Thursday, October 13, 2005

Letters to the Editor

To the Editor:

I hasten to correct a bit of misstated history that was reported in Mrs. Swanee’s article in the September 28, 2005 issue of The South Reporter. In it she said that my predecessor, the Rev. Dr. Joseph Holt Ingraham, was found shot to death in Christ Church on Christmas Eve (1860). This tidbit of information is in error.

Without going into all the details, let me set the record straight by telling your readers that Father Ingraham accidentally shot himself in the sacristy of Christ Church on December 10, 1860. His daughter was with him at the time and there was nothing mysterious about the horrible accident.

He died eight days later (probably of an infection) on December 18, 1860 surrounded by his family and two bishops. Anyone interested in knowing the full story is welcome to call me at 252-6172.

The Rev. Bruce D. McMillan, Rector
Christ Episcopal Church
Holly Springs

Cayce says thanks:
Dear Editor,

The Cayce Fire Department wants to say thank you to Sheriff Kenny Dickerson and crew for the delicious food at our recent fish fry. We had a good turn-out and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

We also want to say thank you to each who supported us by buying the tickets and bringing the desserts.

Ruth VanLandingham

Gulf Coast dilemmas:
Dear Editor:

During the recent special legislative session, the Legislature and the Governor allowed Gulf Coast casinos to come on land, gave financial backing to SteelCorr, a manufacturing plant in Columbus, and provided financial assistance to small businesses, cities, counties, school districts and other political subdivisions that were damaged by Hurricane Katrina.  

The one group that was left out was those people whose homes were damaged or destroyed in the storm.  It wasn’t because those of us in the House didn’t try.

The House of Representatives passed a program that would have provided grants equal to the lesser of $25,000 or one-half of the damage to those who lost their homes.  But there were those who argued that we were premature and who wanted us to wait until the federal government acts, and the bill died.   

It has now been more than six weeks since the storm, and the federal government has yet to provide any assistance to homeowners. Worse, there is no prospect that they will.

Opponents also argued that our proposal was just a “drop in the bucket” of what was needed and wouldn’t be enough to help everybody. I suppose that if they saw a boat overturn in the reservoir and several people drowning, they would argue that we shouldn’t rescue anybody because we couldn’t rescue everybody.  

Imagine being a Gulf Coast homeowner after the storm. You have lost your home, your employment and all of your worldly possessions. You have a mortgage but no flood insurance. Your homeowner’s insurance company refuses to pay. Where do you go for help?

Already there are credible reports of people giving up, selling what’s left of their property to speculators, and moving away.  The House plan was designed to give those people hope – a chance to save their homes and rebuild their lives on the coast.

The people of Mississippi weren’t counseled to wait for the federal government to help casinos, small businesses and local government, but we were told to wait on Washington to help homeowners. It is advice we should have ignored. Whether in another special session or in the regular session in January, House Speaker McCoy and the House leadership are determined to find a way to help those who have lost their homes.  

Cecil Brown,
Chairman, Education Committee
House of Representatives
District 66
Phone 601-982-4123 (day);
601-362-8383 (night)
Fax 601-366-0013

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