As a person of faith, a pastor in Atlanta and a leader in my church, I oppose the impending execution of Warren Hill.
I am a follower of Jesus Christ, who offered forgiveness even to Judas Iscariot and Peter — so I believe that mercy is my obligation toward all my fellow sinners. We are commanded to let God take care of vengeance. Our task is to cultivate mercy and justice, love and kindness.
As I pray for all the Georgia families touched by violence, I also pray for Mr. Hill.
I have read about Mr. Hill’s severe developmental disabilities and his childhood. I believe our state should not execute this man, but should confine him to prison for the rest of his life.
Let our actions truly reflect the values of our state and the faith that many of us share. Mr. Hill has committed a terrible crime. Let us not add to the tragedy with another state-sponsored killing.
GARY W. CHARLES, PASTOR, CENTRAL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Better education starts
with 2-parent families
The import of Lindsey Burke’s piece “Better education begins once parents can choose” (Opinion, Feb. 13) would be more on point were it changed to, and directed toward, “Better education begins once there are two parents.”
DENNIS BALLOU, ATLANTA
Low pay, long hours
discourage rig drivers
Your story, “Qualified truckers are hard to find/Stress, modest pay lead to high turnover in nation’s big rigs” (Business, Feb. 3) tells the tale. But the true shortage is in trucking management’s approach to its most important human capital: its drivers.
Most drivers are paid only for miles driven, and nothing for time. This works fantastic for employers. If drivers are held up by factors beyond their control, companies have no additional employee costs. Truckers lose 30 to 40 hours per week to the inefficiencies of others. The cost spills over to society at a cost of billions annually.
An annual wage of $40,000 isn’t so great for a 70- to 80-hour work week away from home for weeks at a time, especially if the pay doesn’t increase with experience (even with a perfect safety record).
This constant race to the bottom impacts safety as well. New, inexperienced drivers are far more likely to crash — but obviously, the accountants at larger trucking firms calculate they are money ahead by hiring and paying cheap.
TODD SPENCER, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, OWNER-OPERATOR INDEPENDENT DRIVERS ASSOCIATION
Locals also must pay
for region’s hotel tax
Regarding the guest column of Feb. 13, I am in total agreement (“Local residents pay hotel-motel tax, too,” Opinion).
I am a retired event planner for a major corporation and currently am a planner for one of the company’s retirement clubs. When actively employed, my major responsibility in planning meetings was the room rate. That, generally, is the biggest expense to a meeting. Currently, I have the same responsibility, because reunion attendees are responsible for their room payment. If I can’t negotiate a reasonable rate in the city of choice, I walk.
In planning for this year’s reunion, I abandoned the first choice of locations because of high rates driven by high taxes. I went to the second choice and received multiple quotes from properties that were within our range for rates.
High taxes leading to high room rates will deter business.
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Two people have been arrested in connection with a Thursday night gun battle that spanned an entire block of Parkway Drive between Ponce de Leon and North avenues, an Atlanta police spokeswoman said Friday.