No lack of news
Regrettably, The Telegraph does not have to search far for front-page news. What continues to be distressing is the less than good news about the Bibb public school district. Evidently, the Bibb district has now made a significant contribution to Gov. Deal’s list of failing schools: 14 in Bibb out of 140 schools identified statewide. These schools would be eligible for state takeover to achieve improvement. Statistics can be pliable, but to ignore them is foolish -- 10 percent of the failing schools in one district is shameful.
It would appear proper and prudent to consolidate the takeover of failing schools by the state by taking over the entire district for three to six years, especially based on the proven poor governance by the current board. This would allow the existing board to resign. With the state in control, they could utilize their own legal resources, helping avoid possible local conflicts of interest, to investigate and reclaim illegal and/or fraudulently spent money by whomever during the Dallemand tenure.
State control should be a better situation for a newly hired superintendent than with state control of 14 schools in the district and a current board with possible distractions when the “district misspent money” is fully investigated, which will happen regardless of the buyout agreement with Dallemand.
These failing schools, whose students must be vigorously provided assistance as needed, may be the promised miracle that was denied our district by a flawed superintendent and inept board.
-- Arthur D. Brook
I have met so many good people as I’m sure you have. Here are a few examples.
1. College student dropped out to come home and help her dad who was seriously ill and receiving dialysis. Happy to report, he is off dialysis and doing much better. (I think she would be a candidate for RN.)
2. Another daughter has cancer. Her loving parents are helping her all they can and as needed, hugging each other and crying together.
3. People working with Habitat for Humanity.
4. In hospitals and doctors’ offices, there are family and friends bringing and helping patients get to the doctor and helping them for hours, days and sometimes months at home. I wonder how many thousands of hours of home care happen each year in our wonderful country?
5. Volunteers working at food banks, prison ministries, state parks, schools, churches, Cherry Blossom Festival and other festivals, fairs, homeless shelters, addiction recovery, etc.
6. Medical staff at hospitals, doctors’ offices, hospice, nursing homes, etc.
7. A stranger saying/doing something nice such as saying to a mother of young children “you are blessed,” holding a door, helping someone with a package or groceries, sharing an umbrella.
You could add many more. We are a blessed people in a blessed country, full of very good people.
-- Donnie Powell
I can’t help but wonder why the health-care subsidy for retirees that we’ve read about and which was continued by a vote this week hasn’t been subject to closer scrutiny. I agree that the cancellation of these retired government employees’ health care, as secondary insurance once they are on Medicare, deserved some compensation, but the monthly subsidy of $388 seems to be overly and unnecessarily generous.
I say this because, in the Macon Medicare area, one can purchase Medicare supplemental insurance, which covers every dollar of health care cost, deductibles, co-pays, etc., so that it is impossible for anyone who has it to have a single dollar out of pocket for medical care. And the cost is $145 to $185 per month, depending on which company you chose and whether or not it includes a health club membership,
Some drug plans push the cost a bit higher. But it would seem that purchasing such a so-called Medicare Supplement F for every retiree, at less than half the cost of the cash subsidy now provided, would be as generous as anyone could want. Most Macon residents would be thrilled to have insurance that paid 100 percent of their medical costs with never a penny left over for them to pay. Yet it would be a bargain for us taxpayers compared with what we’re doing now.
-- Fred Brown
The House has passed a bill to pave the way for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, effectively setting up a veto from the Obama administration. Republicans want job growth, and Democrats want to stabilize the climate. In the grand scheme of things, the Keystone XL pipeline is just one part of the massive machine that creates the fossil fuels we need to cut and the jobs we need to boost. How can we draft bipartisan legislation to address the big picture, not just one pipeline?
Fortunately, there is a global warming solution that conservatives like, too. It’s called the Schultz plan (named after Reagan’s Secretary of State George Schultz), or a carbon fee and dividend, which is an increasing fee on carbon emissions where 100 percent of the revenue is returned to the people, not the government.
Greg Mankiw, economic adviser to George W. Bush and Mitt Romney, said that a “proposed carbon fee is more effective and less invasive than the regulatory approach that the federal government has traditionally pursued.” This approach means the government is not expanded, and subsidies and regulations to incentivize clean energy will become completely unnecessary. As the clean energy sector becomes the cheaper route, those booming industries will provide many more jobs than the fossil fuel industry, 2.8 million more jobs in 20 years, to be exact, according to a landmark study by Regional Economic Models Inc.
Instead of deepening the partisan divide, let’s root for a bipartisan solution that benefits everyone.
-- Sehoy Thrower
The juxtaposition of the story about former Superintendent Romain Dallemand and the sinkhole on Vineville on the front page of the Feb. 11 issue of The Telegraph was the height of irony.
In one case we have a sinkhole that could be and was filled: Vineville. In the other case we have the Dallemand sinkhole that may, it would seem, never be filled. If he is living in Florida and not hiding in Haiti, surely he can be charged with something and brought back to Macon for a “perp walk.”
If anyone has to pay him anything else, it should be the people who were supposed to vet him, as well as those who kept him around after it became obvious he was a champion educational snake oil salesman.
-- Charles J. Pecor