published Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Old computers can work for some

LETTERS TO THE EDITORS

Old computers can work for some

Mr. Robert Lee Brown’s letter (July 3) is right.

Many of us do not have computers, but a lot of the elderly like me would love to have one but can’t afford one. Therefore we are basically incommunicado — can’t contact companies about problems with their product, or check out something we’ve been diagnosed with, or a prescription’s tests before we take it, etc.

Some of us are housebound and can’t go to a library to use one. Too bad some of those scrapped by businesses, just to upgrade to a newer model, can’t be made available to us.

BARBARA FITCH

Red Bank

Put yourself ‘on the line’

I just finished watching “Schindler’s List,” a movie about the Jews in WWII. If you have never seen this film, I highly recommend it.

Have you ever said: “What difference can I, only one person, make?”

“Why should I vote, my vote will not make a difference.”

“Why should I put myself ‘on the line’ by standing up for what is right? After all, it won’t make any difference, and I will be the one to be criticized?”

“I work hard for what I have, why should I give part of it away?”

“When my local government or even national government makes a decision, such as our local government making a decision about spending so much money on a new website, why should I get involved — who cares anyway?

“Why should I pray about these issues; it will not do any good?”

Well, you should care, you should speak up, you should vote, you should put yourself “on the line,” you should give part of all you make to others, you should care about decisions your country makes, and most of all you should pray every day for God’s guidance in these issues.

ELLIE CORUM-MITCHELL

Ringgold, Ga.

Caption board aids theatergoers

No one imagined that live theater would become so popular to people with hearing loss when the Chattanooga Chapter of Hearing Loss Association of America bought an LED caption board with its 2009 Walk4Hearing funds.

Captioned performances of each Chattanooga Theatre Centre main stage production have proved to be exciting and well received.

Captioning provided by Linda Hershey to the sold-out crowd during the July 7 mainstage production of “Hairspray” helped bring the play to life for those with hearing loss … or not.

The beauty of the captioning board is that even if you are shy about your hearing loss, it doesn’t matter because you can read every word said without anyone being the wiser.

On July 14, a second captioned performance of “Hairspray” will be offered at 7 p.m. I urge you to come out, enjoy this thoroughly enjoyable musical production, and “hear/read” every word!

BETTY A. PROCTOR

Chairwoman, HLAA

Chattanooga Walk4Hearing

Corker using political theatrics

In a recent editorial of the Chattanooga Free Press, Bob Corker accuses President Obama of “political theater” because the president calls for closing tax loopholes for the most wealthy Americans.

In my opinion, it is Sen. Corker who is engaging in political theater.

President Obama has neither stated nor implied that tax reform is the sole answer to our national debt problems. Instead the president has called for a balanced approach of spending cuts plus closing tax loopholes.

Sen. Corker closed his remarks by saying, “We’re talking about trillions and trillions of dollars. You’ve got to be kidding me.”

If the senator thinks that the right way to reduce the national deficit is only by spending cuts that hurt the most vulnerable people in our country, he is kidding himself and trying to kid all of us.

THE REV. H. HUNTER

HUCKABAY JR.

Thurman offers legitimate query

Rhonda Thurman asked a legitimate question (as reported in July 7 Times Free Press): “... why poor people can’t learn to read and write?”

Instead of responding with accusations of racism, serious-minded people need to search out an answer to that question.

If we cannot name the problem, we cannot find a solution.

What barriers exist to literacy? How can we remove those barriers to achieve literacy among the students in these impoverished communities?

Behind the question is the unstated but obvious maxim: More money is not producing literacy. Ergo: more money is not the answer.

I applaud Ms. Thurman’s courage in asking the politically difficult question. Settle down, people, from your cries of racism (a diversion, but not an answer) and see that it is a legitimate question that is aimed at finding a solution which will benefit the entire community.

DONNA BUDNICK

Winchester, Tenn.

Doctorate isn’t a must for leader

Rep. JoAnne Favors has the misguided notion that to be a school superintendent, you need a doctorate.

The last two school leaders in New York City, Joel Klein and Cathleen Black, didn’t have doctorates. Neither did former Washington, D.C., schools chief Michelle Rhee.

Also, on a more local note, former Chattanoogan Stu Silberman, who just retired as one of the most outstanding superintendents in Kentucky, has an honorary doctorate, but didn’t when he started his great leadership role in Daviess County, Ky., and then as the dynamic leader of the Fayette County Public Schools in Lexington, Ky.

He was named the Kentucky State Superintendent of the Year three times and was one of four finalists for the National Superintendent of the Year Award.

A few miles South of Chattanooga is Gwinnett County, Georgia’s largest school district. Guess what? Mr. J. Alvin Wilbanks has been its superintendent since 1996 and this past October 2010, his system won the nation’s top prize of $1 million as an urban district showing the most gains in student performance and closing minority achievement gaps. Not a doctor.

Whether the HCDE’s new superintendent does a good job, or a poor one, he certainly doesn’t need the doctorate.

DON RAYMOND

Soddy-Daisy

Education vital to community

Hey! From what one school board member said, l concluded she felt working-class people were not educated and educated people were not workers! Let us get back to what education is all about ... learners wherever they are.

My husband, David Crawford, and I, each taught in Hamilton County schools for 35 years. I am proud of the fact that our four children were educated in Hamilton County schools. All are successful citizens!

When David passed away, it was his former students who helped me with my roofing, plumbing, heat and air, and as police officers have kept me safe. Oh, yes, and his students help me with my health. We have one daughter who is a physician and another who is a nurse.

Education is vital to our community. All must be educated, and all must work!

As a 70-year-old business owner and working girl, I say make a great day!

Set a positive goal. Negative and self-serving talk have no place in our school system. And in case you adults missed it, the rest of us already know knowledge is power — and we are lifelong learners! Won’t you join us!

JEANNE CRAWFORD

Lookout Mountain

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Haiku said...

Don Raymond said: Rep. JoAnne Favors has the misguided notion that to be a school superintendent, you need a doctorate.

Replying to Mr. Raymond: Sir, JoAnne Favors didn't make up those rules. Those are the rules of the school board. Most like, originally established to keep certain individuals out when the old school board realized it would have to become more diverse. hint hint

July 12, 2011 at 11:45 a.m.
Rivieravol said...

That's a great idea Reverend Huckaby, let's close all tax loopholes for the evil rich. And while we are at it, why don't we close the deduction of contributions to churches also. After all why should a rich person be able to make a donation to a church and deduct it from his taxable income. Why should atheists and agnostics have to subsidize a church when they have to make up the difference of tax deductions.

And while we are at it, since cities and counties need revenue, let's also do away with the property tax exemptions for churches. After all we all need to share the pain.

July 12, 2011 at 2:55 p.m.
Legend said...

Lib4 isn't Thurman basically guilty of the very same thing you're accusing Ms. Favors of? Thurman is constantly bashing and making derogatory remarks about black students and inner-city schools. Wonder why? Is it because her own daughter attends a private school that has been aiming to take over one of those inner city schools? Is it possible that Thurman is particularly bashing that particular school for the sole purpose of getting it shut down so that private school can move in?

July 12, 2011 at 6:20 p.m.
Leaf said...

Rivieravol, doing away with the tax exempt status of churches is a fantastic idea. It's been done in many countries at many times. It was a driving force behind the establishment of the Church of England under Henry VIII. Why should they be tax exempt? They operate just like businesses.

By not taxing them, we are all indirectly subsidising them by paying higher taxes ourselves. Why should I help pay for a bunch of churches that I don't attend? Sounds like Communism.

July 14, 2011 at 9:46 a.m.
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