Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Friday, June 19, 2009

Makes no sense

Why are property taxes going higher and higher when the value of the house is getting older and older. Look at all the foreclosures, homes for sale and boarded up houses.

If you’ve lived in a home for 20, 30, 40 or 50 years, the value should be going down. This is the most outrageous thing I’ve yet heard about in recent months.

— Pat Middleton


Please retire

I’m very disturbed at City Council for putting off until July 24 to decide the fate of early retirement with insurance to save the city millions of dollars and current jobs. Police officers, and firefighters along with several civilians could to lose their jobs because people who are eligible to retire with benefits refuse to leave. My daughter, who is married to a police officer, will be affected by this situation.

City Council I urge you, don’t wait until July 24. Call a special meeting and make haste with a decision for the good of the current employees. To all eligible retirees, we the citizens of Macon thank you for the time and service you have given, and for the good of the order “please retire.”

— Jack Strozier


Rules are rules

In reference to the front page article on June 14 concerning the high number of black students being suspended from school: Obviously, the author of the article is concerned about the high number of black students suspended from school as compared with the number of white students suspended.

One official from Houston County offered the excuse of poor parenting due to lower income families. Income has nothing to do with teaching a child to follow the rules. The school system is not responsible for what parents should teach at home. Black, white, Hispanic, Asian, it doesn’t matter. The rules are rules and should be followed by everyone.

— Chris Fowler


So, so sad

When I read the recent story in The Telegraph about Leslee Flasch and her battle with cancer, I could have been reading about my own sister. The stories are identical.

She tried diets, herbs and spiritual healers. She spent hundreds of dollars and there was never any improvement in her health. Her body was consumed by cancer.

Last month, she was in such horrible pain and finally decided to get medical help. It was too late. Sadly, she decided to take her own life rather than suffer more pain.

There are so many herbs and supplements on the market that claim to battle cancer, and it gives hope to people like my sister and Leslee. The problem is that while these may help, they are absolutely not a substitute for traditional medical treatment. Cancer is deadly and left unchecked will kill.

We are devastated and so sad that this happened to her. It should not happen to anyone.

— Shirley Hylton


Looking for a parachute

In the early ’60s, I worked in a small bank in Georgia. The bank, with the approval of the board of directors, set salaries based on positions. If the employees filling administrative positions had higher credentials, higher salaries were considered. All other positions stood as approved. After a year, if some employees were outperforming others, raises were considered. If employees were fired, a severance pay was given. If one resigned, they received pay up to the last worked day along with any accumulated unused pay time based on terms set by the bank when hired.

As the bank grew with higher profits, all employees including bank officials where taken into consideration when raises were passed out, higher interest rate were given to depositors, lower rates to borrowers and higher dividends to stockholders. This seemed to work great; no lawsuits filed, no workplace claims of discrimination, no devastating Wall Street losses, no overpowering greed — all performed honest hard work and all enjoyed the profits.

Well, it seems things have changed. I do not understand why the CEO of Security Bank, who resigned, not fired, is suing for breach of contract, asking for more money as severance pay and other golden parachute payments. If golden parachutes are paid out when one quits his job, it seems to me one could accept jobs containing large benefits, work a couple of months, resign and have it made.

Who is considering the depositors and the stockholders? I am both with the Security Bank. I receive just about zero interest on deposit and of the 1,000 shares of stock invested in 2004, I have lost 96 percent of my hard-earned money. I need a golden parachute for I have hit rock bottom. I stood faithful as a Security customer and shareholder and cannot afford to quit although it seems they are trying hard to terminate me.

— Faye W. Tanner


Ice cream philosophy

When I was growing up on a dairy farm in the hills of upstate New York during the 1950s, times were simpler. Although we didn‘t have a lot of store bought treats, from time to time my father would bring home Neapolitan ice cream, the kind with three flavors.

The chocolate would go first; the vanilla next, but the strawberry ice cream would hang around for days and would even sometimes be thrown away.

By the age of 6 or 7 I recognized the pattern, and decided to learn to like strawberry ice cream. Not only did it result in more ice cream for my siblings and I. It also gave me a philosophy for life.

