published Monday, November 7th, 2011

Outdoor activities abundant in Chattanooga area

LETTERS TO THE EDITORS

Outdoor activities abundant in area

Outdoor Magazine recently voted Chattanooga the best outdoor city in the United States. With obesity and depression rates rapidly increasing, it would be beneficial to the community of Chattanooga to get involved in the local outdoor community -- exercising not only bodies, but also minds.

Organizations to get involved in are all over the city. Outdoor Chattanooga, (200 River St., 423-643-6888) located in Coolidge park, offers a variety of activities ranging from rock climbing to scuba diving, and even hang gliding!

Crabtree Farms (1000 E 30th St., 423-493-9155) is a community garden where participants can volunteer their time, work outdoors in the garden, and experience healthy and hard earned produce!

Rock climbing is very accessible with Stone Fort Bouldering (9104 Brow Lake Road, 423-332-3111 ) at the top of Mowbray Mountain; climbers pay $3 and are guaranteed a day of exercise in disguise.

Spending a day getting soaked and paddling on the Ocoee River also is an option.

Throughout the picturesque and advantageous city of Chattanooga, opportunity to get outside and be involved is bountiful! Fall weather is ideal here in Chattanooga. Don't hesitate to take that hike or try sky diving this fall!

KAITLYN KINCAID

Nuclear energy a good option

Why is nuclear energy still a viable option in light of a recent crisis half a world away and continued concerns of nuclear consequences?

With global warming and a growing population creating the demand for increased energy requirements, the need for sustainable large-scale power production that does not contribute greenhouse gases is of increasing importance.

In comparison, coal-fired power plants release an average of 700,000 times the amount of carbon dioxide per day than do automobiles. Nuclear power plants release none of this gas per day while producing even more electricity than fossil plants. While solar and wind power also have this zero-emission quality, their ability to produce the magnitude of electricity required is absent.

Many concerned citizens worry about nuclear radiation that could be let out in an accident and also about nuclear waste storage. While both are genuine concerns, it must be understood that nuclear accidents are considered rare and also that in Japan's crisis, the storage casks that contained nuclear waste were not damaged. The fear for what could happen must not inhibit the use of nuclear power as it is the only alternative to fossil fuels and hydro for large quantities of energy.

NICHOLAS RAY

Support is a plus for Gehrig patients

Imagine losing all ability to move your muscles, to be unable to care for your most basic needs. People need to feed you, to move you, and to help you live.

Lou Gehrig's disease does exactly that. Affecting only 5 out of 100,000, Lou Gehrig's disease kills all the motor neurons in your brain and causes your lung muscles to collapse.

While suffocation is the most common cause of death, this brutal disease also calls for a higher intake of vitamins and nutrients, but at the same time, the ability to chew or swallow on your own is completely gone. Yet, while you lose all motor skills, your mind remains completely intact, making the disease hard for patients to deal with emotionally.

Lou Gehrig's patients have a life expectancy of three to five years, with little to no known treatments.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease, take the time to look into local support groups. Studies show that patients with brighter outlooks live much longer and happier with the disease.

While a support group will help deal with the progression mentally, specialists at such meetings can also suggests further pain-reducing means, like vitamins, special diets and exercise. You can visit www.als.org for more information about local support centers near you.

AMY MINTON

Dunlap, Tenn.

Hunters take only the overpopulation

Regarding the issue of some people trying to stop hunting on the old VAAP land: If it wasn't for hunters there wouldn't be any deer or wild turkeys there.

Year-round hunters of 100 years had killed off 80 percent of everything that walked or flew.

Democrats or Republicans seldom agree on anything in Congress. They did making the Pittman-Roberson Act. Under it, a tax is collected on the sale of every firearm (except military) and ammo. The millions of dollars collected is used to buy land for wildlife management areas.

Wildlife in remote places were live-trapped for years and restocked in every state. Then short seasons set and limits set. In hunting now, only the overpopulation is taken. This way, history will never repeat itself on what happened to our wildlife.

We have to buy a license, big game permit and a water fowl stamp. This money goes for game wardens and biologists and to make and maintain food plots that feed game and non-game animals through the winter.

Today, we have more wildlife than ever in history. Hunters have paid for everything. Anti-hunters for nothing. What have they got to cry about?

Who can't understand this?

ROY S. GORDY JR.

Ringgold, Ga.

Protect heritage with 'Reflection'

Chattanooga is a beautifully unique city, but its citizens must remain diligent to keep it so. On our first visit there, we were not only surprised by the natural beauty of Chattanooga but also amazed at the "individual character" of your city -- thanks to the hard work of "passionate visionaries" supported by the people of Chattanooga.

We were most impressed with the "gift" given to Chattanooga by the John Chambliss family -- Reflection Riding. The restorative beauty of Reflection Riding, harmoniously gracing lower Lookout Mountain, was a surprising high point of our trip.

While planning our next visit, we noted (see www.ChattanoogaNatureCenter.org) that Reflection Riding now seems to be only an afterthought to a generic "arboretum and nature center." What? Every city has some nature center attraction but none have a historically unique Reflection Riding.

Why would you folks do that? Re-read the "History and Development" of Reflection Riding -- if you can find it. The story of this inspiring legacy is now buried in the website below "What To Do" and "Driving Loop" -- along with canoeing.

Please don't begin turning your wonderfully unique city, with its many gifts from passionate visionaries, into "just another city." Protect your heritage.

TOM AND GLADYS ETTINGER

McLean, Va.

Try this solution to ID problem

As I am 92 years old, I understand many of the problems facing senior citizens.

One of the major problems facing 650,000 seniors is caused by the new state law requiring certain photo identifications to vote. A lot of this problem involves Tennessee driver's license, which does not have a photo.

I would like to suggest a possible solution to the non-photo driver's license problem. If such a license is issued prior to Nov. 1, and the license is still in effect on election day, it will be considered an acceptable identification for voting. If a person over 75 years old has an expired non-photo driver's license, it will be considered an acceptable identification for voting.

Of course, the changes would be a lot of help to senior citizens. It would save several hundred thousand dollars to the state of Tennessee.

PAUL E. SPEEGLE

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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.
slanford said...

Paul,

I am not at all trying to be a smartass with this question, but what TN drivers license doesn't have a picture? I'm 34 and I've had a drivers license since I was 16, and they all have had my picture on them. I've never seen one (from any state) that did not have the license holder's picture on it.

November 8, 2011 at 9:16 a.m.
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