If war is the answer, what was the question?

Dear Editor:

President Obama wants us to believe he doesn’t intend to go to war against Syria. There will be no Boots On the Ground. Good so far. But launching bombs or missiles on another country’s territory – however “limited” that attack is – is an Act of War. And if history teaches any lesson, it is that once you have a war on your hands, the consequences are not likely to be “limited.”

If the strike on Syria is as limited as Obama seems to be suggesting, so as not to provoke serious retaliation and more war but just “send a message,” it won’t do any good. On the other hand, escalating the force used to a more serious level would be a step toward sending our young men and women to fight and die in yet another foreign country.

The lesson taught by our recent history of such interventions is that they cost way more in blood and treasure than was predicted, and do not, after all, result in anything that looks much like peace, stability, or democracy.

The question Obama has put to Congress basically is, “How much military force should be applied to “deter” the Syrian government from using chemical weapons and/or degrade its capability to use such weapons?” The President deserves credit for consulting Congress, and for allowing the answer to possibly be “None.” But that question assumes too much, assumes the Syrian government is guilty, when even Obama’s own people admit the evidence is “no slam dunk.” And assumes that military force is our only option.

Criticism of Obama’s framing of the question is coming from both the left and the right. Ultra-conservative commentator Thomas Sowell, for example, begins his column (in the September 6 issue of the VT-N), with “Why are we even talking about taking military action in Syria?” Sowell also points to the reality behind the rhetoric: “Military action is a polite phrase for killing people.”

The more fundamental questions that should be raised are “What is the proper role of military force in American foreign policy,” and above all, “Who decides what is in the best interest of we the people.”

Since Obama has implicitly conceded that the President alone does not decide, this is our opportunity to insist that our voices be heard. We must demand that our Congressional representatives listen to us and debate the fundamental issues, including practical non-military alternatives. Yes, there are other options. Many conservatives and progressives are speaking out, often in one accord, on this issue. Might it be that this is our chance to begin re-creating that “democracy” of, by and for the people which we proclaim? Not government by presidential decree or corporate (as in military/industrial complex) control.

The Friends Committee on National Legislation offers a toll-free U.S. Capitol switchboard number 1-855-686-6927 that you can use to raise your voice to Rep. Mike Rogers, Senator Richard Shelby, and Senator Jeff Sessions. FCNL also offers a good list of serious questions to be asked about Syria. See  http://fcnl.org/blog/2c/10_syria_questions_for_kerry_and_hagel/

Earnestly, Jim Allen and Judy Collins

LaFayette looking so much better

Dear Editor,

What a thrill to drive through LaFayette a few weeks ago to see so many flags flying and to see our town so “dressed up” for the holidays.

In the mid-90’s a group was able to put some flags in town, wishing there could be more – what was the dream back then has been fulfilled.  Thank you to the American Legion and the Auxiliary along with any others honoring the many men and women who have served our nation and for those who made the ultimate sacrifice, their lives, that we might have the freedom we have.

We need to believe in America as a nation under God – One that was founded on Godly principles – to be thankful we live in this country and to strive to preserve our nation as it was founded.  It did not come cheap.

In addition, to those of you who help keep our town beautiful by picking up yard trash at your homes, a big Thank You for a job well done.  You  have made my “little corner of LaFayette” look so much better.

Also, it is obvious that a lot of work has been going on down town, at the cemetery and in other areas.  Things are really looking good.

So to city officials and employees and to volunteers, we Thank You.  I’ve heard many complimentary comments.

May we as residents help by doing our part at home and not littering and

May God get the Glory!

Jo Ruggles

Handy went to Harvard

Dear Editor:

Quite a few issues back one of your writers wrote that he had never met or heard of a person from LaFayette who attended Harvard University. Obviously the writer did not meet or hear about my father, Elisha Sylvester Handy, Principal of the old Chambers County Training School.  The school today is referred to as the John P. Powell School.

Mr. Handy brought his young family to LaFayette in 1925 where he became the Principal of CCTS, a position that he held until his retirement in 1953. He passed away in March of 1959.

At Harvard, Mr. Handy earned certification in Civil Engineering. He was gifted in Mathematics and Engineering. However, he was unable to pursue this career path because during this time in our history, the country was not hiring Black Certified Engineers even if they earned their credentials from Harvard. In order to feed his family, however, Mr. Handy accepted the Principalship at CCTS. Mr. Handy saw this position as an opportunity to share his passion for learning with the students in his school.