America is facing some of the toughest challenges in its history. At least two nations that are hostile to us appear to be developing nuclear weapons while our military is overextended, engaged in an elusive struggle with terrorism and nation building. Our economy is in the deepest recession since the Great Depression at a time when the focus of the world’s economy is steadily shifting from the North Atlantic to the Far East.

We may not be comfortable with some of the choices we need to make in our foreign or domestic policy, but these may be our only realistic decisions in the future. Sometimes you just have to take a big bite of things you dislike, and learn to like them.

— Tim Talcott Sr.


If it’s not broke

I don’t understand why our illustrious leader wants to mess with our health care. We have the best health care system in the world. Seventy percent of Americans have their own private health care or better yet that’s 120 million Americans covered by 1,300 health providing insurance companies. I would think with what has happened in England, Canada and throughout Europe, he would/should know it isn’t going to be effective. People in Canada sometimes wait six months just to get a doctor’s appointment, sometimes a year on a waiting list for an MRI.

When government takes over the administration of our health-care program as the sole administrator, it most definitely has to be more expensive because there will be less competition, therefore driving prices sky high. You will have government administrators making decisions as to whom will get approved for health care, how much and when.

Last time I checked, anything the government gets involved with takes longer, is more expensive, and the results aren’t nearly as healthy as a free enterprise system. Sounds to me like this is just another step in the direction of redistributing wealth by our leader to the tune of about $160 billion more in our taxes annually. I Wonder if he ever heard of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”? And the real bottom line is: No one right now is going without health care as those who don’t have it get it at the expense of the taxpayers.

— Ben Damron

Warner Robins

Great government

I tried all Sunday afternoon and all day Monday to enter the Bibb County tax assessors’ Internet site for comparable neighborhood property values without luck. When I called the office I was told someone would get back in contact with me, but as of now (Wednesday) that has not happened.

The Telegraph reported we are approaching one-half the number of appeals needed to disrupt this unfair reassessment being placed on many parcels of land in Bibb County. I find it peculiar that as the appeals arrive the Internet site needed for information so other property owners can make appeals just happens to be out of service. Isn’t government great ?

— John G. Kelley Jr.



I would like to send a special “thank you” to all who befriended us and treated us with kindness during our unscheduled stay in Macon.

On our way home from vacation we were caught by a horrific thunderstorm once we hit the border going north from Florida. Our goal that day on our two wheel trip was to stop north of Chattanooga but the storm changed those plans. Finally after getting buckets of water dumped on us by 18 wheelers, we decided to pull over and wait out the storm. When it appeared the storm would not let up, we checked into the Best Western in Byron for the night. Needless to say at 2 a.m. I was dialing 911 as my significant other appeared to be having a heart attack. We were taken to Houston Medical Center, where the attack was confirmed.

Facing triple bypass surgery, we had hoped to make the trip back home to Wisconsin but we were told it was not a good idea. Thus he was transferred to The Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon for surgery.

Words are not enough to express our gratitude to the staff at the Best Western who went out of their way to make me feel welcome (since one night turned into five), in addition to the manager at the Krystal next door who, when I forgot to get my change in the drive thru the night of the surgery kindly discovered there was an error and returned it to me.

First and foremost, though, are the staff at both the Houston Medical Center and the Medical Center in Macon. Being so far away from home with no family or friends nearby for support was quite difficult, especially for me, but no matter where I went not once did I encounter an unfriendly face. To Macon, Byron and the surrounding areas, you should be proud of the wonderful people who make up your community.

— Amy Frederick and Thomas Pitsch

Kenosha, Wis.

Prayer for today

Today Lord, we approach thy throne of grace to thank you for your presence in our daily life. How you can put up with our daily sinning is beyond our comprehension. We ask you today to lift us up out of the misery we bring on ourselves. May we, this day, renew our promises to you and seek out a return to your teachings. May we learn how to love, as you love us, without hesitation or reservation. May we allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us down life’s pathway to our heavenly home. Amen.

— Chaplain, Norman L. Bellury


Readers — ministers, priests, rabbis, imams and laypersons alike — are invited to contribute prayers for this daily feature.

Send them to “Prayer,” The Macon Telegraph, P.O. Box 4167, Macon, GA 31213; or by facsimile to 744-4663; or online to letters@macon.com.