published Sunday, March 17th, 2013

City’s 311 response lauded by citizen and other letters to editors

City’s 311 response lauded by citizen

During the heavy wind that blew Tuesday night, a huge pine tree fell across my street. It was late at night when we called 311, but it didn’t take long as there was a man to deal with it within the hour. It was dark and cold and the wind was still howling, but he stepped up to the plate and came through like a champ.

His name was Milton Stewart and he had the most upbeat attitude, saying that “this is just part of the job,” but within the next 30 minutes or so, he had single-handedly cut up the tree and moved it to the side of the road. Another crew was on the scene first thing Wednesday morning to finish the job.

Many times I’m impatient and critical of slow reaction times from these folks, but they were all over it this time. Thanks for being there when we needed you most. Your promptness is very much appreciated.


Work with Georgia on water supply

Why doesn't Tennessee take a look at sharing water from the Tennessee River with Georgia? I'm new to Chattanooga from Ohio, but I am a groundwater geologist and have been paying attention to this water supply issue. Why doesn't Tennessee have Georgia pay for an impact study and see if the removal of water from the river would have negative impact on river commerce, power generation, river ecology or related groundwater supply? In the study the amount of water that could be safely removed could be determined. It is highly unlikely there would be a negative impact if a reasonable amount was shared, then Tennessee could charge Georgia for the privilege. This is a win-win as I see it.

I'm not a lawyer, but it seems Tennessee could lose control of water removal from the river if Georgia won the right to move the state boundary to their advantage. Why not help the neighbors?


Money for Egypt but not for lock?

In May 2011, President Obama pledged $1 billion of the taxpayers' money to support Egypt's democratic revolution. Do you think he could pledge a couple of bucks to repair our Chickamauga lock?

Just asking.

WILLIAM J. BURTON, Cleveland, Tenn.

Jackson leadership aided quality of life

There's a mover and shaker among the citizens of Chattanooga. Milton Jackson was a strong advocate for clean air and water and cared enough to make a difference.

He served as president of Stop Toxic Pollution ("STOP") for 20 years. During his tenure, Mr. Jackson tirelessly led efforts to clean up Chattanooga Creek, which had become an unfettered dumping ground. Coal tar was found in and around Chattanooga Creek which made it one of the Southeast's most polluted creeks. The health of the Alton Park residents was heavily impacted. Mr. Jackson requested that the Environmental Protection Agency become involved in assessing the health impact affecting the community. His tenacity paid off, and the EPA's review led to the emergence of posting notifications of public health advisories.

Mr. Jackson, an African-American, has proven that anyone can make a difference. This noteworthy achievement accomplished by him is a part of Chattanooga's history. He made it a priority to change the quality of life for the community. In turn, the citizens of Alton Park can now breathe a lilttle easier.


Young men not learning to be men

Last week, a young man was shot at near Howard School. Last Sunday, gunshots were fired near Shallowford Road. Well, it's getting hot and these young people have nothing to do but cause stress in this city. Where are the parents of these young people? These young men are not growing up to be young men. Most of them are not being taught how to become men, so therefore they resort to just living day by day.

These black-on-black crimes with innocent people in the cross-fire need to stop. The young man that killed the 16-year-old had many arrests and was still out on the street. When these teens go before a judge and stop just being sent to their rooms with no supper, then maybe they will do better. They know they are under age and nothing will be done about it when they go to court. I wish they would abolish that teen law and be like in the good old days when you did the crime you did the time.


Not all homes about the money

Regarding Sunday's article, "State law requires little to operate home for the aged." I know a residential home for the aged in Hamilton County licensed for eight beds that also is owned by a Kenyan couple.

My mother spent the last year of her life there. It was one of the happiest years of her life. She had been in a full-service nursing home and was miserable, always wanting to go home.

The care and love that she received in this home was second to none. I take exception to Trudy Mott's quote that it is all about the money. Nothing is farther from the truth. This couple actually loses money on some of their residents. It is indeed their ministry. The residents eat together, watch TV together, and even pray together. They are a family. I can't speak about the facility in the article but the majority of them are valuable assets in our community.

My mother received top-notch care. She suffered some dementia and could not remember to take her medicine. The CNAs on staff saw to it that it was administered as prescribed. A nurse visited regularly. We need more facilities offering this type of personal, loving care at a reasonable cost.


Close loopholes to collect taxes

It may be a while before the dire effects of the sequester cuts will be seen, but if they continue, the economy will slowly deteriorate! Initial job losses and lost pay would remove that income, to be followed by more job and income losses.

The economy could be easily fixed without "raising taxes" or ruining Social Security and Medicare. Just close the loopholes that allow the filthy rich to escape paying income tax. Also, regulate and oversee waste and fraud.

