Only admiration for city, festival


Only admiration for city, festival

I am chairman of the County Commission for Columbia County, Ga., which is a high-growth county just west of Augusta, Ga. We are currently building a new Towne Center Park which includes a 6,000-seat amphitheater.

A local promoter, Mr. Joe Mullins, suggested I visit your Riverbend Festival. Through his contact with ClearChannel Radio vice president Jared Stehney, I was able to visit your city and, and thanks to Joe and Jared, meet with Mr. Chip Baker, executive director of the Festival. WOW! What a job y'all have done.

Your festival and the entire city must be the envy of the entire country.

As a public official, I congratulate you!

The nickel-tour of the city by Jared and the later time spent with Mr. Baker was of tremendous value in making our plans for the future.

Jared is a strong supporter of the city, and Mr. Baker has done an excellent job with your festival. The time he spent telling the history of the event and the innovative concepts you employ was invaluable information to me.

Please express my admiration to the people of your city and to all the staff and workers of the festival. I look forward to a return visit.


Chairman of Columbia County (Ga.) Board of Commissioners

Odd-size ad makes a mess

Whoever came up with the idea of a 3-inch-wide, full-length advertisement page? I would like to know the reason other than saving paper. It starts my day on the wrong side when you can't turn the page without a hassle in keeping a sharp fold and end up with a crumbled paper mess, for the next person to read. Just wondering.


East Brainard

Court is correct on air authority

The Free Press editorial, "Nobody wants pollution, but ...," (June 22) accurately describes the U.S. Supreme Court's new ruling reaffirming the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Air Act authority to curb global warming.

Unfortunately, the editorial misleadingly states that: "We all want clean air and clean water. But obviously, proper regulation of such matters cannot be reasonably prescribed by our federal courts."

The court set forth for global warming a general "prescribed order of decisionmaking - the first decider under the Act is the expert administrative agency, the second, federal judges" reviewing EPA rulemaking.

Moreover, for clean water, and potentially for clean air issues including global warming, the court reaffirmed the centuries-old federal judicial role in regulating pollution. Specifically, the Court reiterated that the Clean Water Act does not bar an injured individual's "nuisance claim pursuant to the law of the source State" and allowed lower courts to decide if the Clean Air Act allowed global warming nuisance claims under state common law.


Staff Attorney, Judging the Environment, Defenders of Wildlife

Washington, D.C.

Don't wreck plans by 'fixing them'

I have studied the Ryan (Republican) bill and, of course, the centerpiece is the assault on Medicare and Social Security.

The details on the plan are vague, but the best I could determine, those now under 55 would be given a voucher at 65 to chose from an option of plans.

No doubt there is plenty of room for reform in the Medicare system.

For starters, the Medicare Part D drug plan, written by and for big Pharma, prohibits price negotiations such as the VA has and was shamelessly passed into law by the congressional campaign donor recipients and signed by President Bush.

Of course no Republican budget would be complete without further tax cuts for the wealthiest - creates more jobs - worked so well during the Bush/Cheney tenure, might as well give it another go.

Medicare and Social Security have provided a safety net for seniors which they need and deserve. Let us be diligent in our efforts to prevent the politicians from destroying these programs under the guise of "fixing them."


Lynchburg, Tenn.

Simple changes make a difference

While I was not at the event held at green/spaces on Tuesday, I did attend Nashville's version on Monday. Certainly it's true that subsidies will be required to tip the scale in favor of cleaner energy sources. However all game-changing technologies have been subsidized, at one time, by government policy.

What the article (June 22) fails to realize is that sustainable business isn't necessarily about solar energy or electronic vehicles.

There are plenty of quick return actions that can increase a company's competitiveness while reducing its impacts.

In my work, I have seen companies add millions of dollars to their bottom line through recycling programs and cut energy costs through simple procedural changes.

"Green's great gap" is not the cost to do business in an environmentally friendly manner but rather the language being used to describe it.

Environmental considerations can no longer be seen as an altruistic afterthought when times are good. They are better viewed as efficient resource allocation that takes into account new elements of corporate risk.

Today's recession presents an opportunity for businesses to begin considering their impacts, not only for the environment but also for their survival in the marketplace.


Director, WAP Sustainability