Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016

Death of a fitness icon

In a duplicitous Oct. 26 news release, Navicent Health announced the closing of the historic Macon Health Club. The justification for closing this community asset was that the club ceased to be profitable. However, in the interest of fairness, an examination of the way MHC has been managed might lead one to question whether Navicent ever wanted profitability. Furthermore, as a member of the MHC for more than 30 years, I have observed how the Medical Center and now Navicent has reduced operating hours, reduced services and subjected members to an additional $20 enhancement fee collectable in March of each year since 2010.

In a statement to MHC members, Navicent stated that the enhancement fee funds would be “used solely for the purchase of new fitness equipment, machines and supplies” for the MHC. Importantly, no such new fitness equipment or machines can be found by members. It bears pointing out, however, that MHC has since 2010 received used fitness equipment/machines from the Wellness Center.

Moreover, Navicent has been extremely negligent in its responsibility to maintain a minimal level of cleanliness at MHC. Dare I say, the club is cleaned at best once a year which is particularly egregious given Navicent’s community responsibility to cure and prevent illness. This lack of cleanliness is a major contributing factor to membership decline and is especially negatively impactful to female MHC membership as the numbers strongly indicate.

Additionally, the profitability of MHC is directly correlated to the number of MHC members. Thusly it is necessary to point out that Navicent has consistently maintained a policy of steering potential members to the Wellness Center at the expense of the MHC. For example, I have on numerous occasions over the years, recommended to my friends that they call MHC for membership information and they consistently report back to me that they are dissuaded from MHC membership and recommended to join the Wellness Center instead.

While on the surface Navicent’s declaration of closure of the MHC appears to be based on profitability, the facts indicate that the lack of profitability can mainly be attributed to Navicent’s mismanagement. Given the facts presented, why would Navicent purposely operate a business in a manner that ensures failure?

At this point I feel compelled to address the elephant in the room which is that more than 50 percent of the membership of MHC is African-American and therefore one would be naive to think that race played no part in Navicent’s decision to close the MHC. How much race factors into Navicent’s decision to close MHC is debatable but clearly it is a factor.

More to this point, MHC is a place where racial diversity has spun tolerance, better communication and understanding among members from different racial as well as economic backgrounds. This has provided the necessary growth for a better understanding of opposing views and opinions and thusly, civility has flourished to a level unequalled anywhere else in this community.

Therefore, if for no other reason, the MHC is a valuable community asset that must be preserved.

Finally, I call on all community stake holders to work with the MHC members to ensure the long-term survival of this valuable community asset. This community deserves no less.

Leroy Mack,


Policy weakness?

Anyone who wants to know why so many Americans voted for Donald Trump should compare the statements made by both him and President Obama on the passing of Fidel Castro. Reinforcing Obama’s foreign policy weakness, he didn't mention Castro's ruthless execution of his political opponents and the fact that he ruined the economy of Cuba, almost started WW III and ruined the lives of millions of Cuban citizens, thousands of whom risked their lives to escape Castro’s misery.

Trump called Castro what he was, a brutal dictator, and seemingly is not crying over his death. No PC statement here. I admire him for his forthrightness and willingness to tell it like it is. I am curious about one thing, though. I wonder what a statement on the passing of Adolf Hitler by Obama would have looked like.

Jerry Norris,

Warner Robins

Reading list

Professor Bill Curry challenged Mike Smith to provide specific reasons to support his assertions that Hillary Clinton has and continues to engage in activities which are criminal in nature. Not knowing either individual, I can only assume Curry has either been in a coma for the past 20 or so years, or has otherwise chosen blissful denial to protect his worldview. Therefore, I propose the following brief holiday reading list for him and any others in need:

“Hell To Pay,” Barbara Olsen, Regnery Publishing 1999;

“Uncovering Clinton,” Michael Isikoff, Crown Publishing 1999;

“The Case Against Hillary Clinton,” Peggy Noonan, Harper Collins 2000;

“The Final Days,” Barbara Olsen, Regnery Publishing 2001;

“Dereliction Of Duty,” Lt. Col. Robert Patterson (Ret), Regnery Publishing 2003;

“Clinton Cash,” Peter Schweizer, Harper Collins 2015, and last but not least,

“Hillary’s America,” Dinesh D’Souza, Regnery Publishing 2016.

These books are about facts. All but the Noonan book contain detailed bibliographies. Isikoff’s and Patterson’s books focus on Bill, but you can’t separate the two. If you only read two, read the last two.

On another point, Curry assails the Electoral College as a rigged system. The Founders (primarily Hamilton) devised this system to protect us from a tyranny of the majority, whereby four or five populous eastern states could effectively rule over the rest. Whereas Curry appears as blatantly ignorant of history and political science as he is current events, I recommend Hillsdale College’s excellent online courses on our Constitution and other related subjects.

Joel Raley,



Castro is dead. I mourn those who praise him, and I especially mourn those who mourn him. In Cuba, the mourning process is being monitored and controlled, from start to finish, and I mourn those who refuse to mourn him, for they will certainly be arrested, some executed.

The tyrant Castro is dead. It has suddenly dawned on me that he is in hell. Now, I can stop mourning.

Willie M. Barber,