This is Viewpoints for Monday, June 23, 2014

June 23, 2014 

Waiting for roundabouts

I successfully navigated one of my earlier roundabouts approaching London, England, 30-plus years ago returning a stick shift (wrong side drive) rental car at 5 p.m. on a Friday, preparatory to a return flight to the USA. The Macon “colonists” are now finally trying to enter the 21st century with a roundabout. Hold your breath, but not until completion, because it may take two to three years while GDOT gets off “break” -- no pun intended -- and finishes Forest Hill Road.

Bibb County could try to console itself as it argues with Monroe County about the county line because Monroe County more flagrantly breaks the P.C. environmental rules with little to assist the county’s largest taxpaying entity: power-generating Plant Scherer continuing to be buffeted by the fossil-fuel P.C. police.

One would think that a county so dependent on this tax base would try to exhibit actions showing support for this industry and counter the new challenging environmental rules. How, you say? Roundabouts, of course, reducing emissions from vehicles having to stop and accelerate at dangerous existing road intersections within the county. Evidently, Monroe County commissioners and the GDOT board member from Monroe County do not navigate North/South Ga. 87 and U.S. 23 between Bibb and Butts counties. Thousands of trips each day by cars -- and 18-wheelers utilize this highway -- laboriously stopping, 55-plus mph to zero, pause and then back to 55-plus until they approach the next of three such intersections -- Ga. 18, the Juliette Road intersection and Ga. 83 (Berner). The disheartening thing is these intersections have awaited action toward roundabouts for many years only to have these three four-way stops on this much-traveled highway.

Was the county or GDOT waiting for Frank Gadbois, the Houston County pundit, to point out how the Brits would have provided a better plan?

-- Arthur D. Brook

Macon

Wrong title

Bill Cummings’ June 5 column titled “The Catholic Church” should have been titled “Remaking the Catholic Church in my image.” Although Catholic, I’m not a spokesman for the Catholic Church but a staunch defender of the church’s creator and his father. The changes Cummings suggested are flawed. Here is an example.

It doesn’t matter the dictionary used, nationality, language spoken or spiritual affiliations for all refer to those who sexually violate the laws of nature as homosexual. Surveys reveal 97.6 percent of the population view homosexuality as unacceptable and spiritually forbidden.

In spite of this, President Obama and the Democratic Party adamantly support homosexuality. They’ve transformed America’s military into a sanctuary for gays and lesbians. They champion homosexual marriages and cheer those who openly flaunt sexual depravities that should be kept private. The president, the Democratic Party, Dr. Bill Cummings and all the rest who unashamedly support, make light of and defend gay activity and their marriages are encouraging people to accept, accommodate and embrace sexual immoralities (sins) that flies in the face of nature and God.

-- Travis L. Middleton

Peach County

‘Ditch the rule’

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a rule that would greatly expand the authority of the federal government to regulate wet areas on private property. If the rule is finalized, the EPA will regulate virtually every wet area in the country, including those where water only flows during heavy rains. The change would expand regulatory authority to many land features, including ditches and ponds, giving EPA the power to regulate land use.

The Bibb County Farm Bureau believes this proposed rule goes too far. It affects everyone who owns property, not just farmers. All property owners should submit comments to the EPA telling them to withdraw the proposed rule.

The Georgia Farm Bureau has a web page www.gfb.org/ditchtherule dedicated to opposing this federal overreach. Additional information can be found at the site along with a sample set of comments persons can use to express opposition to the rule. Comments can be added to address specific concerns of the sender.

Please take a few minutes to tell the EPA to “ditch the rule.” Visit the web page mentioned above and submit comments urging EPA to withdraw the rule. The comment deadline is Oct. 20.

-- Jimmy Jordan, president

Bibb County Farm Bureau

Supports both men

Let me begin this letter by disclosing that I voted for and supported Sheriff David Davis when he offered to become the top law enforcement officer of Bibb County. I believe he has earned the confidence we placed in his candidacy, and I look forward to supporting him as Bibb County sheriff for many more years.

Having said that, I find Sheriff Davis’ firing of Officer Clayton Sutton odd, and I support Sutton in asking for a full hearing and investigation by the Macon-Bibb County Human Resources Department. According to The Telegraph, Sutton had been ordered by the sheriff not to engage in any law enforcement functions when he happened upon a group of suspected metal thieves, and he held them until other deputies arrived and secured the situation. Officer Sutton still retains his certification as a Georgia peace officer as far as I can determine and has a duty to act appropriately anytime he finds probable cause that a crime has been committed and those responsible are about to escape.

If The Telegraph has the factual information on this situation complete, perhaps Sheriff Davis should take pause and review his decision on Sutton. A good starting point for the sheriff would be: “What would I have wanted Sutton to have done had he happened upon two small children being placed in the trunk of a suspicious automobile that began to speed away?” Not engage in any law enforcement functions? Indeed.

Sutton may be due a firing by Sheriff Davis down the road, but as long as he is a duly sworn certified peace officer, I expect him to intervene in criminal activity to the degree he did in this case.

-- John G. Kelley Jr.

Macon

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