August 3, 2003
Local jobless rate higher than state's
To the editor:
Did you see the publication last week from the Mississippi Employment Security Commission that Lauderdale County's unemployment rate has just increased in one month from 7.6 percent to 8.6 percent, compared to a total state of Mississippi's new unemployment rate of 7.7 percent?
Lauderdale County has reached the less enviable rank in the state as number 47 of 82, which is up from the last report of 44 of 82 counties.
Is that just beautiful economic progress?
Calling a foul on city of Meridian
To the editor:
Have you been driving down a Meridian street lately and literally run into a basketball game stopping the flow of traffic? Have you had to wait for a gathering of street players to determine when to stop obstructing the flow of traffic after the shot, after the game? Are the court sidelines your driveway and grass? Have you been taunted by street players who sneer and make gestures because you, the taxpaying driver of a vehicle brandishing an expensive city tag, interrupted a game on a Meridian street?
Have you run over a portable basketball goal jutting out on a Meridian street? Have you paid for damages done to your own car because a basketball goal has been left out on a city street? Have you called the Meridian Police Department and been told that street players have every right to have their bodies and basketball goals on the street? Have you been told by MPD that a policeman cannot issue a ticket for a basketball goal that has caused damage to your car?
Have you been told that the best thing you can do for the damages done to your vehicle is to file a suit in justice court?
If you can answer yes, or know someone who can, then you need to call your supervisor and Mayor John Robert Smith now. Meridian needs a city code that makes it illegal for people to place basketball goals on a city sidewalk or street. Driver safety must take precedence over street ball.
I am a taxpayer. I pay taxes to drive down paved, unobstructed streets, free of basketball goals and basketball players. I pay for city parks so people can play basketball, baseball, tennis and obscene rap music. I do not drive my car on city basketball courts, mud-bog on the city's soccer field, or do doughnuts on Meridian's Babe Ruth field.
Placing basketball goals on city streets infringes upon the rights of drivers utilizing city streets for the purpose for which they are constructed driving unhindered, without damage or insult, from point A to point B.
At a recent neighborhood watch meeting, I was told by a supervisor that on-the-street basketball goals are a growing problem to Meridian's citizens. Many senior citizens avoid the shortest route home because they are afraid of the people congregated in the street playing basketball. My elderly relative had to pay $2,500.00 to have her vehicle repaired after hitting a basketball goal situated on the street; she was afraid to pursue the owner of the goal (that team image was imprinted upon her mind, I guess).
In addition, I was compelled to have a "one-on-one" discussion with a very good neighbor. The goal has been moved, but, unfortunately, the good neighbor relationship is strained.
I call a foul on the city of Meridian. None of these situations would have occurred if the city had taken the initiative to slam dunk the problem. If our elected leaders refuse to pass an ordinance, then let's all choose election day to bounce this issue to the curb by putting our living room furniture on the city sidewalks and streets. We can get a better view of the game.
Under the influence of partisan politics
To the editor:
Carl Rove's Republican political master plan has now struck in Mississippi under the auspices of federal prosecutorial "tort reform," resulting in the political indictments of five Mississippians: three dedicated public servants, a dedicated mother and homemaker and a nationally acclaimed trial lawyer who does not have to bribe anyone to justly win for injured victims ask anyone who has sat as a juror in one of Biloxi attorney Paul Minor's cases.
The awful truth is that any Republican federal prosecutor, with the aid and complicity of the Justice Department under the influence of Mr. Rove, can convince a Grand Jury to indict ant eaters with smoke and mirrors, as they wish, when ever they wish, to further their corrupt political agenda of crushing those of us who dare to stand up for consumers, the victims of defective products and medical errors that maim and kill and so on.
Now, wouldn't it be only fair that the DOJ, Mr. Dunn Lampton, et al, turn their collective legerdemain against the true corrupters of our judicial system: Chip Reno (Stop Lawsuit Abuse), Dick Wilcox (Business and Industry Political Education Committee) the national Chamber of Commerce, and other similar politically motivated conspirators and clans for their money-driven jury tampering campaigns of false and malicious advertising in support of any judicial candidate who will and/or appears likely to do their bidding. This seems to be nothing less than a politically driven scheme to deprive the state of Mississippi and its citizens of their right to honest services.
No citizen, nor society, is safe under the Carl Rove agenda, so watch your back if you have the temerity to buck their juggernaut
Peter K. Smith
Rural Health Explorer program a great success
To the editor:
I would like to give a great big thumbs up to Meridian Community College, Dr. Scott Elliott, Dr. Richie McAllister, Irwin Skinner and Janet Kinard and the instructors who made the recent Rural Health Explorer program a great success.
It not only met the goals intended, but exceeded them. It was a wonderful educational experience, not only in the classroom but also visually and hands-in from all the once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences the students were exposed to.
I am sure many students have a better understanding and outlook on career goals from being a part of the rural health Explorers program. I know my son, Jon Parker, who was fortunate enough to have been selected for the program, does. A big thanks for preparing him for his future and college in such a positive way.
Did someone change the stop sign rules?
To the editor:
Has the rule of coming to a full stop at stop signs been changed? Every day that I pass certain intersections, but especially around 29th Avenue and 34th St., motorists will do a "California Roll" or just not stop at the stop signs.
I have had several motorists behind me blow their horn when I come to a full stop. At first I thought they were being rude, but I am finding that it is common in this area. This is one reason why there are so many auto accidents.
If people would abide by the traffic rules, be courteous, and slow down, the number of automobile accidents would surely decrease.