It’s not a smart time to enforce the easy laws

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 5, 2009

It’s been many years since I’ve received a traffic ticket, but last week I was cited for not wearing a seat belt. I was not happy about it. And the police have more important tasks to perform. The Vicksburg Post regularly lists scores of burglaries that occur every month in our community. I’d rather the police hunt robbers than stalk seat-belt violators.

The incident reminded me of the public complaints about Chief Tommy Moffett’s speed trap on U.S. 61 South and suggested a question: Has the chief decided to place more emphasis on enforcing the “easy” laws? If so, he should be aware that preying upon the taxpayers is not a smart move, especially just prior to an election. An angry public could unleash a backlash against him and his superiors. Which begs the question, if Mayor Leyens is re-elected, will he continue to support the present chief of police? If Leyens loses, will his replacement want his own man in the position?

I’ve wondered about how the present chief decides which laws he will enforce. For example, I have repeatedly asked him to enforce the disturbing-the-peace ordinance in regard to loud vehicles. He has not. After years of lax enforcement of this ordinance, downtown Vicksburg now sounds like NASCAR.

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Hot rods, choppers, rolling rappers and just plain vehicles without mufflers patrol Washington and Clay streets at all hours of the day and night. It’s nerve-wracking.

In the past I have hesitated to dial 911 to report such things as the juke-joints-on-wheels, figuring the police were busy chasing criminals. Now, however, armed with the knowledge that they have plenty of time to set up speed traps and enforce such frivolous laws as the seat-belt statute, I’ll reconsider.

Perhaps if the chief is made to enforce the laws that affect our quality of life, he’ll have less time to tyrannize the populace.

Malcolm Allred


Tougher for nonresidents

I would like to request the paper to please inform the people of Vicksburg that if you live outside of the city limits and you do not have on your seat belt  and are pulled over, you are subject to surrender your license. This is what happened to me when I left downtown Vicksburg, where I was shopping, and was pulled over by Vicksburg’s finest. I was told to either surrender my license or go to jail and bond out.

With our tourist season gearing up, I imagine this will make our guests feel more than welcome in our town. Imagine my surprise when the officer told me that this is procedure and “everyone” knows this. I called several people and they told me they have never heard of such a thing.

Well I’m saying it now. Please, please Vicksburg buckle up before you become a victim of  the VPD, also known as the Vicksburg Profit Department.

Tremesha Ware


Crime is out of control

It has been two years since I last lived in Vicksburg, but I read The Vicksburg Post daily. When I read the crime report I am very disappointed to see how crime has been allowed to take control of Vicksburg. I believe that the police chief and his top officers should make a better effort in handling this problem and if they can’t then the mayor should be held accountable.

When I have had the chance to visit Vicksburg I often will see a couple of patrol cars just sitting in some store parking lot while the officers are talking with each other. Later after reading the crime report I see where someone has been robbed or someone’s property has been broken into. This is never downtown and I would hate to think that Vicksburg leaders only care about that area.

Chief Moffet, please do what you were hired to do and that is to protect the whole Vicksburg area from crime and not just have officers hand out traffic citations. This is not being accountable to the citizens of Vicksburg.

Grant Jones

Carthage, Texas

State testing had priority

How many of the parents of Warren Central Junior High students are aware nine-weeks tests were not given?

State testing for students in seventh and eighth grades was scheduled alongside nine-weeks testing. The principal at WCJH was faced with a decision. Bombard our children with state testing and nine-weeks testing or eliminate the nine-weeks testing for the third nine weeks.

He chose to eliminate the nine-weeks testing. The school board policy states the tests have to be given, as it is part of the grading system for each student. By not giving the test, students cannot be graded fairly. Why did the superintendent not see the dilemma in the beginning? And if he did and addressed this on the state level, who there has our children’s best interest in mind?

It seems to me that the government is most concerned on how children test as a group rather than individually. Each child varies from the other. State testing is important. It is needed to ensure that we see how our state is progressing in education. By putting so much emphasis on the state testing, a principal was pressured into making a decision that was not in the best interest of the children of Warren County.

Is he at fault? Not entirely. As a parent of a student I am very disturbed by his decision. However, I cannot place the blame entirely on this individual who has chosen to be an educator, caregiver and mentor.

The damage has already been done. Who is going to make sure this does not happen to our students in the future? Let us hope that the elected board members will properly handle the situation to the best of their ability.

Elizabeth Rippy


Bovina needs a playgound

As a Bovina resident and parent of two future elementary students, I’d like to express my concern regarding the absence of a playground at Bovina Elementary. Currently, Bovina is the only school in the Vicksburg Warren School District that does not have a playground. These children spend their recess playing in a small area of dirt and worn grass.  In fact, several students have been reprimanded for throwing rocks since they have nothing to do outside. Not only are these children lacking an important physical education element, but they are being denied one of the more enjoyable aspects of school.

As hard as it is to keep children interested in school, do we really want to lose them at such an early age?

Since Mississippi leads the nation in obesity, it is vital that we invest in these children and emphasize that physical activity is key in staying healthy.  Imagine how creative teachers must be to provide 150 minutes of weekly activity-based instruction as outlined in the Mississippi Healthy Students Act without a playground. 

I truly commend Bovina’s principal, staff and PTO who have worked diligently over the past few months to raise money for this effort.  They are an enthusiastic, can-do group who are willing to bend over backward to make Bovina a success and give these children what other district schools already have. Despite having raised $10,500 toward the construction of a safe playground and auditorium seats, they still need $60,000 or more. 

While it’s true that we’re all feeling the effects of a struggling economy, these children are counting on us to invest in their education and provide much-needed resources. These children are the future leaders of our community, so please help show them that their health and education matter.

Sara Leach


Not just downtown

On March 29, The Vicksburg Post printed a letter critical of Mayor Laurence Leyens for paying too much attention to Vicksburg’s downtown.

At this point I have to make a disclosure: I never voted for Mayor Leyens. I always voted for Mr. Loviza. However, it is very unfair to criticize Mayor Leyens for paying attention to the downtown area. Without his leadership, Vicksburg’s downtown would be a lot of closed stores. Now it is a nice area to visit and shop.

Also, to refresh the memory of the author of the letter I refer to, among other achievements of Mayor Leyens are the revival and modernization of the Marcus Bottom area and the installation of new modern traffic lights and the modernization of many intersections.

Let’s give to Caesar what is due to Caesar.

Julius Herscovici