published Saturday, June 4th, 2011

Board members need replacing

LETTERS TO THE EDITORS

Board members need replacing

Why anyone would apply for superintendent of Hamilton County Schools while the current school board is in office is a mystery to me.

Another buyout by this board beckons that the hiring and firing of personnel should lie elsewhere. Perhaps with a board comprised of people with an education administrative background.

The merry-go-round that has become the superintendent position is fueled by taxpayer money but operated by a dysfunctional school board.

Clearly the dismissal of Dr. Jim Scales was based on personal bias rather than performance according to an article written by a reporter from this newspaper chronicling Dr. Scales’ performance.

Now some voices on the school board are demanding a local candidate be selected. Maybe therein lies the urgency for a replacement. Perhaps some board members have an agenda of their own.

Seems clear that the superintendent position is not the only position that is in need of change. Our children deserve a school board that will make sound decisions that will produce a quality educational experience while keeping the financial coffers safe and secure.

RANDEE SCRUGGS

Lobbyists hold too much sway

The question in Monday’s paper was “Do lobbyists have too much power in Nashville?”

Contrary to what House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick believes, most Tennesseans would say yes.

Not only in state government but in federal government also.

How can any sane person defend tax breaks for oil companies (who are making billions every quarter) while cutting Social Security and Medicare for some of the neediest Americans. They could use those billions.

I feel lobbyists and special interest groups should be outlawed.

If an elected official accepts gifts, or takes re-election contributions to vote for or against a certain piece of legislation, he has just taken a bribe and is no better than a common thief. Right now we have the best government money can buy.

What we need is elected officials who are concerned about the good of the country and the majority of the people, and not where they can get the most money to get re-elected.

WILLIAM S. GRIFFITH

Signal Mountain

Plan to drop alert sirens a bad move

Your Sunday paper (May 8) reported alarming news: that weather alert sirens were being removed because they were annoying and not needed because of radio and TV alerts. How stupid!

What happens when electric power plants are hit, Widows Creek and Browns Ferry?

I’ve lived in Alabama 23 years. We had no electricity for seven days, my home 10 days. It depleted my savings accounts buying ice, generators and gas.

Most people lost freezers full of food.

I grew up in northeast Iowa. We moved to Chattanooga 48 years ago. It was stated tornadoes were broken up by the mountains. Man messed with nature. Freeways and high power lines are cleared up the side of mountains. Storms love these paths.

Two years ago, Rosalie and Pisgah, Ala., were destroyed (lives lost). Last year it was Albertville, Ala. This year it was Rainsville, Ala. Two storm hit our area at 5 a.m. and 6 p.m. It was half a mile wide and on the ground 28 miles. The sirens sounded an hour each time. Radio or TV stations cannot broadcast if they don’t have a generator.

We had 34 people killed. Without sirens (more deaths).

Reconsider your plan on the sirens.

Alabama had 240 deaths on April 27.

BETTY LANDAU

Rainsville, Ala.

Why were shop classes removed?

I read the lengthy and most interesting article (May 29) about Howard High School. However, I wonder why no reasons were given for removal of all of the shop classes from Howard and were given to another high school quite a distance from the Howard School area.

Many of the students excelled in these classes, even though their scores on standardized tests were unacceptable. I know because I was there as one of the school’s counselors.

Where is the emphasis these days? Making an acceptable score on a standardized test or finding an acceptable way to earn a living?

I can understand why so many students find no reasons for getting out of bed and heading for school these days.

ELIZABETH G. HOUSTON

Keep Medicare, Medicaid intact

All Republican members of Congress from Tennessee voted for the Ryan budget that does away with Medicare for people 55 and younger. In that same bill were trillions of dollars in tax cuts mostly for the wealthy.

Why in the world would we cut the revenue coming into our treasury?

They also voted against eliminating billions of dollars in tax subsidies for the big oil companies.

This bill also puts Medicaid (TennCare) on the block, which would basically do away with the nursing home population. Middle class and the poor depend on these programs.

In the same bill, the top tax rate for highest bracket income is reduced from 35 percent to 25 percent. That one change means that the government would be collecting $4 trillion less over the next 10 years, according to the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office.

The Republican-controlled House and 40 of the Republicans in the Senate (including Sen. Corker and Sen. Alexander) must think this is good.

The 2012 election will be critical for the sake of ourselves, our children and grandchildren. We must make sure Medicare and Medicaid are not abolished.

CHARLES J. ROGERS

Lynchburg, Tenn.

