Letters to the editor
Once again, I am sad to say, the Atmore Advance has misrepresented the truth about the town. The following was written in a story in the Wednesday, Jan. 22 edition of the paper:
"Approximately two-thirds of the total population of Atmore responded to a petition drive to save the local Kmart this week.
"More than 3,600 signatures were obtained . . . ."
Maybe math was not the reporters high point in school. Or maybe statistics was not his best subject. Or maybe research was not. Either way, though, this story is misleading from the start.
In reality, the population of Atmore, in the OFFICIAL 2000 Census was found to be 7,676. That makes the 3,600 signatures (and to allow for the "[m]ore than," I have figured using 3,700) is actually less than 50 percent of the town's population. (To be specific, it is, rounded to the nearest tenth, 48.2%.)
The economic condition that faces Atmore is the fault of Atmore. For years the town has set idle and let business opportunities pass by. It has finally caught up with the town and its residents
I have just been notified that the 31st of this month will be my last day at my job in Atmore. I suspect that when all is said and done (probably within the next 4-6 months) the entire business will be shut down . . . just like Vanity Fair and K-Mart.
It is time for Atmore to wake up and do something. Check your local history and see what Canoe used to be like. Atmore is headed in that direction.
The NAACP wishes to thank the community for its participation in the Annual Martin Luther King Celebration. We hope that you enjoyed the parade and march and all the activities that were offered.
We want to thank the following companies, churches and individuals that helped us in our endeavor to have such a successful outcome:
Touch One, Masland Carpets, Pepsi Cola Company, United Bank, The Presbyterian Church, Trinity Episcopal Church, Standard Furniture Company, Staff Chevrolet, Godwin Florist, Mayor Howard Shell, Keith and Patty Castleberry, Winn Dixie, Food Fair and Mr. and Mrs. Terry Kelly. We appreciate your help today and tomorrow.
We cannot express in words what we feel on how you turned out in support of this celebration. Our gratitude for New Pleasant Hill Choir for their music and their director. We are here for you if you need us. That goes for the entire community. The NAACP will be there for you if you need us.
To our speakers – Dr. Donna Paul, Dr. William Paul, Christine Jackson, District 5 Commissioner Wiley Tate and Beverly Hinton – thank you. They gave us some valuable information to develop our neighborhood and our medical care. In the very near future, Dr. Donna Paul will be here in her mobile medical unit to give free medical screenings. We will have that information out to you as soon as it is available.
Mrs. Hinton will be making a return trip in the very near future also to give us more insight on the EEOC. To our State President, Rev. A.L. Shanklin, and State First Vice President, Rev. Lesueue, thank you for coming and for being a part of our celebration. Thank you for the powerful message you gave. We will be on the hunt.
Thank you again from the very bottom of our hearts for your cooperation and participation. Last, but not least, we wish to thank the Fire Department from Atmore and the Poarch Creek Indian Nation. To the Atmore Police who guided us through the community, thank you to Public Safety Director Glenn Carlee and his officers for their support.
If you missed this year's celebration, be prepared for next year.
Rev. Dane C. Robinson,
NAACP Branch 5027
(Editor's Note: The following letter was presented to the Atmore Advance, and a request was made to publish it in order to show some of the efforts of residents to keep the local Kmart store open)
James B. Adamson
We are writing to make a case for keeping Kmart Store #4833 in Atmore, Alabama open.
Many of us Atmore and surrounding area citizens are older folks who are unable to make trips to other cities for purchases. Many of our children have left the area and are no longer available to take us shopping.
The store is a vital part of the Atmore community, not only for shoppers and as an employer but also as a large source of city sales tax revenue. Its closure would leave a large void in our community, including the loss of a significant amount of school tax revenue that is desperately needed in our area.
Within a 100-mile radius, we have a retail-shopping zone of well over 1 million people and, within 50 miles, there are 800,000.
Your consideration in this matter would be greatly appreciated.
David Tillery, Judy Tillery, Heather Caraway, Joan Gibson, David Gibson, Rebecca Thompson, Steven Thompson, Ray Fransen, Edna Tillery, Rita M. Jones, Katie Dreadin, Gayle A. Hanks, Rev. W.D. Hodge, Carolyn S. Smith, Margaret Strawbridge and Dorothy McGill