Sheriff's resignation would be top choice
A sheriff making calls on behalf of a felon, against policy, feeds assumptions of entitlement to an expedited and reduced punishment, which can foster the very exceptionalism that leads to criminality. Special favors for one makes the system unjust for all others, which does much to diminish the public's trust of all uniformed officers, as well.
Hammond was voted into office with the trust that he would honor his position as an unbiased officer for justice, but, unfortunately, made poor choices that will be best rectified with an honorable resignation. Resignation, when accepting responsibility for wrong choices, is a statement that one is committed to the common good over self-interests. It sends a message that enforcing laws while indulging in subjective standards is unacceptable, especially when considering its long-range harm. When handled with honor, it can be a reminder to us all that justice must be unbiased and fair when the intent is to deter crime, to protect the innocent, and to encourage others to respect the law as a value. Hammond's resignation is the only righteous choice, one that will leave the sheriff's department with the honor it deserves, and doing so will make his poor choices more forgivable.
Tell City Council 'no' on development
As a Hixson resident, I'm very concerned about the implications of the proposed development project at Highway 153 and Boy Scout Road.
Traffic on Highway 153 and U.S. 27 is projected to reach or exceed capacity in the next three years. Adding a mega-center of commercial, office and residential space will ensure one of Hixson's main thoroughfares will hit maximum traffic capacity sooner than that.
Highway 153 and U.S. 27 are integral parts of thousands of Chattanoogans' commutes every day. Unfortunately, they are not scheduled for expansion until 2035. Approving a project that cannot be supported by current infrastructure would be unwise.
It's clear Hixson is ready to expand, but growth needs to happen thoughtfully. We need to foster sustainable growth and ensure infrastructure can support major developments. Adding more traffic and unnecessary strain to infrastructure just doesn't make sense.
The City Council votes on this issue on Tuesday, at 6 p.m. I hope Chattanooga will join me in asking the council to say "no" to this development. With enough support at this meeting, we can ensure that growth in Hixson is thoughtful and makes sense for the community.
Columnist wrong on what's 'austerity'
Rarely do I agree with your columnist Paul Krugman, but nearly always am I intrigued by him.
In "Zombie economics" (April 28), he predictably castigates those in Europe and in the United States who have adopted budget-cutting measures to deal with our various debt crises; he calls budget-cutting "austerity." Rather typical for him, he creates a false dichotomy, in this case between indulgent over-spending and his view of "austerity." In his world, adding over a trillion dollars a year to the national debt is not excessive; ignoring many trillions in unfunded liabilities in Medicare is not irresponsible. The list could go on. Does any serious person really believe that living within your means is austerity?
In the real world, indulgent overspending leads to financial catastrophe. Faced with such prospects, most families begin to reduce their spending across the board, say 5 percent a year. Such reductions are not destructive of life; eventually they result in the freedom which comes from not mortgaging the future for the sake of the present. Krugman's austerity is a false choice.
Lookout Mountain, Ga.
Articles prejudiced, politically motivated
I find it enlightening that your paper has recently issued three articles (April 23, 26, 30) about the sheriff. It appears you had to stretch a fact to make your first article worthy of being on the front page.
Your April 26 editorial, "The sheriff's favoritism," was particularly slanted. It made reference to one man's servitude and later his community service. Neither has any connection to our young black men or their relation to gangs, yet it states "If Hammond showed equal concern for young black men drawn into gangs, it might be better understood."
Our community would be much better served if comments such as these were avoided. The April 30 article is still biased but seems to be a little more in support of your goal "To Give the News Impartially, Without Fear o Favor." I believe The Chattanooga Times Free Press should have only published this particular article.
I have lived in Chattanooga for over 20 years and have been a subscriber of your newspaper for the majority of these years. I cannot recall reading a series of locally reported articles with much more prejudice and underlying political motivation. The closer you stay to your creed, the better our community will be served.
Reconsider listing worship services
It is very disappointing that our newspaper decided to dump the Saturday listing of church worship services. It is also highly surprising of a paper where the editor on one side chooses to "do" major theology on Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter. Eliminating that listing fails to affirm the strength of one of America's strongest faith communities. Yes, we are avid sports enthusiasts also. I am one of them, but sports reporting is given six or more pages every day, including sports not represented in our area and little followed.
The newspaper appears to include more advertising than ever before to cover costs. And a full page color lead article on the "Life" section on "drag queens!" Many of your most loyal readers are people of religious faith and practice. Without that Saturday listing, other than a couple of articles, we are eliminated. Crime coverage and sports don't tell the whole story.
Pastor, Signal Mountain United Methodist Church
Lawful immigrants are treated unfairly
I want to say how the lawful immigrant and also the naturalized black immigrants who migrate to the U.S.A. by lawful means are treated so unfairly.
They are harassed and segregated by natural-born Americans. They are denied jobs, better careers and government financial assistance. Some are falsely prosecuted as criminal offenders and thrown in jail on wrongful jail convictions.
JENIFER CLAUDINE MARTINEAU
Use the available space in Hixson
Everywhere I look in Hixson, there are empty storefronts and abandoned lots. These shells of former commercial and office spaces are sad reminders of failed endeavors.
How is it that a new 90-acre development on Highway 153 and Boy Scout Road could even be under consideration?
There are vacant properties all over the area screaming for revitalization. If the developer of this project really wanted to give Hixson a boost and become more attractive to younger families, why not renovate an existing space? The last thing the community needs is the destruction of more of the natural environment that has made Chattanooga a beautiful place to live.
As of March 2012, in the Hixson are, there are 49 commercially-zoned vacant lots, 30 vacant buildings, 77 vacant storefronts and 19 vacant storefronts in Northgate Mall. These buildings once hosted vibrant businesses and increased tax revenue for the city. Now, they are blemishes on our community.
At the Chattanooga City Council meeting on Tuesday, I intend to voice my opinion. I hope you will join me. We need to be more worried about what is best for our city, not a developer's bottom line.