Columnist’s opinions are ‘outrageous’

Published 11:00 pm Friday, December 7, 2012

We recently recognized Red Ribbon Week in Troy. A highlight was the opportunity for the mayor and city council to hear several youngsters from our community share their essay about the harmful effects of alcohol and drug abuse. They explained how substance abuse ravages lives and destroys families. It was very encouraging to hear them share about the things they do, and the activities they pursue, as alternatives to the addiction caused by the use of alcohol and drugs. These kids knew what they were talking about. They realized the wisdom in making the right choices for their lives. We were so proud of them.

We need to encourage our young people and not hinder their growth by spewing such garbage like that printed in an article in today’s Messenger. It was written by Dr. Scott Beauller (Executive Director of the Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy at Troy University) and headlined, “Legalize Today: It Makes Economic Sense.” I am shocked and disappointed by his remarks. Dr. Beauller talks about, “how attitudes about drug abuse are changing.” He states, “the war on drugs in the U.S. has been a failure,” so he suggests the U.S. should: “Legalize the market for marijuana, heroin, or crystal meth, and crime from the legal drug trade will be equal to the amount of crime coming from the Starbucks coffee trade (i.e., near zero!).” He goes on to say that, “criminalizing products people want doesn’t end well for society.” He ends his letter by saying. “just think of all the dollars and productivity being eaten up by imprisoning drug offenders, “ and states, “More relaxed drug laws do not lead to societal collapse,. . .looser drug laws, instead, make society safer, better, and a little more fun.” Dr. Beauller’s comments, in my opinion, are outrageous.

I am reminded of remarks the Rev. Dr. Billy Graham made in one of his crusades some years ago. He said, “This generation has produced more alcoholics, more drug addicts, more criminals, more broken homes, more assaults, more murders and more suicides . . . It is time for us to begin to take stock of our failures, blunders and costly mistakes.” Dr. Graham is right. Dr. Beauller is wrong.!!! That is what I think and He is who I believe! Merry CHRISTmas to all!

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Johnny Witherington


Forestry professional

speaks out on ordinance

I don’t think anyone at the commission meeting on Oct. 22, 2012, would say they wanted unsafe roads. I would never want any elected official to vote for something that they thought would compromise the safety for our citizens.

I think first you must check the facts on the ordinance that is being referred to. The model ordinance the commission is looking at adopting was given to them by The Association of County Commissioners of Alabama (ACCA), not the Alabama Forestry Association. The ACCA model ordinance goes way beyond what’s allowed in current Alabama law.

I feel as though forestry professionals have been unfairly singled out because the ACCA model ordinance only specifically refers to “logging.” If safety is the main concern how can all other commercial vehicles not be asked to use the same ordinance? Why are we being singled out on this issue when all types of trucks are using the same roads as forestry professionals and they aren’t being asked to provide the same things that you are asking of us in the ACCA model ordinance?

This is another example of a regulation that is being unfairly placed on one of our county’s largest and most vital revenue producing industries. There are already laws on the books in our state that cover what the ACCA model ordinance proposes to do. No industry in Pike County needs this extra burden placed upon it.

Now I want you to put yourself in a timber professional’s boots for just a minute. Our industry wants safe roads. We want to be treated fairly as all people do. We have laws currently i place that take care of people who damage roads, and our industry is more than willing to help keep our roads in good shape. So with all of this aid why would anybody want to make it harder for so many families that depend on forestry? This goes for people that cut timber, haul timber and yes even people who own timber. I feel there are better ways to address your concerns without the passage of this ordinance.

John W. Henderson

Lifelong Pike County resident, landowner and forestry professional