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Monday, Jan. 7, 2002

By Staff
Leave Bonita Lakes alone
To the editor:
I think it was about two years ago that my husband and I first began hiking the trails at Bonita. We started off slowly, following the main, wide, dirt roads around the lake. Eventually we became more adventurous, and began branching off onto the narrow paths that led into the woods. What a wondrous world it opened to us!
We spend two or three hours each Saturday and Sunday hiking deep into the back woods. We trudge up and down the beautiful hills, valleys and gorges. It is our haven from traffic, city noise and stress. Those few hours each week are very therapeutic and energizing. I cannot count the number of times we have become lost as we explore. But, that is part of the experience.
The wildlife is abundant once you get deep into the heart of the woods. We have encountered deer, wild turkey, beaver, hawks, kingfishers, pileated woodpeckers, wood ducks and great blue herons. We have heard the soulful song of the great horned owls as and they call to each other. Since I live in the city, these are pleasures I can only gather on our hikes.
Along the way, we often have to improvise a crude bridge to cross one of the many creeks that run through the heart of the woods. We throw across old logs rocks, etc., to help us cross. Recently, we decided to follow one of our favorite creeks to its headwaters. To our pleasure, we discovered a three to four foot waterfall!
I plead with the citizens of Meridian and others concerned, to make your voice heard before it is too late. I believe the Cooper Development project will be a tremendous asset to our community. Why can't our city leaders find another site to locate the new golf course, and leave Bonita alone and pristine? Once our beautiful woods are developed into a golf course, we will lose a wilderness and wildlife treasure forever.
Sue Ann Holmes
Meridian
In defense of the Bar
To the editor:
Over the past weeks and months, we have witnessed continual articles, letters, advertisements and editorials addressing perceived problems in Mississippi's legal system relating to tort reform. This issue is not new and has been debated in one form or another in every state for several decades. Now, our state has apparently entered into another tort reform cycle. Every group appears to have a perspective on this issue with current opinions ranging from massive overhaul of our judicial system to no changes at all. Recently, however, many of these opinions have started to refer to lawyers in such disparaging terms as "deceitful," "liars," "greedy," and"pillagers."
As president of the Mississippi Bar, I am concerned about such leaps from reason to emotion, as well as generalizations that bash the entire legal profession and judicial system. To paint every lawyer and judge in Mississippi with such broad demeaning strokes is just plain wrong. Because such emotional appeals have nothing to do with the issues under discussion, they do not help the public.
Lost in all of the hype is the strong every day role that lawyers and the legal system play in our lives. Both interest groups and the media are often guilty of overlooking the positive contributions of lawyers helping incorporate your business, draft a lease, close the loan on your new home, protect the rights of children and the elderly, and carry out the criminal justice system. These Mississippi lawyers are your neighbors, Sunday School teachers, little league coaches and scoutmasters, strongly committed to tending the needs of their communities. Such contributions by lawyers which benefit the public occur daily but are rarely mentioned by the media.
Although I am not suggesting that Mississippi's legal system is perfect, I do submit that broad
characterizations of all or most lawyers as greedy, self-centered and untrustworthy are erroneous and, in fact, slander the legal profession.
The Mississippi Bar is involved in issues on which its more than 7,000 members are united, and I can state on behalf of Mississippi's legal profession that we are united in our resentment to emotional appeals and stereotyping which "bash" the entire legal profession and justice system.
These actions add nothing to the healthy dialogue needed to resolve the real issues facing
Mississippi and its legal system. Debate the proposals on their merits, stereotyping, name-calling and mud slinging should be left to Rikki Lake and Jerry Springer, where they belong
W.C. (Cham) Trotter, III
President, The Mississippi Bar
Chunky a welcome sight for travelers
To the editor:
On New Year's Eve, my husband and I were traveling on I-20 returning to Georgia from our holiday trip to Texas. We had the misfortune of our car breaking down. But we were very blessed to have had it break down right before the exit for the wonderful town of Chunky.
We received assistance at the Stop and Shop in finding the local mechanic, Scott (I'm sorry to say that I didn't catch his last name) who took time out of his holiday morning to help us get back on the road.
I'd like to say a heartfelt thank you to the town of Chunky for opening their hearts to be helpful to a couple of stranded strangers on a cold holiday morning.
Thank you,
Jason and Kay Hill
Cartersville, Ga.

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