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Letters to the Editor 7/03/2003

City should let Faith EMS run its business

Dear Mayor Johnson and City Council:

I am a lifelong resident of Andalusia. I now live in the Loango community. I would hate to think that an EMS would not be available for me because we only have on EMS service and someone died because of it not being available.

I believe the mayor and the city council have no right to keep any business from coming to town, as long as it is not illegal and it is an asset to our town. I think every citizen in this county should write the mayor and council a letter and protest the move to get rid of Faith EMS.

What if we had a real big tragedy involving dozens or more people who needed EMS service? We would be in a world of trouble because our one EMS service could not handle it and people might die because of it.

So please, for the sake and safety of our community, don't run Faith EMS out of our town. I don't know anyone connected with either service, but I believe our Constitution says we have the right to be safe and be able to open a business without the mayor or city council saying we can't. It would be the same as having a monopoly, which is not legal.

I urge every citizen to protest this and not let it happen in our town.

Betty Mancill

Loango

Help needed to repeal Disabled Veterans Tax

Dear Editor:

With the recent increase in patriotism there are some veterans who are being left behind.

Please let your readers know of an effort to help fund the repeal of the Disabled Veterans Tax.

When members of the military serve their country for 20 or more years they are entitled to retirement pay. If they somehow become disabled as a result of that service, the Department of Veteran's Affairs pays disability compensation based on the percentage of service-connected disability as determined by the VA. While any disabled veteran can receive compensation if their disability is service-connected, only military retirees are forced to sacrifice a dollaar of their retirement pay for every dollar they receive from the VA.

Many people (legislators included) recognize the inequity in this practice.

Military retirees should not have to fund their own disability compensation.

In the 107th Congress, legislation to overturn this inequity had 402 co-sponsors in the House (HR 303) and 83 co-sponsors in the Senate (S 170). It was funded by the House, however President Bush's administration threatened a veto and the legislation was dropped.

While a Combat Related Special Compensation (Purple Heart) bill was passed, implementation has been extremely slow and the convoluted rules make it clear that the overwhelming majority (approximately 95 percent) of disabled military retirees won't benefit from this legislation.

The 108th Congress currently has 336 co-sponsors in the House (HR 303) and 64 co-sponsors in the Senate (S 392) for this legislation as of June 19, 2003. However, again this year the legislation is not funded and President Bush's administration has not changed its opposition despite the President's rhetoric about supporting veterans and keeping promises to them.

Since Congress hasn't funded this legislation yet, and the administration has indicated it won't be signed due to lack of funding, large groups of Americans have chosen to donate money to this fund until the United States Government is able to take care of its retired veterans suffering from service connected disabilities.

A donation of only 50 cents will go a long way to help take care of disabled retired veterans. Every citizen is urged to send a check payable to "Restoration of Retired Pay for Disabled Military Retirees Fund" c/o the President or any Congressional Representative.

Respectfully,

John Givhan

Andalusia