Thursday, September 27, 2007
Letters to the Editor
Thanks to you!:
On behalf of Strawberry Plains Audubon Center staff and members of our Stewardship Board, I would like to thank all the volunteers, business sponsors, supporters and event attendees for your support and commitment to our annual Hummingbird Migration Celebration.
Your time and hard work, your talent, donations, on-going funding and support of our work and conservation education mission is extremely valuable. Without your help we could not have been successful and together we accomplished an outstanding Hummingbird Migration Celebration event.
Our weekend festival numbers were excellent, even with the much needed rain; the event drew 8,000 visitors, including 750 school children on Thursday.
Bob Sargent, our official hummingbird bander, banded a record 269 birds, stating that this year’s birds were “very healthy looking and fat.” What a fine compliment to Mother Nature and the birds. Our event and its visitors made a significant impact to our community businesses as well.
We learned that many in-town restaurants experienced an influx of customers -- some for all three days; and that the local hotels in the city were pretty well “booked” for the weekend.
Our local hardware store vendor, selling beautifully hand crafted knives, was surprised to do so well at the nature trade show. Many other businesses related the benefits they received from our nature travelers as well.
It is hard to imagine that the excitement and pleasure of people watching tiny hummingbirds in nature can deliver this impact to our center, local businesses and our communities.
Thanks to all of you for helping. It was you who helped make this successful and we are very grateful.
I, as coordinator to the Concerned Citizens Coalition of Marshall County, talked with many of the core members (parents, teachers, retired educators, informed citizens and clergy) of the organization for a reaction to the four letters to the editor in the Sept. 13 and Sept. 20 issues of The South Reporter. I have been asked to respond to these letters.
Ninety percent of the core group agreed with Buck’s letter of September 13. Someone needed to say what Buck said, for it was all true but most people refuse to get involved. Mr. Buck has demonstrated through his work, leadership of the district, through personal involvement (meeting with leadership, starting the school mentoring program with forty black men of Marshall County and led financial support for children who have difficulty in getting proper uniforms, etc.). None of the critics have spent as much physical and counseling action time as Kelvin Buck. He was best qualified to write such a letter.
Two members thought that a call for resignation was somewhat strong.
The group read Judy Smith’s letter and thought it was talking about a district that is not in Kelvin Buck’s area. Kelvin Buck has three districts in his area and two of them are listed by the State Department as Level #3 (Benton and Marshall). Apparently Mrs. Smith was somewhat confused, but her statistics were good.
The group reviewed the well-written letter of Thelbert Lesure. We concluded that Mr. Lesure is one who preaches but does not live his sermons. My investigation indicates that Mr. Lesure has never been to the schools to offer his help (as Mr. Buck has ), “what you do speaks so loud, we ignore what you say.” A check with the State Legislature tells us that Mr. Buck is one of the young, progressive legislators who is respected by his colleagues. He has kept his constituency better informed of legislative issues than any other elected official in the past and in the present.
Most elected officials come at election time only. His participation in churches, organizations, schools and community activities is second to none. It was assumed that Mr. Lesure has not kept up with legislative leadership and support initiated and supported by Mr. Buck. A few include “full funding of education; work with elected officials in bringing $5 million in bonds and grants to District #5; putting thousands of poor blacks on Medicaid; chaired subcommittee on colleges and universities; gave leadership in getting unemployment benefits raised; fought to pass Justice Reform Act of 2005; and fought to add a third Circuit Court in North Mississippi. The group assumed that Mr. Lesure would not want to see a person like Mr. Buck leave the State Legislature if he actually knew the facts.
The group read with care the letter from Mr. J.R. Dunworth and rated it as a political article for his campaign as a Republican candidate against Kelvin Buck for Representative of District #5.
His argument is for private schools and the voucher system. Most members of our committee were not interested in school vouchers nor private schools. The concerned citizens concur with Mr. Dunworth that poor discipline and the absence of moral training are a detriment to the learning process whether in public or private schools.
W.A. McMillan Sr.
Response to letter:
While riding home, I was listening to my favorite radio station. The talk show host was discussing a topic that he had been talking about for some weeks now. The topic was about the Jena 6 case in Jena, Louisiana.
As we know, the case was about the injustice of the six young black students in the town. They were arrested, charged and convicted of several crimes that never should have been brought forth. As a result of this broadcast, a march and a call for people to fight for the rights of these six black young men went out.
The call was heard by 20-50,000 people strong, black and white alike. We know what it looked like but we are not concerned about the racial connotation and implication that we see.
It is a call for justice for our children all over this country. We all need to make a stand. State Rep. Kelvin Buck wrote a letter to the editor voicing his concerns for the injustice that our children are receiving within the school system.
I am writing as a native of Holly Springs. Even though I reside in another city my heart is still in Holly Springs. I often read our hometown newspaper either by Internet or a purchased copy. I was invited to attend the Men’s Breakfast in Holly Springs which I found to be very interesting. The most interesting thing that I found out is that none of the community leaders or so-called leaders attended.
We cannot solve any of our problems unless the community gets involved. Our educational system is broken. We need the right people in place to fix the problem. This problem cannot be solved by one person or one group of people. It is going to take a collective effort from everyone.
We have lost sight of the whole purpose. Instead of arguing or disagreeing with each other back and forth in the newspaper, we should all sit down and find a real solution to a real problem.
From the mayor’s office to the youngest child there should be a solution amongst all of us.
This is not about the mayor, the senator, past superintendent nor the present superintendent. This is not about one child or another, this is about all of our children; black, white, rich, or poor. This problem is affecting all of them.
So, if there is to be any blame to be laid, we all should take part in the blame. When our children look at the way we adults are bickering back and forth with each other, they are probably wondering how can they be asked to do certain things when the adults don’t even have their stuff together.
If we are to solve these problems I suggest that we all look within ourselves to figure out what it is that I can do to help our children reach their full potential. Accountability comes with responsibility, and if we are to be responsible for the well being of our children, we should be held accountable for them also.
The most important thing right now is the education of our children. When I go back to the beginning of this letter where I talked about the talk show host rallying 20-50,000 people in the city of Jena, Louisiana for an injustice that was done to six young men, then I wonder, have we heard the cries for the rest of our children?
We should be able to bring together this city, this state, this country, this nation like never before to solve a problem that we have all created. We should be able to load buses, planes, trains, whatever it takes to get to Washington, D.C. so that the president (George Bush) understands that our children are in a terrible situation.
The “No Child Left Behind Act” that our president created has not yet produced any results. Nor will it ever until he decides to invest the kind of money into our children that he has invested into this war. When you think about the “No Child Left Behind Act” can we honestly say that our children never got picked up?
As a parent and as a nation we should want more; no, we should demand more from this government. It is time to let this nation know that enough is enough and we’re not going to settle for anything less when it comes to our children.
If we are not careful we are going to lose a generation of children. It’s not a matter of black or white; it’s a matter of right or wrong and children are being wronged.
Our voices need to be heard from Holly Springs to Washington, D.C., so if you think that any one person is more important than this fight for children’s education, then you are in the wrong fight.
If we care anything about our children (which they are all our children), then we must fight to protect each and every one. As a community we must find a solution. So I challenge each and every one to get your weapon for the war on education for our children. Remember the fight will be long and hard but remember Rome was not built in a day. Our intention is to leave no child behind. We must, we will, we shall make a change.
As a concerned citizen,
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