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Tuskegee, Alabama
May 13, 1999     The Tuskegee News
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May 13, 1999

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Page A-4, The Tuskegee News, May 13, 1999 1 Your input sought on VA, community Too often we hear "what can I do about it. Nobody is going to listen to me. How can I make a difference?" There are times when things appear out of our reach to have an input. However, there are other times when we can make a difference. In the very near future, citizens of Macon County will have opportunities for "input" about their circumstances and the things that affect their lives. As part of the activities at Tuskegee University launch- ing the nation's first African-American Bioethics Center during a commemorative weekend marking the second anniversary of President Bill Clinton's apology on behalf of the American people for the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, a workshop will be conducted about the Veterans Adminis- tration Hospital in Tuskegee. A community workshop--'Assessing the Legacy of the Tuskegee VAMC: A Clear and Present Danger"--will be from 2:30-5:30 p.m. Saturday at the Tuskegee Human and Civil Rights Multicultural Center in the old SouthTrust Building, 104 South Elm Street, Tuskegee. The key word about the workshop is "community." Pio- neering civil rights attorney Fred Gray Sr. of Tuskegee was the catalyst in founding the non-profit Multicultural Center that is in its infant stages. The center was estab- lished to recognize the human and civil rights contribu- tions of Native American, European American and African-American men and women, especially those instrumental in the founding and development of Tuskegee and Macon County. The Center is an appropriate setting for a discussion of the VA, a historic and vital part of Tuskegee and Macon County. Through a merger with the Montgomery VA Hos- pital, the Tuskegee VA Center has been downsized and is in serious jeopardy of more job losses. The workshop will hopefully bring together community leaders and residents to develop solutions to the prol~lem of a local economy in decline with reduced employment opportunities. Gray says community input is vital to the success of the workshop. Experiences with the VA--as a patient, employ- ee or resident of an area where the VA hae been a main- stay--are sought from those in the community. Several spokespersons from the community, VA and government will talk briefly, followed by a breakout into groups to dis, cuss problems and solutions. Your input is important, so make every effort to be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem, or merely a bystander. Macon County Betterment Association Forming If you don't feel you have anything to contribute to the situation with the VA, there is another area that can use input and support from Macon County citizens. Plans are being made to form a non-profit corporation called the Macon County Betterment Association, a group that will be governed by "grass roots citizens," according to its organizers, Rev. Dr. Ronald W. Smith of Union Chris- tian Church in Little Texas and Rev. John Anderson of Shorter. The group hopes to address problems in Macon County, such as no industry, high crime, no hospital, poor relations between the races, widespread poverty, drug abuse, litter- ing, etc. According to a statement letter about the MCBA, "This corporation will not be owned by any one race, or by an influential politician, or by any governing agency. We will be an independent corporation--determined to 'light a can- dle instead of curse the darkness.' We can improve condi- tions in Macon County. But we must all work together." An organizational meeting of MCBA will be Thursday, May 20 at 7 ~p.m. in the Macon County Courthouse. The meeting will be to discuss goals, and hopefully, review the proposed charter of the MCBA. A worthy pledge I believe every person has worth as an individuaL I believe every person is entitled to dignity and respect, regardless of race or color. I believe every thought or act, of racial prejudice is harmful I believe that that ff it is my thought or act, it is harmful to me as well as to others. Therefore, from this day forward I will strive dally to eliminate racial prejudice from my thoughts and actions. I will discourage racial prejudice by others at every opportunity. I will treat all people with dignity and respect. I will strive daily to honor this pledge, knowing that the world will be a better place because of my effort Take the pledge: Your name Today's date Keep this with you O "You know why Z like it here, ms. It's quite, peaceful...Nothing every happens here. \ It's News to Me Maybe we should listen to our children The pain from Littleton just won't go away. We have had a million folks tell us of the cause and the cure, but it still doesn't make sense. Maybe we haven't been listening to the young people. I'd like to share an e-mail message I recently received from a 16-year- old young lady. She may have more wisdom than some of the gray-haired folks on TV. Here's her letter: "I have to say that I never write in response to articles on anything. But your Sunday, April 25, 1999 article on the shoot- ings in Littleten really struck home. "At 16, I live in a country that I didn't see too much wrong with. At the beginning of the cycle of school shootings, I had a "I- don't-care...It-isn't-me" attitude. "I blamed the parents for it. No parent could avoid seeing the signs of disturbance , in~ir child. No caring parent could give thelr ~d a gun' "Society was to be blamed partially. But not totally. We have minds of our own. So what if Marilyn Manson tells us to kill our best friend? ~/Ve don't have to listen to that. Until this last shooting, I was unaffected by the sup posed downgrade of our society. "I was in shock when I found out about the shootings. "i watched Rachel Scott's funeral. "i cried. "I felt bonded with these people. I