Letters to the editor Tuesday

Not all crimes are committed by poor people


Tom Barton’s Viewpoint column on July 23, “Violent Crime and ‘Lost Boys of Savannah’” makes a good point of the effects of environment on young children. It seems to align with the recurring photos of black males as major perpetrators of crime, especially as he recounts the current status of the three boys in the photo.

I appreciate his support of the Savannah Classical Academy as a refuge and better educational opportunity.

The July 23 column by Norman Flojo contains intriguing information about a growing coalition of churches who seemed to have decreased violent crime and gang activity.

When I ponder Flojo’s statement of gang members being “the most intelligent and creative and magnificent and wise people,” I believe it (not necessarily the “wise” part) — those skills that enabled them to carry out their illegal plans could certainly have been turned to more positive activities.

Both articles, located in Section A of the Sunday paper, focus on violence or its prevention, but another alleged crime appears in Section B that, to me, is just as horrendous: it impacts the financial security of our citizens.

Two smiling faces of men dressed in suits in your article, “J.T. Turner Bankruptcy Case Complete,” speak of a possible crime in connection with the violently misused funds of “homeowners who claimed they paid Turner hundreds of thousands of dollars in good faith.” A list of creditors displays “substantial amounts owed” by this now bankrupt company. Hmm.

Where is the picture from his youth of the alleged major perpetrator?

Was there something in his environment that caused him to allegedly prey on others, to lie and to steal?

My point is this: not all who come from poor, crime-ridden neighborhoods end up in gangs; some become productive citizens.

And not all who come from suitable neighborhoods automatically turn into productive citizens. Crime has been reported in the Southside as well as in the inner city. Our outrage should be against all crimes.

Education and mentoring is part of the solution but caring churches provide an important aspect of offering the message that hearts can be changed.




Churches should come together to fight crime

Many thanks to both Tom Barton and Norman Flojo for their Sunday commentaries on the need to “have the backs” of Savannah’s lost youths. I was especially impressed by the admirable effort of Boston’s religious and civil populations, over many years, in understanding and combating crime in their city.

Surely many of the churches in Savannah could come together in a grass roots effort to organize a similar, proactive program? The Rev. Brown who spearheaded the Boston initiative has indicated willingness to travel to Savannah to train local clergymen. Who will come forward to accept his helping hand?

Let’s begin to help our next generation of “Lost Boys” discover healthier and happier alternatives to life on the streets.




Character-building starts at birth

Is the core issue yanking kids out of awful environments or is it how and why are these kids in these awful environments from the start of their life? A child’s life and character begins prior to birth and continues to be impacted everyday afterwards. Perhaps it’s time to develop responsibility for children at the beginning rather than attempting to wait until the need to remove them from an inappropriate environment. Efforts might be better placed dealing with the causes rather than the effects.

Past actions are unacceptable and must be changed. At least we have Savannah Classical Academy. Hopefully they can develop a character building spin off for Day One of a child’s life.




No tax breaks for the rich

We should oppose any plan to give huge tax breaks to wealthy corporations by cutting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, education, social and environmental services (including the Environmental Protection Agency), and emergency services.

The currently proposed congressional tax cuts would be given to the richest 1 percent. This includes the carbon-polluting oil and gas companies whom the President promised greater coastal drilling rights. According to the group CREDO, they already owe the government $750 billion. Instead, we need real tax reform making them pay their fair share.

Our electoral finance system that recently allowed unlimited millions to be given toward the election of a reactionary administration and a similar congressional majority bears a large responsibility for the inflexible attitude of many of these lawmakers who appear committed to the traditional theory that corporations should be viewed as live people.

If the Congressional majority were freed from obligations to corporate profiteers and actually listened to an un-gerrymandered electorate we could have real tax reform. This would mean that everyone would pay their fair share for the task of repairing and creating more varied transportation systems, educating at all levels, medical research, strengthening Social Security, social services and either expanding both Medicare and Medicaid — or possibly creating a universal single-payer health system.




Georgia needs new insurance commissioner

As a retired health care professional, I am glad that an advocate for the consumer has announced that she will be running for Georgia Insurance Commissioner. This is a major development that has not been covered adequately by the media.

Although I am a Republican, I know Cindy Zeldin, a Democrat. She cares about having superior healthcare for all Georgians. Georgia sorely needs someone that will really side with its citizens versus special interest groups.

Amazingly, a significant proportion of Georgians remain clueless when it comes to Obamacare and Medicaid itself. First, 90 percent of Medicaid costs are paid for by the Feds. Blue states like California and New York have expanded their Medicaid programs while we have not.

Our tax money is going there; why not use it here?

Secondly, the people currently covered by the Medicaid expansion are the working poor, not lazy good for nothings. As a County Commissioner in Jasper County, I found that Tea Party types were very critical of social programs…. until they had to use them.


Peachtree City