Letters to the editor for November 23, 2005
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 22, 2005
It was reported in the news this past week that major stores (including Wal-Mart) are issuing policies forbidding their employees from wishing their customers Merry Christmas for fear that they may be offended. Instead, they are instructed to use more appeasing terms, such as &8220;happy holidays&8221; or &8220;season’s greetings.&8221; Nobody seems to care that that policy offends those of us who regard ourselves as Christians.
Dec. 25 is supposed to be a Holy day set aside to honor the birth of our Lord, Jesus. Instead, His name can’t even been mentioned without fear of offending someone.
Where God is needed most, in our public school system, children are not allowed to acknowledge Him in their Christmas (excuse me, holiday, wouldn’t want to offend anyone, now would I?) celebrations. Nativity scenes are banned, as are any songs making reference to a religious Christmas, and pageants can no longer feature the story of Bethlehem. Since this has become nothing more than a time of greed, I guess it should come as no surprise that the next logical step would be to remove Christ from Christmas.
As I do not follow Political Correct NewSpeak, I will proudly display the Nativity. I will wish you a Merry Christmas. I will play religious Christmas carols. And as a storeowner, if that offends anyone, then they can take their business elsewhere.
It was so disheartening to read about the ruling (4-1) by the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals to allow the Methadone clinic to locate in our community.
My husband and I have lived and worked in the county for about 25 years and up until recently, we thought it was a wonderful place to have a family and rear children.
Both of our children were actively involved in the community. They participated in the 4-H programs, wrote letters to the editor of the Shelby County Reporter, submitted contest drawings to the paper, were actively involved in the Shelby Emergency Assistance programs and Special Equestrians, took private piano and saxophone lessons from professors at the University of Montevallo and were active in extracurricular programs at their schools.
On Sept. 22, 2004, my talented and brilliant 19-year-old son was found dead in his own bed when I came home from work. He had been home from Auburn for a few days to do some work for us and seemed fine. We had a toxicology test done on his blood and found a small amount (less than normal range) of methadone. He had a recent history of sleep apnea and the combination was deadly. All we know about how he got the drug is that he had planned to meet a friend he had known years ago who was on or had been on methadone treatment.
The general public does not realize how addicting and deadly methadone can be. It is not a &8220;sure cure&8221; for drug abuse.
My husband had submitted a letter about our son and his death to the State Health Planning and Development Agency (SHPDA) who issued the Certificate of Need (CON). We had hoped the letter would prevent another death or tragedy in our community from methadone use. Do those four judges who voted for the clinic want a methadone clinic in their children or grandchildren’s neighborhood?
Sometimes we tend to forget that the people representing us in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are really working hard for the benefit of Alabama citizens.
Because of recent state funding cuts it appeared that my office might lose the ability to offer special prosecution services to the victims of child abuse.
However, due to the work of Rep. Spencer Bachus, Sen. Richard Shelby and Sen. Jeff Sessions, we were able to secure a one-time federal grant that will allow the continuation of these services for the next three years.
I have had the opportunity to visit with each of these men recently and am continually impressed with their dedication to our country and state.
I cannot tell you how much I appreciate their work and especially their assistance in this matter.
Shelby County District Attorney
I would like to offer a word of thanks to Sheriff Chris Curry for opening his shooting range to the public. Hunters from throughout the county were allowed to sight-in their rifles in a safe surrounding.
This possibly saved 911 from receiving complaint calls from our neighbors for gunshots being fired next door.
Again, thanks to Sheriff Curry, Rangemaster Lawley, Deputy Loveless and Deputy Ozley.
During this &8220;season of giving&8221; share the love of Jesus by sharing your favorite homemade baked goodies with the inmates of the Shelby County Jail.
Thank you for your support last year. The inmates of the Shelby County Jail were extremely blessed by the community’s outpouring of love.
Although we had a major increase in jail population, God met every need. The increase is even greater this year, but we are expecting God to again meet every need.
As always, we are expecting this to be a life-changing event.
The baked goodies will be collected on Thursday, Dec. 15 at the Shelby Woods Apartments’ clubhouse in Columbiana from 5:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. It would be greatly appreciated if you could individually wrap your items.
On Friday, Dec. 16, we will share the baked goods along with the word of God with the inmates at 7 p.m. As always, we are expecting this to be a life-changing experience.
If you are a pastor and would like to minister with us on Friday, please call me by Dec. 9 at 669-5208.
Thank you for your support. Love does make a difference because God is love and love never fails.
Leslie D. Whiting Sr.
Chaplain of Inmates, Shelby County Jail
For weeks I have wondered exactly how much of the $13.3 million I-65 road construction project in Hoover, Pelham, Alabaster and Calera was budgeted for the beautiful new large blue signs/advertisements for local restaurants and area services.
Today, I could not help but wonder all the more as I realized that the fatal accident that occurred this week on the I-65 southbound lanes in this construction area happened less that a half mile from the end of the protective concrete barriers that run down the center of I-65 driving south on I-65 out of Birmingham.
The barriers stop shortly before reaching the I-459 interchange as you travel south from Birmingham on I-65. The barriers pick up again near the Pelham and Hoover Valleydale Road exit.
There were none for the victims of the tragedy this week when the 18-wheeler crossed the center median as he traveled south on I-65.
What a tragedy and pathetic shame it is that life-saving protective concrete barriers were not nearly as important as new advertisements for restaurants and area attractions to the local city fathers of these communities.
In my humble opinion, every citizen in the great state of Alabama should complain as loud as they can when they see such a tragedy, and they should be sure to go to the polls and elect new city fathers who will pay attention to life saving details over the details of tax revenue from area establishments.
Robbie R. Kidwell