Letters to the Editor for January 18, 2006

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Dear Editor,

In my opinion, the best thing the Holloway and Twitty families could do now is to tell everyone that they were at fault to send their 18-year-old daughter to Aruba in the first place.

Aruba is a Dutch Island, and in Holland, all drugs and prostitution is in the open and completely legal. In Holland, cities have what is called a &8220;Red Light District&8221; where prostitution and the sale of illegal drugs is legal and protected by the Dutch government.

In cities such as Amsterdam, Holland, young women sit in storefront windows in scantily clad outfits, such as their underwear, to wait for their customers. When someone comes along and wants to do business, the woman lets them in and she closes the curtains. The area behind the picture window is then her private bedroom.

Drugs sales are open and free on the street corners of the red light district with the protection of local police.

Even though the teens all knew the three guys about three or four days, they had no idea they would never see Natalie again, and Natalie&8217;s friends should warn other teens not to do what they did.

If Natalie&8217;s parents did not know what Aruba is like, then they should warn people to do their homework and not make the same mistake.

I pray more parents begin to say no to their kids taking trips to a place like where Natalie did when she disappeared.

Robbie R. Kidwell


Dear Editor,

Yesterday I saw what had to be the most chilling thing I&8217;ve ever witnessed in a courtroom. Twelve jurors convicted their former Jefferson County Sheriff, Jim Woodward, and the attorney who dutifully and effectively represented him in an election challenge over seven years ago, of daring to investigate voter fraud. Twelve registered voters decreed that voter fraud is no longer punishable by law, but investigating voter fraud and attempting to stop voter fraud is now a crime.

The pair were challenging absentee ballots that were believed to have been cast by convicted felons. To establish that a person is a felon, one must access a database run by the state or federal governments; theirs are the only authoritative records of felony convictions. Twelve people in that courtroom didn&8217;t grasp the elegant but simple logic of what cops do and how they do it, and elected instead to criminalize the act of courageous law enforcement and trample our right to equal protection by granting a pass to anyone who wants to stuff a ballot box in Jefferson County.

Without the belief that elections produce the results the voters intended, and that only those who have that precious right are allowed to actually vote, the self-determination our entire system balances on disappears, and our communities are instead left awash with corruption, resentment, apathy, and fear. These men stood up to say: No. This must be a fair election. This must be a democratic election. The rules serve to protect us all, and we must see that they are obeyed.

In response, an overzealous, partisan U.S. Attorney violently propelled our entire system of government and the fragile rule of law it relies on through the looking glass and declared that those seeking integrity are criminals, and those who cheat you and me out of our most fundamental right to vote are somehow the patriots at this bizarre tea party.

The men&8217;s names are Sheriff Jim Woodward, and Attorney Bert Jordan. Remember those names well, and send them your prayers. They are not criminals. They are patriots and servants of the people, and those two Republicans are being martyred, their lives upended and their reputations sullied, so that southern Democrats can continue to steal the power they have no hope of achieving through merit, in a city that, forty years ago, was ground zero in the struggle for civil rights.

Twelve jurors made it crystal clear. There are no civil rights in Birmingham. Your vote is an illusion. Your citizenship is a thin veneer of hopeful wishes. Your elections are just for show, and any effort to throw back the curtain and expose the pervasive and insidious fraud will be punished brutally.

It is a bad day to be an American in Birmingham.

George Oldroyd


Dear Editor,

Thank you to Lee Doebler,PhD., Steve Martin, Peg Hill, Anne Glass, Dave Nichols, Ed.D. Board Members of the Shelby County Board of Education.

Our communities have been invited by the Alabama Association of School Boards of the State of Alabama to celebrate Alabama&8217;s 13th annual School Board Recognition Month in January.

Alabama&8217;s theme, &8220;Making a World of Difference,&8221; acknowledges school board members&8217; role in preparing today&8217;s students and tomorrow&8217;s leaders for productive citizenship.

We want to thank our School Board Members for the time they put in to serve our communities as a member of the Board. Our Board of Education helps make decisions that have a tremendous impact on our children&8217;s future and the quality of life in our communities. We are proud that you recognize the importance of this civic duty and thank you for attending board meetings and events, which is a true testament to the commitment you and the system have for our community.

School board membership is one of the most personally demanding forms of public service. We know the board spends countless hours preparing for and participating in their monthly meetings. They also devote a great deal of time to studying education issues and laws and listening to the concerns of parents and teachers throughout the years. In fact, they never are completely &8220;off the job&8221; as a board member.

School Board Members Recognition Month is being celebrated throughout Alabama and the nation in January. On behalf of the South Shelby Chamber of Commerce we wanted to thank you for the important role you play in helping our school board take care of our communities children.

Stacy Walkup

South Shelby Chamber of Commerce

Dear Editor,

I live in the Waterford Subdivision on Highway 70. I drive each day to and from the Highway 31 and Highway 70 intersection.

From the traffic light at 31 and 70, until the turnoff at the county landfill (approximately four miles), is the most disgusting site in the county. Trash is everywhere. Both sides of the highway are covered in debris.

The majority of this trash blows from garbage trucks and open trailers hauling trash to the dump.

The county and the cities of Calera and Columbiana need to patrol this area and ticket anyone littering the highway.

If debris is blowing from the garbage trucks, then they need to be severely fined. Maybe a surcharge at the dump will allow a weekly cleanup crew to keep this stretch of highway clean.

Something needs to be done. It is awful to see this land polluted with trash.

The councilpersons for this district need to get involved. This is an area that is growing daily, so it will get worse unless it is taken care of immediately.

Donnie Green