Seems like a scam: After reading about controversial Pastor O'Neil Dozier's plans to raise money for an African community ("Golden Opportunity," Stefan Kamph, August 16), I have to ask: Was anyone really buying that this guy wanted Africa to prosper and be enriched? Africa was supposedly his cause, but it's clear from this that he and his cronies were the only ones who would actually prosper and be enriched from this scheme. Jimbo99
Blame developers: Some read stories like yours about how 2012 is shaping up as the deadliest year yet for Florida's endangered panthers thanks to car deaths tied to urban sprawl ("Cars vs. Cats," Chris Sweeney, August 16) and claim that this is just evolution at work. But I'm not sure what they're getting at. Is it necessary for us as human beings in South Florida to kill off what is left of the panther population on planet Earth? Are we in direct competition with panthers for resources? While we should be encouraging urban infill and redevelopment in densely populated areas near the coast, our local government instead allows for westward expansion, leading to more urban sprawl — all for the short-term gain of developers (who, in turn, make sizable donations to incumbents). And it seems nobody in Miami cares about this. suzie
Not endangered at all: The mountain lion is not an endangered species, and decades ago they brought in mountain lions from out West to shore up the gene pool of Florida panthers. They interbred, and as a result, the Florida panther does not really exist anymore. Numerous DNA studies have found that the subspecies doesn't exist anymore, and the bible of mammal taxonomy, Mammal Species of the World, does not recognize the Florida panther as a unique subspecies. They keep it up only for appearance's sake and to pad their budgets. So what is more important? Our economic well-being (including jobs and food for everyone) or a handful of nonendangered cats? Anthonyvop1
Foreclosure nation: People keep encroaching on their land. Where are these animals supposed to go? Do we really need more homes? Lord knows there are plenty of empty ones out there already. wickedkats
Stop the killing: Tangible measures should be taken to stop these killings. It is very pathetic that an expanding human community is taking the lives of these panthers. fiza_krm
Ban bad opinions instead: I love it when people like Uncle Luke mention the assault-weapons ban while arguing for new gun controls ("Cease Fire," Luther Campbell, August 16). You realize that the law simply "banned" certain weapons based on mostly aesthetic features, right? Even then, there were pre- and postban models of these weapons available that got around the whole stupid regulation. Read up on it. And here's another fun fact: Bush didn't do away with the ban — it expired on its own, as it was only meant to last ten years. In fact, Bush said if a new one made it to his desk, he would have signed the bill. This is yet another case of not performing a fact check before writing an article. I'm not surprised, because that's a Miami New Times thing. Also, what if a drug or mental evaluation, as Luke suggests we implement, fails to tag someone as not being eligible to purchase a gun? What measures do you propose then? Oh, and if you really want this absurd idea implemented, you should petition the ATF, since gun licenses for dealers are, in fact, regulated by the federal government. HarryTheHandyman
Fight the NRA: The loopholes that let people buy weapons with no background checks at gun shows are the first things that need to be changed. The NRA should be all about responsible gun purchasing, but instead they are narrow-minded and just want as many gun owners as possible out there. It's an outrage. Hopefully politicians get some backbones and stand up to the NRA and similar groups, who have a lot less power than they fool America into believing they do. NoReason
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Too late now: Your piece about how County Mayor Carlos Gimenez's driver and campaign finance director also has millions in county construction contracts ("Sweet Gig," Francisco Alvarado, August 16) was enlightening. I just wish you could have come out with this interesting piece a few days earlier, so that more of our beloved voters could have gotten a better picture of our mayor before reelecting him in the August 14 primary. Julius