Letters to the Editor

Low voter turnout signals a critically ill city spirit
There are 24,932 registered voters in Tupelo. Of these, 5,851 voted, 19,081 did not. If the spirit of Tupelo is not dead, it is critically ill. This is not a new trend, nor is it just a Tupelo trend.
I cannot remember a time since 1951 that I have not voted in any election process. There have been times when I chose what I thought was the lesser of two evils, and learned after the election that I had made the wrong choice. I vote because I want to be a part of the decision making process. I vote because I want to be a responsible citizen. I vote because of the history of our country.
Our forefathers, the signers of the Declaration of Independence, committed their lives, their families, their possessions and their freedom to gain independence, because they had lived in subjection to others. Since that time, sons, husbands, fathers and more recently, daughters, wives and mothers have committed themselves to the cause of freedom. Some of my friends have been killed in combat. Some were captured and endured the horrors and uncertainty of life as prisoners of war. Some were wounded physically, and others suffered the emotional aftermath of horrors beyond our imagination.
It is hard for me to imagine a justifiable reason for an individual to be so careless or so casual about our individual rights and responsibilities, that one will choose not to vote. It is possible that 12 percent of the registered voters can elect the next mayor of Tupelo. One elected by such a small percentage will not have a mandate from the people, but can operate with the assumption that only a small number of those who suggest or criticize actually voted, so there is no need to listen to anyone.
Tupelo can return to her roots of the forties, fifties and sixties when there was the spirit of cooperation, concern and community pride by Tupelo-Lee County residents. Go vote! It is your privilege. It is your responsibility.
Ken Pickens
Tupelo

Deas’ service, action convinced one Tupeloan
The purpose of my letter is to explain why I am supporting our councilwoman-at-large, Doyce Deas, for mayor.
I bought a condo in Winwood Cove in Tupelo in 2001, and I have had problems with weeds and drainage since I moved into my condo. I contacted my council member, the mayor, the code enforcement department, the city planner and the supervisor of Public Works but got no results from anyone. I was completely flooded out and paid $1,000 out of my own pocket to install drains around my condo, but the water drainage problem is so great that they could not handle the problem. The weeds on the lot behind my backyard had rarely been mowed for seven years despite my calls for enforcement of the city code, and I suffered from mosquitos and other pests from the jungle behind my yard.
I called Doyce after I had exhausted all my other options and when I explained my problem, she assured me that she would be out that day to check on this. She came, and the next day the grass was mowed the first time in months.
She is the only one that responded to my problems, and I believe that she would listen to any citizen of Tupelo no matter their social standing or their wealth. The average person needs someone to listen and respond to their problems.
Doyce Deas will take time to listen and please.
Oline Simpson
Tupelo

Wildmons should consider a move to Afghanistan
Tim Wildmon and his lovely and talented wife Alison are in luck!
There is an easier solution to their Liberalville and Conservativeland idea. Rather than splitting our country in half, with liberals on one side and conservatives on the other, as he suggests, the conservatives can go to a land where they are presently enjoying their conservative traditions.
A land of no abortion, no drugs, no drunk driving, harsh sentences for any infractions (even first offenses) and no homosexuals allowed to exist, never mind marry!
This wonderful place would be heaven on earth for such conservatives as Mr. Wildmon, and I believe there are cheap plane tickets available, too.
So, if Mr. Wildmon and his lovely and talented wife Alison really want the freedom to live their conservative lifestyle, they should buy two tickets to Afghanistan or the Swat Valley as soon as possible. I read that those areas share the same conservative values as the Wildmons, and look what wonderful places they are!
Al Cutturini
Oxford

Landfill opponents remain active in Alcorn
The Alcorn County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing about expanding the Farmington Landfill by 3.2 acres on June 1 at 10 am in the Chancery Building. This expansion is in addition to the resolution approved by three members of the board in February to start a new landfill on Forrest School Road.
Again, we question the need for any landfills in Alcorn County. Twenty-six counties in Mississippi do not have a Class I rubbish and construction debris landfill. They contract with other counties or private landfills outside of their county to take their rubbish and construction debris.
The board has said the Farmington Landfill is nearing capacity and has stated that as its reason for opening a new site. Instead of destroying more beautiful property in Alcorn County, why not take this opportunity to get out of the landfill business and have the construction debris and rubbish disposed of like household garbage? Set up a recycling center at the transfer station and have the rubbish and construction debris placed in dumpsters for transfer to a landfill outside of Alcorn County. The income from the recycling could pay for the disposal costs and even if it didn’t, it would still be cheaper than opening and maintaining a landfill. This is a far more economical, less controversial option than opening another landfill in Alcorn County or expanding the one at Farmington.
Our community is continuing to fight the placement of a landfill on Forrest School Road through the courts and regulatory systems, spending our own money on attorney and court fees. Meanwhile, between February 2008 and March 2009, the Alcorn County taxpayer paid over $70,000 just in engineering costs related to the landfills and that amount will continue to grow.
As we’ve stated before, opening a landfill is extremely costly – and the real construction costs haven’t even begun yet.
Again, we ask the Board of Supervisors to look at this issue from the taxpayer and the environmental point of view.
Lisha Hinton Hopper
Corinth

Obama economics snatches wealth
The Obama administration seems to view the Constitution with contempt, as evidenced by its swashbuckling spending and takeover of major corporations, thereby negating the checks and balances of free enterprise and dismissing the fact that government non-interference is the cornerstone of a vigorous political economy.
By implementing unconstitutional monetary maneuvers to sidestep laws of supply and demand, President Obama will snatch wealth acquired through competitive capitalism from industrious Americans and place it in the idle hands of non-productive societal parasites content to waste away in the phony secular-progressive socialistic utopia envisioned by elitist leaders determined to dismantle the economic engine powering America’s global preeminence.

Jimmy Reed
Oxford

Exploring the good life without eating meat
The stark contrast between our frenzied reaction to unfamiliar hazards and our reckless tolerance of familiar ones never ceases to amaze me.
The current incidence of swine flu, which killed five Americans, has captured the headlines, cancelled public events, and closed dozens of schools. At the same time, we have blithely continued our consumption of meat and dairy products, which has been linked conclusively with elevated risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic diseases that kill 1.3 million Americans annually.
But it’s not just about chronic diseases. According to the United Nations, animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, leading to catastrophic floods, droughts, and sea level rises, which threaten human survival. It uses more fresh water and dumps more deadly wastes into our water supplies than all other human activities combined.
Each of us has a shared responsibility for our society’s health and welfare. The best time to exercise this responsibility is on our next trip to the supermarket, where we can explore the rich variety of meat-free and dairy-free ready-to-eat frozen dinners, veggie burgers and dogs, lunch “meats,” and plant-based cheese, ice cream, and milk. Helpful transition hints and recipes galore are available at www.tryveg.org and www.chooseveg.org.
Eli Palmieri
Tupelo

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