Don't kick people when they're down
In response to last Sunday's rant (July 8) regarding the Affordable Health Care Act, the writer suggests that people with pre-existing conditions should not receive medical care because they didn't take proper care of themselves to begin with. Here's a news flash: not all pre-existing conditions are preventable! For example, genetics often play a critical role.
The writer suggests that if those ailing can't come up with extra cash, well, let's just let 'em rot. Kick folks while they are down? What matters most in life? Profit for healthcare companies, or the health of people?
DR. SPENCER ZEIGER, Dalton, Ga.
It's rude to wear caps all the time
I'm disgusted by some men who wear ball caps. The ambiance of a fine restaurant is lost when my eyes fall upon a ball-capped yahoo sipping wine from a stemmed goblet.
The clincher came at the Coolidge Park Fourth of July celebration when we were asked to stand and remove hats for the presentation of colors and the singing of our national anthem. As I looked around taking in this glorious celebration, there they were: apparently the same ignorant, rude yahoos from the restaurant standing with their caps on their heads.
SANDI THURBER, Ringgold, Ga.
Acuff is a man of faith, integrity
Soddy-Daisy residents must soon vote for our City Court judge. I have known Lt. Col. Mike Acuff for nearly two decades. I have spent many hours with Mike discussing various issues, and I know him to be a man of faith and integrity. I know he is committed to justice and is fair-minded and thorough in matters concerning the courts. Mike will make an outstanding judge for Soddy-Daisy, and my family will support him in the upcoming election. Please join us in voting for Mike Acuff.
DAN COLLYER, Soddy-Daisy
Read insurance policies carefully
I purchased a small life insurance policy 25 years ago. My agent said there was a savings account on the policy where each month $10 would go to savings. The policy was only enough ($22,500) to take care of my final expenses. He informed me I could draw from my savings when I retired. Never was it mentioned this policy would expire before I died.
A few months ago, a new agent informed me my policy would expire in June and I would need to have a new policy that would be written at my current age, which is 71. I've had insurance with this company since I was 18 years old.
I'm very upset about this, as you can imagine. I told them I would find insurance with another company. I contacted an agent in Dalton and was able to purchase a whole life policy that provides half the coverage but costs $25 more a month. The old company was "kind" enough to send me $500 from my old policy. I found that two of my friends had the same experience.
Read your policy carefully. If you don't understand it, you may want to have an attorney read it.
SUSAN P. SWINNEY, Rocky Face, Ga.
Testimonials belong elsewhere in paper
In the past several weeks, I have seen several testimonials posted in Letters to the Editors for politicians in the upcoming elections.
So far, I have avoided reading any of these and imagine only three groups actually read these letters of high praise: 1) the person who wrote it, 2) the politician running for office and 3) all the politician's relatives.
I suppose some people are swayed by others who tell us who to vote for, but I think there should be a separate space in the paper for testimonials, far removed from Letters to the Editors. Anyone agree?
TOM BAKER, Hixson
Alexander's record isn't conservative
Thanks to the Free Press editorial page for calling Sen. Lamar Alexander's hand on his vote in favor of the MACT legislation.
The senator has become so enamored with his exhalted position in Washington that he has forgotten where he comes from and the people who voted for him.
He has preached that he is conservative but a look at his voting record will prove otherwise.
Thanks for taking him down off his high horse.
People using food stamps out of need
So apparently there's another President Obama conspiracy afoot -- sign up as many people as possible for food stamps to make them dependent on government and more likely to vote for the president.
Your editorial, "The war on mountain pride" (July 11), pointed out that the number of people on food stamps has increased from 28 million when Obama took office to 46.4 million today, as though this is some sort of collective moral weakness.
Well, what do you expect given the economic crash in 2008 and resulting unemployment and under-employment? Food stamps are a safety net, and people are taking advantage of them out of necessity. It's exactly what the program is designed to do. Sure, it costs taxpayers a lot of money, but so does everything else government does.
Also, government encouraging citizens to take advantage of the program is nothing new. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the program, "From FY 2002 to FY 2006, factors such as increased outreach and improved access to (the food stamp program) contributed to the rise in participation rates." Gee, government apparently recruited these people during the Bush administration.
