Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Citizen input on zoning

Citizen input will continue to play an important role as the Macon-Bibb County Planning & Zoning Commission prepares to make a final decision about the proposed rezoning of a 70-acre tract of land, “Founder’s Pond,” on Bass Road at Rivoli Drive.

The North Bibb Citizens’ Coalition will host a community meeting at North Macon Presbyterian Church on Thursday, March 5, at 7 p.m. Coalition members will discuss the current status of the rezoning request and the critical issue of housing density as it impacts nearby neighborhoods.

We urge interested citizens to attend tomorrow’s meeting.

— Lawrence Mink

North Bibb Citizens’ Coalition

Don’t destroy neighborhood

There are a lot of folks who are very upset and up in arms on the Bass Road and Rivoli Drive rezoning request. This is an upscale area with no apartments and all single-family homes, from $175,000 up to $1 million. The traffic is very heavy 14 hours a day, with 7a.m. to 9 a.m. and 5p.m. to 7 p.m. almost a nightmare on the two-laned Bass Road. The rezoning would add 512 residential units on just 70 acres.

That would add up to 1,000 additional cars, and more people, to an already crowded area with a school system that is already full. Do they think these people are childless?

This is not only incompatible, but is plain stupid to destroy the entire area. Why not build single-family homes? Greed with a capital G!

The people who own this property do not live close to Bass Road. Can you believe they want to put 24 triplex homes on four-and-a-half acres? How about 14 duplexes on 1.6 acres?

The 512 units will have a very serious impact on traffic, schools, quality of life and will decrease property values — like we really need this in this depression.

I ask the Planning and Zoning board to please not allow “greed” to destroy our neighborhood.

— Ken Jones

Macon

‘Obama rap’ rapped

In response to the parent of the Alexander II student who will not allow his son to participate in the “Obama rap,” kudos to him. I would not allow my children to do this either, no matter who the president is or what politics I agreed with.

Children in dictator-led countries sing praises to their leader (think North Korea, Soviet Union, Mao-led China). Whereas children in a democracy sing songs and praises of the freedoms their country allows (as in “God Bless America”) and the symbols that represent that freedom (as in “The Star Spangled Banner”).

— Jennifer O’Neal

Warner Robins

One more option

In her well-stated, but brief, civics lesson, Mary S. Cason left out “anarchism.” Permit me to add it to the list:

Ÿ Anarchism: You have two cows. You have complete ownership of both cows as well as the milk. If someone tries to steal them, you shoot the thief. Everyone lives happily ever after.

— Anthony B. Harris

Macon

Death penalty costly

It is a known fact that capital punishment is a financial burden on states in America that have the death penalty as an option for punishing criminals. It is much cheaper to lock someone up and throw away the key. With the economic downturn that our country is taking, many states, including Kansas, Texas and Maryland, are trying to pass legislation that will ban capital punishment in their states to save money.

Kansas estimates that it would save $50,000 per case if the death penalty would not be an option for punishment, and the saved money would go into programs that help educate people about crime and try to prevent future crimes.

Georgia needs to pass legislation to ban capital punishment. Capital punishment is expensive and it is not a deterrent to crime. The crime rate is still very high in Georgia despite the fact that lethal injection is used as an execution method. With the money saved from banning the death penalty, the state could really improve its schools and fix roadways that have gone into serious disrepair.

— Zachary Hardy

Macon

Advocacy journalism?

I read a column in Monday’s paper by someone identified as an “issues advocate for Environment Georgia.” I and my colleagues wish to know just what this title means and how, other than self nomination, one obtains such a high-sounding position.

If it is some sort of non-elected title, then I and several other professionals would like to have our names in the newspaper likewise, instead of M.D. or Ph.D. I like “advocate for the limitation of continuously increasing taxation.”

— James Chapman, M.D.

Macon

‘Politics as usual’

To the U.S. government: Let me get this straight. You messed up the economy, are pigging out and want the American people to go on a diet?

You don’t know anything other than “politics as usual”?

For your next trick I want you to nationalize health care, making us just like other nations with broken down, second class, bankrupt national health care systems.

— Joseph A. McKenna

Macon

Praise for WR police

Please accept my sincere appreciation to Warner Robins police for their timely and heroic response to the drunken, out-of-control shooter at the Waffle House. Their actions undoubtedly prevented further tragedy to bystanders, like what happened out west. In his Webcast, the chief of police showed the training his officers received and I feel much safer.

I have yet to find a citizen who doesn’t want to commend the officers for their professionalism. When you see a policeman please shake his or her hand and thank them for their service.

