Letters to the Editor

Rasberry would want all to step up and serve
On behalf of my family and myself, I want to express our gratitude for the coverage given to the passing of our patriarch, Red Rasberry. Joe Rutherford’s feature as well as the write-up in the Opinion section would have created the same genuine, heartfelt response that Red has expressed so many times to so many people, “Thanks to the good Lord and the fine people of Lee County,” his accomplishments and service would not have been realized.
I would like to echo the “call to service” that my father embraced with integrity and dedication. I am concerned that those following might believe that Red and many of his peers were a “special group” with skills that are hard to find today. Red would be the first to deny any “special” qualities or attributes. He would opt to encourage all of us to step up, contribute and serve, making Lee County and each and every citizen “special.”
I will conclude this acknowledgment by signing off as Red did so many times with so many people, “Bless your heart,” to the Daily Journal, the good Lord and the fine people of Lee County.
John Rasberry Jr.
Letter writer misstated Rosemond’s credentials
In his May 31 letter concerning my column on nutritional therapies for ADHD, Dr. Thomas Witty succeeds at being insulting, but he has his facts all wrong.
First, I am not a family counselor. I am a psychologist, licensed by the North Carolina Psychology Board (since 1979) to practice psychology. In North Carolina, persons holding a master’s degree, assuming they meet certain academic and experiential requirements, qualify for licensure and are legally able to use the term “psychologist.” Dr. Witty ought to check his facts before implying that I am not qualified.
Furthermore, as regards ADHD, I have co-authored a book on the subject with a behavioral/developmental pediatrician in which we discuss the efficacy of nutritional approaches to treatment. Without going into detail, Dr. Witty is mistaken on this count as well. Numerous parent testimonials to the effect that nutritional manipulation has brought about significant improvement in behavior and attention span cannot be discounted.
Lastly, every column I write, including the one in question, is reviewed by a Ph.D. psychologist and a pediatrician. I do not publish without their approval. I am due an apology for Dr. Witty’s lapse of professionalism (the ethical standards of our profession call for him to contact me if he feels I am misrepresenting myself), but I won’t hold my breath.
John K. Rosemond
Psychologist, columnist, author, speaker
Gastonia, N.C.

New Beginnings does its best in every case
In the mid-1980s Debbie and I adopted two baby girls from South Korea. They are now adults and Debbie and I have become grandparents. After many years of child welfare work in various settings, I joined New Beginnings as the President in 2002. In 2003 we made the decision to develop international adoption programs so that other children could find safe and loving homes…just as our daughters found with us.
While it seems that cases involving adoption often make the news, child abuse or neglect for any child, whether adopted or biological and whether it occurs in public or private situations, is tragic and deplorable.
We have provided safe and loving homes to over 500 children, provided help in crisis situations to birthmothers at the Erwin Maternity Care Center, and provided other adoption services to families throughout Mississippi.
New Beginnings remains committed to providing quality, professional adoption and home study services to the birthmothers and families of Mississippi. While, the average reader of the Daily Journal may have a false perception that certain portions of our work are optional, that perception is just that – false. International home studies include criminal background and child abuse registry checks, FBI fingerprinting, home visits that include viewing every accessible area, reference checks and several hours of intense interviews. Workers are instructed to complete a thorough checklist. I am proud of the work they do in sensitive circumstances.
The home study process, no matter how thorough, conscientious and accurate, covers only a space in time, and unfortunately, there is no investigative process that is perfect.
Sometimes our confidentiality guidelines are misunderstood or unappreciated, but they are necessary and required of licensed and accredited agencies. Nothing hinders us from doing our best for every case and every child.
New Beginnings has an excellent and well-trained team of social work service providers. Our workers are required (Hague guidelines) to have a minimum of 30 hours of adoption-related training every two years, in addition to their other social work training.
Adoption agencies work at various levels in each adoption case. International adoptions are especially complex and often involve more than one adoption agency, as well as facilitators, attorneys, government entities and others. International adoption agencies typically work in specific countries. The “top” agency in each case is usually referred to as the “Primary Provider.” The Primary Providers handle the entire process of adoption, and “hold the adoptive applicant’s hand” through the entire process. New Beginnings is a Primary Provider in Poland, Nepal and the Ukraine and has never been a Primary Provider in any other country, including Guatemala.
Tom Velie, LMSW
New Beginnings International Children’s and Family Services

Thanks, Tupelo, for being there all these years
Years ago me and my songwriting partner Billy Maddox made a decision to start our own small record label, Perpetual Obscurity Records. This idea came into existence after I was dropped by a larger record company that wasn’t interested in developing an artist over time.
If a singer didn’t have a hit song right out of the box they would withdraw all of their promotional money and move on to the next poor sucker. I felt pretty crushed when my dream was shattered by a letter telling me that I was no longer a part of the so called “A&M” records family.
And so began my journey touring the country playing in small clubs, or opening for bigger acts in an effort to build an audience one fan at a time. The road I chose wasn’t paved with nationwide radio airplay, lots of TV exposure, and more than likely no Grammy awards. If I wanted to sing my own songs I had to walk alone. Over time and with the help of a strong support group we have developed a very loyal following that I appreciate and love more than words can say.
Back when I worked at PeopLoungers I never dreamed that I would someday get to do things like headline the Elvis Presley Festival. When Mayor Reed gave me the key to the city it felt better to me than any Grammy I could have ever won, because I did it on my own terms.
Now that I am co-president of a moderately successful independent record label, I have been approached a few times to sell out to a larger company but I didn’t do it because I want to steer my own ship and at the end of the day be proud of my work. I just couldn’t hold my head up singing songs that don’t have any real meaning to me. When you sell out, you lose control of everything.
After my performance Saturday night, my father pulled me to the side and said the most validating thing anyone has ever said to me. He said, “Son, I really liked what you had to say.”
His words made me feel like I had won two keys to the city in one night.
So thanks to all the people of Tupelo for supporting me down through the years, and thanks to my beautiful wife Heather for all of her incredible strength and love.
Also in closing, I would like to give a big shout out to the Daily Journal for giving me years and years of coverage.

God bless you all,
Paul Thorn

NEMS Daily Journal

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