Readers Write: Nov. 5

Atlanta would be good fit for Amazon

Bill Torpy’s column about Amazon’s headquarters search, “Religious liberty bills lessen odds,” News, Oct. 29, should have been titled “Atlanta has inside track on Amazon’s HQ2.” The campaign to bring the similarly important 1996 Olympics to Atlanta was always accompanied by positive newspaper headlines. We never saw headlines like “Atlanta’s Confederacy connections might lessen odds of getting Olympics.”

It is disappointing that politics is injected into Atlanta’s perfect fit for Amazon’s needs. When we get away from satisfying the business and infrastructure requirements, we need to stick to the things that made Atlanta’s Olympics quest so successful (Southern charm and hospitality, etc.).

Since Amazon’s home state, Washington, leans to the political left, and Georgia leans to the right, Amazon’s marriage of the two would create a perfect cross-section of America, Amazon’s main marketplace. Perhaps a region with a high concentration of churches and religious participation would be a refreshing complement to the Amazon culture. Connecting the town that spawned Starbucks to the town that spawned Chick-Fil-A is good for everybody.


Let’s stop supporting ‘puppy mill’ stores

Pet store lobbyists are pushing for state legislation (HB 144) that would prevent any Georgia county or city from banning sales of dogs in pet stores. Nationwide, 240 counties or cities have enacted such ordinances due to the prevalence of illness in dogs supplied by cruel and disease-ridden puppy mills. Ordinances protect consumers from ending up with exorbitant vet bills, and/or dead pets. Four Georgia localities have enacted ordinances, and the number is expected to rise with the recent outbreak of campylobacter linked to Petland stores across the country. According to the CDC, the outbreak has affected 67 people in 15 states; 62 of the victims were reportedly infected by contact with puppies at or from Petland. It’s time for Georgians to stop supporting stores that sell puppies and urge lawmakers to vote no on H.B.144.


Players should exercise freedom off the job

The professional football protests are escalating, as expected, and will continue as casual comments taken literally by those who are looking to be offended are inadvertently made and responded to, then in turn receive another response. All this could be and should have been dealt with by owners and the league by recognizing some simple facts. Professional football is a business. That business is putting on a show for paid guests (fans) and television. That show includes certain pageantry and protocol which the players must adhere to as paid performers, including the pre-game warm-up, running onto the field en-masse through smoke and mist, etc. Once reporting for the job, they have no “freedom of expression.” They wear highly controlled uniforms, must report on time, follow strict play routines and take the field when told, leave when told. Standing for the anthem is part of their job as performers. Off the job, they can exercise all the freedoms, speech and protest their celebrity will muster.


Teachers more deserving of tax breaks

In discussing who should get tax breaks in Georgia, I would not recommend one for people who repair yachts. Their expenses should be met by their wealthy customers, not Georgia taxpayers. However, I highly recommend tax breaks for the state employees Georgia needs most: teachers. An asset more important to businesses than tax breaks are well-trained and educated workers.

If teachers did not have to pay property taxes here, Georgia’s population would immediately rise with a flood of the finest teachers the country — and possibly, the world — has to offer.


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