Jeffrey C. Billman: I just finished reading your article "Our dumb state" [May 26]. You are an f'ing genius! I loved it. How sad and how true about our state. I particularly liked the piece on [Orange County Sheriff Kevin] Beary.
One question I did have about the 16-year-old Mexican boy going to jail for having consensual sex with his 14-year-old girlfriend is how did the authorities find out? Can't wait to read your next article.
Dan Powell, via the Internet
Cuff the kids
In reference to the article on the 5-year-old being handcuffed ["Our dumb state," May 26], you stated that the child posed no threat to law enforcement and that it was dumb of them to handcuff the child.
While you were correct in saying that the child was of little threat to the officer, that was not their primary reason for handcuffing her. She was handcuffed for her own protection. Police officers are not camp counselors, nor are they child psychologists.
Officers are trained to utilize "full force" when engaged in hands-on situations. Obviously, it is not always prudent to utilize that type of training when the person they are dealing with is significantly smaller than they are.
Imagine the physical damage a large man could unintentionally do, attempting to subdue an out-of-control 5-year-old with his hands. How easy would it have been to squeeze the child's arm a little too hard and leave a bruise, or even worse, break a bone? Handcuffing the child allowed the officer to be less "hands-on."
What the officer did was not dumb, as you reported. The parent should be thanking the officer. The parent should also be thinking about being a little more "hands-on" at home to ensure this doesn't happen again.
Scott Daniels, via the Internet
I really enjoyed your article on orb hunting ["Spooky!", May 19]. I've always been fascinated by the unknown myself. Is there any way I could get the contact information for White Light Investigations? I would love to take one of their tours. If you could send me their info, or give them my e-mail address, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.
MJ Hiller, via the Internet
Ready, aim, pie!
This Memorial Day weekend all six networks failed to show any observance or respect in their programming: CBS, NBC, ABC, UPN, the WB and Fox had nothing to show, not a single documentary or even a crummy old John Wayne movie; nada, zip.
All weekend I turned my enormous antenna all over Central Florida even independent stations failed miserably and found only PBS was awake and aware. I get several PBS stations from the Tampa and Orlando/ Daytona markets and all of them had full days' lineups, Sunday and Monday, of what Memorial Day really means; just why my dad, an unarmed destroyer signalman, ran for his life when dive-bombers came; just why my uncle, a company clerk, was feeding a machine-gun belt when he received seven wounds from three bullets.
The next time somebody tells you PBS is "too liberally biased," I hope you will smile and apologize as you raise your 185 mm cream pie to the firing position.
James V. Robinson, Clermont
Department of corrections
Orlando Weekly was really dumb in reporting that Magic owner Rich DeVos is running for the office of governor in Michigan, doubly so because the error was included in a story titled "Our dumb state" [May 26]. In fact, it's DeVos' son (also named Richard) who's running.
In other error news from May 26, our list of local writers who are nominees in the Society of Professional Journalists' 2005 Sunshine State Awards neglected to mention the Orlando Business Journal's Bob Mervine, whose "Billboard rebuilding" coverage is a contender in the category "Deadline Business Reporting Small Division."
And finally, our apologies for misidentifying Mariko, the captivating dancer in Voci's "Light Over Shadow," part of its WIRED-less performance at the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival.