Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Monday, November 6, 2017

Middle Georgia Model Railroad Club member Ron Hinton points out some the highlights of a set he made to Edward Bell at the Museum of Aviation Friday, Nov. 25, 2016. The Middle Georgia Model Railroad Club set up track in the Eagle Building. This year’s event will be held Nov. 18-26 at the Museum of Aviation.
Middle Georgia Model Railroad Club member Ron Hinton points out some the highlights of a set he made to Edward Bell at the Museum of Aviation Friday, Nov. 25, 2016. The Middle Georgia Model Railroad Club set up track in the Eagle Building. This year’s event will be held Nov. 18-26 at the Museum of Aviation. wmarshall@macon.com

‘What Happened’

I would like to suggest a subtitle to Hillary’s book “What Happened.”

“How I lied, cheated, stole and still lost.”

Kathy Solomon,

Perry

Thrilled

I couldn’t help but chuckle this morning when I saw where Frank Gadbois endorsed Chuck Shaheen for mayor. Chuck probably was thrilled to death when he read it.

Julian W. Lashley,

Macon

Promises, promises

Congress is promising again that large tax breaks for businesses means that the “job creators” will create jobs. Why not use the promise of reduced taxes as an incentive to create jobs. The business would earn tax relief as a result of creating new jobs. This would be more sensible than providing the tax relief and trusting that new jobs will emerge.

Roby M. Kerr,

Macon

Get ready to choo choo

Four weeks before the 2016 annual Thanksgiving Model Train Exhibit by the Middle Georgia Model Railroad Club the Museum of Aviation notified the MGMRC that the Century of Flight building would be closed for floor renovation during the month of November. The club was devastated. This had become an annual event that thousands of people looked forward to and we had already distributed thousands of announcements.

MGMRC members and MOA staff put their heads together and decided there was enough room to put a layout in the Eagle building. If you didn’t attend you missed out on the sight of an F-15 Eagle surrounded by an HO scale model train exhibit. The club is sorry that the 4,000-plus who did see it did not see our normal exhibit. The MOA has notified the MGMRC that plans are already under way to have us back.

The 2017 exhibit will be the 9th anniversary of Planes and Trains and the MGMRC is already working on making this the largest and best exhibit we have put on. I want to thank the staff of The Telegraph for their support especially Alline Kent who has had a long association with the MGMRC.

I grew up during the end of the steam era so I have soft spot for steam engines. As I look out at the children, and some of the parents, I know they will never have the opportunity I had to see a 400 ton monster roaring down the tracks at 70 miles an hour, belching steam and smoke, hearing the mournful cry of its steam whistle; to hear the thunder and feel the ground shake as it passes by. Those days are long gone replaced by the diesel engines and technology. The best we can do is bring them back as scale models.

I have nothing against diesels, but there is something about a steam engine. We have a lot of diesels of all sizes and they are just as much fun to watch. Thomas and friends will be there along with a Christmas city and N scale layout. We will also have a G scale train and a very special O scale train. As usual, we have a train set to raffle off. The proceeds help to defray the cost of putting on the exhibit.

So mark your calendar, we’ll be back from Nov. 18-26, (Closed Thanksgiving Day) at the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins.

Carl F. Blair,

President Middle Georgia Model Railroad Club

Centerville

Axing the medical deduction

No one knows at this time what the final version will be of any tax reform legislation, but one of the current proposals will be a major blow to many in Macon who can’t afford it. The idea is to double personal exemptions and clean up all the various deductions that make filing taxes so difficult. That certainly would benefit many. And naturally there will be some who will be hurt when certain deductions are eliminated. This will be an inevitable side effect of any changes.

But one deduction is really going to impact some in our community. Right now, Congress is planning to delete the medical deduction. Now for most folks, that’s not a problem, since that deduction requires a significant expense before it takes effect.

But for those who do have major expenses, it can really help. Imagine someone who comes home with a $20,000 hospital bill (easily done these days) and who doesn’t have insurance to cover it. The current deduction won’t keep them from having major financial problems, but it would help to ease the pain.

I don’t know how much savings that eliminating the medical deduction would make in the national budget, but I doubt it would make enough to justify the pain it will cause some of “the least of these.” And since most folks don’t have enough expenses to take the deduction, leaving it wouldn’t complicate the filing process. A letter to our senators and representatives would be an excellent idea.

Charles Lewis,

Macon

Unfriendly and chilly

There really are some stupid ways our money is being spent. The National Science Foundation gave $114,116 to the University of Illinois at Urban-Champaign, to create “safe zones” for LGBTQ students and for studying ways to “increase the inclusion of LGBTQ students and professionals in engineering.” According to the grant, the field of engineering can be an “unfriendly or a chilly” climate for “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer individuals.”

As one currently in the STEM community, I can testify that the reason “Scorpion” (CBS) is a successful TV show is that it really does reflect reality. One need only ask the wife of an engineer to realize that the field of engineering can be an “unfriendly or a chilly” climate for anyone who has to deal with “STEM people” from the outside looking in.

What is taught in an engineering school, and what matters to an engineer is not how one “feels” but whether the answer is correct. At Navy, we called those few required humanities courses “Bull Courses” for a reason, and that had nothing to do with animal husbandry.

Those who are most successful as engineers are not those who are concerned about whether they “feel accepted,” but rather if they’re competent. The Dilbert comic strip really is a commentary on life for an engineer. That life typically isn’t concerned about creating the right atmosphere, but making the right decisions, no matter who makes them. We need not spend another $100G to figure that out.

Dan Topolewski,

Kathleen

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