published Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Letters to the Editor

Reason for moving Strut is 'hogwash'

The purpose for the Bessie Smith Strut was to provide an opportunity for blacks and whites to celebrate together in the heart of the black business district, using live blues and jazz as mixing agents, to bring white business into the district and improve racial relations by way of a big, free street party in honor of our own Bessie Smith and her strutting spirit.

The original purpose of the Riverbend Festival was to get people to come back to the city and down to the riverfront in the spirit of community celebration.

The Bessie Smith Strut was part of that community celebration spirit. That was why it was free, in order to give all the citizens an opportunity to participate in the festivities and entertainments.

After 30 years of success, the city mayor and the so-called Friends of the Festival have announced that the free Bessie Smith Strut on M.L. King Boulevard will be no more.

In its place will be a Bessie Smith Celebration held down by the river because the city police department claims that it can better control the crowd at the Riverbend Festival site. Hogwash.

NAMAN CROWE, Ferger Place

* * * * *

Club cites dangers of prescription drugs

Over the past few years, prescription drug abuse has become a major issue in the United States. At the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, we have multiple deaths that have been associated with prescription drugs. One of these deaths was my pledge brother, friend and role model, Jeff Lang.

Over the past year, I have been involved in the addition of a new club to campus called the Student Coalition against Prescription Drug Abuse.

Prescription drug abuse is not only a problem in Chattanooga, but nationwide in young adults.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, prescription drugs are the leaders in fatal overdoses. This popularity of prescription drugs has surfaced because of how simple it is to access these drugs. This problem needs to be addressed on campus at UTC and nationwide.

The Student Coalition against Prescription Drug Abuse at UTC promotes awareness of prescription drug abuse.

We have seen and experienced the effects of deaths from prescription drugs and want to use this club as a center for students affected by it.

Our club serves as a jolt to a student body that has been strongly affected by these losses, and we hope to grow into an influential force.


* * * * *

Don't use 'babies' to describe youth

Great article about Brainerd High School on April 1.

I noticed an assistant principal saying of the students, "They are all babies ..."

Then, in the same Sunday edition, Rep. Tommie Brown is leery of tougher gang laws: "Show me something other than just throwing the net and dragging our babies into jail."

I think it would be helpful for these leaders to call the youth "young adults," not babies. The term "babies" is not only inaccurate, it is insulting.

There should be higher expectations, with good modeling of adulthood by the leaders. Thinking of them as infants gives the appearance of no ability of these young people to think for themselves or make wise choices.

Hats off to principal Joynes at Brainerd and those turning around Howard high school. We are blessed to have these types of leaders for our young people.

Wess Stafford's new book, "Just a Minute," tells story after story of young people whose poverty-stricken lives were changed forever through the involvement and encouragement of loving and godly adults. May we all step up to the responsibility of helping our youth have a brighter future.

SANDY HARRIS, Lookout Mountain, Ga.

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Try to do more for families, pupils

I read with a heavy heart the front page article (April 1) from the principal of Brainerd High School.

I applaud and fully support all of his efforts and those of the other public school educators in their roles as both parent and teacher.

Is it possible to do more?

How can we as the community demonstrate, beyond words, our support for families to remain united and recognize that education leads to not just liberation because of financial success, but also the ability to contribute back to society?

I am further concerned about another group of students and families not mentioned in the article. What about those students who believe in the power of education and have a support structure in place at home with expectations of success and goals for the future?

How can their goals and expectations be fulfilled, and how can they continue to be encouraged toward success?

It seems like an overwhelming task, and no easy solutions come to mind, but I am fully committed to being involved and supporting where I can.

JULIANNE WOLF, Cleveland, Tenn.

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Tea party: we can care for ourselves

Someone wrote complaining that they didn't understand what the current tea party was all about, and that the "community" was as a whole behind the original Boston Tea Party.

I started the Tennessee Tea Party in 1991, so I know a little about the tea party. The message is simple: Leave us alone and we will take care of ourselves, under the God of our Fathers.

Secondly, I suppose the author of the referenced letter learned his history from government schools or jaded television. The fact is that the majority of the "community" was not for the Boston Tea Party or the American Revolution. But God was. And we won. And we will again.

JUNE GRIFFIN, Dayton, Tenn.

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librul said...

All hail June, Tea Party goddess!

April 5, 2012 at 10:56 a.m.
riverman said...

Tommie Brown is the dumbest person to ever serve in the State legislature( and that's saying a lot). As long as the black community has blithering buffoons like Brown, Sharpton and Jackson as so called, "leaders," then they are never going to solve their problems.

April 5, 2012 at 11:13 a.m.
moon4kat said...

I'll believe Tea Party members "will take care of" themselves when they stop driving on public roads built by county, state and federal governments, stop drinking municipal water, stop sending their sewage through municipal conduits, stop using public parks, stop collecting Social Security, and stop using Medicare. When Tea Partiers move out to the woods and reject all that society offers in terms of community, health and protection, then I'll believe they might "take care of" themselves.

April 5, 2012 at 11:44 a.m.
jjmez said...

So when will june bah bah bah bah-boom griffin give up her social security check and other government goodies? Can't wait!

April 5, 2012 at 12:30 p.m.
shifarobe said...

Mr. Crowe you're nuts. Riverman, you got it. Brown is an idiot. The "black community" is led by literal morons and racists. What's happened in the wake of the Zimmerman-Martin shooting is solid proof. The "black community" need to clean up it's own house before it attacks everyone else.

April 5, 2012 at 12:54 p.m.
librul said...

What loads of racist crap river-shifa. The strut has never needed the pigs' "mobile command center", groups of 'em walking around shoulder-to-shoulder in threes, observation towers twelve feet high, hilarious armored vehicle presence -- I can only imagine that the average tourist at the strut must have thought they were in a war zone when all they wanted was some gator-on-a-stick.

Can't wait for the "action" on the river - should be a real hoot this year if fuhrer Ron gets his way.

April 5, 2012 at 5:48 p.m.
una61 said...

I didn't realize that "anti" Jane invented the Tea Party. Did she also help Al Gore invent the Internet? Worst Nightmare: Having her as your HS Biology teacher.

April 5, 2012 at 7:28 p.m.
Lr103 said...

rift-raf shifaLODAS^%t is spewing its racist crap again. A white Utah mom is still missing. Her husband axed the two boys and then blew up their home with them all still inside. Casey Anthony dumps her dead baby girl where no doubt she was hoping wild animals could get to it destroying any evidence. Murder-suicides are on the rise in the white community. At times killing entire family members. Everyday in America a white woman loses her life in some form of domestic violence situation. Me thinks you need to get your own house in order before telling the African-American community what it should be doing. This advice isn't coming from an African-American either.

April 5, 2012 at 8:43 p.m.
Lr103 said...

Strange fruit isn't it, una61? The very members in the Tea Party who depend on the federal government help the most are the ones demanding cuts in the very programs they're livelihood relies on. Goes to show, those pe*e party members aren't too bright. They don't realize they're being led by their nose off a cliff.

April 5, 2012 at 8:49 p.m.
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