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Sunday, May 12, 2002

By Staff
every vote
does count
To the editor:
Harrison Lewis' letter to the editor on May 5 seems to capture the essence of differences between Republican Chip Pickering and Democrat Ronnie Shows. His letter ended with the comment, "Remember, every vote does count." Funny how he fails to mention that the first vote our newly elected congressman from our newly formed 3rd Congressional District will cast will be for speaker of the House of Representatives. And tragically, if Ronnie Shows is elected, he'll vote for ultra liberal Dick Gephart for Speaker while it is common knowledge that Chip Pickering will not.
Now, Mr. Lewis and Ronnie Shows may think that is the kind of vote we need for change here in the 3rd District, but I don't.
Other issues brought to the public's attention attack Chip Pickering's siding with his father in Judge Pickering's failed appointment to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Funny that both Democrats and Republicans in Mississippi supported Judge Pickering. Funny how the U.S. Senate wasn't even allowed to cast its vote because Ronnie Shows' party deemed it necessary to reinterpret the Constitution of the United States and deny the whole Senate the constitutional right of "advice and consent."
I guess that is what the Coalition For Change is all about, changing the basic principles of our founding fathers to meet its political needs.
It's a good thing that Thomas Paine isn't around to comment on Mr. Lewis' rhetorical questions about "Super Hornets," a Hyundai plant in Lauderdale County or plant closings in Clarke County. "Common Sense" would dictate that the F-18s didn't come to NAS Meridian because it wasn't a good fit for that weapon system.
Read The Meridian Star or The Clarion Ledger to understand why Hyundai didn't come to East Mississippi, or ask our current Democratic governor. As for the closure of industrial plants in Clarke County, my concern goes to the citizens who lost their jobs, but I also understand that larger economic issues drove those plant closings  not a congressman, or a senator. If you're looking for economic impact choose a congressman who will come prepared to the arena during the next BRAC fight.
I have to agree with Mr. Lewis on one fact, we "MUST" study the candidates, their positions and their backgrounds. I'm saddened by Mr. Lewis' lie that Republican's don't want "us" to vote. As a retired Air Force officer, I dedicated my life, as all veterans do daily, to guarantee ALL CITIZENS' right to vote and would give anything if we all would.
If we'll all work together to improve our city, county, state and nation, we'll continue to be the greatest nation God ever graced.
Retired Col. Kris Gianakos, USAF
Chairman, Lauderdale County
Republican Party
The zoo is not a racial issue
To the editor:
I am writing in response to the disturbing comments made when the zoo was voted down. those comments claimed it was "racism." That broke my heart.
Mainly because I had hoped this county had outgrown that word and that action. I pray the people who made those comments will step back and look at the REAL issue: Fiscal responsibility.
You indicate it will not cost much to have a "zoo." Maybe the salary is not much, but that is certainly not where it ends. The state will be involved because it is a "zoo." That brings it under the Department of Agriculture and the zoo would have to follow all requirements laid down by that agency.
I really don't think it could pass muster. For one thing, the location would probably not have been approved by the Ag department. Another thing, the housing is not appropriate for zoo animals. The shelters would have to be maintained on a daily basis. Not once a week. You HAVE to do that to keep insects and other critters away.
What about veterinary care? Who is going to pay for that? It is certainly not cheap. Four immunizations for my horses and donkeys … just the NORMAL immunizations, were over $150 today! Then there is the problem with illness. You have to know animals and their habits to know when they are ill. They won't come up and tug on your sleeve with a runny nose and say, "Baa baa, I'b thick."
Then there is the feeding. They have to be fed on a schedule in order to stay in their most healthy state. Hair coats must be brushed to remove winter coats or just sweat marks. They have to also be kept clean … bathed! The list goes on and on.
This has nothing to do with Mr. Stringfellow. A nice man. It has only to do with fiscal responsibility.
I live in the county. For those of you who live in the city, you can have law enforcement at your door in a matter of minutes. For us, it is a matter of hours, if they are tied up in other parts of the county. There are not enough deputies to take care of the growing population in the county. (Listening, supervisors?)
It would make far more sense to use extra money to fund more law enforcement. Not a zoo. The idea is a good one. The location is wrong, the timing is wrong and the concept is wrong.
Thanks to Mayor Smith, the city is getting seen. Hopefully, in the not-too-distant future, this town will be large enough to support a "real" zoo. Not now.
Marilyn Scott
via e-mail