Sept. 21, 2003
Boswell right to oppose budget
To the editor:
I congratulate District 5 Supervisor Ray Boswell for having the good sense not to vote for Lauderdale County's 2004 budget. I never truly thought that he would vote for it in the first place. But as for the other four county leaders, I say shame on you. How can you raise taxes on everyday people who don't use the swampy baseball park or the multi-million dollar horse barn?
I don't believe that very many of these same people will use the MSU theater that we have already spent, what, $3 million on? They raise our taxes and then ask us to build yet another industrial park. Why? Here is an idea that I am sure they have thought of: How about putting an infrastructure to the industrial parks we already have.
Each and every one of the supervisors have said they want to bring jobs here, or that is what they said during their campaigns. Now that they have gotten past their primaries, for some, they now live a little on the wild side.
But for those who still have opponents in the Nov. 4 elections, watch out. We the people will be watching and voting. Even if you have a somewhat unlikely opponent you could find yourself out of a job. If not this time then in four years you can lie to us again. And then we get to go through the same process all over again.
But please be mindful of what is going on in the city of Meridian the more lies, the more taxes the less and less the population.
W. David Hackney
A surefire fix for Social Security
To the editor:
I think it is time to put our senators and congressmen on Social Security when they retire and get rid of the gravy train they invented for themselves. Wonder how long it would take them to fix the Social Security system then?
Little: Other opinions
To the editor:
In response to a letter ("Little's only agenda is helping schools" The Meridian Star, Aug. 17) there are also other opinions as to the "care" Mr. Little has for all students, not just Lauderdale County students.
On Dec. 16, 2002, my son was playing soccer for Meridian High in a game against West Lauderdale High School. His leg was broken and he was removed from West Lauderdale High School by ambulance and subsequently received two surgeries and one more upcoming as a result of the injury. Our family was surprised that neither the coaches (Bud Brown and Joey Rogers) nor the athletic director (Jerry Boatner) nor the principal (Michael Ethridge) of West Lauderdale ever even called me or Meridian High to check on my son's condition.
My family was extremely insulted by this and wrote a letter to Mr. Little, as we felt he would not like this to be a reflection of his school system. We thought he would find this to be in poor taste as well as bad sportsmanship. However, to our amazement, he never responded in any way. How could it be perceived by anyone that he cares for "all" students with such lack of concern for one.
U.S. soldiers doing great work
To the editor:
I have been seen serving in Iraq for over five months now as a soldier in the second Battalion of the 503rd Airborne Infantry Regiment, otherwise known as the "Rock." We entered the country at midnight on 26 March. One thousand of my fellow soldiers and I parachuted from 10 jumbo jets (known as C17s) onto a cold, muddy fields in Bashur, Northern Iraq. This parachute operation was the U.S. Army's only combat jump of the war and opened up the northern front.
Things have changed tremendously for our battalions since those first cold, wet weeks spent in the mountain city of Bashur. On April 10, our battalion conducted an attack south into the oil rich town of Kirkuk, the city that has since become our home away from home and the focus of our security and development efforts.
Kirkuk is a hot and dusty city of just over a million people. The majority of the city has welcomed our presence with open arms. After nearly five months here, the people still come running from their homes, into the 110-degree-heat, waving to us as our troops drive by on daily patrols of the city. Children smile and run up to shake hands and in their broken English shouting, "Thank you, Mister."
The people of Kirkuk are all trying to find their way in this new democratic environment. Some major steps have been made in these last three months. A big reason for our steady progress is that our soldiers are living among the people of the city and getting to know their neighbors and the needs of their neighborhoods.
We have also been instrumental in building a new police force. Kirkuk now has 1,700 police officers. The police are now, ethnically, a fair representation of the community as a whole. So far, we have spent over $500,000 from the former Iraqi regime to repair each of the stations' electricity and plumbing, to paint each station and to make it a functional place for the police to work.
The battalion has also assisted in re-establishing Kirkuk's fire department, which is now even more effective than before the war. New water treatment and sewage plans are being constructed and the distribution of oil and gas are steadily improving. All of these functions were started by our soldiers here in this northern city and are now slowly being turned over to the newly elected city government. Laws are being rewritten to reflect democratic principals and a functioning judicial system was recently established to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the rule of law. The quality of life and security for the citizens has been largely restored and we are a large part of why that has happened.
The fruits of all our soldiers' efforts are clearly visible in the streets of Kirkuk today. There is very little trash in the streets, many more people in the markets and shops, and children have returned to school.
This is all evidence that the work we are doing as a battalion and as American soldiers is bettering the lives of Kirkuk's citizens. I am proud of the work we are doing here in Iraq and I hope all of your readers are as well.
SSG Ronald Spear
Battle Co. Second BN (ABN), 503D INF
To the editor:
Whoever writes Gov. Musgrove's campaign ads should get an "A" in creative writing.
Ricky Cole should be wondering why Musgrove would disassociate himself from his party label and labeling himself as a "conservative" hardly embraces some of the party's biggest donors.
It seems to me that Gov. Musgrove is running away from the very folks who brought him to the dance, and he may find himself with an empty dance card on Nov. 4.
While I admire the amount of humor Gov. Musgrove has brought to the Mississippi political scene, I hardly find him worthy of a second term. Maybe he should try a career in stand-up comedy.