Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Sunday, March 29, 2015

Great exhibit

It is counter-intuitive to suggest that folks head inside during these beautiful spring days devoted to all things pink. But occasionally, we do ourselves good by studying, in addition to the beauty and wonders that nature has provided us, the fruits of the imaginations of human beings. At this moment when all of Macon is concentrated on our annual display of blossoms, Macon’s Museum of Arts and Sciences is presenting fantastic exhibitions that need to be seen by us all.

There is the exhibit of emerging artists (through June 28) which includes the varied work of six artists whose sophistication and grasp of their media belies the idea that they are in any way still “emerging.” From Macon are Joe Adams and Alexis Gregg; from Atlanta are Manty Dey, Sarah Emerson and Mimi Hart Silver; and from Valdosta is Craig Hawkins. The range of this work is quite phenomenal.

This is an exceptional opportunity to see world-class artistic expression in a local museum setting that is minutes from our doors. I encourage everyone to take a respite from the pollen for a short time and spend some time at our Museum of Arts and Sciences and to show your appreciation and support for their bringing such fine work together for our benefit.

-- James H. Webb



Surely Middle Georgia must know how blessed we are to have the voice of Frank Gadbois to guide us in foreign relations and keep us safe from the bad boys of Tel Aviv. Did not he spend years in the military, more years in intelligence and additional decades versed in the geopolitical/theological strata of human affairs? Stuff us full Mr. G., until we get it right. In the meantime, don’t forget your flashlight when the lights go out in Tehran.

-- Daniel W. Gatlyn USN Ret.


Show me, first

How could I disagree with Charles E. Richardson’s “Dear superintendent” column in so many different areas? First Dr. Curtis Jones has not yet applied his supervision over Bibb’s school system, therefore supporting him, as Richardson has all the other superintendents, is premature. Wishing him well and offering himself, if needed, other than to do lunch, is quite different. Citizens have to rely on the board’s choice of superintendent; however, he should perform before receiving blind support. Could it be that blind support and ignoring the real problems are probably the cause of school failures?

Further, why does Richardson think offering Mandarin Chinese to 14 failing schools, when some have not conquered English, is brilliant? Maybe Chinese would be better served in non-failing schools.

Richardson saying there have been too many excuses over the decades blaming influence of private schools, parents or being poor, in my opinion, is blindly placing blame. We are not stupid people, and if parents, government and politicians really cared about education, they would not allow political correctness, affirmative action, race, abusive students and non-performing teachers. How can we possibly not know why? Stop blaming taxpayers. Could it be presidents, government and politicians care more about votes and parents more about race placement?

-- Faye W. Tanner


Who says GMOs are safe?

I would like to submit the following letter in rebuttal to the March 20 letter of Christopher Robin-Millican titled “Fear of GMOs.” Ironically, my letter would be appropriately titled, “We should fear GMOs.”

In the mid-1990s, GMO crops were introduced to our food supply. GMOs are created by a laboratory process that transfers genetic material into the DNA of an organism. This is not to be confused with hybridization. Currently, there are nine genetically modified crops on the market: canola, corn, cotton, soy, sugar beets, zucchini, yellow squash, alfalfa and Hawaiian papaya. Wheat is not a GMO. However, some farmers spray glyphosate as a desiccant to make the harvesting easier.

Most GMO crops are engineered to tolerate the weed killer Round-up (glyphosate). This tinkering causes the plant to produce high levels of phytoalexins and to accumulate high levels of glyphosate. Corn and cotton are also engineered to produce an insecticide called Bt-toxin. Bt-toxin kills insects by punching holes in their digestive tracts, and a 2012 study confirmed that it punctures holes in human cells as well.

Former genetic engineer Dr. Thiery Vrain states, “The impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as the inflammation damages the cellular systems throughout the body. Glyphosate is a metal chelator, it pulls metals (minerals) out of the cells and many proteins need metals to work.” It is also a patented antibiotic. In essence, we are on a low-grade diet of antibiotics every day.

Epidemiological patterns show there’s an identical rise in over 30 human diseases correlated with our increased usage of glyphosate and the increased prevalence of genetically engineered proteins in our food.

If GMOs are so safe, why do these companies spend billions of dollars to block the food labeling of GMOs?

-- Kathy Solomon


Award recognitions

I want to share with you some good news about our city. Last week, the Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful Commission held its 41st annual appreciation and volunteer awards luncheon to thank the hundreds of volunteers who give their time and talents to help carry out our mission of beautification, litter prevention and recycling. Theresa Robinson, board chairwoman, presided during the luncheon and the presentation of awards to 31 outstanding recipients.

Beautification awards: House of Worship: Vineville United Methodist Church; Beautification: Friends of Tattnall Square Park; Downtown Business: Macon Medical Group; Suburban Business: Natalia’s Restaurant; Historical Restoration: Travis Jean; Neighborhood Housing: Bartlett Crossing; New Business: Signature Salon and Watering Can -- The Vault.

Litter Prevention awards: Frank Austin and Adopt-A-Spot-Servpro of Macon.

Recycling Awards: Recycling: Coca-Cola Refreshments; Youth Recycling: Academy for Classical Education and Westside High School; and Campus of the Year: Ingram-Pye Elementary School.

Macon-Bibb County government awards: Officer of the Year: Lt. Christopher L. Dunn; Firefighter of the Year: Cpl. Darren L. Smith; Facilities Management Employee of the Year: Carl Crump; Code Enforcement Employee of the Year: John Baker; Parks and Beautification Employee of the Year: Darrick Pitts; Recreation Department Employee of the Year: Ryan Land; and Public Works Employee of the Year: Abraham Pleasant.

Individual Awards: Yard of the Year: Teresa and Paul Clauson (given jointly with the Federated Garden Clubs of Macon); Thumbprint Awards: Margaret “Peg” Rose Jones, Canaan Marshall and Collin Holder; Youth of the Year Award: Mount de Sales Academy Environmental Club; Youth Business Award: Culinary Arts of William S. Hutchings College and Career Academy; KMBBC Business Award: The Fresh Market; KMBBC Volunteer Award: Charlotte Woody; Carolyn Crayton Award: Graphic Packaging International; and the William A. Fickling, Sr. Award: Steve Smith.

Assisting in honoring the volunteers were Mayor Robert Reichert; Carolyn Crayton, founder, president/CEO emeritus, Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful Commission and The International Cherry Blossom Festival; Jennifer Jehn, president/CEO, Keep America Beautiful; Camila Knowles, commissioner, Georgia Department of Community Affairs; retired Maj. Gen. Robert H. McMahon, board chairman, International Cherry Blossom Festival; and Pam Carswell, president/CEO, Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful Commission.

This luncheon would not have been possible without the valuable and continued support of our sponsors: Advanced Disposal, Coca-Cola Refreshments, Crown Candy Corp., Fickling Family Foundation, Graphic Packaging International and Macon Power.

-- Suzan Bennett

Recognition Committee Chairwoman,

Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful Commission