Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Wednesday, June 3, 2015

A few questions

I read the article by Esther Canty-Barnes (Friday, May 29) and I won’t argue with her statistics. I do have two questions. She said children of color “are also the least likely to be provided the positive supports and the assistance that they need in order to succeed.” What are those positive supports and assistance? She also said the U.S. departments of education and justice have begun to issue guidelines to school districts to find alternatives to suspension, “but much work remains to be done.” Can she, or this newspaper, offer any specific actions or examples? That leads to a third question: I don’t have children in school, but what can I do?

-- Mary Oppy, RN


Step to protect water

Recently the Environmental Protection Agency finalized a new rule that would clarify the definition of waters protected under the Clean Water Act. This is a huge step for protecting Georgia’s, as well as the whole nation’s, drinking water supply and important parts of our state’s natural beauty.

When announcing the rule, President Obama stated that “One in three Americans now gets drinking water from streams lacking clear protection” (Statement by the president on the Clean Water Rule May 27). I personally am glad the EPA is working to secure waters that people swim in, hike by and drink from.

Unfortunately, the rule faces opposition. The House, at the behest of polluters, has already passed a bill that would prevent this clarification to the Clean Water Act from implementation. Naysayers claim the rule is too overreaching and will affect every little puddle. This is a ridiculous assertion. The rule does not extend to already exempt practices such as “construction or maintenance of farm or stock ponds or irrigation ditches” (Army Corps of Engineers, “Irrigation Exemption Summary” Dec, 2004). The rule will focus on wetlands and streams that play a critical role in making sure rivers, like the Ocmulgee River, are protected by the Clean Water Act. If you think our water sources are important to protect as I do, please write to the EPA and President Obama thanking them and urging them to protect the rule from future attacks.

-- Emily Phillips


Great job

I am proud to have Conner Wood and all of those planning to attend Mercer University and all of the other great colleges in America to have been recognized as outstanding academically. Several were offered multiple scholarships to top universities. Howard High School exemplifies the type of school critically needed countywide. Howard mirrors success in all areas. Top teachers, principals, counselors and a fantastic attitude.

After all attendance is crucial to all learning. Desire to achieve starts at home. Homes of low self esteem and having alcohol and drugs as pillars rarely produce winners.

Great job and much success in your college careers.

-- Joe Hubbard


Why America?

We want our football (soccer) back. We’ve had enough of money running the sport, with television slots more important than fans. We are sick of the corporate brands getting more ticket allocations than supporters do, and now we see FIFA in the dock, but hey, did we need the FBI to investigate what we have long known? And why America? Why didn’t our police issue charges against corrupt officials? I wonder how many names were on the secret list disclosed years ago and if our banks were part of the money laundering process. After all the other banking scandals, would it surprise any of us to find our banks up to their necks in this stinking mire of greed and corruption?

-- Syd Vaughan

Birmingham, England

Worth fighting for

As referenced in Chris Adam’s recent article, the EPA has finalized a new rule clarifying which streams, rivers, lakes and wetlands are protected. This new rule clarifies that seasonal bodies of water, those being mostly streams and wetlands, are protected under the Clean Water Act. By addressing water pollution before it enters our biggest rivers, like the Ocmulgee River, this new rule sets Georgia on a new path to cleaner rivers and lakes that so many of us will be enjoying this summer.

This new rule is also important for Georgia because the fishing industry is a $2 billion dollar industry employing about 40,000 Georgians. This industry, along with much of our tourism industry, is dependent on the health of Georgia’s streams, lakes, rivers and wetlands.

I urge Georgians to thank the EPA, the Army Corps of Engineers and the White House for getting this new rule finalized. All of us will need to help protect this new rule against big oil, gas and developers who wish to see it undone. Thankfully, we as a people can be more powerful than the lobbying dollars that are likely being spent to undo these protections for our rivers, lakes, streams and wetlands. We Georgians need to collectively show that clean water is worth fighting for.

-- Richard Sykes


What did she mean?

In her letter of 29 May, Ninfa Saunders writes: “Heart disease claims the lives of one in three women each year ...” This quite literally translates to heart disease claiming the lives of one-third of the female population each year. I doubt that is what she meant to say. Please tell us what she really meant to say.

-- Charles J.W. Mason


Far from forgotten

I was in a local pub May 20 when I noticed a few phones lighting up. Then my phone delivered the sad message that Tim Brooks had died. My immediate reaction was “Oh, heck no,” but with somewhat more colorful language. Then came the tears. Tim had been ill for the last few years, but I thought he would rally. I guess I thought that he would live forever.

Of all the friends and musicians I’ve had the pleasure and honor to work with in my 45 years here, Brooks is at the top of the list. I think I can speak for all of the probably hundreds of musicians who played with or were inspired by Tim when I say that not only was he a gifted, respected musician, he was a teacher. We all learned a lot from this man and that would be putting it mildly.

We have an undeniable, living, breathing, beautiful brother-sisterhood. It has always has been that way with the musicians and fans here in Macon. We’ve lost, and will continue to lose, a lot of good ones along our journey, and brother Tim was one of the best.

Thank God for the gift of music. This universal language brings so much badly needed healing, happiness, love and joy to this world. So even though Tim Brooks is gone, his music lives on. Thank you, Tim. We’ll miss you. May you rest in eternal peace. Love you forever, brother.

-- John Stanley Killingsworth


Coffee withdrawals

It happened a few days ago and it was a sad time. It just gave up the ghost all at once. This friend has greeted me every morning for the past 40 years. That is what makes me sad. It was always dependable and had me a hot cup of coffee every morning. It was my Black and Decker coffee maker.

They just do not make them like that anymore. It was made in the USA and you cannot find an American made coffee maker today. It seems everything is made in China.

We are now using one sold by Wal-Mart that was made in China. It does not make the coffee as hot or keep it as warm. It is a sad day, old friend. I miss you.

-- L.A. Wright

Warner Robins

Kick ‘em out

Faye Tanner says our immigration system is broken. I beg the differ. Our immigration laws are not being enforced. Border Patrol and immigration officers are banned from doing their jobs. We need to close the border and enforce the laws on the books, and start deporting those not authorized to be here.

-- Art Garland

Warner Robins