Also, Mr. Handy’s daughter, Jewell Handy Gresham, received her Doctorate Degree from Harvard’s sister school, Columbia University in New York City.

I think that it would be a stretch to include a granddaughter in this mix– Catherine Handy graduated from Harvard in 2006. While Cathy grew up in Westbury, NY she spent her summers in LaFayette visiting her Aunt Hattie Manning. She is presently a Doctor at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.

My Father was an avid reader of The LaFayette Sun and for as long as I can remember he was a subscriber to the paper. We always had a copy in our home. That streak has not been broken because to this day, I receive The LaFayette Sun at my home in Westbury. It is unfortunate that circumstances prevented the writer of the original article from meeting my Father. If they had met, I am sure that the meeting would have been very cordial and informative.


Albert E. Handy

Award and Certificate to be handed out June 21st to the Alabama Boy Scouts

Dear Editor,

The Alabama Legislature Meritorious Scouting Award and Certificate of Appreciation has been established and will be presented by the ASF Foundation to all Boy Scouts of Alabama and Chartered Organizations that Host Scouting Units wishing to receive the awards on Friday, June 21, 2013, at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC) Arena.

This is a statewide ceremony to honor Boy Scouts of Alabama and Chartered Organizations that Host Scouting Units. The presentation will occur during the ASF Foundation State Games XXXI Opening Ceremonies and any active scout is eligible.

The Honoring Our Heroes program is part of the ASF Foundation’s commitment to teach Alabama student-athletes good citizenship skills by highlighting mentoring programs dedicated to Alabama’s youth.

Online registration for Boy Scouts wishing to receive the Alabama Legislature Meritorious Scouting Award and Host Organizations wishing to receive Certificate of Appreciation is now available by visiting the Honoring Our Heroes section at www.asffoundation.org. For more information, please contact the ASF Foundation at 1-800-467-0422.  All eligible Boy Scouts of Alabama and Chartered Organizations that Host Scouting Units have to be honored and receive the Alabama Legislature Meritorious Scouting Award and Certificate of Appreciation. ASF Foundation will honor Girl Scouts in 2014.


Chris Wilkins,

Director ASF Foundation, 800.467.0422 chris.wilkins@asffoundation.org

Thanking residents who gave their time to help

I wanted to write to thank fellow Chattahoochee Valley residents who generously gave of their time and means to  help impact  thousands of hurting kids this Christmas.  Together we were able to pack more than 15,000 shoe boxes––filled with toys, school supplies and basic necessities––for Operation Christmas Child.  Our packed shoe box gifts, joined by millions of others, are now on their way to needy children in 100 countries.  During the 2012 collection season, Operation Christmas Child reached a milestone––more than 100 million children have been impacted by the power of a simple gift since 1993.

I would like to thank the volunteers at our local collection sites and all those who packed an Operation Christmas Child shoe box gift.  For many of the children who receive these gifts, this shoe box will be the first gift they have ever received.

Although our local drop-off locations here in the Chattahoochee Valley are closed, there is still plenty of time to get involved through the project’s “Build a Box” online tool where you can virtually pack a shoe box gift.  If you want to get involved, you can go online to www.samaritanspurse.org/occ.  Gifts are also received year-round at Samaritan’s Purse by mailing them to 801 Bamboo Road, Boone, N.C., 28607.

There are also year-round volunteer opportunities available to serve with Operation Christmas Child.  Find out how you can use your gifts and talents to make a difference in children’s lives around the world by visiting the website listed above.

Thank you again to everyone who participated in this project.  A simple gift, packed with love,  can communicate hope and transform the lives of children worldwide.


Lisa Steger

Area Coordinator

Chattahoochee Valley

Operation Christmas


Koch pursuing local poultry houses

Dear Editor,

Koch Foods, Inc. of Pine Mountain Valley is actively pursuing poultry houses in the Chambers and Randolph Counties in Alabama.

Koch Foods, Inc. of Pine Mountain Valley is also actively pursuing poultry houses in the Heard and Troup Counties in Georgia.

The first step will be to secure proper financing for a poultry growing operation.

