Thank you for the Sunday story “$2M pedestrian bridge barely used by public.” This is journalism at its best and the kind of reporting many of us wish The Telegraph did much more of. (The headline, though, was inaccurate in saying “$2M” given that the cost was $2.9 million, which rounds off, for headline purposes, to $3 million.)
The first question that jumps out from this story is how our government could have built a “public” bridge that does not connect to the sidewalk at one end. Instead, it goes directly into the second floor of the Lofts at Mercer Landing, a private building, and is accessible to the public through a vestibule, but no indication of this is given to the public. So Macon-Bibb residents are faced with the spectacle of our government spending $2 million for a “public” facility that has no ready public access.
There is another huge question that the story raises and fails to answer. The $2 million public contribution apparently came from bonds to be paid off through increased property values in a tax allocation district. Property located elsewhere is not to be taxed for the bridge. But what if property values in the TAD don’t increase enough? (Many property values in Macon-Bibb have stagnated for years.) Rather than default on the bonds, will the general fund – and the taxpayers in general – be left holding the bag?
Cruel and unusual from the other side
Joe Kovac Jr.’s article about the actions of a confessed murderer after his plea bargain conviction appears to validate that this person is a menace to civilized society, including those who help incarcerate him. It should affirm that anyone who might be called upon to consider any type of parole for this person in the far future could not in good conscience allow him outside of prison except in a “pine box.”
I understand that our legal system includes provisions forbidding “cruel and unusual punishment” against the law breaker. If our current laws do not include provisions that prevent convicted persons from asserting “cruel and unusual actions (punishment)” against society as a whole, including members of the legal profession in good standing, then I suggest such legislation be considered, or responses from appellant court respond appropriately.
Except in legal proceedings, I suggest some nondescript identification for this “non-person” be utilized, and that anyone who would try to use this despicable crime for “profit’ be completely shunned. The victim’s family has already suffered far too much.
Arthur D. Brook,
Charter schools just another scheme
In response to the column by Kyle Wingfield, if your believe that charter schools are there for the purpose of "helping minorities and poor students" then you probably bought into the we'll all get rich from our 401(k) scheme versus the traditional pension plan. In the ‘80s, when my employer replaced our pension plan with a 401(k), that guy was a great marketer. We actually believed that we could do a lot better than the highly paid investors who used to keep our futures invested.
About the only people I ever saw get rich were the middle men that always profit whether you win or lose, and, buddy, did we lose. With the lack of growth in our paychecks and the collapse of the markets on several occasions I know hardly anyone my age that can even stop working. As for the charter schools — follow the money, this is not altruistic it's the same old rope a dope and I don't think we should fall for it twice.
Jeanna Hayes Cook,
Regional T-SPLOST a good idea
I am going to vote for the Regional T-SPLOST during the upcoming election. Admittedly, this tax will be for 10 years and 75 percent of the proceeds go for projects regionwide. But 25 percent of the proceeds will go to Houston County.
The counties that make up the Middle Georgia region are Baldwin, Crawford, Houston, Jones, Macon-Bibb, Monroe,Peach, Pulaski, Putnam, Twiggs, and Wilkinson. The other nine counties can be counted on to spend their funds in intelligent ways that will tend to make our region better off. Like $19 million for “widening and paving of Georgia 96 from I-75 to east of Bonaire."
The hard part of all this to swallow is an 8 percent sales tax — a penny more! It pays to realize and keep in mind that the 75 percent goes to the other counties and hopefully will make the region better and help facilitate/boost the regional economy and create more jobs. It will not be wasted and will do a lot of good for our state and region.
Basic training leads to proper firearm knowledge
Following the terrible massacre of 17 high school students and staff, and the wounding of 15 more, in Florida, two proposals have been made: (1) strengthen background checks, and (2) raise the age to 21 to be able to buy a firearm. Adequate background checks are in place, the system must be better policed to insure procedures are followed to the letter.
How the Florida shooter was able to buy an AR-15 assault rifle and ammunition indicates the background checks needs improved policing. Raising the age to 21 is a good idea, however the argument that if an 18-year-old can fight for our country, he/she should be able to buy a firearm needs a modification to include only if they have completed military basic training.
As a veteran, I believe only a person who has completed basic training, where you are taught how to maintain and respect your firearm, should be able buy a firearm if you are under 21. I would like to add the Florida shooter would never have been accepted for service in our military and should not have had permission to buy a firearm.
Gun saved him
It has been recently suggested that more police officers should be hired to keep the citizenry safe — instead of recommending the carrying of personal firearms. Maybe Macon/Bibb should get the money by shutting down the libraries. When I was assaulted, my gun saved me, but I couldn't find an officer anywhere to even report it.