Shrub destruction isn't necessary
I live in a quaint neighborhood called Belvoir. Belvoir's owners take pride in maintaining their homes and particularly the wonderful mature landscape. It is appalling to see what EPB's contractors have done to shrubbery in the name of line maintenance.
There is one house in particular on Hinsdale that I pass while walking that has been violated, cutting down a whole row of shrubbery to within a foot of the ground. This privacy barrier is gone and will take years, if it ever does, to regenerate. I understand the need to maintain line clearance but in this case the shrubbery (these are shrubs, not trees!) were not touching the line or in any way hindering the serviceability of the power poles.
I have heard the EPB contractors are paid by the number of truckloads of felled trees or shrubs, regardless of the real need for removal. If this statement is accurate, it needs to be addressed.
DAVID JOHNSON III
'Self-made' doesn't always mean that
The Republicans have been making a lot of the statement, "You didn't build that," which they frequently take out of context, so they can argue that Obama doesn't understand how successful businesses develop. They insist that Romney, like many other wealthy people, are self-made.
Didn't they get help from their parents and family (as Romney obviously did), teachers/professors, mentors, friends of the family, their own friends, church members, God, etc.?
How did they build and run a business without government crime protection, legal protection in courts, patent/copyright protection, transportation, communications, community development, etc.?
Many people dependent on government are the loudest speaking against it: ranchers, grazing cattle on public lands; shippers, using our highways; manufacturers protected from foreign price cutting; professionals whose licenses protect them from unqualified competition, etc.
The idea of self-made individuals goes against common sense as well as centuries of Christian beliefs, as does the idea that needing assistance makes one unworthy. As a successful businessman, I managed several organizations and developed a business. I continually thank God for guiding people who helped me, the government assistance I received and the family who got me started. But, I don't believe as Paul Ryan does, in Ayn Rand's atheist, fantasy writings.
ROGER A. MEYER
Eaton will restore state's image
For too long Tennessee has been made a laughingstock, not just in this country, but worldwide. Nonsense such as "Police the Potty" and "Don't Say Gay" bills have only served to make all of us look like complete morons.
Not only has the representative from District 27 done nothing to discourage this image of Tennesseans, but he has added to it with his recent malicious, anti-transgender "stomp a mudhole" statement.
There is, however, hope on the horizon in the form of the affable Frank Eaton. Although I have not known him long, it doesn't take but a few minutes in his company to see that he'll bring a much-needed voice of reason and intelligence back to the Tennessee House of Representatives.
I rejoiced at seeing that Frank would be running for the Tennessee House in District 27. Finally, in Frank Eaton, we have someone we can actually vote for, and not just against the incumbent Rep. Floyd.
Frank Eaton will make jobs, environmental issues and education his priority and not waste time and taxpayer money on worthless "potty" bills.
Thank you, Frank, for putting yourself forward to bring a better government to all Tennesseans.
Don't minimize serious stories
I have been seeing too many serious news stories written as if they were feature stories in the Chattanooga Times Free Press. The latest one was Wednesday (Aug. 22) that went across the top of the front page about police killing a man during a home invasion.
The first paragraph told about a man who noticed something happening across the street but didn't pay it much mind. We were not told until the fourth paragraph that police killed Ronald Wright and arrested Kevin Williams in connection with a home invasion.
Just because the Times Free Press has no competition is no excuse for this type of fluffy feature writing of a serious news story. Let's skip the fluffy literature and get to the meat of the story in the first paragraph and get on with it like a real reporter is supposed to do.
When I was a reporter for The Chattanooga Times during the '70s, this type of fluff reporting of serious news would never have been allowed. It doesn't speak well for the Chattanooga Times Free Press to forget the difference between a feature story and a serious news story.
Bicycles a waste of taxpayer funds
I travel to town every day and have seen the many racks of "green" bicycles around town. What I do not see is anyone riding them. I am having a very difficult time in understanding why our tax money (whether local or federal) is being wasted on a program certainly not needed. There are many other areas that are much more pressing than having bicycles stationed around town. In addition to that, the cost of renting one of the bikes is fairly expensive.
I have lived in Chattanooga for most of my life and have seen the "renaissance" in this city. But I also know of the many problem areas that we still have. It seems to me it would be a better use of federal/state/local money in the troubled areas or in our public educational programs and schools than on these bicycles. Once again, it demonstrates the lack of judgment of our city government.
The election cannot come soon enough to remove these people and put people with sound reasoning judgment in office to better serve our community.
Republicans also have to apologize
If Republicans have taught us anything this election year, it is that having a college degree doesn't necessarily make you smarter than the next guy. I guess that's why they want to cut $115 billion from education over the next 10 years. There isn't a day that goes by when some educated right-wing GOP neo-con crackpot develops diarrhea of the mouth and winds up apologizing for it the next day on national TV.
One of the criticisms that come from Republicans about Obama is that he apologizes too much. Well, right-wingers, there is something you obviously haven't caught on to yet: Your party seems to do its share of apologizing too.
The scary part to all this is that this conglomeration of wing nuts, ding bats and carriage bolts is the new Republican Party and actually has a following which is larger than most think. The Democratic lunatic fringe may be Joe Biden, but Republicans, your selection is a whole lot larger.
RICHARD A. SHANKEN
Rocky Face, Ga.
Brown served with distinction
Thanks for a job well done, Rep. Dr. Tommie F. Brown, who served for 20 years from the 28th Legislative District with distinction, always with the people as her personal interest.
She went up through the ranks to become the second African-American supervisor in the welfare department. She was the first African-American to become a full-time faculty member at UTC, later setting up and organizing her department.
Perhaps one of the best ways to describe her was from one of her former students at UTC. He could not see her but heard her voice and said, "That is Dr. Brown, one of my former teachers at UTC . She is one of the great ladies of our country."
JAMES R. MAPP