Sunday, Sept. 8, 2002
Mall a place for shopping
To the editor:
As hard as Meridian fought to get a decent shopping mall, I cannot believe we are even discussing the issue of teenagers hanging out there. Doesn't anyone remember the Village Fair Mall? That is all it wound up being a hangout for teenagers. A shopping mall is just that a place to shop or eat or see a movie or whatever else might be offered there.
Merchants who occupy the mall do so at great expense through their leases each month. I get so tired of hearing that teenagers have no place to go. They have a bowling alley, a skating rink and several movie theaters. There are athletic events going on at the public schools most weekend nights.
Bonita Lakes Mall is not a hangout any more than you can hang out at a restaurant after you have finished eating. And if "kids" are one of the most powerful consumer groups in our economy today, then we are really in trouble. I do not believe that kids are the major supporters of the retail market at the mall.
Hopefully, parents have something to say about what their kids buy and what they wear (although, it makes you wonder when you look at some of them). I, like some others who have written, am sick of having to look at someone's underwear and listen to the filthy language that comes out of their mouths while I am trying to spend my money shopping.
If the teenagers need another place to hang out besides home (which their parents might have them try sometime), why don't they try getting a job. Or better yet, those of age, could join the military and serve their country, but they would, of course, have to give up their baggy, oversized pants and bandanas, various body piercings, etc. However, they would then have lots of places to "hang out" like a barracks, a ship, or maybe even a cave in Afghanistan.
We have a whole lot bigger battles to fight in this country than catering to a bunch of undisciplined kids. Parents need to act like parents and put a stop to this silliness or we'll all be having to shop in Jackson, Hattiesburg or elsewhere again. It might help if some parents would stop long enough and take a good look at what their teenagers are portraying in their lives today. We've all heard the saying, "If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck or quacks like a duck it must be a duck."
Well, whether any of these kids are gang members or not, it they intimidate adults who are shopping at the mall, then I say mall management has every right to enforce their standards on them (veterans or not). It is not racial profiling or discrimination it is simply called RULES for everyone to abide by.
Firefighter says thanks to city council members
To the editor:
I would like to thank the four members of the Meridian city council who voted to spend the money to repair Fire Station No. 2. So to Councilwoman Henson, Councilwoman Perry, Councilman Thomas and Councilman Palmer, thank you from all of us at Fire Station No. 2.
To the editor:
On Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2002, the people of our area will join with Americans throughout our land remembering the thousands who lost their lives one year ago and the many thousands more who risked their lives in acts of extraordinary heroism and bravery.
Marking the one-year anniversary will bring us together as a community and show the entire world that our freedoms are even more precious to us today than they were before the day that changed the course of history.
Our ceremony will begin at 8:45 a.m. Wednesday at the Central Fire Station on 14th Street and will conclude at 9:30 a.m. As is fitting, prayers will be offered by representatives of the Meridian Fire Department, Meridian Police Department, U.S. Navy, Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department, Emergency Medical Services and the local religious community. At the moments of the collapse of the south and north towers of the World Trade Center, a fire bell will toll and we will pause to honor those who died.
While our healing has begun, the scars will never fade. This remembrance will reaffirm our deep commitment to the greatest nation on earth and the people who make it proud and free. Please join us.
H.C. "Bunky" Partridge
Chief, Meridian Fire Department
To the editor:
On August 3, 2002, my 16-year-old brother was involved in an automobile accident. Matt was the taken to Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center,
where my parents were told initially that he suffered from only a broken leg. About 45 minutes later, the doctors informed my parents that Matt had sustained some head trauma and would have to be flown to Jackson because the neurosurgeon in Meridian was on vacation and there was no one to cover for him.
My parents left for Jackson immediately and arrived, surprisingly, about a half hour before Matt (the helicopter has to fly from Jackson to Meridian and back). The surgeons in Jackson gave my little brother little hope to make it through the night and even less hope to live more than a few days. They said what made his injury so bad was the amount of time between the accident and the surgery. They said if the surgery could have been done in Meridian he would definitely have little or no damage, but the neurosurgeon was on vacation.
Matt has improved beyond the expectations of the doctors, and though he still has a long way to go his condition improves daily.
Why is it so hard to get neurosurgeons in this area? Tort reform, I think is only part of the problem. The neurosurgeons in Jackson and Hattiesburg still practice and they have to have the same malpractice insurance as the doctors in Meridian. Also why does Meridian not have a helicopter (they sure have plenty of funds to spend on their facilities). If the neurosurgeons here can't or won't operate they should at least have a way to transport patients.
I am just concerned about other members of my family and members of my community should something similar happen to them. Would it be more
prudent to bypass the hospitals in Meridian for the ones in Jackson or Hattiesburg? It's a decision I hope I never have to make.
To the editor:
I have a story about a conversation I had with my "just turned 3" year old. Since Sept. 11, my son Alex is now aware that we have a military and even recognizes George Bush in pictures or on TV. He is rapt with attention whenever the President is speaking on TV and is happy to be able to point him out in magazines, newspapers, etc.
We were driving down the road one day and an Army caravan passed us. He asked me if they were going to "get the bad guys"?
I told him "Yes, honey. They are going to protect us from the bad people in case they come to Alabama."
We continued to talk about airplanes flying away, the phrase "I am an American" (which he repeats constantly after that TV commercial from the Ad Council). I asked him if he knew why the military was going after the bad people. His response was "Because the President loves me."
I do believe the President loves each and every one of us. The fact that a 3-year-old has picked up on President Bush's compassion and concern for our country and its people young and old is very heart-warming. I know one thing I have a proud American in the making and I couldn't be happier.