Dennis J. Vazquez, via the Internet

;;ViMi smackdown

;I enjoyed Billy Manes' feature on the competing interests in the development of Mills Avenue ["Cracks in the pavement," Aug. 23]. And I'm a fan of Leigh Shannon. But I question his (fading?) memory when it comes to naming the ViMi District. It's a ViMi smackdown!

;; Here's what I recall: Watermark was just a few months old in early 1995. I had just returned from Atlanta and was driving up Mills Avenue with our business manager, Keith Peterson. I remember pontificating about Orlando's lack of an identifiable gay commercial district like Atlanta's charming ViHi (Virginia/Highland) area. As we drove past Ritzy Rags, Out & About Books and the Cactus Club, I said, "It really should be right here." At the intersection of Virginia and Mills, Keith looked up and said "ViMi!" (For me, it's always rhymed with mai tai.)


; A couple of weeks later I wrote a column titled "A community wish list" and put "a truly gay commercial district with a catchy nickname" at the top. I lobbied for the logical choice – Mills Avenue between Colonial Drive and Loch Haven Park – and suggested we call it ViMi for the central intersection. Honestly, I'd never heard anyone else use ViMi before, and as far as I know that column was the [first time] that label appeared in print. Local businesses started using it in their advertising and it caught on from there.


;At least that's the way I remember it, Leigh. So here's a challenge for you. I have the above-referenced February 1995 issue of Watermark sitting on the corner of my desk. If you or anyone else can find an earlier reference – in Encounter Magazine or elsewhere – I'll ask forgiveness for my hubris and cede credit forever.

;;Tom Dyer, Watermark publisher

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