Don't punish free enterprise
I keep reading letters slamming Gov. Romney for the 15 percent tax rate he paid on his tax return for capital gains. What rate did President Obama pay on his capital gains? All persons with capital gains pay the same rate whether they're Republican or Democrat.
Higher taxes on the wealthy would carry our federal government an additional eight days at their current rate of spending. Is raising rates on the wealthy and job creators the answer, or should we look at the loopholes and deductions to increase the revenue? We should cut wasteful spending and reform welfare to require able-bodied people to work.
Free enterprise is punished with regulations and taxes. I believe Mr. Obama won a second term not because of his ability to get us back to work but rather his ability to keep us enslaved to welfare and give-away programs. Look at the increase in numbers of persons receiving food stamps and unemployment since he was first elected.
One more thing, will President Obama blame the previous administration for the mess he inherited for his second term? The previous administration happens to be him.
SUE HUMBLE, Ringgold, Ga.
Refurbish old properties
I attended a presentation (Nov. 15) by the Scenic Land Co. regarding the proposed Chattanooga Village development. The presentation was very enticing, as is often the case when someone is trying to sell an idea or product. But then I had second thoughts.
I thought about how much traffic and noise increased on 153 when the Oak Park Town Center and the Fountains were built. I thought about numerous vacant storefronts not only on 153 but in Northgate Mall, on Hixson Pike going toward Lakesite and Dayton Boulevard from 153 to Red Bank. I thought about vacant land stripped bare remaining on 153 and behind Northgate awaiting development.
Seems there's a pattern of build it, use it a few years, then abandon it to deteriorate. Is the future Hixson to be a mass of abandoned deteriorating retail space? Wouldn't it be better if the Chattanooga Village was a development of garden homes surrounded by greenways, trees and hiking/biking trails that blended with the contour of the land -- a natural oasis close to the retail already on 153? Tenants may not want to go into older malls or buildings now, but they will if new ones aren't an option and the older ones are properly refurbished. Look at downtown.
EVELYN GRABLE, Hixson
Let special people resolve special needs
David Cook's article, "Parents crying for help," and the front page write-up by Kevin Hardy, "Parents claim widespread special ed problems in (Hamilton County) schools," (Nov. 30) should be every parent's concern whether their child has special needs or not. Parents have a right to demand answers if their children are mistreated.
These special-needs children must be of special concern for the Hamilton County school system, since several parents have complained. Instead of welcoming valid complaints, they have been pushed under the rug, and the system has acted belligerently and in a retaliatory manner. Complaints are an important avenue toward improving the situation rather condemning and silencing the voices of the people involved.
It is often said, "It takes a special person to work with special needs children." That person should not only be qualified by educational standards, but also have a special heart for children. Special ed teachers should be allowed to express their feelings and concerns openly and freely without being afraid of losing their jobs. Many principals don't support special education programs. Consequently, the teachers and programs suffer.
Special education programs are for special children and they should be provided by special people.
ESTHER BUTLER TAJ, Ooltewah