published Monday, November 12th, 2012

Band together to help our health and other letters to the editors

Band together to help our health

There is an insidious issue plaguing our country, one that giant corporations are desperate to keep our country in the dark about.

Over the past 100 years, consolidation of resources by major agricultural giants has put countless blue- collar farmers out of work and enslaved others in a system that ensured they would never prosper -- all in the name of cheap food.

Now our country is finding out slowly that putting our greatest asset -- our food supply -- in the hands of greedy, unethical corporations may not be such a bright idea. Reports of "pink slime" and countless food- borne infectious agents completely resistant to treatment belie the fact that companies like Monsanto and DuPont are spending millions upon millions of dollars to defeat legislation requiring food suppliers to label items that contain GMOs -- genetically modified organisms, many of which have been linked to cancer in test animals.

We the people must demand truth in our food -- after all, it is the one thing we all have in common. Support your local farms or start your own garden -- together, we can effect change and help return our nation to a healthy state.


White House name isn't about race

Clay Bennett's cartoon in Thursday's paper is the most outlandish, ridiculous, stupid cartoon he has drawn. I would suggest that he study American history to learn the reason for the naming of the "White House" and he would realize that it had nothing to do with "race" as is implied in his rendering.

My review finds that President Theodore Roosevelt named the "White House" in 1901 with no reference to race.


Mayor's actions unpofessional

Election Day was exciting for citizens of East Ridge. The race for the two available City Council seats was well contested. I had the privilege of being in Marc Gravitt's camp and was at one of the voting precincts all day. Ann Pruett's tent was right beside Marc's. Mimi Lowery and Denny Manning each had tents right across from us. We're all citizens and neighbors in East Ridge and enjoyed visiting each other's camp and talking about the issues. Although we were all campaigning for different candidates, we enjoyed visiting and sharing food, drinks and snacks.

That being said, I feel the rest of the citizens of East Ridge have a right to know what else happened on Election Day. Mayor Brent Lambert made several visits to the precinct. He brought food, drinks, snacks and made sure everyone had what they needed. Everyone in Ann Pruett's camp, that is. Mr. Lambert made no attempt to visit with other citizens or even raise his hand to say hello. He was there and at the other precincts to support Ann Pruett only. I found his behavior very unprofessional. He's our mayor! He's supposed to represent all the people. His actions showed me, as a citizen, just where he stands.


Murals bring life lessons

Have you seen the murals on M.L.K. Boulevard? You may not know that they were actually painted by local children, homeless and mentally ill.

These colorful murals are more than an apple to the eye! They are a demonstration of how art can bring self-confidence, life lessons and hope to people in need of inspiration. The latest project paired Howard School students with an artist to complete a mural involving eyes. When asked what life lessons were learned during the activity, one student stated, "Appreciate life, manage your time wisely, love your work." -- Sam Brown

Who makes this happen? It is an organization called Mark Making that believes in public art projects that beautify and improve the city while helping individuals. They give local artists work, attract customers to colorful buildings, give children an impact, beautify the city and change lives.

How can we help? Business or building owners wanting a mural can contact Mark Making and make a request ( Make this program of more concern in our community in order to touch more lives. City Council's office phone is 423-757-5198. For contact information of council members depending on district visit


Trash collectors do the job right

Re: Chattanooga and the Head of the Hooch Regatta: I thank the City of Chattanooga for hosting an amazing event. You would not believe how positive everyone is about our city. The citizens of Chattanooga should be proud of what Chattanooga has become -- I know I am proud to be from Chattanooga.

I really wanted to mention one group in particular for what they did on Friday, Saturday and Sunday weekend before last at the waterfront. Never once did you see trash getting piled up around trash cans. The sanitation workers who were at the Head of the Hooch did a great job! They never get any credit for a job well done, which is deserved for what they did. When the job is done right, it goes unnoticed. I have been to many events where you see trash piled up around garbage cans and it is overflowing. But never once has that happened at any of the Head of the Hooch regattas here in Chattanooga. People do notice. We have a great and wonderful city.


1 percent failed to buy your vote

Schadenfreude is a dish best served warm, so to the Republican voters I would like to tell them how lucky they are to have been saved by the majority of this country who are still attached to reality. These "real" Americans care more about their country than some bumper-sticker slogan or lies told incessantly by the right-wing think tanks.

Your children and grandchildren will thank those who voted for President Obama, who cares about the 99 percent enough to make some bold moves on their behalf. All the Republicans want is your hard-earned money so they can stuff the Koch Brothers' pockets and the rest of the 1 percent in this country who live off of entitlements, that you and I, the average taxpayer, pay for.

Your parents will also thank you for not turning our most successful programs ever, Social Security and Medicare, into casino chips (the GOP refer to them as "vouchers") for the bankers and hedge-fund managers.

The obscenely wealthy have gamed this system until they have buried the middle class, and the "people" are fighting back. Hopefully, this will be the last election where the 1 percent will try to buy your vote, since they failed miserably.

ANN BENTON, Signal Mountain

Serving children, families a privilege

After seven wonderful years as the president and CEO of Siskin Children's Institute, I am turning over the reins of this remarkable organization at the end of the year. My years at the Institute have been very rewarding, and it has been such a privilege to serve our region's children and families.

Thanks to you, our supportive community, the Institute has added the Siskin Center for Child and Family Research, staffed with world-class researchers helping to find better ways to serve children with special needs, as well as the Siskin Center for Developmental Pediatrics, a much-needed developmental pediatric health care center that has filled a huge void in this region for families who have children with special needs.

Lastly, I would like to thank all of you for making my years in Chattanooga so enjoyable. This is a community full of wonderful people, and I hate leaving so many friends. It is a community that can serve as a model for others, and I will happily carry this message. Most important, though, it is a community that has made me a better person and for that I am truly grateful.

GERALD D. JENSEN, President & CEO, Siskin Children's Institute

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.

MELVIN WILLETT, your literalist pedantry is defeated by the image being a symbolic one, to reference the change in the electorate.

Your outrage misses the point. Besides, Teddy Roosevelt did not originate the use of the term "White House" he merely updated the official record to reflect existing vernacular.

What next, complaining about how Picasso's art isn't accurate?

November 12, 2012 at 12:20 a.m.
LibDem said...

Mr. Willett thinks the comic pages are international news.

November 12, 2012 at 10:43 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

Mr. Willett, I can't presume to know the workings of Mr. Bennett's mind but I'm willing to bet that he has smarts enough to know that the original naming of the White House had nothing to do with race. I think it's safe to say that anyone with even a speck of intelligence knows that. Kinda slow to pick up on the double entendre, are ya?

November 12, 2012 at 12:29 p.m.
jjmez said...

Melvin Willett, the name White House possibly date back to 1811 and is believe to have been named for White House Plantation. The plantation home of Martha Dandridge Custis and her first husband who died when Martha was 25 years old. A wealthy widow, she'd later marry George Washington at age 27. Martha is also believe to have had an illegitimate half-sister; the product of her father and an African-Cherokee slave.

November 12, 2012 at 8:11 p.m.
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