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Tuesday, May 21, 2002

By Staff
Darwin's theory
To the editor:
Regarding Craig Ziemba's column "Not enough faith," The Meridian Star, May 19, 2002): Darwin's theory has withstood 150 years of rigorous scientific inquiry. I do not agree with Craig in blaming disrespect for the rights of others on the teaching of this scientific truth. Responsibility for bad behavior belongs closer to home. While we have much to learn about intrinsic and acquired human nature, ignoring established knowledge is rarely a useful path to understanding.
John Roberts
Keeping up with hometown news
To the editor:
I am a member of a team from the 186th Security Forces Squadron that is currently deployed overseas supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. On behalf of my teammates, I would like to thank the staff of The Meridian Star for their online edition of The Star.
Several of my teammates and I are city employees. By accessing The Star online, we are able to keep up with changing events within the city government and current local events that affect the lives of our families.
I would also like to personally thank our families, who have included hardcopy editions of The Star in care packages from home. Although sometimes it takes over two weeks for a package to arrive from the States, news from home to us is a piece of home. Yes, even the packing material gets read.
Lastly, I would like to thank those who have helped and supported our families in our time of absence.
SSgt. Chad Johnson
via e-mail
A ray of light'
To the editor:
Amid the abundance of daily news that's negative emanating from across our nation, suddenly comes a ray of light  a ray of light shining all the way from back home.
From The Meridian Star: "Last week, more than 900 seniors enjoyed food and entertainment during the Catfish &Trimmings luncheon at the Frank Cochran Center." The occasion was in celebration of Older Americans Month.
Today, for older Americans to be recognized via any venue is gratifying, but from all appearances, this glorious occasion epitomizes what caring is about. What a great program, and a tribute to the heartfelt benevolence of Jim Knowles and those associated with the Lauderdale County Council on Aging, and, yes, to Meridian city councilman Barbara Henson in recognizing the youngster in that oldster, Jim Knowles, and tapping him for the job.
Jim drops by my place a couple of times a year on the way to some golf tournament up East. For those who know Jim and his perennial optimism despite past close calls, you can know that his visits are refreshing, encouraging and downright curative. Jim doesn't advise but his upbeat presence tells me, as I'm sure it tells others who've put on a little age, "just keep moving  and caring."
Armond "Si" Simmons
Pell City, Ala.
Why not Meridian?
To the editor:
As a citizen of Lauderdale County and resident of Meridian, I would like to make some observations. I have, and probably other residents of this area may have, noticed the way some local politicians, business leaders and certain constituents responsible for this area's growth and well-being neglect their responsibilities to all the good people of this area by taking special care and paying homage to certain select or special interest groups.
Correct me if I'm wrong and I promise I will listen to any welcomed response. Why is it that Tupelo can
build new schools, renovate their schools and attract high paying jobs to that area? As a result of this commitment to education and the children of Lee County, Tupelo and Lee County is rewarded by being the home to 40 Fortune 500 companies.
What is it that the Lee County supervisors and Tupelo city officials know? Let's compare: Lee County's population is around 75,000 and Lauderdale County's is around 78,000-plus. Meridian's population is 39,000-plus and Tupelo is 32,500.
Why is it that Tupelo has a higher level of household income than Lauderdale County? Why is it that Tupelo has a higher volume of retail sales than Meridian? Why is it that Lee County and Tupelo have a minor league hockey team and Arena League football team? Why is it that Tupelo has a $16 million convention center and coliseum?
Why is it that other towns and cities can draw large crowds to their festivals and street festivals but Lauderdale County and Meridian would be lucky if they drew 500 bodies? There is nothing wrong with the festivals that this area provides, it's just the way that they are promoted and presented. One festival in particular, which I will not name, projects the message that only certain people need attend and others need not apply. I do not believe this to be true, but the fact remains this is the appearance it projects.
This area projects the notion that the Civil War is still being fought. This area projects the notion that there is no room for new ideas and new avenues to success. This area projects that there is room at the table for the "good ole boys" and their lackeys but not for the common man or woman.
I think and know that some county, city and local power brokers think they are the only ones that count in this county. Think about the above questions and realities and you decide. You decide if you want to go on to bigger and better things or live in denial about what a great job the area officials are doing.
Micheal Thomas
via e-mail