Ed Grisamore did a great job on his article about Jesse Evans, a Jesse-of-all-trades. Back in 2000, I had just moved into a new house. Unfortunately, the deck steps were too steep to accommodate the short legs of my English bulldog, Bodacious. However, Jesse came up with a quick fix and built a perfect set of stairs. Bodacious passed away in 2009, but those stairs still remain in honor of the dog we loved so much and the man who built them. Thanks again, Jesse.
-- Hal and Carol Clarke
Such a waste
It is both a tragedy and a travesty that our governor and our Legislature have decided not to expand Medicaid in our state. This means that about 500,000 adults in Georgia will not have access to affordable health care, falling in the coverage gap. By arguing that we cannot afford this expansion, we are cutting off our nose to spite our face. As a kidney doctor, I have seen too many working adults end up on dialysis prematurely, simply because they lacked the ability to pay for medicines or to go see a doctor, which could have prevented their premature kidney failure.
Working in the hospital, I have seen too many uninsured patients receive excellent care, who are then discharged on medicines that they cannot afford only to end up back in the emergency room a few weeks later because those medicines they needed were beyond their reach. Medicare has paid for dialysis since the early 1970s. Each hemodialysis patient costs Medicare a minimum of $90,000 annually. Dialysis expenditures, which are expected to skyrocket, currently take up 8 to 10 percent of the Medicare budget. By not improving preventative care on the front end, we are only hurting ourselves on the back end by paying for expensive chronic care.
This makes no medical or economic sense, regardless of political ideology. If Georgia is to keep the No. 1 ranking as the place to do business, we will not go far if our population has poor health. We cannot afford NOT to expand
-- Kimathi Blackwood
End zone dance
Here comes the Super Bowl. Wouldn’t it be fun to allow celebrations in the end zone. At the end of the game, fans could vote on the best one. And some great company could give some money to the favorite charity of the winners.
-- Georgia Hatcher
People of good will
Friday’s front page story on the Board of Elections’ Thursday hearing was accurate as far as it went but could not, of course, cover it entirely. Here’s some context that, in any event, might not have been appropriate in a news story. To begin with, there was considerable animosity, almost confrontation, in the room. While this may be understandable given the media coverage of newly released movie “Selma,” concerns over recent police killings, the Supreme Court ruling nullifying parts of the Voting Rights Act and even the board’s fall decision not to enable Sunday voting, as well as Macon’s difficult history of race relations, it did not seem warranted in this situation.
The Board of Elections staff had made a good faith effort to design a plan that would solve a variety of issues facing it: the need to reduce its budget, problems with a number of precincts due to expected school closings, lack of handicap accessibility and/or parking at some sites and difficulty getting voting machines set up at others. It did not set out to reduce black voter turnout. While the fact that more black precincts were proposed for closure than white did indeed seem suspicious, handouts provided at the hearing showed that was a feature of the voting sites in those precincts. Yet, few at the hearing looked at the handouts or even the maps.
The elections board and its staff (which is heavily African American), were attacked as though they had set out to sabotage the progress of the past 50 years. That was unfair. One speaker even accused them of trying to avoid public scrutiny -- though I wondered why he thought a public hearing had been scheduled and publicized. Nevertheless, some useful points were made. This hearing was held during the morning when many people are at work; the next one will be during non-work hours. Many voters are without transportation. While putting precincts within walking distance of everyone in the county is clearly not financially feasible, special attention might be given to proximity in areas where such voters are clustered. Attention might also be given to preventing the division of precincts by major roads where substantial numbers of voters walk to the polls.
Since these are the kinds of adjustments that can best come from those in the affected neighborhoods, one of the most useful suggestions was that the board form a citizens advisory committee in order to solicit broader input into the board’s decisions. Happily, in a meeting after the hearing, the board voted to do just that. More publicity should also be given to the potential of voting by absentee ballot -- no longer limited to voters away from the district -- for those who find it difficult to get to the polls. Where people of good will put their heads together to solve problems, solutions can be found.
-- Nancy Anderson
A man kills another man and gets either life or death penalty, (both of which I agree with). Yet a mother kills her helpless little girl and she gets out in 21 years. Where is the logic and justice in this decision? I am speechless.
-- Betty Moore
How this president and his administration has treated Israel during the last six years is disgraceful. They are one of our very few allies in the Middle East and they deserve our respect. The president owes them a apology.
-- Mark Rhodes
What would we be able to accomplish if none of us were living vicarious lives? Too many of us live through football, basketball, NASCAR, actors, other entertainers and a lot of other superficial activities.
Rather than living vicariously, let’s live to our greatest level of commitment in what we are able to do. If we do, we will be better and happier and the whole country will be better. Live with honorable purpose.
-- Bobby W. Chastain