Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

May 20th, 2012 in Opinion Free Press

EMS personnel have true calling

"EMS: More Than a Job. A Calling" is the 2012 theme, reflecting the idea that EMS personnel don't choose this field for big salaries, comfortable working conditions or a 9-to-5 job. They have a true calling to help and care for others in their hour of need.

EMS Week brings together communities and medical professionals to publicize safety, educate the public about our local EMS agencies, and to honor the dedication of those who provide day-to-day lifesaving services on emergency medicine's front line.

This week, and all year long, we owe a debt of gratitude to the thousands of EMS professionals across the nation. These individuals are true public servants dedicating their lives to aiding people in times of crisis or emergency.

Amy Maxwell

Strong marriages are stabilizing force

I so wish that our president and vice president had made a different statement: I wish they had said they were in favor of marriage! Marriage is good for children, married people live longer, and strong marriages are a stabilizing force in our communities. Whether the married couple is a man and a woman, two women or two men doesn't matter nearly as much as them living in a stable family with strong commitments to each other.


'Man of God' needs more compassion

I read with disgust a letter to the editor from an "evangelist." It seems he feels that President Obama should be impeached because of his stand on gay marriage, or you could say on human rights. His letter amazes me. As a man of God, it seems that he would show compassion for those of a different sexual orientation than he. Jesus taught understanding and compassion, not hate. President Obama is not "shaking his fist at God," as was stated.

As citizens of the United States of America, we are given certain rights, and the right to choose our religion and our sexual orientation are some of them.

To say that President Obama should be impeached because of his stand on gay rights only shows narrowmindness. A "man of God" should have more compassion for others.


Was announcement just about money?

Recently, our president came out with his approval of same-sex marriage. But President Obama had been upstaged by Vice President Biden by four days in his announcement. Actually, after a closer reading of the announcement nothing has changed. President Obama said he approves of gay marriage, but the decision should be left up to the states to decide if they want gay marriage or not. Is this leadership or doublespeak?

But the next day, President Obama was at actor George Clooney's estate for a fundraiser. All atwitter from the announcement, liberals and gays gave a whopping $15 million to the president's re-election campaign.

But now this week, the president's talking points are back on the economy. Did President Obama just use the same-sex marriage issue to scam gays for his re-election war chest? You decide.


Avoid politician who has a plan

Regarding the upcoming election, I think it is much wiser to go with a proven businessman with no voiced political agenda than any politician with any plan.


Keep victories in perspective

With NASCAR all giddy about Rick Hendrick's 200th victory as a team owner, let's not lose sight of the incomparable feat of NASCAR driver Richard Petty.

Petty won 200 races as a driver, while Hendrick won 200 with a four-car team, and an array of drivers. ... Just saying.


Use 'garden' funds for social services

Two weeks ago, the Chattanooga City Council voted to budget the city Department of Sustainability $400,000 to build a "roof garden" on top of its city building, i.e. another expensive "green-gimmick" with nil environmental impact.

This money needs to be used for real problems, for real humans in real need, i.e. not a line item to make a department head feel important. A Times Free Press article (May 11) said, "City budget shorts social service agencies." The United Way of Greater Chattanooga recommended $873,000 for the city's Social Services. However, the city only budgeted $700,000.

The City Council needs to review, rescind and reallocate the $400,000 roof-garden money to make up for its Social Services program deficit. Let the city's sustainability department instead put solar panels on its roof to save city electricity money. Solar panels would have real environmental impact, i.e. reduce coal-generated electricity and be cost-effective, instead of creating a problematic water-load-bearing roof garden that will necessitate constant maintenance and operation costs.


GOP voters have amnesia

Anytime someone asks a Republican politician about some bogus bill they have passed or proposed, their only response is "we want to talk about jobs." They never in any way attempt to do anything about jobs, unless you count blocking attempts by the Democrats to actually try to do something about creating jobs. And they don't even actually talk about creating jobs. That is just another one of their worthless lines.

Their only answer is to cut taxes for their greedy rich donors and cut all programs that help the very needy. Even if you can disregard how cruel that is (decent people cannot), austerity has always proved to be an economic failure. The latest example is Europe.

When Reagan cut taxes one time, the economy began to falter. He had enough sense to listen to his advisers and raised taxes again and again to give the economy a boost. He would never pass muster with today's insane tea-party GOP.

Of course, we should all know what an economic disaster Bush/Cheney were. It seems that GOP voters have a bad case of brainwashed amnesia.

ANN BENTON, Signal Mountain

Put yourself in teacher's shoes

Parents of children who complain about "excessive homework" should be privy to a teacher's life.

The teacher must compose quiz questions that prove the student has learned what it is necessary for him/her to know. Usually on his/her own time.

Quiz papers must be graded and records kept -- usually on the teacher's own time.

Conferences with distraught parents must be held -- again "off the clock."

The teacher is, now, being held accountable for the recalcitrant student's poor grades and lack of knowledge.

The ordinary teacher works about 60 hours per week for 40 hours' pay -- writing quiz questions, printing the quizzes, grading them, recording those grades, doing some one-on-one counseling, etc.

Even the best of teachers cannot teach someone who knows everything -- there was only one and they crucified Him -- or someone who thinks he/she knows everything.

The teacher has become a surrogate parent without the privilege of "humiliating" the student as an incentive to study, without the privilege of spanking the unruly student or using any worthwhile form of discipline.

I could not be a teacher.

WILLIAM P. CORBIN, Crossville, Tenn.

Collection change adds to users' cost

Utilities that have historically relied on Tennessee-American Water Co. for billing and collections will now face costs of $2.50-$3.50 per month, per customer. That means each of their customers (AKA us) will be getting a new bill, of generally less than $20. And 12 times a year we'll mail back a check at an average cost of $2 per household per month. So TWAC is getting ready to cost all their customers an extra $24 per year just to handle a small monthly bill that they could do for a fraction of the cost with much greater efficiency. How many trees will be lost and how much time will be wasted?

Assuming TAWC has 75,000 customers, the cost to the various utilities will be between $2,250,000 and $3,150,000 per year. To that, add another $1,800,000 in costs born directly by their customers -- you and me. This brings the total costs to between $4,000,000 and $5,000,000 a year. In the end, the customer always pays for everything -- so it'll be only a matter of time until this new cost gets worked into our sewer bill. Now how much does that software module cost? And how much is TAWC saving its customers by not buying it?