Letters to the Editor for Jan. 19, 2012

State Sen. Steve Oelrich

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Published: Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 5:31 p.m.

Oelrich stands alone

The Jan. 17 Sun reported that our state Sen. Steve Oelrich was the lone vote against compensating a man who, as a teenager, was falsely convicted and spent 27 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.

Oelrich is quoted as saying "The state of Florida and the taxpayers of Florida giving this person $1.35 million bothers me," and "I just have a problem with these settlements."

Oelrich is right and everyone else in the Florida Legislature is wrong? His feeling on this issue trumps what the Republican voters would want?

Who thinks $50,000 a year is adequate for being falsely incarcerated in a lovely Florida prison for 27 years? Maybe it is time for Oelrich to start collecting his state of Florida pension and let someone who will represent us with compassion get elected.

Gary Ihas,


We will remember

On Jan, 20, Azerbaijani-Americans commemorate the 22nd anniversary of "Black January"; which marked the beginning of the end of Soviet rule in Azerbaijan.

On the night of Jan 19-20, 1990, Azerbaijan was invaded by 26,000 Soviet troops. A courageous resistance continued into February. Eventually, 170 Azerbaijanis were killed, 321 disappeared, over 700 wounded and hundreds more detained.

The Soviet attack against innocent civilians in Azerbaijan followed massacres in other Soviet republics, including Kazakhstan (1986) and Georgia (1989), and was tragically replicated one year later in Lithuania. But the brutality of the "Black January" tragedy was the biggest exercise in collective punishment by reactionary forces of the Communist Party.

Myself and my family are joining the U.S. Azeris Network (USAN) in commemorating the tragedy and its victims, and ask for you to do likewise with a minute of silence.

Durdana Balakishiyeva,


Monkey control

The Sun's Jan. 6 article, "Monkey Business is big business," mentions several capture methods but neglects one of the most obvious: Birth control.

A Miami-based organization called "600 million Stray Dogs" provides information on a biotech solution to animal sterilization that could prove the most effective solution yet. This would serve not only the cause of overpopulation but also reduce the suffering and cruelty that accompanies exploitation of animals for experimentation.

Barb Lacy,


Less government

In response to the Jan. 15 Sun editorial: It was exciting to read an opinion that is, at least partially, rooted in reality.

All of the tax money that has been dedicated to the east side of Gainesville and Alachua County has resulted in little prosperity for the majority of the citizens who reside there. We must remember that "visionary entrepreneurs" are not government bureaucrats dispensing public tax dollars, but privately funded businesses that provide opportunity and meaningful employment.

In this election year I am happy that we have candidates for each commission who understand that private enterprise, not hampered by excessive regulations, will bring economic prosperity to not only the east side but to the whole county. We must move steadily toward a business friendly community and free markets or suffer the consequences of steadily declining wealth.

Laurie Newsom,


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