Salvation Army chef program is great

Comcast had the pleasure of hosting the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce’s June AM Networking Session, and it is customary for the host to provide a complimentary continental breakfast for the attendees.

Comcast enjoys a very strong relationship with the Chattanooga Salvation Army and recently learned of its culinary school headed by Chef Terry Epps, whose students are either homeless or indigent.

At this school, Chef Epps teaches his students culinary skills where, upon graduation, they are able to obtain gainful employment in one of Chattanooga’s many wonderful restaurants.

The students catered the AM Networking event to some of the most wonderful accolades I have ever heard regarding the quality of food and their professionalism. I encourage all Hamilton County businesses to call the Salvation Army and speak to Chef Epps about his program and the success of his graduates. In today’s difficult economic times, the Salvation Army is living up to its motto — “Doing the Most Good.”

Congratulations to Chef Epps, his students and the Chattanooga Salvation Army.

LAURIE SHIPLEY

Manager Public Affairs

Chattanooga Comcast

America can’t bankroll world

Here we go again. Our president and Congress are going to forgive Egypt’s one billion dollars in debt.

They owe the U.S., plus one billion dollars in economic help.

In other words, more money. America is already in debt up to its eyeballs, with a $14.3 trillion national debt, not counting all the interest we pay on the debt

I wonder if all of the countries we’ve been giving money to would do the same for America.

Rep. Chuck Fleischmann said if we aid a country, they should clearly be a friend. Doesn’t he understand you can’t buy friends?

When will our leaders realize we can’t bankroll the world?

RONNIE PROCTOR

East Ridge

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Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
moon4kat said...

It is very disappointing to learn of that a blatant racist has a position of power in Hamilton County. Fred Skillern's actions and comments disqualify him for any position of leadership. He should immediately lose his job for at least two reasons: 1. excluding board colleagues because of their race, and 2. blithely using a racial epithet to describe them. Skillern's continued presence on the board is a disgrace to this region, and very damaging to its reputation for progress.

June 4, 2011 at 8:01 a.m.
Legend said...

moon4kat, the cowardly Fred Skillerns of racism always wait until they think they have a cheering crowd before showing they're truest ugly side.

June 4, 2011 at 9:24 p.m.
chet123 said...

Hamilton County Schools will suffer as long as Rhonda Thurman and Fred Skillern are around...It is important for the Public to know that these two do not work in the interest of the entire Hamilton County Schools...they are from a small area called SODDY DAISY which in recent past was considered a hill-billy joke....because of their backwardness....Rhonda Thurman and Fred Skillern have the luxury of church and small town support with their us against them attitude....we will constantly be replacing superentendent costing tax payer millions of dollars under minding students and teachers outside Soddy Daisy...If Hamiton County is going to go forward...it may need the help of VOLK-WAGAN and other corporate Leader to sreve in that capacity....Rhonda Thurman and Fred Skillern do not have a College degree...its an insult and an embaressment to community....it makes Chattanooga look so BACKWOOD....can you beleive a chairman of School baord without college Education...My Proof affirmative action have always been here in American(she/he not the best qualified)they came in on a good ole boy systems...the people of Soddy may be going KUDOs...but thurman and skillern are regressing hamiton county School Systems

June 5, 2011 at 5:18 p.m.
timbo said...

First of all, when Rhonda was on the 8-1, rubber stamp, PEF owned school board, she was told to learn how to count. Well, it seem now that she has learned to count very well since the majority agrees with her.

Also, this "outrage" you guys have that the majority on the school board sets policy and picks the superintendent is pretty funny. You didn't feel the same way when the vote was 8-1 with Rhonda being the one.

For those of you that seem to think that the superintendent buy-out was "back-door politics" don't seem to remember Scales last minute, mid-night hour contract extension a couple of years ago. Rhonda learned from that experience.

By the way Chett123, if you are going to critique people from Soddy-Daisy, you could at least do it with proper grammar. Where did you go to school, Baylor? I grew up in Soddy-Daisy when it was a so-called "hillbilly joke" and at least we had manners. I have an advance degree as do my children, and we agree with the current direction of the school board.

If you eliminated people from office because they don't have a college degree, I guess Sam Walton, Bill Gates, etc. aren't qualified in your world to do anything else but work at Wal-Mart. Oh, that's right, Sam Walton did work at Wal-Mart because he owned it.

The only people who should be ashamed are the three of you that can't seem to accept that your version of the school system has been rejected.

June 14, 2011 at 1:33 p.m.
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