After pre-approval contact me at 256-794-1119.

Thank you for your interest in Koch Foods, Inc.


Cypress Hathorn

Housing Coordinator

Koch Foods, Inc.

Pine Mountain Valley

Community pulls together at Christmas

Dear Editor,

Christmas 2012 was an exciting time for those of us helping to prepare Christmas gifts for families in need.  It was wonderful to see the community pulling together to meet a variety of needs. Thank you for the trust you place in the Christian Service Center to use your gifts in the best possible way. Many needs were presented to us, many needs met.

There were 309 families receiving extra food to help them make it through Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Toys were distributed to 703 children. Over 190 families received new clothing.  There were also 83 adults that received special Christmas gifts.

I would like to thank every individual, church, organization, business, and school that helped make this a successful year for “Filling Santa’s Sleigh”.  We appreciate so much all that is done to help meet needs in our community.

Cheryl Myers

Christian Service Center, Inc. Lanett

Reader supports local production

Dear Editor, I write to encourage all readers to treat themselves! Continue the new year’s celebration this week-end by attending Xanadu Road’s production of The Miracle Worker in West Point, GA.

I cannot imagine any theatre company–from Broadway on–giving a better production of the Helen Keller/Annie Sullivan story than the one being performed at the New Horizon Community Theatre. I was among the many moved to tears and joy after experiencing last Saturday’s performance; every person involved exhibits extraordinary talent, especially including the unseen director, Donna Shute Provencher, and assistant director, stage manager and producer Amy McDow, who just last year created the Xanadu Road production company. Amy’s eleven year old Sophie McDow is astounding in the role of Alabama native, Helen Keller; bubbly Becca McDow is the voice of Ann’s brother, Jimmie Sullivan; dad Keith McDow plays the doctor, and Skinner McLane (recent AU graduate and budding author) is the teacher, Anagnos (I mention and bold these names because we proudly proclaim they are all Fredonians! Many will remember the McDow family, led by Amy’s Mom Becky Guin, provided wonderful art experiences for children at last November’s Fredonia Heritage Day). Read the rest of this entry »

Finding out more about hospice

Dear Editor:

No one likes to think about death and dying but it’s something that each of us will face in our life. There’s an incredible resource in our community that provides care, comfort, and compassion to patients and families coping with serious or life-limiting illnesses. It’s Hospice Advantage.

Early November, our country celebrates National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. For our team at Hospice Advantage, this is a time to reach out to our community to raise awareness about the compassionate care that hospice provides to the people that need it most.

One of the messages we hear again and again from our families is “We wish we would have known about hospice sooner.” This is because hospice care helps patients and families focus on living.

Hospice provides expert medical care to keep patients comfortable so that they are able to enjoy time with loved ones. The hospice team answers questions, offers advice on what to expect, and helps families with the duties of being a caregiver. The team also provides emotional and spiritual support for the entire family.

Hospice is covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and by most insurance plans and HMOs. Hospice care is provided in the home, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and long term care centers.

Hospice care is available to people of all ages, with any illness. Hospice professionals and trained volunteers will ask you what’s important and listen to what you say. They make your wishes a priority.

If you or a loved one is facing a serious or life-limiting illness, the time to find out more about hospice is right now.

Sherri Burdell, RN


Hospice Advantage


Let us prepare early to help

Dear Editor:

The Christian Service Center has served the community since 1990, providing food, clothing, furniture and other household items to families in need. We appreciate the support that our churches, business, organizations, and individuals have given to help  meet the needs in our area.

We expect many families to request assistance during the coming months. Some have lost jobs, others don’t have enough money to pay bills and buy food, particularly those on fixed incomes. Many families who have given to help others find themselves asking for help now. While food and clothing will remain our first priority, we will also be accepting applications for Christmas gifts on November 7th, 14th and 28th. Gifts for the “Filling Santa’s Sleigh” program will be needed.

If you would like to find out more about how you could help meet these needs, please contact us at (334)576-3553, or cherylbmyers@knology.net. Our mailing address is P.O. Box 227, Lanett, AL 36863,

With the approaching holiday season, our thoughts are often on helping others. This year the needs will be great, let us prepare early to help.

Thank you for all you do to meet the needs of others.


Cheryl Myers


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