published Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Letters to the Editors: YMCA, PBS and spicy food

Mitchell Y photo recalls happy times

When I saw the picture of the swimming pool of the old YMCA on Mitchell Avenue, it took me back to 1939, when I swam there with the help of Leck Owen and his wife.

They ran the Y until the ’50s.

Back then it cost 25 cents to swim.

For the kids of South Chattanooga, that wasn’t in the cards, but many, like myself, went free if you didn’t have the money.

You could swim and they didn’t turn any child away.

Flop Fuller, Jack Danielson, Jerry Ashley — I could name a hundred or more who hung out at the Y.

We taught swimming for the Red Cross and were life guards at the Y on Mitchell Avenue up into the ’50s.

Leck Owen got us jobs in the ’50s, all over Chattanooga and Lake Winnie.

We learned a lot at the old Y.

I’m 78 years old. I still go to the Y two or three times a week. I can’t swim anymore. Cancer left a hole in my neck. But I want to thank the newspaper for the picture Feb. 26.

I’m sure glad they are fixing it up.

I enjoy your coverage of the old Chattanooga. Oh, what good memories.

ROBERT C. LONG

Hixson

• • •

Rethink proposal to cut PBS funds

There is something that the arts provide along with all of the benefits of athletics, and that is the power of causing human emotions to be created and experienced in ways not possible by any other means.

Imagine if you will a movie with no musical soundtrack, a baseball game without the organ leading the cheers, all of the amazing programming of public television gone.

Public broadcasting provides endless arts and culture programs. For children, public broadcasting is their window to the world of art and music.

I sincerely hope Congress, in their understandable fervor to fix the budget, thinks twice before pulling the plug on public broadcasting. Music. Imagine the tens of thousands of troops who, when they saw a USO show, had their morale immeasurably boosted. It’s impossible to calculate the positive affect the arts have on our country.

I read that the cost of providing public broadcasting for free across America is just a dollar per person. If you ask me, for everything that public broadcasting provides, it’s worth it. Thank you for rethinking this “life-changing” issue.

HERB SNOWMAN

Cleveland, Tenn.

• • •

Target donation aids troops’ spirit

Holy Spirit Catholic Church would like to thank retailer Target in Hixson for its donation to benefit U.S. soldiers.

Shontay Porter handled our request with a caring demeanor that displayed her professionalism. The items purchased with this donation are an important boost of morale for the men and women serving in Iraq with the 230th Sustainment Brigade with Father (Major) Patrick Brownell, Army chaplain.

All our servicemen and women should have the knowledge that we are keeping every one of them in our daily prayers. Thank you, Target, for supporting our troops!

MARY BUSSEY

Holy Spirit Catholic Church

Soddy-Daisy

• • •

President places himself above law

One of your letters (“Conservatives pose dictatorship risk,” March 2) is exactly 180 degrees out of sync with reality. I would suggest that the risk is on the other side of the aisle. Consider that Obama has just announced that his Justice Department will no longer support the Defense of Marriage Act, a law signed by Bill Clinton in 1996, a law which passed by votes of 85-14 in the Senate and 342-67 in the House.

We can only conclude that the president will support and defend only those laws that he himself might find acceptable.

Consider that this administration has filed a lawsuit against one of our states that seeks to defend their border against illegal incursion, using a state law that mirrors federal law; a law that this administration chooses not to enforce.

Consider that under this administration, our national debt has grown exponentially, driving our country to the brink of financial ruin.

Our president has a sworn responsibility to support and defend the Constitution. I would suggest that, in choosing which laws to enforce and which he will not enforce, he places himself and his administration above the law. That, my friends, is the definition of a dictator.

RON KOHLIN

Soddy-Daisy

• • •

Wisconsin incentive same as Tennessee

Regarding the letter “Who’s next? in Wisconsin,” (March 1):

The letter claims that Gov. Walker of Wisconsin “...eliminated taxes on almost the entire corporate industry in Wisconsin.” I believe what the governor did was to give incentives to business. This, as I understand, was that new businesses would pay no taxes for the first two years in the state.

Did not Tennessee do that for Volkswagen? What about Amazon.com?

After the Democrat government in Illinois raised income taxes by 60 percent, incentives might not have been needed.

Thank goodness for right to work states, such as Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.

HORTON HERRIN

Dalton, Ga.

• • •

Specify on menu if food is spicy

Call me a nut case, but I have a problem with restaurants. Most restaurants prepare food with black pepper, jalapenos, hot sauce or whatever they use to make food spicy. I realize this is the latest craze, but I cannot eat it. I’m not alone with this problem. Even foods that ordinarily are not served spicy (such as breads, pinto beans, gravy, soups, vegetables, appetizers and cheeses) often are spicy.

Eating spicy foods causes my mouth to burn the rest of the day. Many people cannot handle spicy foods because of their stomachs or intestinal tracts. Some foods are blackened or labeled on the menu as spicy. I look for that on menus. My problem comes when it’s not specified on the menu. I ask if a specified food is spicy but often find I cannot eat what I’ve ordered.

I’m asking restaurants to leave out some of the spices they put in foods unless they specify it on the menu. Let the customer add spice to his taste. I’m not asking them to stop using spice, just that they not put it in everything. I enjoy eating out as much as anyone. Please give me more choices and let me taste the flavor of the food.

VIRGINIA GRAY

Hixson

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