A sheriff should know right, wrong
Kudos to police Chief Bobby Dodd for not taking part in Sheriff Hammond's so-called non-political fundraiser. Sheriff Hammond makes the statement that it all comes down to your ethics and character whether you might be influenced by monetary donations. It would appear Sheriff Hammond has a paucity of both.
Chief Dodd correctly said, "This is not an issue of character or ethics ... it is more about what is right and wrong." Sheriff Hammond has a little trouble discerning what is right and wrong, in my opinion. His son is the over-paid web master for the sheriff's department. Really sheriff, is your son the most qualified for this position or do I smell a little nepotism at work?
Sheriff Hammond agreed that he was slow in responding to requests for information by this newspaper. Why is he slow to answer to the people who elected him? Maybe he thinks he is a little above that petty stuff like facts, truth and freedom of information.
We need to do a better job picking sheriffs since John Cupp's honorable tenure ended. Billy Long, now Hammond. Yuck!
Allow volunteers to be on jury duty
Being a registered voter of Dade County, I know it sounds crazy but I would love to be able to volunteer to be on jury duty. I am a criminal justice major at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and everything involving law enforcement interests me. I feel that if you want to volunteer for jury duty, then you should be able to just the same as when you volunteer to vote. People are not required to vote; they choose to vote on their own time.
I think that if people want to volunteer for jury duty, then there should be a system in place that allows them to do so. I think the rules should still apply that you have to go through a screening process to make sure you are a good and suitable candidate for that specific trial. I think this is a really important duty for all people, and they are doing a great service for their county. Why not help ease the burden of looking for people to serve and choose people who want to volunteer in the first place.
Let's pull together on national debt
Last week there was a failed attempt to attack the Federal Reserve in Washington, D.C. As you may know the United States owes trillions of dollars. Right now nearly half of the debt is owned by foreign entities. There is no better time than now to save money and pull together to get out of this deficit.
Sen. Bob Corker went around Tennessee two years ago to teach on unsustainable spending. Education on the debt is the best way to learn and be effective in canceling out this debt. Every citizen has $51,500 of debt lingering over his or her head just from the government national debt. With these numbers in mind Tennessee is a great place to live. Sen. Corker outlines how a family who makes $43,000 a year would be in debt when living in Washington, D.C., but in Tennessee the family can get by with little to no debt. For more information go to www.corker.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=america-s-debt-crisis to learn more about how much money the nation owes and what you can do to help the next generation.
Sea turtles need our protection
In 1978 green sea turtles were put on the endangered species list. A short 32 years later in 2010 the BP oil spill happened. This event devastated the already hurting sea turtle population.
After the BP oil spill an estimated 6,000 sea turtles were killed. The number is only an estimate because the oil will continue to affect the sea turtles long after the spill. Food sources that the turtles rely on also are affected by the spill. Thus, there is less available food for the sea turtles causing yet another struggle.
Numerous organizations and protection agencies are dedicated to helping sea turtles and other endangered species. Such organizations are available so that anyone can help protect the turtles regardless of where they live. Animals and these agencies need your help to protect their population. We want the sea turtles to continue living and be alive for the future generations.
Go online to nwf.org, worldwildlife.org, or even conserveturtles.org. Every little bit helps, so do your part today.
Climate change is caused by man
Re: Free Press editorial "A silly war on fossil fuels" (Nov. 3). It's easy to feel that the issue of climate change is trivial as the weather turns cool. However, this year we've been given yet another wake up call in the form of Hurricane Sandy. Yes, climate change did not cause Sandy, but only in the same way freezing rain and icy roads do not cause car accidents. Climate change does, however, create unfavorable conditions that make extreme weather events, such as Sandy, more likely.
These extreme weather events are one of the hidden costs of fossil fuels (along with air pollution, water pollution, mountain top removal, prolonged wars in the Middle East, etc.) that make the cost of gas- and coal-generated electricity appear so cheap compared to renewable energy sources, because the hidden costs are born by others throughout our (and the world's) economy.
If you doubt that the majority of climate change is being caused by man, please take the time to look at what the experts in this area think. An overwhelming majority of climate scientists agree climate change is being caused by the burning of fossil fuels and the research of the minority that disagree have mostly been funded by oil companies.
Antique car buff applauds photo
Regarding the photo by John Rawlston featured in Friday's (Nov. 2) Metro section titled "Goat perch":
Who would have thought that a 1949 or 1950 Packard Eight automobile would eventually become a perch for a goat? That poor, poor Packard!
From an antique car buff, I say "thank you" John for a wonderful photo!
Suspend gas price gouging laws
If the laws against so-called "price gouging" were suspended, the gas shortage in New York and New Jersey would end almost immediately. It would be Economics 101 in action.
If stations could charge $10 per gallon of gas, for example, two things would happen. First, people would stop filling up "just in case." They would get only what they absolutely need, reducing the demand.
Second, stations that can't provide gas at $4 per gallon would figure out a way at $10 per gallon. Then somebody else would get it done at $9. Then $8. And competition would continue to drive the price down.
It certainly costs more to get gas to the pump under current conditions, but if stations can't recover the costs, they won't make the investment. It's is a very curious phenomenon that we abandon the most efficient marketing system ever devised in favor of government control when we need efficiency the most.
"Price gouging" laws have great appeal politically, but they are supremely harmful in emergency situations.