The Hope Scholarship program has done more to transform Georgia and particularly Catoosa County than any other program since its inception in 1994.
Now 248,000 Georgians receive aid to expand their possibilities, including 1,207 Catoosa County students this year.
The dramatic growth of Catoosa County in the last decade can be directly linked to Hope. Tragically, Hope was hastily and negligently altered this year by Gov. Nathan Deal and the majority party.
Hope was put in place to increase the number of students going to college in Georgia and to keep our brightest students in state. But Hope had to be changed. Why? Our Republican-led Legislature has drained Hope by underfunding education each year, good years and bad, forcing a tuition increase of 84 percent since 2004.
In Catoosa County, 94.5 percent of recipients have family incomes below the $140,000 cutoff that was suggested by our Democratic legislators. In neighboring Walker County that number is lower, and in Dade no students exceeded that threshold.
The Catoosa County Democratic Party asks our elected leaders to revisit Hope next year, and we call on the people of Catoosa County to speak out; this issue impacts you, your pocketbook, and your child's future.
Chair of the Catoosa County Democratic Party
Re: "A racial melting pot," April 22 article.
Most non-white countries, i.e., Mexico and Japan, rightfully have very strict immigration and miscegenation laws. They maintain these laws in order to preserve their people's customs, language and racial posterity. Their citizens don't complain because these laws work.
The United States was founded on similar principles, but they were deliberately changed in 1965 by politicians and social engineers under the false guise of "equality." When a white citizen complains, he is labeled a racist and a "Nazi."
Ask yourself and your friends if the emerging Afro-Chicano-Asian majority will give European Americans the same legal protections, racial set-asides, preferences and subsidies they themselves now enjoy. Your children may need to know what you believe.
ANDRE CIMO SR.
Last Friday night, downtown Chattanooga witnessed an exciting spectacle during the premiere festivities for "Water for Elephants," a movie partially filmed in Chattanooga.
One of the sponsors of the event was the Times Free Press, which erroneously advertised and promoted the event as the "area's first feature film." Actually, Chattanooga has played host to dozens of film productions since the silent era.
Among the more notable films shot here: "Keep Your Powder Dry" (1945) with Lana Turner, Disney's "The Light in the Forest" (1958) and "The Rain People" (1968), which incorporated the annual Armed Forces Day Parade downtown into a scene involving actor James Caan. The film was directed by Francis Ford Coppola and documented by his young protégé, George Lucas!
If people are excited about the prospects of more films shooting in the region and of more premiere-type festivities, than I urge them to support the newly formed Chattanooga Film Society, a grassroots group working hard to promote filmmaking in the region and to launch a major film festival here.
Chattanooga is one of the very few cities of its size to not have an annual film festival. For more information, please go to the CFS Facebook page.
Founding Board Member
Chattanooga Film Society
I want to thank David Cook for his terrific commentary April 25. Actually, I don't know what led me to read his article, but I sure am glad I did, and I reread the last few paragraphs over a couple of times. Later, I called both of my sons and encouraged them to read it. Maybe I do know who led me to read it after all.
We've been told by politicians, the media and others about paying $5/gallon before summer hits. So, let's think about that.
Do we just accept that we'll pay this amount, or more, because we're told it's going to happen? We just pull out the wallet and call it good?
The CEOs of oil/gas sit back and count the soon-to-be higher profits because they look at us and say "they'll pay it."
So, feel like fighting back?
How about we take the concept of car pools a little more seriously?
Let's make sure that when going shopping that we plan better so we aren't going out five times when once would be adequate?
How about getting better acquainted with our neighborhood and finding reasons to stay home and enjoy family and friends a bit more.
Let's not go out just for the sake of going out. We need to say, enough. We need to stop feeding the pump and filling oil companies' coffers.
We need to open our eyes and close our wallets to this idiocy. We aren't lemmings running to leap over the cliff. Take the lead and change the course.
SCOTT C. WILSON
I have just had another bad experience at the Hamilton County Clerk's office.
I wonder how these county employees are hired and trained. It usually takes two trips because it seems like the clerks always need one more piece of paper than they disclose at the first meeting.
This time it has taken even more! Is there any way to get competent service the first time? And my taxes pay their salary.