Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Union Issues at Robins AFB

In the next couple of weeks, national leaders from the American Federation of Government Employees will descend upon Middle Georgia to determine the fate of the current local union leadership team. It would be easy to simply consider this internal union business. The reality is the results do matter to every Middle Georgian because as Robins goes, so goes our economy.

The current collaborative environment between base leaders and union management has led to improved performance on base and to senior Air Force leaders talking about bringing additional workload to Robins. This is exactly what our base and our community need if Robins is to remain the healthy and viable economic engine of Middle Georgia.

However, a return to the confrontational approach between union and base leaders that was prevalent three years ago will not bode well for Robins or the community. In today’s highly competitive environment, senior DoD leaders are looking for any differentiators they can find when considering workload assignments or when BRAC discussions begin.

The perception that Robins is once again experiencing “labor issues,” as was the case three years ago, will seriously jeopardize the base’s growth and future. So what can be done?

First, local union members can be actively engaged in their union business. They can ensure that the hearing process being driven by the national office is open and transparent. They can also ensure that the union leadership team they elect is committed to taking care of both the workforce and the mission at Robins.

Second, local community leaders can actively engage with base leaders to ensure they remain committed to working with the union for the betterment of both the workforce and Robins. Finally, our state and federally elected officials can communicate to the national union leadership that union business is also the community’s business because of its impact on Robins.

For 75 years, Robins AFB has been a linchpin of our national defense and the engine of Middle Georgia’s economy. We’ve succeeded because of the partnerships on the base and those between the base and community. Now is not the time to change a winning formula.

Maj. Gen. Bob McMahon (ret.)


Gas hike possible?

So, the potential for gas prices to increase has been announced. There was a leak in an Alabama pipeline that was estimated to be between 252,000 and 336,000 gallons. The affected pipeline company doesn’t expect to fully reopen the line until next week.

NEWS FLASH. Gas prices in Perry increased 10 cents per gallon within an hour Saturday morning. When we went to breakfast gas was $1.99 a gallon. When we came out of the restaurant, gas had increased to $2.09 a gallon. The Saturday morning Telegraph stated crude prices dropped the previous day from $43.91 to $43.03 or a 2 percent reduction in price per barrel.

That said, someone decided to speculate there would be a shortage, therefore they raised the price even though the market price went down 2 percent the previous day. To my knowledge, commodities do not trade Saturday, therefore my rationale for the use of speculation.

If you check the stocks of local interest in today’s Telegraph, all the companies dealing in petroleum are plus year to date. I realize they are in business to make money, but increasing the price 10 cents a gallon is price gouging. All in speculation of a shortage because of a leak.

Riding around Sunday, gas prices (where you could buy it) had gone up an additional 6 cents a gallon, to $2.15. There were several stations that were out of gas, another station was selling only premium and diesel. What a scam.

Bubba Ragan,


Cancer awareness

This past year I lost my 12-year-old granddaughter to acute myoloid leukemia. Before this tragedy I knew very little about this terrible disease. Now I know more than I ever wanted to know.

I know that more than one and a half million kids will be diagnosed with some form of cancer this year in our country. I know these kids are being treated today, with few exceptions, the same way they were treated 40 years ago because there have been only three new drugs approved in all these years for childhood cancer treatment. I know that only 4 percent of the federal government’s budget for cancer research is allotted for childhood cancer research.

I know that the 80 percent cure rate that you hear about is wrong. Kids with cancer die of organ failures, infections and other maladies that are a result of the treatment. Because they do not die specifically from cancer, they aren’t counted.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Much more needs to be done for our children. Do your part. Contact your legislators. Demand an increase in the money for childhood cancer research. Give to organizations that work to end childhood cancer. Be careful because not all work for children. We are losing far too many of our innocent children.

We are losing them simply because of money. What a shame.

Joe Posey,


Your loss

Instead of being asked to step down, Jake Ferro should have been given a huge round of applause for his work as Cherry Blossom CEO. With his business acumen and hands-on approach, Jake made many improvements to the festival including financial and visual ones and by bringing volunteers together and turning work into fun.

Jake is personable, caring, trustworthy and for 25-plus years I am proud to call him friend. Sorry festival, it’s your loss.

Connie Hood,


More so now?

Hillary Clinton and this administration’s gun control advocates would do well to remember that the American people don’t have security details keeping watch over us like they do.

We have to provide our own security — even more so now that this administration has practically abandoned enforcement of laws against illegal immigrant criminals.

Bill Pitts,