published Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Letters to the Editors

Change sentence for prison inmate

Tennessee death row inmate Gaile Owens was sentenced to death for the 1985 murder of her abusive husband. The jury was never informed of the heinous cruelty she suffered at her husband's hands. From the outset, Gaile Owens acknowledged her role in causing her husband's death and expressed remorse.

Gaile is the only inmate in Tennessee history to receive a death sentence after accepting a prosecutor's offer to plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence. Of nine similar Tennessee cases involving abused women who had a hand in their husbands' deaths, only Gaile Owens received a death sentence. One of these women served only a few months in a mental hospital before being released.

Unless Gov. Bredesen intervenes and commutes her sentence to life in prison, Gaile Owens will be executed on Sept. 28. Gail is a model inmate, loved by prison staff and peers alike. To execute Gaile Owens will be a terrible injustice, bringing shame on the state of Tennessee.

LESLIE LYTLE

Tracy City, Tenn.

Cantrell wants to serve all citizens

To the citizens of Hamilton County District 2:

As a young U.S. Naval officer, I recognized that there was no party affiliation in the military; there were just men and women working responsibly to serve their country, all of the country. Now as an international airline captain, my responsibility is the safety and welfare of my crew and over 240 passengers, regardless of political affiliation, nationality, social class or faith.

As a candidate for District 2 of the Hamilton County Commission, I want to responsibly represent every citizen in the district -- not just Democrats, Republicans or Libertarians. As your representative, my responsibility will be listening to your voices, your needs and your concerns, not those of a particular political party or those with special interests.

I believe in citizen involvement, and I want to work actively with all of you to achieve accountable, efficient, and honest government. To learn where I stand on the issues facing Hamilton County, visit my website davidcantrell.org. If you have questions or suggestions on how government can better serve you and Hamilton County, please e-mail me at davidwcantrell@comcast.net.

David Cantrell

Independent Candidate for District 2,

Hamilton County Commission

Youth should help elect Zach Wamp

Calling on Chattanooga's youth to get involved and vote for Zach Wamp.

I am a young professional who has lived in three main cities in Tennessee over the last 13 years. I have been in Chattanooga for over two years. As we get closer to electing Tennessee's next governor, I would like to encourage the youth to get involved.

Register in order to vote and pick your candidate.

Zach Wamp is from Chattanooga and has the experience, leadership and vision; traits that the next governor will need. He has been very influential in the positive growth, development the region has experienced and will continue to do so once elected governor.

The youth will benefit in many ways from Zach being elected. Education is one issue he will tackle head-on once elected. Better education in the state increases the chances for potential employers who are looking to move and invest in the state. This will eventually create better jobs and better pay.

Zach always says, "Bettering education has to start from the bottom up." I challenge the youth of Chattanooga to get involved and be part of electing the first governor from the Southeast in 105 years!

HODGEN MAINDA

Lupton's vision rejuvenated city

I was sad to read the headline in the morning paper Monday that Mr. Jack Lupton had passed away. As a 60-year citizen of the Chattanooga area, I want to say thank you, Mr. Lupton.

Back in the 1980s, downtown Chattanooga was a ghost town after 5 or 6 p.m. No restaurants and no people. Look at downtown now. Every night there are people all over downtown, going to the Aquarium, one of the many great restaurants, or the riverfront. An amazing transformation!

And look at UTC and all the new buildings and dorms. All due to Mr. Lupton's 20/20 vision.

It seems like it all started with the Tennessee Aquarium. Then the Creative Discovery Museum, Imax, etc., etc. I remember people talking about how crazy Mr. Lupton's ideas were, that he and all his Lookout Mountain friends were trying to take over Chattanooga.

Things turned out quite well, I think.

My condolences and many thanks to the Jack Lupton family for all they did for our now beautiful and popular downtown Chattanooga and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Rest in peace, Mr. Lupton.

PAT HAGAN

Game coverage bad journalism

A day after Times Free Press Publisher Griscom lectured readers on journalism -- good and bad -- he provided an example of the latter in his paper.

On Sunday (May 9) a Major League player pitched a perfect game, only the 19th in the history of this sport.

To appreciate the significance of this feat, one should know that today there are 30 Major League teams, each playing 162 games a year. That gives you an idea of how many pitchers have had opportunities to duplicate this achievement.

Yet, the Times Free Press consigned this story to page five in the sports section.

On page one we learned that the Braves lost a game, that UTC gridders are going to class and that plans are being made for a golf tournament.

Many newspapers carried on the front pages of the A Sections and/or the front sports page the perfect game story and the beautiful color photograph of the pitcher being hugged, on Mother's Day, no less, by the grandmother who raised him after his mother died. Those papers included USA Today, the publication which the Times Free Press seems to strive to duplicate but failed miserably to do so on Monday.

BILL CASTEEL

Fear of living paralyzes people

All threats of terrorism against America yield the same response from our government.

The most powerful weapon our enemies have is the educated ignorance of "compliance without question." To sacrifice one freedom on the altar of the "Rule of Law" is not an acceptable alternative to combating terrorism or remaining free, but rather an appeasement the marks America more coward than brave.

Our society thinks government should force measures upon all citizens on behalf of this spoiled prodigy generation who fears the occasional scratch or bruise that life might inflict. Helmets, pads, seat belts, no knives, no firearms, and no trans fats in our diet. Americans are so paralyzed by fear that we are afraid to live life.

This invites government intrusion that terrorists can manipulate at will. Our enemies see this weakness among us and utilize it to their advantage when plotting attacks.

Terrorists know that our predicted response to their actions serves them a far greater purpose. When threatened, we trash the Constitution and destroy ourselves through the betrayal of thug legislation enacted to enslave us from within. Terrorists strike America first. Washington, D.C., strikes America second.

CHARLIE WALL III

Chickamauga, Ga.

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Charlie Wall is so right. And sometimes it is Washington, DC first (along with the nefarious Progressive-Left), then Terrorists (enemies outside) second.

Where are all the Brave? Thousands of miles away shedding their blood-for our sorry hides.

May 18, 2010 at 10:26 a.m.
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