January 27, 2011
I listened to several people reminiscing over the weekend about their fond memories of a vibrant downtown Holly Springs.
Their thoughts were stirred by the loss of a downtown icon. Graham Miller died Friday at the age of 88. His funeral service was held Sunday afternoon at First Presbyterian Church.
Close to Nowhere
Vertigo and Mr. Miller
• I’ve had an inner ear infection before, many years ago, so I realized what it was when I woke last Friday morning and the entire bedroom was spinning around.
Since there was snow on the ground again, and my doctor drives from Memphis, Tenn., she wasn’t in the office Friday. I probably wouldn’t have gone anyway, but at least, I did think about it!
The Preacher’s Corner
Remembering one of Holly Springs’ characters
Mark Miller put it well last Thursday when he remarked that not many men get to choose their children, but he added with some satisfaction, “Daddy chose us.”
We said good-bye to Graham Miller, Mark’s dad, in a heartfelt gathering at our church on Sunday afternoon. It seemed as if the whole town attended, but Graham was such a positive, good-natured man that, of course, people would want to honor his memory.
Letters To The Editor
Luring industry to MS:
According to a report in the 13 January issue of The South Reporter, Mississippi is about to get a new manufacturing plant which will hire 1,000 workers at an average annual salary of $43,000. That sounds like very good news, and Mississippi can use all the good news (and all the industry) it can get.
Providing industry with an attractive business environment should be a primary goal of government. The only question is how we attract industry. The Tax Foundation lists states by business climate. Mississippi is ranked number 21. That’s not bad, but it could be better. South Dakota is ranked number one, the most business-friendly state in the nation. Alaska is number two. California is ranked 49th, and dead last is New York at number 50.
There is a reason why it costs almost twice as much to rent a U-Haul truck for a trip from San Francisco to Houston as it does to go the other way. People — and businesses — are leaving California and New York, and all the other states with unfriendly business climates. If we want to attract business, we need to challenge South Dakota for that number one business-friendly ranking.
How do we attract business? Well, our 21st ranking isn’t bad, but it puts us in the middle of the pack. To make ourselves more attractive than all the other middle packers, we offer incentives to locate here. We help with land and plant construction, offer temporary tax incentives, and sometimes we actually lend money or provide subsidies. That sort of activity is unfair to businesses already here who have to compete without government help. It can also attract businesses which could not make it on their own. Perhaps the worst consequence of temporary tax relief is that it provides an incentive to move elsewhere when the relief period ends and another state makes an offer. Making Mississippi the best place in the U.S. to do business will attract industry here, and will keep it here. How did we get the plant mentioned in the 13 January article?
The new plant owner is Stion, a solar panel manufacturer. According to the newspaper report, it will invest $500 million in Mississippi; 15 percent, or $75 million, of that sum, however, will be covered by a loan from us, Mississippi’s taxpayers.
This would not be the best way to attract any industry to Mississippi, but it is a particularly bad idea to use this method to attract “green” industries, which are rather risky investments.
China is a stiff competitor for cost, and sales often depend on government subsidies to make them competitive with other energy sources.
Evergreen Solar is another manufacturer of solar panels. Its Massachusetts plant was paid for in part by $58 million in state subsidies. Unable to compete, the company last year shifted some of its manufacturing to China. It has now announced its intention to close the Massachusetts plant and lay off its 800 workers.
Perhaps Stion will be more successful. Perhaps not.
Very truly yours,
HSUD workers saved life:
I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to two Holly Springs Utility Department linemen, who saved my life on Monday, January 24.
The two linemen, Steve Johnson and Bernard Byers, were in my store buying work boots, when I started choking.
My sales clerk was frantic and I had almost lost consciousness. I was out of breath for probably two minutes and was on the verge of passing out. It was critical!
The two workers performed the Heimlich manuever and saved my life.
I cannot thank them enough!
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