was out- raged. But I am on a mission now. I will befriend every outcast I can find. This should not...This CANNOT happen again. Our country needs to bond together and stop it. ~Your article brought it all together. It shot down the excuses. It brought light to the tragedy that has bee~ occurring in recent years. "Why has this all been happening? I think that the general attitude of the country has been completely wasted. We praise our pres- ident for his affair, we involve ourselves wrongly by supporting treaties we should not have joined in the first place, we fight a supposed bar on drugs' when drug use has gone up, we encourage the slaughter of unborn children, and we promote death over life, lies over honesty, and greed over generosity. "It disgusts me. "I am not sure that I want to live in a coun- Paul Davis iii i i try that says it is righteous but does the opposite to prove it. "Thank you for your Sunday article. I always read your article but I especially appreciated your article this Sunday. ........... " Sincerely, Angela Schroer (Angela won't find a better country, but with her energy and wisdom at such an early age, I'll bet she does some things to make our country and our state just a little bit better.) I love all the new restaurants in the area. I remember that not too many years ago the only place to get a steak or a burger after the sun went down was the old Stokers's Restaurant on Opelika Road. It went away long ago. Now, there's a restaurant on every corner---across the street from every new filling station. I've tried them all, but eventually I grow weary of the awesome blossoms, the "steamed veggies" the the "Hi, I'm your server (not waiter). My name is Dave." I have to have a corubread fix on a regular basis. And black-eyed peas, some fried okra, maybe even some greens. I also want a small carrot-raisin salad and half of an apple dumplin'. Thus, there was only one stop for me-- Morrison's at the Mall. My wife and I both work. Little cooking is done at our house. I have been thinking of selling the stove. Takes up lots of space. Never been used much at all. But I also often grow weary of Morrison's. I like special soups and gumbos and Morri- son's never has them. That may be fixing to change. Morrison's has been purchased by Piccadilly Cafeteria which has home offices in Baton Rouge, La. The official name change comes June 2 and with it a new food line - offering the best of Morrison's dishes and the best of Piccadilly's. Sounds luscious, doesn't it. Can't walt to try their Mexican combread. The new look may even attract some who aren't gray-headed. *$$**$*$ Years ago, there was always some nity somewhere having a wet-dry Alabama was mostly a dry state. Well, dry, but without legal whiskey. When the proponents of regulated sales would start their campaigns, churches would rise up in arms to demon rum away. And who stood side by side with preachers during those celebrated The in from other counties and states and local moonshiners who brewed their spirits deep in the woods by a spring. Well, here we go again. The leaders - true to their calling - are waging a war to the death over statewide gambling in Alabama. Gambling is alive and well in But most of our gambling dollars roads and schools " Millions upon millions of dollars. We them to the Florida lottery the tery and to Mississippi's galaxy casinos. Mississippi may pave all its and just get out of the cotton business. Alabama church leaders want to kee those casinos out of Alabama. Mississippi does, too. The casinos where their millions are coming from. Thus, some of those millions in casino ings are being sent into Alabama to sure gambling legislation in Alabama defeated. We're going to got a state lottery with ceeds earmarked for education. But odds are not as strong for legislation would add video poker to Ala-bama's greyhound racing tracks. But it still is strange to see the gambling folks-who provide the big tising bucks for all those spots you see TV-line up with the church folks to the issue. It does remind of the old tion days when the bootleggers the preachers. Talk about strange bedfellows! (Paul Davis may be reached at Tichenor Avenue, Auburn, 36830 or al davis@mindspring.com) I I I I I u kegee Serving Macon County Since 1865 The Tuskegee News (ISSN: 644480) is published weekly by Tuskegee Newspapers, Inc. 120 Eastside Street, Tuskegee, Alabama, 36083. Phone (334) 727-3020. Second Class Postage paid at Tuskegee, Alabama. POSTMASTER -- send address changes to The Tuskegee News, P.O. Drawer, 830060 Tuskegee, Alabama, 36083. This newspaper is print- ed on 100 percent recycled paper to aid in the nation's con- servation efforts. Subscription rate in Macon County, $25 per year, outside of Macon County, $31.50 per year, outside state of Alabama, $35 per year. Paul R. Davis, Publisher Gayle Davis, Vice President and lYeasurer Guy Rhodes, Editor Paul LaPread, Advertising Director Maggie Temple, Office Manager II IIIII II IIII II I One year ago: Lizzie Sikes Gordon of Shorter brated her lOOth birthday on May I. Shorter Mayor Mae Powell prepared a resolution and she was presented letter from President and Mrs. Clinton by RSVP director Sadie Edwards... Five years ago: Dr. C.G. Gomillion renwed acquain- tances and made some new friends during a recent visit to Tuskegee. Now residing out of state, Dr. Gomillion founded the Tuskegee Civic Association, a group that led the fight for civil rights in Macon County and Tuskegee. Dr. Gomillioo was presented with several awards and honors as he spoke to several groups during his visit to Tuskegee... Ten years ago: Groundbreaking for the new comphre- hensive high school in Tuskegee is expected in about three weeks, according to Macon County Schools Superintendent Dr. Raymond Handy... Grammy Award winner Lionel Richie and his wife, Brenda, have pledged $500,000 to their alma mater, Tuskegee University. The pledge will be to estab- lish the Lionel and Brenda Richie Endowed Chair for the School of Business ....