Less than the best
It’s the bottom of the first on opening day in baseball and I'm already ticked off with the Braves. To be stuck with what I recon are the Mets announcers is less than what I expected of the Braves. Joe Simpson and Chip Carey make the game worth watching no matter who wins. Come on man.
More bang for our buck
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I am writing to express my support for our hardworking Macon-Bibb Animal Welfare staff, as well as for issuing a Request for Proposal to explore nonprofit management of the sheltering and adoption components of Macon-Bibb Animal Welfare. My understanding is that local government would continue the law enforcement portion of animal welfare. Such a partnership has potential for hugely leveraging the assets of all stakeholders and providing Macon-Bibb a greater return on its animal welfare budget dollars.
Over the last decade, much progress has been made with animal welfare. The gas chamber was dismantled. Tethering and spay/neuter laws were passed. A new shelter was built with SPLOST funds.
Still, the operation of our local animal shelter remains embroiled in controversy, and has been for decades. Accusations of mismanagement never go away. That animal rescue and adoption is not a core government function is one reason for enduring operational challenges. Loyal employees lacking supervisory, process and management experience, get thrown into what can be an extremely emotional and chaotic arena. That animals have no voice of their own is another. That the shelter is remotely located – out of sight, out of mind – is yet another. At the end of the day, these perennial operational issues fall at the feet of leadership rather than those working the front lines. We simply must try a different approach to get a different result.
Partnering with a nonprofit animal agency is not a new idea. During our early City Council years, Larry Schlesinger and I visited another city to observe such a partnership in action. We arrived on a warm day and walked up to shelter dogs sunning themselves in outdoor runs and playing in shallow kiddy pools. We learned that the nonprofit leased the shelter building from the county for $1 a year; the local government paid them the equivalent of what it formerly cost them to run the sheltering and adoption in-house. A pet crematory was onsite that was a source of revenue. A popular community fundraiser was held annually that poured additional funding into the operation. The local government continued its animal law enforcement. The relationship was cooperative and collegial.
This is not a unique arrangement; local governments across the country are doing this. The partnership increases volunteer engagement, increases the grant focus, and increases the live animal release rate. Community compliance with animal ordinances increases as local government can focus its resources on enforcement. In our case, this could include enforcing permit fees to fund animal welfare; which in turn would enhance public safety through rabies inoculation enforcement.
In light of our local fiscal challenges, the RFP ordinance on the table offers a remarkable opportunity to improve animal welfare outcomes and public safety while giving us all more bang for our buck.
Myth becomes fact
Dr. Bill Cummings states that the gospels are “mythological accounts,” that he considers “special” (April 2).
I disagree on both counts.
The gospel accounts are poor mythology. A man preaches forgiveness and the “Kingdom of God,” gets executed (by named, historical figures) for claiming to be the Jewish God; and rises from the dead, to tell his followers to go and tell everyone else what happened?
Not exactly The Nibelungen.
Weak mythology — but glorious fact In the words of J.R.R. Tolkein (who certainly knew a thing or two about mythology) — “In Christ, the myth became fact.”
Last week (March 26), Dr. C. wrote about the “three… ways we look at God.” But his essay left out one. He said nothing about the God who created space, time and matter, as chronicled in the opening chapters of Genesis; and who entered his creation in the person of Jesus Christ. Perhaps that was just an oversight — a “senior moment”?
The fact is, everything — everything — hinges on the resurrection. That cross marks the intersection of all things: history, science, our physical reality; the spiritual reality of which it is but a subset; and the purpose of both, and of ours within it.
If the man is who he claimed to be: the creator, referred to by the Jews as the unpronounceable “YHWH”; and validated it by rising from the dead after three days, “according to the scriptures” — then that is the answer to all questions.
If there is a consistent, coherent alternative in terms of providing meaning and substance and purpose to our existence — and if Dr. C. is aware of it — It would be helpful if he would share it in future columns.
W. Wade Stooksberry II,
Used and abused
Sadly, there are always people who can be manipulated and used for the goals of another. The church in the Middle Ages called them Crusaders. Stalin called them useful idiots. Today, the easily trained ones are called liberals.
After being lied to, taken for granted and controlled by President Obama and Clinton, they are now are being used by President Trump. While liberals watch hateful skits about the president on “Saturday Night Live” and salivate over the deranged rantings of Maxine Waters and Charles Schumer, Trump is undoing the last eight years of stupidity. Climate change nonsense is lessened while coal is elevated. Planned Parenthood is losing its grip on federal funds and the Keystone Pipeline will be built. Tax cuts are on the way and immigration laws are being enforced.
So, all you buffoons out there, keep listening to Scott Pelly, CNN, the Associated Press and the Democratic leadership as they claim to be blocking the president at every turn.
Your submissiveness and myopic vision are helpful to President Trump’s agenda.