But the tea-party controlled GOP won't even do that. They control the House, and because of the idiotic 60-vote rule, stop anything worthwhile from passing in the Senate. They will do nothing sane to help the country. Their only objective is to keep lobbyists' "bag money" flowing from the likes of oil barons such as the Koch brothers!

WALTER M. BENTON, Signal Mountain

Mountaintop mining harmful

As a concerned citizen, I would like to bring to your attention the dangers of mountaintop removal mining and the urgent steps we need to take to protect our nation's mountains and people before it's too late. Mountaintop removal not only destroys and pollutes waterways and eliminates wildlife, but it also affects families' and communities' access to clean water and uncontaminated air, and might seriously threaten their health.

As we live in Scenic City with some of the best mountain ranges in the country, I feel it is important to speak up. The Environmental Protection Agency needs to follow the robust science and set a strong, binding clean-water rule that will prevent the pollution and destruction of waterways by mountaintop removal mining waste.

I believe we have an obligation to preserve our national heritage for future generations, including our mountains and vital waterways.


Provide services for annexation

The idea of forced annexation is repugnant. Personal rights are trampled, and more needs to be added to Rev. Mike Carter's bill that addresses the problem..

I've watched this administration annex property for one reason only: grab it before any other municipality can. The downside of this is that in the city of Chattanooga, the amount of city services needed are rarely realized after-the-fact. Police presence as well as fire protection is sporadic. All of it promised and ultimately reneged..

Carter's bill should require positive proof from any city that complete city services must be available with a commensurate increase in funding prior to a vote. More police should be hired, not just redistributed. The same for fire and waste disposal. If the same city services provided in annexed land are not equal to any another portion of that municipality, it smacks of little more than fiscal gerrymandering. There should a caveat in Carter's bill allowing annexed property owners the right to reverse the annexation should the public services be found wanting. Taxation without promised services should be assailable in court by annexed citizens.

Make it fair with a vote, then hold that city's feet to the fire to keep its word on promised services.

DAVID O. FIHN, Hixson, Tenn.

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anniebelle said...

Mr. Burton, Bush spent trillions blowing up a country that did us no harm, killing their citizens and our young men and women. Where was your outrage then? We need all the friends we can 'buy' in that area of the world after 8 disaterous years of the Bush/Cheney cabal worked overtime to create more enemies that WILL die for their countries, unlike most of the cowards in this country. Do you realize the small percentage of Americans that have served in Iraq and Afghanistan? No? Nor do you care as long as it's not you or your loved ones. My father died in WWII, my brother in Vietnam, and now my grandson in Iraq so you can just stop with your fake, hypocritical outrage and try to work for all the citizens of this country not just your little hate group.

March 17, 2013 at 6:38 a.m.
shen said...

Jean Heard, the problems in these communities are far more complex than locking everyone up to solve the problems. Jails and prisons do not rehabilitate. They've taken primarily young, African-American and Latino men, arrested them for minor offenses and turned them into hardened criminals, to be let loose on society.

America can build bigger jails and prisons, give longer prison sentences and I can guarantee the problems won't get any better.

As long as the law is going into these communities, operating more on the basis of a destabilizing, occupying force, the problems will only escalate. Much of this started with the plans to gentrify targeted communities back in the 1980s. Plans that didn't quite go the way as they'd been planned.

See: Manufactured Terrorists (manufactured gangs?) How the NYPD accused of setting up, supplied, engaged, created, entrapped then busted young men accusing them of being terrorists.

See also: New Yorker Oct. 2012 issue of: ThrowAways: Pawns In the War On Drugs.

March 17, 2013 at 10:02 a.m.
shen said...

Fraley, that area is one of the most depressed areas on Chattanooga. We're all going to leave this world with something. We're going to live until we die anyway. So why take jobs away that could sustain and uplift a community out of severe poverty without first having industry that could come in a replace those jobs. That area looks like an impoverished wasteland. And those two factories that still exist are likely causing more pollution than the one Jackson ran off. There are days, just driving through that area, that a person can't even breathe, the smell is so intense. And closing your windows doesn't help. All that's left are a few mom/pop packaging stores, run by foreigners and only one actually hire someone from the community. And that hiree is 1 person. Alton Park was once an up and coming thriving place. You had factories in close enough proximity the citizens could walk to work and walk back home at the end of their work day. There were black owned and operated business, such as restaurants, hair salons, ice cream shops. In fact, the first drive through was a barbeque joint, owned and operated by a blakc woman. Where people called in their order and drove right up to the owners, a wman, side window to pick up their plate or sandwich. So now you have Alton Park Village, and few poorly built new homes, but nothing in the way of nearby jobs to sustain the community. So the people got a few hundred bucks out of that Environmental fiasco. Money that was already spent before it touched their hands, their needs were so great. How has that done anything for the community?

March 18, 2013 at 8:52 a.m.
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