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UGA dean responds to article


I was so happy to see your article on the Poverty Simulation (“You don’t want to go there,” by Jim Morekis).

I am not only very proud of our work as Cooperative Extension faculty in UGA's College of Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) in the delivery of this program, but also impressed by how effectively this exercise affected you.

You are among the very few citizens in Georgia who have benefitted from this program. We'd like to take it to even more cities and counties around the state.

Your article reinforces the need for this program and I hope also infers the need for our policy makers to continue to support our FACS cooperative extension service efforts.

We bring “knowledge for real life” issues and people like you make our efforts even more fulfilling and worthwhile than they already are. Thanks.

Jorge H. Atiles, Ph.D.

Associate Dean for Outreach & Extension, College of Family and Consumer Sciences

University of Georgia


Simulation not sincere


I read with bemused contentiousness the article about simulating the lives of poor people. Just like the simulations offered in seminars about being a slave, or the national correspondent spending a night in jail to “understand” the plight of the jailed, your experience smacks of a cult of personality mentality run amok.

Simulate all you want, but the truth is you still got to go home while the hungry, homeless, and poor are still experiencing their situations. Please do not expect anyone with a modicum of intelligence to believe that a seminar on being poor offers a shred of truth about the real life of those people experiencing it.

It's another “feel-good” to make the rest of us feel fortunate that we are not in their position in life... nothing else. Even your pithy “You don't want to go there” title smacks of condescension.

Don Robinson


What’s in it for them?


Your observations regarding the three weeks in poverty that you and your simulation family endured are of keen interest to me. Local politicians, business members and all Savannahians must commit to every possibility in eliminating -- not just reducing -- poverty.

It is in part refreshing to know that local politicians and business members have put aside their collective egos and are willing to address social issues that one could argue have little direct effect towards their public careers or bottom lines.

My questions for all of the participants (political and business leaders), that were so fortunate that they only had to endure 30 minutes in poverty are: “When it was all over, did it REALLY drive you to make changes?”

It had to have dawned upon you that someone: was REALLY being evicted; somewhere in our city at that same moment. Certainly you considered that several families absolutely COULD NOT buy groceries and that the only balanced meals that their children will have had all week was provided at school?

Did you question why an elderly woman was dying in her bed because she could not afford the medication she needed or the transportation to apply for assistance?

Were the local politicians and business members present because they truly want to eliminate poverty in Savannah Mr. Morekis? Or were they trying to figure out what was in it for themselves?

Kate DeVane


Volunteer enjoyed article


I'm one of the volunteers involved in the Anti-Poverty initiative, and I just read your piece about the poverty simulations.

I had some of the same experiences and emotions when I went through a simulation but couldn't be nearly as articulate as you. Good job.

Letty Shearer


More on ‘Faith’ article


I read the recent cover article written by Margaret DeBolt, “Faith of Our Fathers.” I found it interesting because I am in the middle of a book written by David Barton titled Original Intent. He is an expert on the Constitution and the book is quite interesting.

There are hundreds of quotes from our founding fathers in this book and unfortunately, I am not getting the same impression that Margaret is getting. It is so easy to take a quote or two and draw a conclusion.

Far be it from me to debate with Ms. DeBolt but I don't think she gave a correct “record.” Thomas Jefferson is often misquoted the most.

I told my husband it was kind of like the Bible, you can argue a point by using a few verses but when you take the whole, the Bible speaks for itself.

I actually started studying our founding fathers because of the Judge Roy Moore case. I went to the internet to research the individuals who signed the Declaration of Independence. It truly opened my eyes to the awesome heritage we have in our country.

The conclusion I have drawn so far, after reading the letter to the Danbury Baptist Church between Thomas Jefferson and the pastor, is the “Original Intent” was to keep government from dictating any part of religion, not keep Christians from government or government from Christianity. They all, even Ben Franklin, thought Christianity was a vital part of our communities and they were in government.

The conservatives of today do not believe in one religion. That is far from our goal. In retrospect, you can't dismiss the whole point of the Pilgrims and Puritans and the reason our nation began.

Dawn P. Camp


Shooting the messenger


Very interesting reading by Margaret DeBolt, however, info didn't match things I have read about our presidents’ faith.

I would be interested to know what religious denomination Ms. DeBolt prefers for herself.



It ain’t America if it ain’t free


As I sit here and read several articles relating to a ban on gay-marriage, I couldn’t help but feel disgust.

I think about the three most notable people in history who fought for civil rights for ALL people. I think about the Constitution that talks about equality and justice for ALL people. I think about our founding fathers who came to America to be free, to live life freely.

Then I think about the fights and marches that African-Americans, women, and people with disabilities in a quest for their freedom.

I think about the Bible, one of the oldest books on earth, how it preaches love and not to judge.

And Jesus, our savior, who said to love your neighbors and to welcome strangers into your lives and care for them and love them as an equal (whether rich or poor, man or woman, black or white, heterosexual or homosexual).

And now back to the present where our government, who fears the unknown and is uneducated, who wants to add discrimination in our Constitution. What a conflict this is.

The Constitution is about freedom and now they want to strip us of it, to live without securities. What good is America if we are no longer have freedom in the land of the free?

Lori Faulk