published Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Letters to the Editor

Consider Traylor as superintendent

Ever since Dr. Jim Scales has been schools superintendent here in Hamilton County, this gentleman has brought decorum that many of the school board members themselves basically lack.

When another schools superintendent is appointed, I nominate to the chair Dr. Horace Jerome Traylor, a former resident from this city, former president of Zion and City colleges, and former vice chancellor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. To this day, he still serves UTC for various capacities. They still rely upon him for attributes toward leadership in an efficient manner.


Compromise on tax issue

In regard to the Amazon sales tax situation, where local and state officials worked to make this happen for the overall good of the area, I would like to offer somewhat of a compromise.

Have Amazon list on the sales invoice the amount the sales tax would be, and when the customer receives it, they could pay it, if they choose to, at their grocery store.

Grocery stores already collect sales tax, and they could just add this to their current sales tax remittance, which they already get a stipend for collecting.

This way the state and local governments would realize some additional revenue and we would still get the benefit of the jobs their presence would provide.

HERMAN LOCKE, Signal Mountain

Concert-goer needs information

I recently attended a Bon Jovi concert in Atlanta. Sitting next to me was a lady from Chattanooga and her daughter-in-law from Sydney, Australia.

They were quite disappointed that their camera battery died and asked if I would send them pics that I was taking. I said sure and even took a few pics of them. They were thrilled and told me how much it would mean to them! She wrote her info down on a very small piece of paper and I lost it! I didn’t even look at the information so all I have to go on is that she is from Chattanooga (and that her daughter-in-law is from Australia).

I would love to send her these concert pictures, and this is the only way I can think of to locate her. Would you please put this in your letters to the editor? The concert was last Saturday (14 May). By the way, Bon Jovi was great!

ANNE BUKOVICH, 141 Barnswallow Lane, Stafford, VA 22556

Voucher system not free market

The Wall Street Journal’s May 13 editorial about defeating school vouchers in Tennessee — “Tennessee’s Chamber Maids” — was actually an example of defining truth down as they punk’d both the Chambers of Commerce in Chattanooga, Knoxville and Nashville and Tennessee’s organized teachers.

First, opponents of vouchers worry that they’ll lead to excessive entanglements of church with state. In fact, the ACLU already has said they would file on behalf of teachers in Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Second, proponents should worry about excessive involvement of state in private and religious schools.

Third, the point of vouchers is to insert free-market forces into public education, but the strings attached to the participating private schools stifle free-market intent.

But, fourth, is the fact that you always have effects that are unanticipated or unintended

Finally, if private schools must have the same curricular and testing mandates of public schools, it’s not a free market.

B.J. PASCHAL, Sevierville, Tenn.

EPB should focus on power business

Reports that power is finally being restored for Chattanooga-area homes and businesses following the devastation from the tornadoes is welcome news. But the delay in restoring vital communications services raises serious questions about EPB’s involvement in the communications marketplace. (“Telecom blackout in sights of crews,” Ellis Smith, May 7).

As the sole power company in the area, EPB is right to make turning the lights back on its “first priority.” But that should be its only priority. Residents and businesses who rely on private communications companies such as Comcast and AT&T should not have to “wait their turn” for power to be restored while EPB also juggles repairing its Internet and cable services.

Time and again public utility companies have sought to enter the communications market. And time and again, such efforts have failed. The recent disaster is yet one more reason why utilities like EPB should focus on the power business and stay out of the Internet and cable business.

All Chattanoogans deserve to have their power, as well as cable and telecommunications, back on as soon as possible. None should not have to “wait their turn” while the local power company fiddles with anything but turning the lights back on.

JEFFREY MAZZELLA, President, Center for Individual Freedom Alexandria, Va.

Don’t feel sorry for bin Laden

In response to Sunday’s letter, “Where is the outrage over bin Laden raid?” Are we supposed to feel sorry for bin Laden as the writer seems to be. Is it wrong to kill the unarmed bin Laden but OK for him to murder the more then 3,000 unarmed people that he murdered on 9/11?

