Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Sunday, October 22, 2017


New scouting ideas

I am an Eagle Scout with a heartfelt interest in the Boy Scout program. I believe the current plan to admit girls to its membership will be the ruination of the Boy Scouts of America and will lead to the formation of an organization (probably called the “American Boy Scouts”) which many boys will join. However, there is a chance to make some beneficial changes to avoid such a disaster.

A new organization called the “Cub Scouts of America” could be open to membership by boys and girls from the first to the fifth grade (ages 6-10). This would broaden the membership base and increase interest in the scouting program.

The Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts would continue as separate programs, but the Girl Scouts would institute gender-appropriate merit badges leading to the rank of Eagle Scout. Appropriate joint activities could be provided.

Any of you who have views on this subject can write to the national Boy Scout headquarters at P.O. Box 152079, Irving, Texas 75015 or e-mail myscouting@scouting.org.

Charlie Adams,

Fort Valley

Where ‘ya been?

This is my first letter ever to the editor, but I feel the taxpayers in Macon-Bibb County need to be made aware and informed concerning the program recently put in place to issue $300 citations to drivers passing school buses. Four hundred twenty seven such citations have issued since August with only 55 out of 200 buses equipped with cameras to date, for a total of $128,100. The shocking thing about this that 70 percent of the money goes to an out of state firm called Bus Patrol America. The remaining 30 percent is split between the school district, the Sheriff’s Office and the Solicitor’s Office.

The claim is that this solely for the safety of the children (if this is true why was there not publicity about this program before implementation?) Why not publish a copy of the applicable law in The Telegraph so citizens would know when they should stop. Could it be this would significantly reduce the number of citations — and more importantly — the amount of money raised? I feel that The Telegraph should find out who made this deal to give 70 percent of the money to Bus Patrol America.

Robert Hester,


Bibb School Board voted to approve the school bus cameras in February 2017 http://www.macon.com/news/local/education/article133235284.html. Another story was published in March http://www.macon.com/news/local/education/article139963483.html. The cameras were not employed until the start of the 2017 school year on Aug. 1. Georgia law 40-6-163 mandates that drivers are not to pass a stopped school bus and sets the fines at $300 for a first offense, $750 for a second offense and $1,000.


Single failing?

Having recognized the spirit of envy and jealousy as Frank Gadbois flouts my summary of Melania Trump’s virtuous traits, I was greatly encouraged, for criticism of this nature has also been applauded as one of the highest (and incontestable forms) of commendation. I feel rather badly that he was not able to offer another candidate worthy of such accolades. I did forget to include one deficit in Melania’s repertoire. She has not been able to acclimate around those to the left of Mars.

Daniel W. Gatlyn,


Part of the solution

I am sure that many readers were fascinated with the article in Sunday’s paper concerning Fannie Mae Smith turning 101 and her secrets of longevity. We should be “kind and loving to each other” is her motto. However, as I read the article, a certain paragraph grabbed my attention. “She reads The Telegraph, picks up litter in her yard and laughs with the vigor of a youngster.” Sounds like a good citizen with a concern for others.

Each day I ride around the streets of our city, I am sickened by the amount of garbage along our streets and highways. This once was common on a busy highway or interstate; it is now commonplace in every community and neighborhood. (The Mercer Corridor may be exempt because of tremendous investment in this area.) I challenge our mayor and city leadership to look at this problem in a new way. Let’s put some of the SPLOST or higher property taxes to work in the form of cleaning up our city. Yes, I wish people would not litter; however, if each citizen did what Fannie Mae Smith does at age 101, our city would be a much better place to live.

We want to attract people to Macon. How is that possible when our streets and surrounding areas are strewn with litter? Private citizens of Macon-Bibb, city leaders, business owners, Bibb County school leaders, we should all be a part of the solution.

Tina Bowker,


It’s the people, stupid

As CNN, FoxNews and MSNBC have turned into talking heads arguing the possibilities rather than reporting the news. I’ve been watching the EuroNews network, and France24 (which Mercer’s Center for Collaborative Journalism used to broadcast on its, now blank, Ch. 38.1). Seeing so much more world news has brought one point clearly home to me, and it relates to the crisis in Venezuela. With a collapsed economy, shortages of food, basic supplies like toilet paper, no medicines in hospitals, one would think the working people being hurt so badly would rise up against the former bus driver who is their president. He isn’t able to formulate a strategy to lift the country out of the quagmire that lower oil prices led them into, so instead he blames international bankers and the U.S. government.

As I watch our own president tout a tax plan which will add $12,000 to the standard deduction to “help the working class,” but drop the $4,050 per person exemption, so that only childless couples will do better, and those with more than one child will owe more — not less — in taxes, while those who make $250,000 and up (and especially making $800,000 and up) will come out like bandits. I watch health reforms which would cause people to lose access to care and raise out-of-pocket costs instead of helping us out of our position where every other advanced country has better health care statistics than the U.S., and environmental protection reforms which have already resulted in notification that the ash retention pond from the old Plant Branch can now just be dumped into Lake Sinclair. I’m starting to think we’ve elected our own version of Maduro.

Fred Brown,