We have all enjoyed the Avenue of Flags placed along Victory Drive.
They are placed by volunteers prior to holidays.
For years a handmade trailer used to raise and retrieve the flags was parked behind the Veterans Center at 1000 Victory Drive. The flagpoles we left on it between holidays.
We have all seen the movie "Despicable Me." Well, some truly despicable person took the old trailer. Now that the trailer has been stolen, the Avenue of Flags will become a real challenge. Whoever took the trailer is a lowdown thief and a mangy skunk, “and them are his good points.”
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He should fervently pray that identity remains a mystery.
Sam Nelson, Columbus
Backdoor politics is alive and well in Columbus. Mayor Tomlinson and City Council were adamant to put the Tax Freeze on a referendum which to their chagrin was overwhelmingly defeated by a landslide victory to Keep the Freeze!
However, unbeknownst to the public, the council had purchased a software program from Tyler Technologies anticipating the Freeze would be lifted at the collective cost of $4.5 million (Resolutions 301-14 and 302-14) in 2014.) In 2016, they increased the World/Oracle software system for maintenance and operation costs to $191,815 annually being leased from Georgia Municipal Association in Resolution 440-16. It allows online taxpayer interface, but it also supports to overturn taxpayers’ appeals at the Board of Equalization.
In Senate Bill 346, effective since 2011, taxpayers must be given access to all data used in determining fair market value. Meaning every taxpayer is given the right to find out all computations that are in their software. Only a handful of the 159 counties use Tyler Technologies. Fulton County, which just recently had a property tax revolt, is one of them!
In 1983 through a Referendum, Muscogee County came under the Homestead Freeze except any landowner in excess of two acres! The 1,564 property owners in the Midland/Upatoi area supposedly had both parcels frozen under the Freeze. Public officials and the Tax Assessors office failed to comply with this law for 34 years. They were derelict in their duties and now this year they want to make up for their mistake by increasing in particular my excess property 300%!
The council’s Budget Review Committee knew in advance, because revenue in property taxes increased $1.2 million; revenues in every other sector fell! The city’s revenue fell from $270 million to $267 million FY18 for the first time in Columbus’s history!
Paul S. Olson, Upatoi
Know your odds
Kidney cancer is deadly. It's not diagnosed in routine exams. It usually takes a CAT scan, not a biopsy, to diagnose it. Once symptoms appear it's usually too late. If doctors find kidney cancer in a CAT scan they may want to save part of the kidney — oops — if they leave a single cancer cell behind, it's over. (See the study in the Aug., 2016 Urology Journal; 95% with cancer left in the partial removals are dead in two years).
Maybe the safest bet is full kidney removal. Life with one kidney is better than one and a half kidneys and a grueling cancer death. If you are 64 get a CAT scan; say you have abdominal pain so insurance will cover it, just get a CAT scan. If you're diagnosed with kidney cancer and it is contained in the kidney but the doctor insists on saving part of your kidney, tell him to take a flying leap and find a real doctor who will remove your entire cancerous kidney and at least give you a chance to live. The last thing I said to my doctor in the operating room was take the entire kidney, do not take part of it. I repeated it as I drifted off. It was a large tumor and it was a fast growing tumor (high grade but contained in the kidney) but he cut straight through the kidney tumor leaving cancer in the half of the kidney he "saved." So he left me with a non-functioning half kidney that was filled with cancer, effectively signing my death warrant.
Don't let it happen to you. Get it in writing to be sure. You call the shots. Your doctor is your employee, not your God.
Deborah Owens, Columbus
Forget all about postal rage from me. But if I had to work in the Phenix City post office I might be feeling a little of that at this time. Their air conditioning is out and nothing seems to be done about it as has been the problem in the past.
These postal workers are the best and I've learned to look on them as family. They are helpful and courteous. But ... did I leave out fun? We are on a first name basis and I couldn't ask for a nicer or sweeter group of people to handle my mail.
I know our government is in a bind for money, but for goodness sake, these people need some cool air in that place and I can't think of a better way to spend my tax dollars.
E. Dan Carroll, Phenix City