Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for Jan. 6, 2019

Veterans lose – again

Phase one of the massive fee increase at the Armed Forces Retirement Homes went into effect Jan. 1. The men and women veteran residents of the homes — in Gulfport and D.C. — have been fighting since April to get the new fee structure grandfathered.

Facts and figures show that:

▪  The AFRH will lose more revenue from the 120-plus veterans financially forced out (with more leaving weekly), than will be made from the increases.

▪  The new fee structure will prevent residents from planning their budgets as fees will rise and fall drastically every year.

▪  Any increase in outside revenue will have no impact on resident fees.

▪  The 60 percent of gross income cap for Independent Living residents is not practical.

The Congressional directed phase-in only delays the inevitable. Congress’ mandate that no resident shall be required to move due to inability to pay the increase means nothing. AFRH’s position is that ALL residents have the ability to pay their assessed fee (by excluding existing debts).

Congressional reps believe the fantasy figures from the AFRH rather than investigate or even look at the figures from the homes’ residents. One representative’s staff member asked: Why should they assist residents with pre-existing debts when there are residents giving up their cars and other items in order to remain at the home? A better question is: Why are our representatives allowing veterans to be forced to give up their cars and other items to remain at the home?

Robert Guenther


The truth about AFRH

I’m disappointed that the Sun Herald did not fact-check all of its reported top stories of 2018 before printing them with pictures in a 5-column, above the fold, front-page story. Your caption that “Armed Forces Retirement Home residents forced to move out after rent increase” is incorrect.

No resident has ever been asked to leave this home because they could not afford to pay their rent. Our rent is based on a maximum percentage of our total income for each level of care, not the amount of money we have left over after we have paid for all our “wants.”

Those who have moved out of our Home (I am a resident) have done so by choice … their choice. This is a life-care facility and I thank God every day that I will never be asked to leave because of inability to pay the maximum charge for any level of care I may require. I will always be able to afford to live here, because I am willing to pay my fair share of a well-documented ability to pay fee schedule.

Kenneth C. Henry

Armed Forces Retirement Home, Gulfport

Yes to medical marijuana

Harold Dawley’s letter (Dec. 16: “Medical marijuana and you”) hits the nail on the head. If we want better means to control certain medical diseases, we need to vote to approve the use of this life-saving drug. Some think that it is a gateway drug. It is not. If we can approve the sale of alcohol, we should approve the use of this lifesaver. Vote yes, if our government gives us a chance to vote on its use. Let’s be a leader and not a follower.

Norman R. Parker


Here’s a better idea

Rep. Steven Palazzo’s plan to introduce legislation to sell “Border Bonds” is a waste of time and is doomed to fail primarily because bonds must be repaid with interest to the investor and Congress will not agree to this. A much better plan would be for Rep. Palazzo to use an existing “Crowdsourcing” application that would allow true wall-loving patriots and corporations to give tax-free donations for this construction.

Based upon the amount donated each participant could receive a photograph of his or her section of the wall. Donate more and and have your name or logo tastefully engraved on your section. Donate more and receive a miniature replica of your section.

The border economy would benefit for generations from participants and their descendants taking vacations to see their sections, and hundreds of artists would be needed to create the replicas. The south side of each participant’s section would belong to the participant and could be sold for advertising space — generating a continuing revenue stream into perpetuity.

Britton Cagle


Do not change the name of McCain Library

I was stunned to read of the group that wants to change the name of the McCain Library at The University of Southern Mississippi, to Kennard, citing Clyde Kennard as the one who was denied admittance because of his race, under the presidency of Dr. William McCain.

What this group fails to recognize is Dr. McCain was a scholar. Before his appointment at USM, he was director of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, and a five-star general. He contributed numerous articles to journals, and was very supportive of library and overall campus improvements. Many new buildings went up during his time at USM.

While Dr. McCain did have his faults, those have been chronicled in The Journal of Mississippi History. His accomplishments outweigh his weaknesses.

When I was a student in the School of Library Science, in 1976, our Cataloging class met in the Cook Library, across the courtyard from where the new library was under construction. We had to shout over the noise of the work, but were patient, knowing it would result in what would become one of the major special collections libraries to be found.

Most university buildings I am aware of are named after leaders.

Please do not change the name of the McCain Library. The idea to do so is another example of how political correctness has gotten way out of control.

Stanley Hastings


A gift for the recreational fishing community

Our United States Congress recently took a historic step by passing the first-ever sportfishing-focused legislation in the nation’s history.

The Modern Fish Act will go a long way toward helping Mississippi’s angling community, which for too long has been managed by federal policies designed with only the commercial fishing sector in mind. The Modern Fish Act will mandate important measures, including the use of new management tools more appropriate for recreational anglers, and the commissioning of several studies that will better inform policymakers on the best management practices for America’s federal fisheries.

All of this is great news for saltwater anglers, and it was made possible by our very own Sen. Roger Wicker. Since introducing the Modern Fish Act last year, Sen. Wicker has worked tirelessly to build bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress — at a time when comity on Capitol Hill is particularly hard to find. His persistence paid off with unanimous support for the Modern Fish Act in the Senate and an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote in the House.

Because of Sen. Wicker’s efforts, sportfishing is finally being recognized by the federal government, which opens the door for modern management practices, enhanced conservation efforts and is a shot in the arm for the state’s economy. The recreational fishing community looks forward to a 21st century management system, and we thank Sen. Wicker for his work on this important issue.

Tommy Elkins (chairman, Coastal Conservation Association Mississippi)

Bay St. Louis

Instead of a wall, use technology

Even when walls were a state-of-the-art defense (along with castles with moats) they were not very effective. The Great Wall of China did not keep the Mongols out, Hadrian’s Wall did not keep the Picts out. More recently, the Maginot Line did not keep the Germans out.

In this age of satellites, radar and heat sensors, building a wall is just silly. A few satellites in polar orbit would keep the entire Mexican boundary under constant surveillance. They could also, with GPS accuracy, direct border patrol units to any intruders.

Bruce Emerick