published Monday, April 9th, 2012

Letters to the Editors: Let data show why Strut move needed

Let data show why Strut move needed

My contentions with moving the Strut to the Riverfront are:

  1. Data hasn't proven the Riverbend location is safer than MLK.

  2. Has consideration been given to the fact that moving the Strut to the riverfront will challenge the police logistically because of the larger area and being divided by the Tennessee River?

  3. Has consideration been given to the fact that many older citizens, especially lower-income blacks, won't attend the event if the venue is changed?

  4. Has consideration been given to the fact that a decrease in the number of adults who serve as "volunteers of influence" will increase the ratio of youth to adults? The greater the gap between the two, the greater the probability for violence.

  5. Why is the current plan in place for policing the Strut no longer feasible? There hasn't been a shooting since 2003.

A decision of this magnitude should require a vote from the people. Over 100,000 people attend Bessie Smith Strut, and most are citizens of Chattanooga. These individuals are taxpayers, property owners and voters.

It should be proven with data whether changing the venue is truly a public safety mandate. Otherwise, it will be viewed as a move by this administration to further limit the economic empowerment and positive programming in the urban Chattanooga community.

PATRICK KELLOGG

Community Organizer

GOP stand epitome of 'big government'

The "good ole boys" of the Republican Party have blundered into the arenas of sex and reproduction, revealing their ignorance of both.

Although they give lip service to wanting to end abortions, their policies say otherwise.

The most effective way to end abortions is to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

However, these "geniuses" want to limit access to birth control while advising women to hold aspirins between their legs as a means of contraception. But what can you expect from men who always have depended on their personalities for contraception.

They continually pontificate about getting government "off our backs" but want to violate women who want an abortion with an intrusive probe. This is the epitome of "big government."

The U.S. ranks 34th in infant mortality, just behind Cuba. This low ranking is primarily due to a lack of prenatal care, but Rick Santorum wants to end prenatal care because he thinks it leads to abortions.

I guess Republicans care only about fetuses, not dead babies.

But what can you expect? When Republicans want advice about sex and reproduction, they don't turn to obstetricians. They turn to elderly Catholic bishops who are reputed to be childless virgins.

TERRY STULCE

Food stamps aid many in need

It is a fact that, in this tough economic climate, many families find it hard to maintain an adequate food supply. According to Feeding America, one in six Americans faces uncertainty about their food supply on any given day. This hunger phenomenon is inconsistent with American values, but it stubbornly persists.

One of the most effective tools in dealing with hunger is the Federal SNAP program, or food stamps. Yet controversy surrounds this effort. Part of the problem is a lack of understanding about the impact of this program. Some facts:

No government official or program "puts" people on food stamps. More people are eligible because they meet the economic criteria. SNAP is a federal program, managed by the states.

Food stamp benefits reach beyond the recipient from grocer to grower, creating $9 in economic benefits for every $1 given in benefits.

Food stamps may prevent foreclosures or utility shutoffs.

Many recipient families have at least one working member, but wages are too low to buy enough food.

Average SNAP benefit is little more than $1 per person per meal, not enough to maintain a healthy diet, particularly for seniors.

SNAP is invaluable for food banks and communities, helping to stretch scarce resources.

CLARE M. SAWYER

President and CEO,

Chattanooga Area Food Bank

Punish firms that send calls abroad

I read that T-Mobile was closing their call centers and moving the jobs to Asia. What do you think of a 25-cent tariff on all international calls?

That would put these Asian call centers out of business, bring the jobs back to America and restore to some standard the customer service we should be entitled to from these corporations we do business with.

We as consumers should cease to do business (when possible) with any company that directs our calls for customer service out of the United States.

F. DOUG CRAIG

Don't accept filth of Limbaugh, Maher

It is never necessary to remind a gentleman that he is a gentleman.

The observance that Rush Limbaugh spews his coarse, vile filth toward a so-called conservative audience and Bill Maher spews his coarse, vile filth toward a so-called liberal audience reveals a distinction without a difference. Each has merely chosen the audience with which he can best obtain the fame, fortune and power that he values above all else. They are two of a despicable kind.

We should not be surprised. Not long ago we saw Limbaugh mock the physical challenges of a person with multiple sclerosis (Michael J. Fox) and Maher joke about a Down syndrome child (Sarah Palin's young son, Trig). They are who they are.

The more important concern is who we are. Why do we acknowledge and reward those who would bring us down to their scummy level as we take part in the political processes which should make us a more perfect nation? We who choose whether to tune in to their programs and buy their books should use this discretion to enforce higher standards of decency. We would all be better off for having done so.

HANK SUNDERLAND

Soddy-Daisy

European systems are not the answer

I have to assume that Clay Bennett must be well versed in our problems concerning the national debt and how to make sure that the Medicare program will be solvent for future generations.

I have seen many changes in our society in my 71-plus years, but the socialistic thinking of a part of our society in recent years is disturbing.

I see the problems the European countries are having and find it hard to believe that anyone could think that theses system are the answer. Our population, like Europe's, is aging and the birth rate has been declining for years. Therefore, changes in the Medicare program have to made.

The Constitution states that the our government must defend us. All the other programs our elected officials choose to put in may be good and/or needed, but they have a cost and this should be considered.

ED TALIAFERRO

Lookout Mountain, Ga.

Leave Strut alone; make own decision

I agree completely (with Naman Crowe's letter, April 5). What a shame. I may have missed a few Bessie Smith Struts over the years, but I have never had concern for my safety.

On the other hand, I have been concerned about late-night Riverbend on several occasions. I live at Coolidge Park, and I feel much safer at the Strut than my front yard.

I do not have all the information. However, I have enough information to make my own decision to go or not to go. I had not been living in Chattanooga long when the Parade insert was removed from my paper because of ... anyone remember? I still have a problem with that little stunt.

Isn't it great, having all these people deciding for us how to live our lives. Kinda like the old U.S.S.R.

I urge the readers of this paper to boycott Riverbend if the Strut is moved. I certainly will.

Is it true that the city is going to provide free helmets for all, just in case you happen to be caught outside in a hailstorm and can't figure out what is happening? Say it an't so, Ron.

Please leave the Strut just as it is -- a great mix of people and the best night of Riverbend.

PETE GIBSON

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