Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for Dec. 2, 2018

A poor choice to protest

I read about the “poor people” organization from out of state that planned to protest President Trump’s rally at the Coliseum on Nov. 26. I can understand if they don’t want to vote for a female candidate, but I do not understand why they would protest the one responsible improving the lives of poor people. More people have jobs now than before; workers now have money to spend for Christmas. Even the price of gasoline is lower. Our economy is doing great and I feel that our country is safer.

Bill Esterly


Outfalls, no matter how they look, are a bad idea

Over two years ago I wrote a Letter to the Editor concerning these 300 outfalls filling the Gulf with storm drainage from streets and yards along the Coast. That drainage includes lawn chemicals and street dirt including oil and trash and dog and cat excrement. Numerous beach advisories indicating it is not safe to swim are posted often. The culprit: 300 outfalls.

BP is committed to supporting economic and environmental efforts in the Gulf of Mexico, and that goes back to 2012. One of the priorities identified in public meetings was how to use BP settlement money to improve our water quality. About $1.4 billion (yes, I said “billion”) was allocated to Mississippi set up under the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (RESTORE) through BP funds (www.restorethegulf.gov). Now, when I go back to this website, that document with my dollar information (I never quote numbers unless I have documentation) is no longer on this website. Yet, I’m reading about a vote last August concerning the $750 million for economic damages and 75 percent should be spent along our Gulf Coast for decorating these outfalls.

Without benefit of water quality infrastructure — by this I mean we need to first build pumping stations in sewage collection systems called lift stations and stop letting drainage go into the Gulf through the outfalls — making these outfalls look esthetically pleasing to the tourist industry is a waste of money. Let’s tell our elected officials to stop trying to cover up a bad idea.

Liz Serpa



So, all those dire predictions of climate change are coming true, costing the U.S. $400 billion since 2015. The lower 48 states have warmed 1.8 degrees since 1900, with 1.2 of them in the last few decades. Virtually all climate scientists agree, based on copious evidence, but still Trump disagrees, based on ... what? His totally unsupported opinion?

First he denies Russian involvement in the election campaign, contrary to all U.S. intelligence findings. Then he denies the Saudi prince role in a murder, contrary to CIA findings.

There’s a trend here. He puts his opinion ahead of, not just that of the experts, but, in the case of climate change, ahead of the scientific data that those opinions are based on. In fact, it isn’t really an opinion at all. It is a conclusion based on scientific evidence. To deny it is asinine, especially now that it is being demonstrated.

This “Don’t bother me with facts, my opinion rules” attitude could cause bigger problems, still.

What if the intelligence services warn that another 9-11 attack is imminent. Will Trump believe it?

Bruce Emerick


‘Diversity’ story was not balanced news

As I read the AP article on “Dem contrasts ‘diversity’ with GOP senator in Mississippi” by Emily Wagster Pettus included in your online edition, I was astounded at the bias in the article. The failure of the article to address the issues surrounding Mike Epsy (his indictments, his admission of taking gifts, and his lobbying for an African despot who is under his own investigations for wars crimes) was shocking.

By headlining diversity, the misleading article permitted this journalist to obfuscate the huge issues surrounding the Democratic candidate. By the Sun Herald’s publishing of it, the paper abdicated its responsibility to carry balanced news.

Omission is bias, too. This is how the media is playing the game. It erodes the credibility of the press. The Sun Herald is participating in the dumbing down of Mississippi. Educate, do not obfuscate.

Belinda Serata

Ocean Springs

End of fake news

“Fake news” is going away.

Have you noticed that President Trump now only rarely uses his favorite expression by calling news fake.

Perhaps the whipping he took in the recent U.S. House of Representatives national elections convinced him that labeling news reports he did not like as fake is not a winning strategy?

Or, maybe the elections taught him that denying the truth does not change the fact?

Or, maybe he knows that reality is that which when you stop believing it does not go away?

I wish someone would ask him why, now, news is no longer fake.

Charles A. Boggs

Long Beach

Discrimination at the polls in Harrison County

Let me tell you about the failure by Harrison County to make voting accessible for those who use wheelchairs. Notice how all the polling booths were counter height? Supposedly each voting area has an ADA compliant voting machine. However, the ones that were available on this last election were counter height.

This is a clear violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The poll workers did their best to accommodate wheelchair users but that is not their issue. Simply putting a table-height booth, lowering the booth’s legs or having a private area so that a wheelchair user has the same access to privacy as all other voters is an easy fix that Harrison County failed to do.

Since when is standing a requirement for voting privately in Harrison County?

Nicole Tapia


A wish for an end to HIV

The first World AIDS Day was 30 years ago. Many of us had bigger hair and smaller waists. In Mississippi, we thought little of HIV because it was not about us — it was a big city, gay man’s disease. HIV knows no boundaries — not racist, sexist or classist. About 700,000 people have died to date in the U.S. There seemed to be no way to stop the virus. Thirty years later and many are working to meet the challenges of HIV in a state with poor access to care, stigma and extreme poverty. Mississippi is seventh in the rate of new infections in the U.S.

There is good news. Medications are so much better than in the early days. “Undetectable” is a wonderful word that is giving people living with HIV a new lease on life. PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) provides protection to those living at high risk of acquiring HIV.

What can you do? Get tested regularly — it’s free for goodness’ sake! Educate yourself and support local prevention efforts. Talk to your children early about how they can protect themselves.

My early Christmas wish on this vigil ... that HIV is ended in the near future. It can happen, we just have to add our hands and feet and voices to our wishes. I post this in memory of Marshall, Betty, Patrick, Mike, Earnest, Edward, Kenny, Edwin, John, Veronica, Dennis, Thomas, Sandra, Willie and Kyle and others unknown to us.

Kathryn Garner