Protecting our water interests

July 8, 2014 

I was glad to see your Roving Reporter mentioned the recent Clean Water Champion award presented to State Senator Josh McKoon by the Georgia Water Coalition.

It's important to note five additional members of the Columbus legislative delegation were named Clean Water Champions for their outstanding work during the 2014 Georgia General Assembly. Rep. Richard Smith, Rep. Debbie Buckner, Rep. Carolyn Hugley and Rep.

Calvin Smyre were recognized for co-sponsoring HB 864, the Water Conservation Act of 2014. HB 864 would require those with water withdrawal permits to report how much water they return to the source of the withdrawal. This is a critical issue as a large volume of water withdrawn from the upper Chattahoochee does not return to the river through treatment plants but goes instead to other rivers or into septic tanks.

Rep. John Pezold and Rep. Debbie Buckner were recognized for co-sponsoring HB 1085, the Farmer's Private Property Protection Act.

HB 1085 was introduced as an alternative to the very dangerous SB 213.

Rep. Debbie Buckner was recognized for her outstanding work on SB 213. As introduced, SB 213 was presented as a rewrite of the Flint River Drought Protection Act. It contained provisions which would have fundamentally changed Georgia water law by giving ownership of certain water flows to the State of Georgia. SB 213 was the greatest threat to the waters of Georgia since water permit selling, western water law, was defeated over a decade ago. Rep. Buckner and the Columbus delegation were instrumental in heavily amending SB 213 to remove the threat.

The citizens of Columbus can be proud their legislators led the fight this year to protect our water rights. Read more at the Georgia Water Coalition website: www.garivers.org/gawater,

Mark Woodall

Woodland, Ga.

Perilous times

The Supreme court decision in favor of Hobby Lobby was well received by many Americans. It was a vote in favor of our Constitutional right to religious freedom. Let's not rejoice too much. Consider how the vote was tempered by the 5-4 decision: the four liberal judges voted against your constitutional right to religious freedom. Give some serious thought to how tenuous is our freedom.

Just think how close that decision was to causing the Constitution to be irrelevant. It is very important that the Republican Party retain control of the House and gain control of the Senate this November. President Obama must not be allowed to pick one more liberal judge to the SCOTUS. If he succeeds, it will mean the end of our constitutional rights, as intended by the founding Fathers.

Brit Hume on the Bill O'Reilly show says that "the liberal judges think that the Constitution is evolving and that they are doing the evolving." If liberal judges gain the majority in the Supreme Court, this nation will never be the same. The decisions emanating from that body would be based on an "evolved" Constitution, not the Constitution as written and intended by the Founding Fathers.

Charles Maupin

Columbus

Privacy concerns

First I want you to know that I am not partial in any way about the case that's in the news now about the death of the child in the hot car. My heart goes out to the family with sorrow.

But with all of our technology, we have the means to research practically anything we choose. The question is, who decides what we research? Is the motive always evil, As some would have us think? Or can we research for the sake of knowledge only? I know that many of us have looked up things just to see what the so called "experts" have to say about it. From applesauce to zebra stripes. I think you all get my point.

So the next time you think of doing research on something, think long and hard before you start. Someone might be coming at your computer or phone next. Yes, Big Brother is watching.

Cecil Haywood

Columbus

Dropping our guard

Here we go again -- "somebody" wants to downsize the military, probably someone who has never served (Commander in Chief doesn't count). It's a cycle that has continued since WW I and probably before that.

A war starts, and we rush to get people to fight it. No prerequisites required. The war ends (or tapers off) and we try to get rid of those people so we can spend the money elsewhere. The veterans who fought can't get jobs, have trouble with the adjustment to civilian life. Another war flares up, and we have no fighting men (or women) qualified to fight. How fast can we train them? How many are killed because we didn't have the time to build a proper fighting force? That war ends … and on we go.

Here we are, about to get caught with our troops down, as with Vietnam, and this time the "war" may be within our borders.

The cuts I've read about seem excessive, and can do immeasurable damage to the economy of the areas from which they will come. Granted, there are a a lot of jobs that are unnecessary (like the positions that "require" 6 or 7 assistants to do one job), but the troop on the ground doesn't have that luxury. C'mon Congress, don't let this happen! Everybody start writing!

L.M. Tryon

Columbus

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