Temple article omits positives
We are grateful for your readers to learn about Tennessee Temple University. Unfortunately, Ms. Garrett's recent article (Sept. 17) omitted many current positives about TTU. Ms. Garrett's number for our fall residential enrollment was 54 under our actual count. The 17 percent increase was the largest percentage of residential enrollment gain in 32 years. TTU is financially sound having just finished its third straight year in the black.
Dr. Roberson would have been proud that TTU remains faithful to its theological foundation.
We are thankful for our past blessings, but today TTU is preparing for a new era. Our growing residential enrollment, vibrant online curriculum and off-campus teaching sites are indications of a bright future. We do not know of a better place to fulfill our mission than where God has put us, in a key section of the beautiful city of Chattanooga.
STEVE ECHOLS, President, Tennessee Temple University
VA wasting funds on checks
I have a check I'm not going to cash. It's from our federal government; rather, from one of those agencies which serve (or are served by) us citizens. This check comes from the Veterans Affairs agency, apparently because long ago I was charged, or paid in error, too much for something.
The only information on the check is numbers: 13TM131003400100025139M1310034014030 137547210127647313493913754721M10000M13003401. My analog brain cannot demodulate this digital data, so I can't guess why the check was issued. However, the real issue is the amount: $1.71.
How much does it cost the VA to compute, print and dispatch a check? Certainly more than $2, maybe more than $10. So I suggest they save a bundle of money by eliminating all invoices, statements and/or refunds for $5 or less. Surely the VA's handling costs of receiving and processing a $5 payment is much more than their income, so simply skipping the entire invoicing process should produce a net savings of millions of dollars every year.
If all government agencies adopted this policy, the savings should be substantial, even in a world which casually tosses about dollar numbers with nine zeros behind them.
Tennessee Temple is on the move
I believe in Tennessee Temple University. Joan Garrett's recent article (Sept. 17) did not include the progress TTU has made in recent years. It did not include the reasons why I and my peers believe in Temple as strongly as we do.
Temple has not digressed, but progressed. Temple has not abandoned conservative theology. Is Temple wrong for focusing on the heart rather than the dress? Our president, Dr. Echols, affirmed that "we are more focused on developing students' character than keeping score of their rule-following."
Temple graduates have excelled in many arenas. Recent graduates have gone on to top law and medical schools. Temple students have had no problem getting accepted into elite graduate schools, including Harvard University.
Students also are excited with the progress of the renovation plan, displayed in the school's main conference room to remind everyone daily of Temple's vision. Temple students are more active in the community now than in recent years. Recently, Temple, the smallest institution represented at Chattanooga's "Clean and Green," had 65 students participating, by far the largest number of the institutions. One student, Amber Charles, represented Temple along with her nation during the 2012 Summer Olympics as one of the torch bearers. Like Amber, Temple is carrying its torch as a campus shining brightly for Christ. This is reflected by Temple's 17 percent enrollment growth this past year. I am honored to be a Crusader; and as Dr. Echols stated, "We're here to stay."
RICKY BAILEY, Student Body President, Tennessee Temple, University
Strengthen teen driving regulations
This week is National Pet Peeve Week, and I find it annoying that lawmakers do not strengthen our state's teen driving laws to help protect our newest and most vulnerable drivers on our nation's roadways.
Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the U.S. Despite the appalling statistics, we still have laws that leave teens susceptible to crashes. Our nighttime driving restrictions need to be stronger, as driving at night is incredibly risky for new drivers. We must change our passenger laws so teens cannot ride or drive with their peers, which increases their crash risk by as much as 307 percent. We also must ban the use of cell phones while driving, as drivers of every age are four times as likely to crash while using one.
I lead the Tennessee Teen Safe Driving Coalition, which the Allstate Foundation and the National Safety Council established to raise awareness about teen driving. If weak teen driving laws also are one of your pet peeves, please consider joining our coalition. Work with us to prevent these crashes so no one is troubled or affected by this epidemic.
SONYA MANFRED, Tennessee Teen Safe Driving Coalition, Jackson, Tenn.
Evidence backs the creationists
As a physicist, creationist and former evolutionist, I was amused to see the "left-side" editorial ("GOP's latest smokescreen," Oct. 9) that was so perturbed about Georgia Congressman Paul Broun. Broun had declared that what he was taught in public school advocating evolution and the Big Bang theory was "straight from the pit of hell." I share his thoughts on that. As a grad student, having accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior out of an atheist background, I was angered to realize that none of my teachers, textbooks and professors had ever given me any real evidence for evolution or the alleged billions of years. They all had accepted those ideas simply because other academics believed them. I was shocked to find that most of the evidence is on the creationist side. Not only that, there now are very good scientific answers for the minority of the evidence evolutionists try to use.
If the editor would like to get educated on that point, he can look up "101 evidences for a young age of the earth" on a well-known creationist website, creation.com.
D. RUSSELL HUMPHREYS
Police guidelines needed for towing
I live in Colonial Shores Subdivision. After a meeting, I drove by the pool in our neighborhood on a Friday night during the pool season. Unfortunately, I ran out of gas. I turned my wheels to the curb and parked, with lights on. There were (and are) at least seven to 20 cars parked the same way all of the time. My vehicle was towed. Usurious charges ran up, because the police department has no policies or procedures for notifying an owner (who has notified them) of their ownership and how to get it out. The City of Chattanooga made me pay a local towing company $500 for an illegal tow without notification, communication as to how to get a police release or any other information.
KENT JONES, Hixson
Congress is top threat to nation
How secure and relieved I feel after having read this morning's (Oct. 11) Chattanooga Times Free Press. Mr. Corker has visited Jordan's border with Syria and has assessed and affirmed what most of us already know, that al-Qaida still poses a threat to the U.S. and other countries. What a wise and prudent use of tax dollars in a tight economy!
However, I would feel a lot more secure if Mr. Corker and his colleagues in Congress would turn their gaze inward. In my opinion, the most immediate and most potentially destructive threat to U.S. security and well-being is currently ensconced in the seats of the "do-nothing" Congress. This body poses a far more immediate and chilling threat to this country than any external threat.
I recommend that Mr. Corker and his cohorts beat a drum for social, economic, financial and political reform and minimize stirring up the rumblings of the war machine -- a long-time favorite of Republicans over the course of recent events. It would be refreshing if the members of this "obese" body were to look inward and in Pogo-like honesty reflect that they have seen the enemy and he is us.
DENNIS WESTMEIER, Red Bank