There has been a lot of talk lately in the news media about spending tax money we don’t have, and I’d like to add just one observation. For some unknown, logical, or fiscally prudent reason, a raised concrete median has been built on Walnut Street between Forest Avenue and Monroe Street along with digging up large square sections of the thick concrete street surface and pouring in new reinforced concrete — and there are still potholes! Why in the world? I love medians for safety reasons, and there are numerous street and roads in our city that need them, but Walnut Street isn’t one of them. I drive that street almost every day, and there is hardly any traffic. Because it’s a city street, I can’t imagine how much this unnecessary construction is costing local taxpayers.
No new audit
The very two that have sat through millions of dollars of waste are wanting to waste hundreds of thousands more. If there is a problem, hold the current auditors accountable! Take them to court if necessary, but please resign both of you!
If the millions owed in back taxes and garbage fees were collected and an aggressive ax was used to cut salaries and benefits, the taxpayers would be spared. I still see all of those FREE vehicles taking county employees home and anywhere else they chose!
Great column in the May 17 local paper, written by famous black commentator Walter Williams. He always has a superb gift of writing, explaining things in simple terms, no big words, no emotionally laden arguments, just simple logic. He detailed how the Democrats have consistently failed the black community while insisting on their support in elections. He referenced the Kanye West comments, which basically followed that same theme and earned him the displeasure of liberal Democrats like Maxine Waters of California, who said he “talked out of turn” and “maybe not have so much to say.”
Clearly she feels threatened by a black man who does not toe the party line that keeps people like her in power. Waters has been voted “the most corrupt member of Congress” a record six times, most recently last year. What’s worse, West has had to hire extra personal security guards because of threats made against his life. I guess free speech for blacks is limited to subservient comments about the Democratic Party ... anything else is punished.
Dressing up in church
This letter is in response to Casi Fisher’s May 4 dissent from the increasing informality of church services — casual dress, rock music and the like — and Charles Pecor’s May 13 reply.
The position of the church informalists could be summed up as, “God cares about what is in your heart not about the clothes on your back.” But what this view ignores is that, ever since Adam and Eve donned fig leaves in the Garden of Eden, raiment has been part of the expression of our humanity — that there is, in fact, a connection between what is in our hearts and the clothes on our backs. In the Bible, King David danced before the Lord wearing a “linen ephod,” and at other times he and others “rent their clothes” in grief. Others put on “sackcloth and ashes” in penance. Joseph famously wore a “coat of many colors.” And the list goes on.
This issue is less one of tradition than one of respect. The church informalists presumably would not attend a wedding or funeral dressed in flip-flops, shorts and a T-shirt — at least let us hope not — out of respect for the newlyweds or the deceased. Why do they believe they should show less respect for God?
We’re not safe
Mr. (Bill) Ferguson’s piece on whether guns make us safer or less safe (May 20) was well worded and reasonable. He declared our need for research to answer the question and reminded us that Congress has forbidden the Centers for Disease Control to perform that research. Why did Congress do that? What we know is that there are many sensible people in the NRA along with a few radicals. We also know that the vast majority of the money given to support candidates for Congress is provided by much deeper pockets than NRA members. Manufacturers of guns and ammunition have a strong, profit-driven motive to block the research.
When we add deaths from homicide, accident, suicide and having one’s weapon taken and used to the current epidemic of copycat mass shootings in schools, it seems unlikely that instances of defending one’s self or family would not come close. And so we pay a huge price in loss of life for the privilege of owning a gun, but I am willing to wait for the research evidence. Our culture has been so committed to gun ownership that the U.S. Supreme Court gave us that freedom even though not a word in the Second Amendment refers to personal safety. It is true that some countries have reduced deaths through enforcing stricter gun laws. But at this point we seem to be willing to feel safe even though we’re not safe. How many of our children and teachers must die before we recognize this?
Roby M. Kerr,
RIP Billy Cannon
I almost wept when I saw the headlines telling of Billy Cannon’s death at age 80. I was a die-hard LSU fan in high school in the late 1950s, and Cannon was its star. On Saturday nights, radio station WWL (AM) in New Orleans’s signal came in loud and clear in Rockmart, Georgia, where I grew up. My father and I would sit by that radio and listen, though often the screaming 67,000 fans in Tiger Stadium would all but drown out the commentary.
I was 14 years old on Halloween night in 1959 when we tuned in to the Bayou Bengals’ annual rivalry game against the Ole Miss Rebels. The Tigers were ranked No. 1 and the Rebels No. 3 in the nation. What a matchup. Paul Dietzel’s Chinese Bandits were an awesome defensive unit, but Johnny Vaught also had a formidable group of Rebel defenders. Touchdowns were rare in those days.
The Rebels managed a field goal in the first quarter, and going into the fourth quarter it looked like it might hold up. But with 10 minutes to go, Cannon fielded a punt at his 11-yard line and managed somehow to elude almost the entire Ole Miss team for the most unforgettable punt return I’ve ever seen. As if that weren’t enough, he then kicked the extra point and made the game-saving tackle in the Tigers’ last second goal-line stand.
After a sterling professional career in the NFL, he became a dentist, but after poor investments put him near bankruptcy, he was convicted of counterfeiting and served over two years in prison. Upon his release, he became the dentist at the Louisiana State Penitentiary. He served the inmates for 23 years. His story is a wonderful example of redemption and of true character atoning for misdeeds.
John Marson Dunaway,
President Trump has complained that the Russia investigation is a “total witch hunt.” I guess that explains why special prosecutor Robert Mueller keeps finding witches.
William D. Carter,
Call the grand jury
The current desire by some Macon-Bibb elected leaders for an investigation into the county’s finances sounds similar to the request by some Macon Water Authority leaders years ago, which resulted in a grand jury investigation. I believe a grand jury investigation of the county’s finances is long overdue, especially since there has been no evidence that county leadership has the financial acumen to avoid irreparable harm to the county’s property taxpayers and county operations and welfare for the future. A grand jury investigation of the county’s finances would be more complex than that of the Macon Water Authority, but the complexity only stresses the urgency for an early start.
I was serving on the grand jury that investigated the Macon Water Authority and was part of the sub-group within the grand jury which spearheaded the investigation, questioning Macon Water Authority staff, then compiling and reporting information to the overall body for discussion and decision making. We found “conditions” that needed prompt attention, developing a requested action list which was presented to the water authority after review/approval by the supervising judge, only deleting one item relating to The Telegraph as not appropriate. The grand jury requested that the water authority report back to the grand jury relating to actions taken on the listed items. I understand all listed items were addressed and confirmed to the following grand jury. We found several unanticipated conditions, one being that the Macon Water Authority staff person responsible for inspecting commercial eating establishments’ grease traps had been threatened about his findings. As a professional engineer, I was well aware of the importance of a good operating grease trap to maintain a good operating sanitary collection and disposal system for excellent public health. I also knew that cleaning a grease trap was a very unpleasant task, having been introduced to it at boot camp as a recruit in the Korean War.
Arthur D. Brook,