Voices
March 15, 2012 Issue

LETTERS


Honoring Prichard’s contribution to Ag

Dear Editor:

My old boss at Abbot and Prichard, W.M. “Bill” Prichard, now deceased, made quite a name for himself in agribusiness in not only growing and selling certified seed but also overseeing the International Harvester (Farmall Tractors) and the Oldsmobile dealerships.

On this, the week America pays homage to farmers, it is only fair that men (and women) of not only farmers now growing food and fiber today, but also farmers of yesteryear such as Bill Prichard and his partner the late banker Mr. Phill Abbot.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

I was the bookkeeper at Abbot and Prichard and this individual has never known a finer boss than Bill Prichard.

Mr. Prichard championed soybeans. He became president of the Georgia Soybean Association and later president of the American Soybean Association.

Among his duties touting the merit of the soybean was to go all over Georgia and South America praising soybean farmers.

I shall never forget the main kicker Mr. Prichard often used praising farmer in his speeches: “Don’t criticize the farmer with your mouth full.”

Sincerely,

Bob Gordy





Truth shall set us free

Dear Editor:

I was impressed by the large audience at last week’s public hearing in Wadley and congratulate the citizens of your community as well as representatives of the Jefferson Environmental Defense Initiative (J.E.D.I.) for speaking out against the proposed biomass plant. For those of us who have dealt with the issue of biomass incineration for years, the evidence is simply irrefutable: biomass incineration bears significant health risks. Moreover, such ventures are only made possible with huge tax subsidies and are risky economic adventures as was pointed out in a Wall Street Journal article from October 2010: “(Bio)Mass Confusion.” But let me focus on the health risks of biomass incineration, the most important issue for your community.

Biomass is not “safe” or “clean” and there are no two ways about it. To quote Mrs. June Deen, State Director of the American Lung Association in Georgia, from a letter we received in December 2010:

“We have significant concerns regarding [biomass plants] and the potential effects the pollution it generates could pose for children, older adults and at-risk groups, like those suffering from lung diseases …, as well as people with diabetes and heart disease…. Particulate matter (PM) emissions are the most significant health threat from biomass power plants…. Specifically the findings [by the Environmental Protection Agency of 2009] concluded that particulate matter: causes early death …; causes cardiovascular harm (e.g. heart attacks, strokes, heart disease, congestive heart failure); is likely to cause respiratory harm (e.g. worsened asthma, worsened COPD, inflammation); [and] may cause cancer …” (The full text of this letter can be found at: http://www.wiregrass-ace.org/linked/ala_in_georgia_on_biomass.pdf)

Similar condemning statements about the dangers of biomass have been made by the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society and dozens of other medical associations throughout the country. Once you realize the simple truth that biomass incineration is neither clean, nor green, nor safe, how can you justify such an ill-conceived project with a mere 25 jobs?

I sure couldn’t, and from what I saw and heard at the public meeting last week, neither can the citizens of Wadley.

Dr. Michael G. Noll,
President
Wiregrass Activists for Clean Energy
Valdosta




Washington EMC member questions firm’s profits

Dear Editor:

The going rate for attorneys like the ones at King and Spalding, who represent Washington EMC and the remaining three co-ops in Power4Georgians, is about $650 per hour, per attorney. They usually have no fewer than three attorneys at their table. Billing just under $2,000 per hour isn’t chump change.

So how did last year go for King and Spalding? According to the American Law site, the firm’s revenue increased 9 percent, jumping from $718M to $781.5M. The cut per equity partner (lawyers in the firm eligible for distribution of profits) went up 12 percent from the previous year, falling just short of $2M at $1.975M. The article reports that K&S’s revenue has increased 20 percent since 2008, and the profit per equity partners (lawyers in the firm eligible for distribution of profits) soared by 56 percent.

When was Plant Washington announced? January 2008.

Every Washington EMC owner member contributed directly to those profits when they paid their bill or bought an appliance. It just doesn’t seem right that “our” attorneys are making out like bandits with our money.

Do the phones at K&S sound like a cash register when Dean Alford calls? Just wonderin’

Katherine Cummings
Washington EMC owner-member




Cast applauded

Dear Editor:

At the invitation of my niece, Laurie, I drove to Bartow tonight from Florida to see her son, Sam, perform in the opening night performance of “Children’s Letters to God.”

I arrived, expecting perhaps what others in the audience expected, which was a good spirited, but amateurish school play production. The cast was made up of school age amateurs, but this was no amateurish performance.

“Children’s Letters to God” was an uplifting, funny, inspirational musical performed and produced by first-rate artists. The cast members, including my great-nephew, Sam, delivered strong musical performances and exhibited first-rate stage presence.

And they were supported by an equally first rate vocal cast that added both depth and quality to the vocals. And at the core of the production was a musical director and pianist who would have made my mother proud.

This production was performed in a quaint, but quality community theater in small, hidden away, Bartow, Ga. But this performance would have been just as well received in Statesboro, Savannah, Atlanta, or dare I say it, New York City.

This cast and crew will deliver five more performances through the end of next week. Pack a lunch and make the trip to Bartow before this show ends. It will be well worth the trip.

Congratulations Sam, and cast and crew. Simply outstanding!

Ross Kelly




 


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