Blood drive honors the victims of 9/11
Eleven years ago on Sept. 11, four planes were hijacked. The lives of innocent civilians and heroic firefighters were lost with the smoke and devastation of the crashes. The air was packed with confusion, hysteria. The people responsible for the crime were "Muslims." And thus, more than planes were hijacked -- the Muslim faith was hijacked, as it became synonymous with terrorism and hate.
But this year, for the second year in a row, the organization "Muslims for Life," started by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, is collecting 11,000 units of blood in honor of the victims of 9/11. The goal is to save lives and show the face of the true Islam -- a religion that promotes the sanctity of life.
Being an Ahmadi Muslim myself, my family and I held several drives in our local community. I held a drive at my school, Girls Preparatory School. My parents organized four drives in Dalton, where we live, at the local college, Walmart and Blood Assurance office. All in all, it was amazing to see the thoughtfulness of the people in our local community in support of the victims of the terrible crime against humanity that occurred around this time 11 years ago.
NAJIA HUMAYUN, Tunnel Hill, Ga.
Coupon support a boost for schools
Kids First Coupon Books offer citizens of Hamilton County an opportunity to support educational needs and in turn receive discounts from many businesses that also support education in Hamilton County.
All money that passes through schools is closely audited and monitored by an independent accounting firm, as well as the school system's accounting department. Money at my school has been used to purchase document cameras, Promethean boards, computers and cutting edge curriculum materials including books for small-group guided reading instruction.
Buying coupon books is a freedom that those who choose to support education have. Purchasing school supplies also is a freedom that many parents who choose to support education exercise.
One estimated cost I've seen for educating a child in a public school for one year is $8,000. With that in mind, and using Hamilton County's current enrollment of 42,705, a rough estimate of $8,000 per student would indicate that it costs $34,164,000 a year to educate our children. $14 million certainly helps with those things that the county is not able to purchase at our schools where families choose to support this initiative.
Thank you to Kris Humber for her hard work to make this opportunity possible for the children and the schools of Hamilton County.
NORMA FAERBER, Principal, McConnell Elementary
Fines level raises question of intent
Our residents in nursing homes across the U.S. deserve the very best in care. I would propose that they do receive the best in most circumstances with only rare examples of poor-performing facilities. There are over 14,000 nursing homes in the U.S. There is always going to be a few bad apples in any business.
Across the U.S., nursing homes average about eight deficiencies per year. There is nothing unusual about that number. We have always seen about that many over the last 15-plus years. Nursing homes are the most heavily regulated businesses in the U.S., and it is a real challenge to meet each rule.
In the state of Tennessee, I would propose the state surveyors are ruthless in their approach to the severity of the deficiency, often citing facilities with six-figure penalties. I would challenge anyone to find other types of health-care providers that are routinely experiencing this level of fines. In many cases severity is merely defined by the surveyors' subjective opinion.
The question needs to be asked: Is the state of Tennessee and/or Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services finding a revenue stream for themselves that is very positive for them?
D. DAN JOHNSON
Ladd's actions don't match constituents
I heard something from one of City Councilwoman Pam Ladd's visually impaired constituents at the VIP Support group meeting this past Saturday that disturbed me. This lady lives in Hixson and has no access to public transportation. This visually impaired lady would have to walk 3.5 miles to catch a bus. She once called Pam Ladd about this situation, and Pam Ladd told her: "I live here, and, it's all right." The lady asked Pam Ladd if she could drive, and she admitted that she does. It appears that the good councilwoman has no concern for her visually impaired constituents.
She demonstrated her unwillingness to stand for people's right to pray a few weeks ago when she attempted to deprive Councilman Rico of his right to begin the council meeting with prayer. Sure hope that believers in Christ and visually impaired constituents in Pam Ladd's district will say no to her in March!
UTC loses focus of game prayer
Re: front page story "Diversity leads to UTC moment of silence," (Sept. 11).
OK, I get it, there's no leadership at UTC, just DIVERSITY. UTC has lost the focus of a pre-game prayer. It is simple to me: it is a time to pray to the God of your belief, to protect the players from harm and to lead the players in the conduct of sportsmanship and honor. It is not a time of silence to remember the things we hold dear, it is not a time to evangelize, and certainly it is not an imposition of the "will of the majority on a minority."
Coach Huesman got it right in his two statements: "I know what goes on in my locker room." "Out there (in the stadium) I just don't think too much about it." It seems rather clear to me that Coach Huesman prepares the UTC team for the game in all areas. The observance of a moment of silence will have no bearing on the outcome of the game, but it will reveal the character of Chattanooga and our failed leaders.
STEVEN A. HICKS
Continue updates on virtual schools
I've appreciated the stories I've seen on the virtual school situation in the area, specifically Monday's. As a person who was homeschooled from fourth grade to college, I'm interested in how a more modern and "acceptable" trend of home learning is emerging.
I agree with what was said in that quality is all it should be about. Education is so important in that age range. Self-motivation is essential as well, as the article stated.
Thank you for bringing to the public's eye this issue. Hope to see another follow-up story much later to see what has happened with both the Hamilton County option and K12.
BRANDON COBOS, Rising Fawn, Ga.
Reject Crutchfield's way of business
Ward Crutchfield is a convicted criminal. He was busted in the infamous Tennessee Waltz scandal and is apparently considering a run for City Council. This sounds like "The Empire Strikes Back" for Chattanooga. We had might as well allow Darth Vader to run for a seat and call it "progress."
Our city deserves to take a step forward and leave the decades of good ol' boy political nepotism behind. The crony politics and bribery that Ward represents do not highlight the best traits of our Scenic City. We as Chattanoogans should and realize and enforce that we deserve better leaders than people who openly take bribes and make a mockery of governance. We are in charge; this government is ours.
Ward's attempt to reclaim power represents the last dying gasp of an old order of corruption. It's time to reject that old order once and for all.
JESSICA JACK WYRICK