The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on December 6, 1997 · Page 124
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 124

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Saturday, December 6, 1997
Page 124
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MSI THE PALM BEACH POST SATURDAY, DECEMBER 6, 1997 13A f i t h I" 4. V J 1 'i . I V l W A. I Mf Stopping child abuse means pursuing even marginal cases ij-mmJm- $H -J . - GREG LOVETT1997 STAFF FILE PHOTO The Framers of the U.S. Constitution never envisioned nine county judges being responsible for more than 66,000 misdemeanors and six circuit judges being responsible for more than 12,000 felony cases a year. The Posfs recent three-part series "Crime without punishment" reflects how an overwhelmed criminal justice system responds to those numbers. I would like to add my comments to the installment on child abuse. My point of view comes from my experience as a criminal attorney, both prosecutor and defender, that spans 27 years but most important from the nine years I spent as attorney to;the Palm Beach County Child Protection Team. ; The article's observation that "prosecutors are sometimes too protective of the victims (and) willing to accept shorter sentences and probation too expensive to construct, operate and maintain. We do not need 200-plus-mph trains as France has, and we surely don't have the passenger potential, either. Let's see how Amtrak's American Flyer 150-mph train does in the Northeast corridor. That, not an amusement park ride, may well be a model for Florida and other states to copy. Karl F. Groh Jupiter Democratic trio sings praises of growth We can only hope that Post staff writer Joel En-gelhardt's excellent series "State Road 7: Paving for profit" on residential and commercial growth will motivate the members of Democratic clubs to hold their leaders accountable for the nomination and election of the three Democratic Palm Beach A Flo-Sun harvester cuts organic sugar cane and sends the stalks into a hauler during operations Oct. 20 near the Okeelanta plant. Sugar part of an economic powerhouse QQMUS ... ., ;. , . . a rather than subject children to a potentially grueling trial" is the crux of the dilemma faced by a prosecutor in these cases. Unlike in any other cases, after a child has been abused, protection of the victim must be paramount. No costs; however, pollution did not begin with sugar farming, as the letter-writer suggests. The altering of the Kissimmee River, building of the Hoover Dike, channeling of drainage into canals, construction of Alligator Alley and the Tamiami Trail, a surge in population with attendant development and the introduction of vegetable, citrus and sugar farming all have contributed to the demise of the Everglades. And sugar growers are doing their part in the Everglades restoration program. This poorly researched letter maligns an industry that has contributed greatly to South Florida's economy and quality of life. He asks, "Who needs these sugar plantations?" We do! Robert J. Russo Hobe Sound The letter "Forget Sahara dust; target Big Sugar" is one of the more shortsighted opinions published in this column. The writer erroneously suggests that South Florida could do without the sugar industry. Sugar, vegetable and citrus farming have made Palm Beach County the largest agricultural producer in the Eastern United States and the sixth-largest in the nation. Government subsidies kept sugar prices competitive, and the industry remains in our community rather than a foreign country. The sugar industry provides numerous jobs, directly and indirectly, for county residents and is the second- largest user of facilities at the Port of Palm Beach. This has not been without environmental County commissioners. Without the strong support ' of the leaders of Democratic clubs in unincorporated areas of Boca Raton and Delray Beach, the likes of Burt Aaronson could have never been elected to the commission in 1992 and then run unopposed in 1996.Commissioners Carol Roberts and Maude Ford Lee also benefit from the support of Democratic clubs. Mr. Aaronson Although the rank and file of these powerful clubs favor controlled growth, school concurrency and stiffer school impact fees on residential development, these three commissioners are responsible for runaway growth and oppose school concurrency and stiffer impact fees. It is outrageous that these fees represent only 1 percent of the money needed to build new schools, according to the county's impact fee coordinator especially when developers and builders are reaping huge profits. Lou Krane Boynton Beach Hurricane route packs an ironic wallop Let's see if we have this straight: A group of developers desired only to see State Road 7 widened so that people would be able to escape a hurricane. The fact that some in this altruistic and civic-minded group happened to own land along or near SR 7, we are to believe, is just a coincidence. So what does all this mean? It means that at Reform and Conservative rabbis invited to sit on -the religious council (the current and ongoing debate). One would be hard pressed to interpret these restrictions as little else than placing a label J r on all non-Orthodox identifying them as Jews of a different level! v Are Orthodox rabbis in Israel addressing only: v Israeli Jews? Not likely! Their message is to all ther J diaspora. Reform and Conservative Jews are different and not to be taken seriously. God, it seems, belongs only to the Orthodox, and woe to those who dare to live in the present and change the r world for the better. . -- Mr. Rosenthal has missed the disturbing - meaning of these actions. , HalLevine,, Boynton Beach After three years of military service and 35 years in a law enforcement career, I have never once found a need or use for algebra. John LeCain Wellington Orthodox seek to dominate all Jews AM. Rosenthal's Nov. 13 column "Netanyahu's tough battle within" calls the belief that Reform and Conservative American Jews feel they are second-class citizens in Israel "an inaccurate conclusion, since only for conversion within Israel do Orthodox rabbis demand sole authority." I