Readers write: Oct. 7

Don’t jail mother in anorexia death

After the death of her daughter from anorexia, a Georgia mother was sentenced to 30 years in prison (“Mother pleads guilty in death,” Metro, Oct. 1). Assistant District Attorney Lindsay Gardner admitted Ebony Espree Berry had not starved her daughter, but stated, “Had she gotten the victim the help she needed, there’s a chance Markea would be here today.”

But was help available? The public health system of Georgia has no specialized services for anorexia, and no eating disorder program in Georgia accepts Medicaid. Many private insurance policies exclude mental health treatment. While DFCS often intervenes with treatment-resistant parents, this did not happen. If charging this mother with murder is appropriate, should we not also imprison parents whose children die from suicide or drug overdoses?

This sentence should be appealed. The search for guilty parties for punishment is not always helpful. Let’s channel our outrage over Markea’s death into identifying and developing resources that prevent future tragedies.

RICK KILMER, CLINICAL DIRECTOR, ATLANTA CENTER FOR EATING DISORDERS

Symphony needs to broaden its base

While supporting the arts is vital to Atlanta, if annual revenues are $5 million and costs are $10 million, donations, grants and pledges are not the ultimate solution. You eventually run out of money if you cannot solve the revenue/cost disparity by cost reduction and expanding the market base. ASO must expand its paying customer base, not just its donor base.

BRANDT ROSS, ATLANTA

Woodruff leader sounds sour note

I am shocked by the snarky tone of comments from Douglas Hertz in the AJC (“Woodruff board chairman discusses crisis,” Living, Oct. 4). As Woodruff Arts Center board chairman, he should be providing leadership, at least publicly: ideas, conciliatory gestures, flexibility. Instead, he engages in schoolyard-level tit-for-tat. With respect to his snide comment that only musicians’ friends are “siding” with the musicians — I and my friends and acquaintances are part of the public that supports the musicians, and I don’t know a single one of them. Mr. Hertz mentions that the budget is at a deficit from the start. Doesn’t that imply a lack of management engagement, ideas, and planning?

The orchestra and Atlanta deserve better.

BETSY SHACKLEFORD, DECATUR

Georgia FairTax would create jobs

A reader from Cumming wrote about the problems with deepening the Savannah port (“Port deepening will hurt U.S. economy,” Readers write, Oct. 3) and ended his letter by saying, “Now if we could just get the Fair Tax to finish the job, we would all be impoverished together.” The truth is, the FairTax would create jobs. When surveyed, a majority of business owners said that they would build their next manufacturing plant and headquarters in the U.S. if the corporate tax was eliminated. With the FairTax, companies would not only choose to stay in the U.S., but many companies would move back to this country.

On Oct. 14, “UnFair: Exposing The IRS” will be shown in select theaters nationwide, including one in Cumming. I hope the author of that letter will watch the movie and learn the truth about the FairTax.

LISA CHAMBERS, SNELLVILLE