Public needs more facts on water
The Times editorial "Yoked to costly monopoly" (June 6) cites the main reasons for supporting Chattanooga to take over the Tennessee-American Water (TAW) system that supplies drinking water to Chattanooga and the surrounding area: 1) all the other big Tennessee cities and towns own their own water source and so have control of their own destiny; and 2) so TAW cannot ship "excessive profits" away from our community.
The real information that needs to be known to make an intelligent decision is to compare TAW water with those other big Tennessee cities that own their own water utilities both now and for the past 10 years for cost per gallon water delivered; quality of the water delivered; how good and modern is the delivery infrastructure for that water and, compliance with EPA regulations in operating the water delivery system.
I think TAW should proactively give us that information in a way that we can all understand. I think the city should proactively force TAW to give us that information and then say to us what the city thinks of that information (or lack thereof). Then we the people will know what is best for us.
No one questions silent prayers
I am amazed on an almost daily basis when I read letters sent to the paper. It would appear that lots of folks who write in are concerned about salvation. They seem to believe it can only be achieved if we pray openly at civic meetings, government meetings, public schools, everywhere -- all the time. Wow!
Is their faith so weak that it can only survive if we put it on loudspeakers?
As a public school teacher, I prayed daily at school, driving, at restaurants, anywhere I wanted. No one stopped me, questioned my faith, challenged me, or in any way interfered with my faith.
Of course, I did it silently.
Have a blessed day, y'all.
Tennessee can do better
Tennessee needs to develop alternative sources of income. That's the implication of the headline over the article reporting that Gov. Haslam signed legislation to reduce food sales tax by .25 percent. It was the smaller headline (sub-headline?) that is important: "Consumers will save 25 cents on $100 worth of groceries."
Thanks for the quarter, Bill. But ya' know, that's gonna' cost you $21 million bucks, which I wish you would keep and spend on roads, schools and hospitals. I don't need two bits for every $100 I spend at Publix.
I hear that the sales tax on food will reduce gradually until I save 50 cents for every $100! Wow! A 100 percent increase in savings! Actually, not wow. What I wrote above is irony. Fifty cents is small beer when I spend $100 on food every week.
I am glad Tennessee legislators saw fit to reduce the sales tax on food. That shows their hearts are in the right place. But what they did was not enough; their hearts are still kinda' small. The sales tax on food is regressive, hurts people more as incomes decline and makes Tennessee appear rapacious in funding its budget.
We can do better.
U.S. needs more than military force
I believe America is rapidly becoming a European nation. There's no more "coming together" like we witnessed on 9/11. How do we change this?
Here's my suggestion: Reinstate the Selective Aervice. How, you ask, does this moron plan go about this so both parties realize the U.S. is once again required to become a nation of great strength in military and technological affairs? As Tom Brokaw reminds us in Chapter 10 of his book, "The Time of Our Lives," the technology of India, Japan and China is running away, leaving us at the starting blocks. We can no longer rely solely on military force, nor can we continue to send our brave men and women on one, two, three, four, even five deployments. The human body and mind simply cannot withstand this.
I hope both political parties will realize we have to face reality. We were once the greatest nation in the world and can be again. After all, this is America; where else would you rather live?
Now, more than ever, there's no such thing as a free lunch. If we continue on the present path, some rogue nation will surely come around and bite us in the behind. It's time to stand up! I'll stand by.
BENJAMIN W. SUTTON, Hiawassee, Ga.
Not all on welfare are freeloaders
It's time to get educated. Not all people on welfare do drugs, drink or are freeloaders.
I am a taxpaying citizen, I report all my earnings and, yes, I do need help.
I work hard at my job, raising my kids, watch over my elderly parents, pay my bills and keep the household running, and have a husband out of work due to back injury.
So next time you see someone using an EBT card or needing assistance, temporary or not, don't judge them. They probably work just as hard as the next person.
Anyway, if you wouldn't kick a dog when it's down, why kick a person. No one knows what goes on behind closed doors. So lift them up and keep it positive.
TINA GREEN, Spring City, Tenn.
Dispose of public employee unions
There are days when I enjoy reading your opinion pages and days when I really enjoy reading them. Thursday was a "really enjoy" day.
The smell of sour grapes and the sound of sad violin music were rampant as I read the Times opinion page "Lessons from Wisconsin," complete with the usual laughable Clay Bennett cartoon.
Get a life! Scott Walker won a decisive victory in the Wisconsin recall election by a larger margin than he won his election originally. The poor "eviscerated" (your term) unions are the ones that precipitated the recall, and they got their hind ends kicked. The voters in Wisconsin obviously did not buy their argument that the governor did them wrong, and were further not swayed that public employees should have collective bargaining rights in the first place. The faster we dispose of public employee unions everywhere, the better off all taxpayers will be. When you "serve the public" you're not entitled to collective bargaining rights. By the way, I am a public employee, and if a union organizer comes around, I'd tell him/her to take a hike.
STEVE BERNTHAL, Blairsville, Ga.
Buying water firm a great legacy
Your editorial (June 6) was quite well-written. You advocated buying the water company from Tennessee-American, and I fully agreed. Had Jon Kinsey not weakened under the company's barrage of ads we would be in much greater shape by now. It is ridiculous for the local water supply to be owned by out-of-state entities (not to mention out of country). If Ron Littlefield can pull this off, or at least start the ball rolling, then all the sins of his administration should be forgiven. This would be his greatest legacy.
'Best' shouldn't use physician category
I request that physician categories be removed from the "Best of the Best" ballot. The broad spectrum of patients treated complicates voting for a "best" physician.
"Best" implies best for all. It implies that the rating has tried all options and come to one final conclusion. Neither implication is validated by popularity-contest balloting. We treat diverse patients with varying needs that call upon different aspects of a doctor's character or craft. Any physician worthy of the degree and oath works to improve all qualities daily.
As professionals, doctors ought to liberate themselves from campaigning for votes in a contest that benefits only the popular winner rather than the profession -- and does not benefit the patient at all. The "best" physicians will focus on doing the best work for best patient outcomes in a manner that is forthright and compassionate. I am thankful to work in a medical community that cherishes these values. This contest serves no purpose for physicians or the people we treat.
JOHN McCARLEY, M.D., President, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society
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