Maybe you would think differently if one of those was a relative of yours.

The so-called sovereign nation Pakistan has been harboring this criminal for years. Where is the justice?

God Bless the USA!


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manlyman said...

For Mr. JEFFREY MAZZELLA, President, Center for Individual Freedom Alexandria, Va. Re: EPB should focus on power business Two thoughts here: 1) MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS! Why do you care what happens here 600 miles from where you live. 2) When everything in your fabulously wonderful little city is perfect, then you MAY have the right to criticize mine.

May 19, 2011 at 10:03 a.m.

@The so-called sovereign nation Pakistan has been harboring this criminal for years. Where is the justice? God Bless the USA! RICH RUOCCO, Hixson

Hate to shatter your world, Mr. Ruocco, but America knowingly took in and sheltered Nazi war criminals after World War II. Instead of GOD BLESS AMERICA maybe we should pray that God forgives America, Pakistan and the rest, then ask that HE SAVES THE WORLD from self destruction!

May 19, 2011 at 7:05 p.m.
Yano said...

Well how ridiculous. Mr. Mazzella, President of a right-wing lobbying group in Washington, DC, has decided to comment on the performance of EPB in the aftermath of the recent storms. Without a shred of evidence or logic, he claims that residents' power restoration was delayed because EPB also supplies internet and phone service.

We know why Mr. Mazzella really opposes EPB's other businesses - he is ideologically opposed to any government involvement, however indirect or however beneficial, in practically anything. His ideology, however, has led him astray in this matter.

Leaving aside the crassness of using the recent tragic events to push some kind of extreme anti-government agenda, Mr. Mazzella fails to point out even one single instance in which power restoration was delayed due to EPB's internet and phone services. Mr. Mazzella also fails to explain why restoring communications services should be considered less important anyway.

In fact, EPB's fiber network reportedly improved the speed and efficiency of power restoration, since power outage data was reported dynamically and automatically through the fiber network, where it remained connected - and even through its lack of connection.

Power was out at my home for days. I don't wonder why - the roads around my house looked like a spaghetti of power lines, phone and cable lines, snapped poles and uprooted trees, as well as smashed houses.

But we can't blame EPB for acts of God, nor second-guess EPB's performance in the complete absence of data and evidence, as Mr. Mazzella has done. Personally, I'm happy to enjoy the fastest residential internet service in America, and I'm impressed that EPB is able to provide this service affordably and reliably (except during tornadoes), and I'm impressed by a business plan that provides it all without spending tax money or rate-payer funds (except for a loan).

If the private sector is really better, let them compete!

May 19, 2011 at 9:41 p.m.
Lacie_EPB said...

Mr. Mazzella from Virginia made statements in a recent Letter to the Editor regarding the storm damage in Tennessee and our restoration effort that should be addressed (EPB should focus on power business). If he were a resident of this community, we believe Mr. Mazzella would have seen a different restoration effort than what he described, especially in regards to getting power back on for our customers.

After the April 27 tornadoes, we enlisted an army of contractors and employees to restore power service as quickly as we possibly could. A handful of fiber optics workers, whose expertise is in fiber optics and not electric power, were utilized to work on our fiber lines. The work we performed on our fiber lines in no way took away from getting power back on to our customers. Once power was restored to all customers, we focused on restoring EPB Fiber Optics services and managed to have all services restored by May 13.

Unfortunately, there are many residents who are still waiting for service restoration from other communications providers in the area. The hold up for those customers certainly isn’t “waiting their turn for power to be restored” as Mr. Mazzella stated, since communication lines can be restrung as soon as a utility pole is set – and all poles were reset in our customer service area by May 7, almost 3 weeks ago.

While we appreciate the opinions of others throughout the country and the world, we think the best judge of our work after the April 27 tornadoes are those that live in our community and whose lives were affected by it.

Lacie Newton EPB

May 27, 2011 at 2:17 p.m.
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