published Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Letters to the Editor

Time to protest waste incineration

According to a recent report by The Associated Press, federal authorities have approved licenses allowing up to 1,000 tons of low-level radioactive waste from Germany to be brought to Oak Ridge, Tenn., for incineration. The following are quotes from that article.

“Tennessee is the only state that allows commercial burning of radioactive waste, licensing six incinerators. The state already receives 75 percent of the nation’s low-level radioactive waste — about 41 million pounds per year, according to state records.”

“With German waste now permitted to enter the U.S. and come to Oak Ridge, Tennessee can become ‘the destination for processing radioactive waste from all over the world.’ The NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) is supposed to oversee much of this type operation.”

If you have concerns about the disposition of hazardous waste in Tennessee, please contact the manager of radiological health in the Knoxville field office of EPA at 615-594-5516; Mr. Chetan Gala with the Environmental Protection Agency, 800-241-1754 and the office of Environment and Conservation at 423-634-5781 (a state of Tennessee agency that is involved with the quality of air in the state of Tennessee). Legislators: Sens. Andy Berke, local 423-266-5171; Bo Watson, local 423-488-2353, and Rep. Eric Watson (Cleveland), local 423-339-0939.

PAT MEDEARIS, Rossville

State foolish on funding cuts

Many Tennesseans who serve the community also are dedicated caregivers to family members with intellectual and physical disabilities. The state of Tennessee has profited greatly from those of us who bought into the “Volunteer State” slogan. For example, my dad gave 30 years of continuous service on local, state and national levels for citizens with intellectual disabilities. Through the years, I have donated thousands of hours to civic organizations.

Unfortunately, my days of community service will end soon. I currently help my 90-year-old mother and 67-year-old sister with disabilities for 42 hours per week. Because of recent across-the-board cuts in service by the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD), I may need to care for them for 115 hours a week in addition to holding a job.

DIDD services allowed special family members to remain at home at a low cost to taxpayers. Now hundreds of dedicated family caregivers must find a way to pick up hours lost in DIDD cuts.

Legislators need to find money to cover the volunteer civic, education and business initiatives they force caregivers to abandon. The DIDD cuts may indicate a need to revamp the state slogan to “Penny wise, pound foolish Tennessee.”

NANCY MURRAY, Lexington, Tenn.

Road project well done, on time

Signal Mountain thanks TDOT and its contractor, Talley Construction, for a job well done. The paving project was completed with a minimum of inconvenience to our residents, weeks ahead of schedule and with excellent results.

We appreciate TDOT’s efforts to ensure that our road is safe and well maintained.

BILL LUSK, Mayor, Town of Signal Mountain

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