MACT rule isn't a surprise
In the debate over the Utility MACT rule, Sen. Lamar Alexander was right to support it. I thank him for his courageous vote.
I have had a little experience with this issue. First, as former chairman of the Hamilton County Republican Party, I am a conservative Republican. Additionally, I am a former director of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Air Pollution Control Bureau.
Lastly, my heritage is in the Appalachians and my grandfather was a coal miner.
This rule is hardly an Obama rule designed to attack coal. The requirement for EPA to develop the rule was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1990. Therefore, this rule shouldn't take utilities by surprise; it is simply time for utilities to clean up their act.
TVA is already well under way in implementing these new rules. It's time for utilities in other states to meet the same standards to put all states on a level playing field.
In Chattanooga, we learned long ago that clean air protects our health and provides an economic advantage: people want to live and grow business here.
So I and many other Chattanoogans who want good jobs and clean air thank you, Sen. Alexander
J. WAYNE CROPP, Hixson
EDF's service is hardly extremist
Regarding editorial "Lamar sells out" (July 9), your critique of the Environmental Defense Fund organization as "extremists" and "wackos" is woefully negligent. You site EDF's role in banning DDT as "among the worst public policy failures in human history." DDT was proven to become more concentrated as it moves up the food chain, poisoning soils, water and eventually us. Fifty years of research has proven that mosquitoes develop long-term resistance to DDT; thus spraying is futile. World health organizations are wisely focusing on different ways to control malaria and protect populations, water and soil.
EDF's mission is to protect climate, oceans, ecosystems and people's health. Grounded in science and harnessing the power of market incentives, EDF has forged partnerships with major corporations and improved their bottom line while helping the environment. In 1991, McDonald's accepted a joint task force recommendation, eventually eliminating over 150,000 tons of packaging waste. FedEx saw the benefit of switching to hybrid trucks, improving mileage by 56 percent. To help restore the Mississippi River Delta after Katrina, EDF helped forge an unlikely alliance with oil and barge companies and the oyster industry. And the list goes on. Wacko? Hardly.
And kudos to Sen. Alexander for his wise vote!
SALLY FAULKNER, Lookout Mountain
No need to run against incumbent
Why should a true conservative Republican run against Chuck Fleischmann? Look at his voting record. Would his challengers vote any differently?
What's the real reason he's being challenged?
Is Weston Wamp running because Chuck would not hire him? Is Scottie Mayfield running because he thinks Wamp will split the vote and he'll walk right in?
I believe Wamp is too young and Scottie is running just because he's Scottie.
Just how would the 3rd District be better served with a freshman who would vote the same way as Chuck?
DENIS COLLINS, Cleveland, Tenn.
Butler can bring needed change
It is time to move the office of the Hamilton County Assessor of Property into the 21st century. We need a new leader -- one who is competent, professional, honest and able to use state-of-technology tools and applications. This is why I will vote for Jalena Butler for assessor of property.
It would be easy for people to underestimate the importance of the countywide office. The assessor of property is responsible for setting the appraisal value on each parcel of land located in Hamilton County for the purposes of taxation. Thus, it is essential that all the citizens of the county have confidence and trust in the process as directed by the assessor.
Ms. Butler has a significant work history in real estate and property investment. Her current knowledge is bolstered by the fact that she earned the Certified Commercial Investment Member designation -- the gold standard for work in real estate analysis and investment. She also is fully ready and able to bring about a much-needed upgrade to data-driven technology systems which will both ensure accuracy and cut operational costs.
I urge voters to utilize early voting and to cast their ballot for Jalena Butler for Hamilton County assessor of property
LARRY MILLER, Hixson
Contractor award is well deserved
The article in the Sunday paper (July 1), concerning Wright Brothers Construction Co. having won the 2011 Prime Contractor of the year award is well deserved. My youngest son's first job out of college was with Wright Brothers, and he constantly expressed excellence toward Steve Wright and the way in which he runs the company. I've observed local jobs they've done that were performed quickly and perfectly.
Congratulations, Steve, upon getting this 2011 award and to your entire company. God bless every one of you.
FRANCES ARNEY, Signal Mountain