At some point in the future, we all hope, the COVID-19 pandemic will be in our rearview mirror.

A priority for the Shoals, I believe, is a strategy to address the miserable conditions at our jails, inadequate mental health assistance, widespread opioid addiction and homelessness.

Every community in Lauderdale and Colbert counties is lacking the tools to address these problems effectively.

As I have written in my book, “The Muscle Shoals,” our two-county region is particularly well-suited for collaboration among units of government and the independent sector to address problems that have little respect for local boundaries.

Like every community, we have elected officials whose loyalty are mainly to their voters. As the saying goes, “Where you sit is where you stand,” discouraging collaborative solutions to persistent problems, and like the current COVID-19 virus, that know no boundaries.

There are many models in the United States that use a rehabilitative model that inform their criminal justice system, that separates out schizophrenics, manic depressives, others with serious mental disorders and addictions from incarcerated populations typically resulting in declines in recidivism.

Some studies indicate that overall local regional economies are improved in those communities that address these issues using best practices and with broad public support.

Our leaders have demonstrated that local regional teamwork produces dividends for responsible growth.

Now is the time to come together to address these serious problems with smart solutions.

Alvin Rosenbaum


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(3) comments

David Rau

Leadership is supposed to start at the top but there is only one little problem with that their is no leadership at the top. George W. Bush was not very smart but when 911 happened he stepped up and showed leadership and everyone rallied behind him at least until he started a illegal war in Iraq. But now with the covid we have no leadership at the top,.Fifty governors are on their own and have been since the start of this. President Cheeto was never a leader in fact hes not much of anything. He was never up to the job. We must and we will have a change if not then this mess will continue for another four years.

Daddy Joe

another President Cheeto reference from the mental midget

Walter Bradford

The US has crossed the threshold of 150,000 confirmed deaths from Covid-19, just six months after the first cases were diagnosed in China and with the outbreak far from under control.

The American death toll is the highest in the world by a significant margin and reached 150,034 on Wednesday, according to the Johns Hopkins University world coronavirus tracker.

More than 4.3 million people have been infected with Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. As the Summer has worn on, outbreaks have spread across America’s sun belt, the region from Florida to southern California, and look increasingly likely to spread into central states. Meanwhile, some early centers of the pandemic, such as New York City, have brought the virus under significantly more control.

The pandemic has rewritten nearly every aspect of daily life in the United States. Economic activity depressed by public health restrictions and virus outbreaks brought the jobless rate above 11% in June. Restaurant, museum and cinema closures are rolling as states try to reopen, see outbreaks, and again restrict activities.

Schools, once thought certain to reopen in the fall, are grappling with how to make buildings safe for teachers and students. This week, the nation’s second-largest teachers union authorized local strikes as a “last resort” bargaining chip when districts fail to put coronavirus safety measures in place.

Meanwhile, many of the measures most fundamental to bringing the virus under control have continued to be challenges thanks to a fumbling and anemic federal response, led by the Trump administration.

Widespread outbreaks and week-long delays in test results have undermined contact tracing. Those fundamental failures have had knock-on effects, as outbreaks have reached nursing homes and continued to fill intensive care units with the most vulnerable, ill and resource-intensive patients.

As the coronavirus spread accelerated in March, and without federal leadership, state governors and hospitals began scrambling for ventilators and personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves and gowns for front line medical workers, who were in many places short of supplies and who themselves began dying from Covid-19.

Politics has taken a central role in how the pandemic has been tackled. The president initially downplayed the virus and predicted it would disappear – then, despite the US becoming the world’s pandemic hotspot, he urged businesses and now schools to reopen before the sustained decline in cases that federal health experts recommend.

We have a suicidal president trying to take as many Americans with him as he can before his Macabre plan is unraveled. Alabamians who placed their utmost trust, bankrolls and hopes in Trump, still pretend to be enamored with the Beast of 666 and will once again blindly, if not foolishly vote for him to stay in office for another (4) years and finish the destruction of America that he long ago began.

Walter A. Bradford Florence

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