Handley creating great memories - The Randolph Leader: Columns

  • Roanoke, Randolph County, Alabama — May 28, 2015
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Handley creating great memories

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Posted: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 8:01 am

Are we not all excited about the Handley Tigers? Half the town will probably be in Tuscaloosa Thursday for the championship game.

Kudos to the coaches, players, and those who have followed the team all these years. I know former coach and now superintendent Chuck Marcum is so excited.

"Friday Night Lights" with Kyle Chandler was a critically acclaimed series that showed the importance of football in a small town. I loved that show and hate it has now ended.

When the hometown team wins everybody feels like they are winners. It has been a tough year, and this is a major bright spot of 2011.

As the superintendent has previously said, this is only the fourth time for Handley to have a perfect regular season. Those years were 1936, 1940, 2009 and 2011. It should be noted Mike Battles was the coach for two of those teams, as well as the present one.

HHS played for the state championship in 1977 but did not win. Ironically, three of those who played on that team now have sons who are Tigers on this team.

The fathers are Barry Bozeman, Dwayne Foster and Johnny Tennant. The sons are Will Tennant, Cody Foster and Bradley Bozeman.

Mayor Mike Fisher said he remembered this well. He was with the recreation department then.

We all hope this will be a season to remember when the gold and red leaves are swirling and people's memories turn back to that championship season.

In any case this team has been amazing. May they go all the way. The town will be pretty empty Thursday as Roanoke residents and others go to see their team play... and hopefully, win.

Immigration

This morning I saw an obviously Hispanic man walking in the rain with his head down. My first thought was he needed to get off the street before law enforcement came along. Of course he could have been legal and my pity was misplaced.

I think what we are doing to these people is despicable. It is like Jews forced to wear the Star of David in countries controlled by Nazis in World War II times. These people may not face death but they face a lot of horrendous consequences.

Many own trailers and cars, which some unscrupulous people may wrestle away from them because they cannot renew their annual decals on the trailer or get a title renewed on a vehicle if they have lost it. The decal issue will likely be one of many issues decided in the courts.

It said the fastest growing part of the prison system is detention facilities for illegal immigrants. The government stopped sending families to the T. Don Hutto Residential Center, a former state prison near Austin, Texas, that drew an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit and scathing news coverage for putting young children behind razor wire.

The Obama administration in August 2009 announced a plan to overhaul the way the nation detains immigration violators, trying to transform it from a patchwork of jail and prison cells to what its new chief called a “truly civil detention system.” The plan aimed to establish more centralized authority over the system, which holds about 400,000 immigration detainees over the course of a year, and more direct oversight of detention centers that have come under fire for mistreatment of detainees and substandard, sometimes fatal, medical care.

Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Hale, facing about a $6.5-million deficit, laying off about 140 deputies and support workers and closing four substations, recently said on TV that his deputies do not need to be spending hours enforcing the new immigration law when there are robberies and burglaries going on.

No bleeding heart liberal, he said he will enforce the law but his people have other things they should be doing. He said he does not like the law.

People say immigrants should just come here legally. Supposedly, that can take 10-12 years while their children are living here as American citizens. People are living in fear, afraid to go to the grocery store, afraid to go to church. Some have been here 20 years or more. The state of Alabama has made it next to impossible for them to do the everyday things of life. The backers of this bill said that is what they want.

Whether people want to admit it or not, these people contribute to our state's economy. They pay into Social Security although they will never get it. Except for their children born here as Americans, they do not get food stamps.

They are such a small portion of our population I have to wonder if it is just scapegoating by the legislature. Make it look like you are doing something about jobs that by getting rid of illegals who many believe are taking jobs Alabamians will do.

I think the slight downtick in unemployment has nothing to do with jobs abandoned by illegals fleeing the state. In the long run this will likely decrease jobs in this state. One mayor has clearly said since the law went into effect inquiries from foreign businesses have dried up. He is afraid they are going to lose Golden Dragon Precise Copper Tube Group, which announced earlier this year its plans to build a $100 million plant in Thomasville.

"It is having second thoughts" about Alabama in light of the controversial law, according to David Bronner, chairman and chief executive of the Retirement Systems of Alabama. He oversees the state's $29-billion public pension fund.

"They’re not happy," said Bronner, citing conversations with Golden Dragon executives. "They have expressed their concerns to me on numerous occasions."

Bronner said the immigration law caused the Spanish owners of BBVA Compass to cancel plans for an $80-million bank tower in Birmingham.

Rival states hoping to lure the China's Golden Dragon Precise Copper Tube Group are telling them they have no such law and to consider them.

In a report released by the Center for American Progress it highlights the economic damage the immigration law is wreaking on the state, assessing the financial hit to the state to be hundreds of millions of dollars lost in tax and farm revenue.

According to Alabama farmer, Chad Smith, he's lost $300,000 in revenue "because of labor shortages in the wake of HB 56." 

A similar law in Georgia is not only affecting agriculture but restaurants who cannot get the help they need. According to a study from the University of Georgia on behalf of the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, Georgia farmers had 11,000 jobs that went unfilled during the summer harvest, costing them $150 million.

If economics are not enough, think about the families that being broken up. Many believe our Department of Human Resources is going to be overrun by children left alone when parents and guardians are arrested and put into detention centers. That need is barely being met today.

These are in most cases good people who deserve better.

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