Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: Loss to city, legal profession

On behalf of the State Bar of Georgia, I would like to express condolences to the family, colleagues and many friends of longtime Columbus attorney and Sea Island resident Kenneth M. Henson on his recent passing.

During his distinguished career of nearly four decades, Mr. Henson was a leader in the legal profession, serving in 1956 as president of what was then known as the Younger Lawyers Section of the Georgia Bar Association and also as president of the Columbus Lawyers Club. He also served his home community through numerous avenues of leadership and his country in the Navy during World War II.

All Georgia lawyers are grateful for Kenneth Henson's lifetime of service and are inspired by his many contributions toward promoting the cause of justice and upholding the integrity of the legal profession in our state.

Robert J. "Bob" Kauffman

President, State Bar of Georgia

Numbers just don't work

I would like to save the taxpayers $6 million the mayor proposes to waste on a useless study. I'll give her the facts for free.

The high speed rail that she proposes is not a great idea. Let's assume it is only 90 miles to Atlanta. Installation of track costs roughly $1.2 million per mile. That's $108 million. Then, the rails must pass over or under each road as well as all other tracks it encounters. You can't have a train traveling at 220 mph crossing the road. I don't know how much all the bridges will cost but it is in the millions. Then, you need at least three train sets. Each train set has an engine and three cars for passengers. Each set is roughly $2 million. That's $6 million more. You have to build facilities at both ends and all that is required to operate it. A conservative estimate is $6 million for that. Plus stations at both ends, again conserved estimate of $2 million each. That's $4 million. Hire all the personnel to operate everything and start paying them right away before the operation makes any money.

You have two train sets operating every day. Each car can carry 90 people both ways at a cost of $30 one way. Three times 90 times $30 is $2,700 a trip. Each train makes two trips a day. $2,700 times eight trips is $21,600 a day. One year is $7,884,000. Add it up, mayor. $108 plus $6 plus $4 equals $118 (million). $21,600 a day would take 15 years to make $118 million, not counting all the overpasses, maintenance equipment and operating costs. It is a losing idea.

David C. Barfield

Smith Station

Political ruling class

The time has is coming for decisions that will affect you for years and our country for decades. For decades now we have had various combinations of Democrats and Republicans in Congress and the presidency. The leaning has gone left and right Has anything really changed? Do you feel like someone actually listens to your opinions? Are you satisfied with where your country is right now? Weren't the people you voted in part of what made it a mess?

With these answers, ask yourself this: Why should I vote for either party? What has been the return? The politicians count on your short memory and your apathy. As a politician, if I know you expect me to lie while campaigning and no matter if you are disappointed or angry you will re-elect me over 90 percent of the time, why should I care what you think? I need to keep the people and organizations that provide me the money happy. I deserve to live like royalty and leave office a millionaire with a cushy job lined up in banking or the lobbying industry. You do not matter.

If you want to break the cycle of the political class royalty, then take a wild turn. Vote for the other guy, whoever he or she is. Vote for the other party. If we do not change this cycle we will all remain just subjects of the federal government and the political elites, not citizens. A vote for your beliefs is never a wasted vote; just the one you make for the lesser of two evils is.

Brian J. Kohlhase

Phenix City

Parent drinks, child pays

Children born to mothers who heavily drink alcohol during pregnancy may have fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). The disorder is caused by exposure to alcohol in utero, and causes physical and intellectual disabilities. As many as 2% to 5% of children born in the U.S. have some form of FAS. The disorder is more prevalent among American Indians.

Children born with FAS can grow into individuals who lack the awareness, self-determination and independence most adults take for granted. They can't recognize social cues, are easily led and manipulated, can't predict dangerous behaviors, and can follow only one rule at a time. They may also have problems with vision, hearing, memory, attention span, and abilities to learn and communicate. Some suffer from heart problems and kidney defects.

While the effects may vary, the damage is permanent and incurable. There are no treatments or medications for FAS.

When a pregnant woman drinks, some of the alcohol passes to the developing fetus, which does not process the alcohol. This prevents nutrients and oxygen from getting to the vital developing organs. Alcohol is a teratogen, a substance that damages or kills developing cells.

Each fetus has individual risk factors driven by genetics of both parents and the mother's diet. If you are a binge alcohol drinker, the moment you get pregnant you must quit. Don't jeopardize the future life of your child.

Salman Elawad

Phenix City