Mothers, tell your boys and girls that policemen are your friends and it isn’t necessary to dispute authority using guns. We offer free lawyers for that

—Van Adams

Warner Robins

Delinquent garbage fees

Concerning the article on the tax commissioner’s office collecting garbage fees for the city/county: Didn’t we read a few years ago that among the delinquent payers were several members of the City Council? And now the current council wants a closer look? Why? To see if their names are on the list?

And what about Ms. Paris? Surely, she or her staff advised the constituents who were complaining that if they paid their bills in the first place, they really wouldn’t have anything to complain about. How many years is it going to take before a wake-up call?

Is this a great place to live or what? Damned if you don’t and now it seems to be damned if you do.

— Carolyn and John Cherry

Macon

Illegal street closing

I have a problem and it is with misuse of police authority which denies the rights of city residents. I live on Bowen Drive in Warner Robins, and for some reason the police force was given the right to close all portions of Smithville Church Road and Margie Drive, effectively denying my family and many other families living in this neighborhood from entry and exit for about two hours. This is inexcusable and in my opinion unlawful.

If it were for an emergency I could understand, but for some fun run or walk, no way! There are many other possibilities for this to take place so that it would not deny families their legal rights. Someone else’s pleasure does not give anyone the authority to deny me my legal and lawful right of entry and exit.

Unfortunately I think I am wasting my time and energy writing to (city officials) because all they are going to do is give some lame excuse, or say they have the right to do whatever they want regardless of the rights of citizens of this fine city.

Of course I called the police department and asked to speak with a supervisor. I got the golden standby answer: They are out. A message was taken with the assurance that someone would call me back.

Meanwhile, I was a prisoner in my house at the expense of someone else’s fun.

— Robert W. Reuter

Warner Robins

Cut vendor some slack

Kevin Lyons should be commended for trying to raise money for his family’s health insurance (by selling soft drinks on a street in Macon). Perhaps (a letter writer who objected to the unlicensed vendor) would prefer to pay for the Lyons family’s medical bills through tax money.

Lyons is supporting his family in a relatively benign manner during a bad economy. Give the guy a break.

— S. Locks

Macon

Readers object to story on Martin’s death

Here is a sampling of reader comments on the news story of the death of former Warner Robins Mayor Ed Martin.

While the death of a former Warner Robins mayor is probably newsworthy, calling attention to his prior misdeeds is certainly disrespecting his family and their memory of him at this sad time in their lives. Ed Martin served his country honorably and retired as a colonel in the U.S. Air Force. However, this was not mentioned in the headlined article. Wonder why Rush Limbaugh refers to you as the drive-by media?

— Don Netzinger

Warner Robins

I am absolutely livid about the article on the front page of The Telegraph. Ed Martin was a fine Christian man, who served his time for the crimes he committed 16 years ago. He was a changed man who served his church and family well. It is appalling to see The Telegraph bring up his past mistakes at his death. What a thing for his family to have to wake up and read about the day after he died suddenly. You should be ashamed and write a more respectable article to print on the front page immediately and deeply apologize for this trash. It is something you would expect to read in the National Inquirer.

— Lori Chaloult

Warner Robins

The man paid his dues years ago and now his family in their time of extreme loss and grief has to read about their husband/father in this most negative manner. How disappointing and utterly unnecessary.

— Dianne Harrington

Warner Robins

How could any human being, journalist or not, be so cold and inconsiderate as to bring out these past mistakes at such a time like this? That was ’90s news history long past. Let the deceased rest in peace. Let his family grieve in peace. They have suffered enough. Shame on you.

— B.J. Moore

Centerville

Why would you print such a derogatory death notice on your front page? At the worst time of their lives (the family is) greeted with this. If you had to remind people of what he did, why could you not have put it in another part of the paper, instead of the front page? I’m sure most people remember what happened to him, and for the newcomers to Warner Robins, why bring up something that’s in the past and has no bearing on today?

— Sandra Sours

Fort Valley

So many times, when a person dies, all the bad things he or she did in life surfaces. Even if those events happened many years ago, it is spelled out in the news and names all persons involved. I feel we should respect the families left behind. Let’s bring this to closure. I pray they asked God’s forgiveness.

— Faye Cooper

Byron

To our readers

Unfortunately, I have to agree that we did not handle this as well as we should have. While the past incident was certainly part of the story of this prominent man’s life, in hindsight, we should have not included it in the lead paragraph and allowed it to dominate the story to the exclusion of other significant facts. Like medicine and so many other professions, journalism is not an exact science, and every so often we’re reminded that, despite our best efforts and intentions, we’re not perfect.

— George McCanless, publisher

Prayer for today

Father, teach us to talk to you as easily as we do to one another — not in King James English, but in our own words, as a child to a parent. Give us the courage to praise you aloud, the humility to call for your help when we need it, and the comfort that comes from knowing we are never alone. Amen.

— Submitted by Kay Wangen

Macon

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