suggest that his is the more inaccurate statement. Weddings conducted by other than Orthodox rabbis are not recognized as "halachic," nor are other crime exists where the victim is not personally heard from by the court. In abuse cases, either a parent, guardian ad litem, attorney ad litem or even the offender speaks on behalf of the child arid what he or she perceives to be in the child's best interest. ! The prosecutor's role is not just to evaluate the ca;se and decide what course to take but to rely on thje wishes of those who speak on behalf of the cljild. Often, the parent does not want the child to undergo a trial or to reveal what a family member did or to risk that person being labeled a sexual pfedator. Or, the child's psychiatrist says it is not in! the child's best interest to testify, or the guard-iah ad litem tells the prosecutor that the child does not want to see the offender incarcerated. In each instance, the best interest of the child must supersede any other consideration. j This office has been and will continue to be aggressive in investigating and filing criminal charges against child abusers. The safer course for me would be to prosecute only the cases that are sure wjnners. My statistics then would reflect 23 cases fifed, with 21 convictions. And there would not have been a story. But as Assistant State Attorney Chuck Burton is quoted as saying, "Do we force some 8-year-old girl to testify just so our numbers will look better? That's not how it works, at least not here." arry L Krischer, Palm Beach County state attorney , West Palm Beach i Maglev trains are but a pipe dream ; An advocate of magnetic-levitation train technology says it's the most practical way to solve road rage in the letter "Let's take transportation to new heights." He's on the right track, but maglev is'nottheway to go. This writer will wait some time for a practical display. The Germans and Japanese have been playing with the idea for decades, and no real application has emerged. ;The Florida Department of Transportation wisely rejected the idea, realizing it is the most expensive way to get the least But in choosing FOX (Florida Overland eXpress), many things were overlooked. California and Texas have rejected the TGV technology, so that consortium has now targeted Florida. I hope it is not built, as it would be r Casual Furniture by Jerry n T "".ail 1 A A A I . hi some future date when a hurricane of Andrew's strength strikes, tens of thousands of people (instead of the far fewer who would have been there without the development) will find themselves trapped on the very road that was widened (for safety reasons) to bring them there. Frank J. Diekmann West Palm Beach Elks can recover from lodge mistake Earlier this year, the Elks Lodge purchased 7 acres that lodge officials knew to be zoned residential at the corner of Folsom Road and Casey Road in Loxahatchee Groves. They wanted to persuade the Palm Beach County zoning advisory board to rezone it for commercial use so they could build a 10,000-square-foot lodge. The Elks did no research on possible neighborhood opposition to their plans. The zoning board conducted a public hearing and denied the request. The Elks had said they'd appeal to the Palm Beach County commissioners but changed their minds when they saw how many residents of our neighborhood opposed their plans. On a recent weekend, the Elks placed "No trespassing" signs around the property, even though it is so overgrown that no one could traverse the land without machetes. I guess this is the Elks' way of showing they are upset. They shouldn't be angry at us. They purchased the property, should learn from their mistake and move on. Local property owners hold no animosity. Robert Stevens Loxahatchee Need for algebra just doesn't exist Finally, Emily J. Minor has exposed the truth with her Nov. 15 Accent column "Still trying to figure out why I need algebra." As a double failure in that subject, I was convinced by teachers and friends that I was doomed. There was a great deal more to fear when I was a student in 1942. I M W I9W LIB IhUv: tj d I p TO 1 HX ; V uri 1 1(1 I If f I y '- .: i i H' The Best 1; B TROPITONE I I ; 1 CASUAL CREATIONS vLUpJoO---J : 1 THE WICKER PLACE :-OfM l- I 15 year Warranty tXcj l' ' ' v 1 l Write us The Palm Beach Post welcomes letters from readers. All letters are subject to editing for brevity and clarity. Even e-mail and faxed letters must include the writer's name, address and daytime telephone number. You may receive a phone call for verification. 'Open letters' or letters addressed to a third party will not be published. Our addresses: Letters to the Editor The Palm Beach Post Martin County Bureau 2 10 1 S. Kanner Highway Stuart, FL 34994 Fax: (561) 287-0241 Internet: ' Connie Francis Despite personal troubles, rFrancis still great singer I think Connie Francis' performance at Florida Atlantic University Nov. 14 is worthy of praise. Her many other fans and I would like to "thank her for not canceling the show. Even though she was going through some personal problems and a sore throat, which she not-,d, she went on. Her recollection and songs of her career and early rhythm and blues brought back fond memories. Her salute to Frank Sinatra was clever and witty. I loved the way she included many teen idols and greats in her comments, along with lyrics to R&B and other songs. And, Ms. Francis' mel-,ody of Italian favorites made me proud of my heritage. Her fans love her and will always be supportive. J. Urciuoli Lake Worth n HURRY ON IN! for the Largest Selection of Name Brand Outdoor Furniture at Heavily Discounted Prices Delivered Fasti 2695 N. MILITARY TRAIL WEST PALM BEACH (12 mile north of Okeechobee Blvd., on the west side, In the Rose Auto Plaza) Open 7 Days A Week rOmtyOU Monday thru Saturday 10-5:30 " Correction An editor's note with Wednesday's letter by Keith Allen Piatt, founder of the HOPE program at Compass, erroneously said he still is a licensed clinical social worker there. He is now in private practice. bunaay 12-4 Casual Furniture by Jerry mast i wsf ifssitf f T?Kf ffwffi yHSf

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