Public information is not made public

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 3, 2003

Dear Editor,

What is going on in Shelby County?

Why is it I cannot find real estate values by only keying in the location address?

Why is this public information not listed at the website in a useful manner? How am I to know the legal description, without being a realtor? Do realtors have a lock on this information?

Can someone at this paper look into this matter for me? I found I had the same sorts of problems in Texas … and they locked up all information on homes that were in arrears for taxes … seems the realtors wanted to keep the values and information regarding those homes to themselves.

Is that also going on in Alabama? Looks like it to me.

Robbie Kidwell


Coach’s actions are not appropriate

Dear Editor,

I am writing this letter after much thought and deliberation. My step-son plays on the Pirates team in the Oak Mountain Youth Baseball System and had the opportunity to play in the championship game this past Saturday.

What should have been one of the best experiences of his short life has turned out to be tarnished &045; not because his team lost but because of the events that transpired during the game.

I am not upset that his team did not win the game and the championship. The White Sox team came to play and wanted it more.

Those kids played their hearts out and I was happy to see them win. What I was not happy to see was the display and bad example that was set by the White Sox coaches and the league director.

Competitiveness and the desire to win is a part of sports. But letting that desire to win cause behavior inappropriate for 7-year-olds to witness is inexcusable.

We were told before the tournament that a &uot;no toleration&uot; policy would be enforced as far as coach behavior.

In the game on Thursday night, a coach was ejected. I was embarrased for the coach but understood why he was ejected.

I took the opportunity to explain to my step-son that the coach’s behavior was inappropriate and that the proper example of how to act was reinforced by his own coach, Kendall Smith.

When it happened again on Saturday, I was shocked. And for a second coach to be ejected during the same game was beyond belief. But where the line of obsurdity is crossed is when the league director, an example setter for the league, chose to confront the umpire who made the calls, instead of supporting him, to the point that he left the game. What an absolutely great example for our kids, huh?

Then to further insult, both ejected coaches were allowed to return to the game. What kind of example does that set for our kids? That it’s OK to argue with the umpire, because in the end, the coaches got to return.

I think some strong evaluation needs to go into who can coach and who cannot. In addition, the positions of authority in the system also needs to be reviewed.

I hope that in the future, for readers who wish to participate in youth sports, this letter might have an impact on decisions that you make.

Scott McKeever


Alabama should allow people to decide fate

Dear Editor,

Once again, the elected officials of Alabama are faced with a choice between maintaining old paternalistic ways or choosing a new way by supporting the efforts of its citizens to reclaim responsibility over their own behavior.

HB24, submitted by John Rogers-D, presents this choice. If signed into law, section 65 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901 which, &uot;prohibits the Legislature from enacting any legislation authorizing lotteries or gift enterprises&uot; would be repealed and power to make these choices

returned to the citizens of Alabama and their elected officials where it belongs.

The anti-gambling element has done a magnificent job of terrorizing the public with horror stories of destroyed families, impotence and other assorted calamities in its efforts to vilify lotteries and gambling.

It has presented itself as the only authority capable of steering the hapless citizens of Alabama past casino-infested shoals to redemption’s offering plate.

We expect &045; no, demand &045; our citizens accept responsibility for hazards far

greater than wagering. We are even prepared to put them to death for failure to accept this responsibility even though they may be severely retarded. The anti-gambling element believe the citizens of Alabama are too incompetent to handle this responsibility.

Thanks to this element, lotteries have maintained constitutional importance in Alabama while other states have dealt with them quite effectively through statutes. Alabama has yet to be able to de-fang its lottery demon.

The anti-gambling element, whose patron saint of virtue enjoys the thrill of the wager, does not want to see the demon de-fanged or control over lotteries given back to the citizens and their legislature

because it concerns the flow of excess income.

Particularly galling, mind you, is that undue influence is exerted by this element. Yet it runs multimillion dollar businesses that pay absolutely no taxes under the guise of exercising freedom of religion.

Philip Rabne


Eddings burglary suspect still on loose

Dear Editor,

As a resident of Eddings Lane, in the

Montevallo/Alabaster area, I thought it was my responsibility to alert those who aren’t aware, according to other neighbors, there have been at least two burglaries on our street, in as many weeks.

These burglaries have included, but are not been limited to, stolen articles from a neighbor’s porch, delivered via Federal Express, and recently a loaded .357 Magnum gun, which was recovered by the Sheriff’s Department on Sunday, May 25.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Department has a suspect.

They retrieved the pistol from another resident on Sunday, May 25 … but refused to contact the suspect on Sunday, due to the holiday. The officer stated that the suspect would be &uot;questioned&uot; on Tuesday, after the holidays.

As of today, May 28, the ‘suspect’ is still running around free on our street.

Is this the way our system works?

A better question may be, who will be the next victim or who will be minding our safety this Fourth of July weekend without more deputies or quicker actions of our law enforcement?

Darlene Thomas


Alabama should re-think marijuana law

Dear Editor,

The day before yesterday, another state (Maryland), followed the suit of several other forward-thinking states and passed a bill authorizing marijuana to be used for medical purposes.

This is a great victory for the sick people of this country who are still being persecuted under the nations’ outdated and ineffective drug laws.

I think we all know that the only thing keeping the &uot;war on drugs&uot; going are the politicians who like to scare people into re-electing them.

It is sad that patients had to become a casualty of this war &045; right along with the youngsters who are given a scarlet letter for experimenting. What I want to know is, when will Alabama catch up and realize that marijuana is a useful medicine (hmmm, probably not as harmful as the legal drug Oxycontin) and is even relatively harmless compared to our favorite legal drugs, alchohol and tobacco. Very few people take a drag and commence to beating up everyone in the bar or running their car off a bridge for that matter.

My point is, I suppose, that the people of our great state are grossly misinformed by the politicians about the harmfulness of marijuana, especially when used in a medical context.

I can’t believe Alabama’s prison overcrowding has reached such a sad state of affairs that they will start releasing violent criminals faster.

This problem is caused by the huge influx of harmless marijuana possession crimes. As we speak, unsolved rape &uot;cold cases&uot; sit in a file drawer somewhere, but Shelby County wants $360,000 dollars because marijuana possession arrests were up 10 percent from last year.

Jeremiah Gilbreath

Glencoe, Ala