Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014

What is blight?

Betty Barlow’s letter of Aug. 26 brings up some very good points and very good questions. I, too, watch the programs she references on HGTV, and it is unfortunate there is no one who can or will rehab some of the houses being demolished, if they can be saved. Plus, I don’t know what guidelines the city uses to determine what houses will be demolished and what happens to the land. I would assume that eminent domain would come into play with the land given to the Macon-Bibb County Land Bank Authority.

We are reading and hearing a lot about blight in our city, but is it just the abandoned homes? So what is blight? Try 2086 Pio Nono Ave. on for size. It is waist-high in weeds with a sofa and lounge chairs piled up on the front lawn. It has been in this condition for a couple of months. At the corner of Pio Nono and Montpelier Avenue, two houses are being demolished. So what is blight? Garbage in the streets and along the highways? Driving less than five miles across town, I noted quite a few areas that I consider blighted.

Maybe some people don’t know they have blight or just do not care. Having said that, I wish The Telegraph would do another “Macon In The Mirror” addressing this issue.

P.S.: I for one like what you are doing with The Telegraph. The use of color screen, placement of items, all seem to make the paper more readable and interesting.

-- Brad Holloway


‘Spitfire Grill’

I would like to invite everyone to go Macon Little Theatre this week to see “The Spitfire Grill.” It opened off Broadway in 2001 at Playwrights Horizons.

“The Spitfire Grill” is a musical and tells the story of a young woman just released from prison trying to make a fresh start in life. The staff and volunteers of the Macon Little Theatre have done a marvelous job presenting this musical, and it is a wonderful way to spend the evening, listening to some of Macon’s finest vocalists. “The Spitfire Grill” only goes through Sept. 7 and you do not want to miss it.

-- Wanda Smith


Questions of competence

Bill Ferguson’s column requires comment. He refers to Michelle Nunn’s ad about David Perdue as “hitting below the belt” because it refers negatively to his tenure as CEO of Pillowtex. I agree that the electorate is not well-served by most of the mud-slinging that takes place. I do, however, believe that it is proper to evaluate a candidate’s competence and character in those areas which he touts as justification for our votes.

Based on Ferguson’s explanation regarding the 10 months Perdue led Pillowtex, I am more convinced than ever that this part of his resume reflects badly on his competence and character. Ferguson states that “after Perdue took over the company, it was discovered that it had $40 million to $50 million in unfunded pension liabilities.”

By this time, Perdue had made a plan to save the company, but this discovery “torpedoed” his plan. So Perdue took his $1.7 million and left.

I, too, accept that Perdue was not responsible for all the harm that came to the 8,000 employees, but one might question his accepting the leadership role, even forming a plan for recovery, before discovering the full extent of the problems at Pillowtex. If we are to entrust critical national decisions to a senator, I would hope for better performance than this.

Some excuse it by saying “it’s just business.” But, if you’ve paid attention over the past dozen years, you will recognize the income disparity issues involved here. None of us in America should resent people who make money, but this episode resembles the kind of work Gov. Mitt Romney was proud of as he disparaged the 47 percent for sucking the rest of us dry. The governor may have helped some companies, but he often sucked the assets out of businesses and left them bankrupt, all perfectly legal. But this kind of “success” flies in the face of those who work hard all week for stagnant or minimum wages. The class of corporate managers who have created and invested nothing are different from entrepreneurs. They arrive to big salaries and depart with golden parachutes, even if the company fails.

The facts, as described by his defender, add up to failure as a corporate executive and call into question this man’s ability to perform as an able senator.

-- Roby M. Kerr


Lucky, this time

A couple of quick thoughts on recent editorials. Michelle Nunn may indeed know her way around Washington, D.C., but Alfred J. Graham must not know his way around the English language very well. It’s “You’re going to lose.”

Re: your recent editorial imploring people not to talk on the phone while driving. Funny, I was on the phone coming from Eastman recently. I had no problem hitting the breaks to avoid the red truck that decided he couldn’t wait to turn left until I made it past and decided to cut it close on a rain-slicked U.S. 23.

-- Dave Whitaker