Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015

Thoroughbred racing in Georgia?

On Sept. 14-15, a House and Senate study committee will hold a hearing to look at potential opportunities that would provide long-term financial support to the Hope Scholarship. One of the top opportunities is to expand the horse industry in Georgia by legalizing parimutuel wagering, which would then allow thoroughbred horse racing across the state.

For the past several years, the Georgia Horse Racing Coalition has been meeting with leaders of our state and providing them with the facts and figures that support the many benefits of having thoroughbred horse racing in Georgia.

Prior to this hearing, we thought it would be important that the public be made aware of these facts and figures so as the information being portrayed is clear and consistent.

Bringing horse racing to Georgia will provide many benefits:

Creation of 5,000 to 10,000 jobs

Provide $20-$25 million annually to the Hope Scholarship

Provide funds for the University of Georgia Veterinary School

Increase green space across the state

Create additional business opportunities for veterinarians, feed suppliers, hay and straw suppliers and blacksmiths

Increase tourism with world class racing, and the potential to host an event such as the Breeders Cup World Championships.

It is the vision of the GHRC to have a quaint, small facility in a rustic setting. The facility would be conducive to families making a day at the track much like a family picnic. The facility would be multi-functional for many other types of events and, most importantly, would be built without the assistance of any state funding.

With today’s business model, it is important to understand that 87 percent of the dollars wagered at our track will come from outside the state of Georgia. That means the vast majority of the dollars received would provide continuing education for our kids and would be paid for by people living outside our state. This is a great deal for Georgians. Our surveys conducted across the state show that 72 percent of Georgians favor legalizing parimutuel wagering in our state and want the chance to vote on the issue.

Now is a great time to contact your state senators and representatives and encourage them to vote for this bill so the citizens of Georgia can make their own decision next November on this issue.

— Dean Reeves

President of the Georgia Horse Racing Coalition


One solution

In light of the past week of senseless violence in our community and a Telegraph headline that asks Coroner Leon Jones’ burning question, “Where’s the outcry?” I want to offer the Mentors Project as a program that works. The Mentors Project’s 2015 graduation rate was 97 percent, which is a wonderful tribute in honor of the program’s 25th anniversary. The Mentors Project keeps children in school and off the streets.

If you want to do something to make a difference in our community, call 478-765-8624 and become a mentor. We have more than 60 children on the waiting list. If you are not able to become a mentor, you can support the program financially or volunteer at our upcoming Go Digital Fall Festival sponsored by Cox Communications, EveryoneOn and Stratford Academy’s Fifth Grade Council. We must all work to stop the violence and keep our children and neighborhoods safe.

— June Jordan O’Neal

The Mentors Project of Bibb County


B-grade candidate

Bob Norcott’s recent conservative diatribe extolling several imaginary character traits and alleged recent campaign accomplishments of Donald Trump is a farce. The guy is a billionaire, egotistical, birther and a genuine jerk. He wants to deport 11.2 million illegals and then select those he likes to come back. Ridiculous. Get serious. They would create anarchy before leaving if we could ever even find them.

Trump wants Mexico to build and pay for a border fence. He thinks Hillary will be criminally indicted and is the worst secretary of state ever. This rich guy is a clown whose outrageousness and arrogance are ludicrous. His campaign appearances are like circus acts.

Those who like “The Donald” are those who too often know little of our history and current affairs and couldn’t find France on a world map. Their view of America is distorted, like a Roman circus, and are frustrated by their total unawareness of the needs and existence of our 40 million poor citizens and current domestic problems.

Trump is an aberration and a B grade, billionaire talk-show host. The only real thing about Trump is his hair.

— Frank W. Gadbois

Warner Robins

Again, nothing gets done

Congress is returning from one of its numerous vacations to work on the 2016 budget. The first consideration of both parties will be to raise the debt ceiling so they can borrow more money. This is required because they will spend more in 2016 than they will receive in revenue. This will increase the debt. They agree they want to avoid the automatic budget cuts of sequestration and they do not want to shutdown the government. But they want to extend some 50 tax breaks.

The Democrats want to increase spending for domestic programs like highway and transportation infrastructure improvements. The Republicans want to increase spending for defense. Some Republicans in the house want to cut funding for Planned Parenthood and Obamacare even if this results in a government shutdown. And, they want to overturn some of the president’s executive actions.

I think Congress will cut a deal and incrementally fund the government for six months like they have done since 2000. This means they will have to re-fight the same battles in April 2016. There is little will on either side to obtain an agreement on spending cuts that would defray the increased spending for pet projects.

This means there will be no action to reform Social Security and Medicare, or revise the tax code. This is why so many voters believe the professional political class has abandoned them in favor of special interests and lobbyists.

— Jim Costello


It ain’t over

A decent showing in the preseason didn’t win Tim Tebow a spot on the Philadelphia Eagle’s roster. He could, conceivably, return to the Eagles during the season if a slot opens up due to an injury or ineffective starters. Experts say it is unlikely that any other teams will sign him, but I am not so certain. For now, he will probably resume working as a commentator for SEC football. It’s a good job.

Despite his rabid critics, there are some facts that seem to be in Tebow’s favor. First and foremost, it ain’t over until God says it’s over. Secondly, the Eagles (as well as some other NFL teams) had to see something they liked in him or he never would have been with them, even for a tryout.

His NFL career may not be over just because things did not work out in Philadelphia. More than Tebow’s ability, or lack of it, has been his bold stand for the Lord Jesus Christ. Perhaps this is reason enough for God to keep Tim on stage. As a bold Christian man, he is being opposed by forces greater and more distant than any found on a mere football field. Recall, if you will, how God the Father used his chosen Jewish people and his own beloved son to accomplish divine purpose. God is still in control and no one knows that any better than Tim Tebow.

— John Wayne Dobson