Draper Singers enthrall audience
Just before Christmas, a friend invited me to hear the Glenn Draper Singers at the Methodist church in Harrisonburg, Va., and I went to listen, in part simply to keep the friendship warm.
What I heard isn't easily put in words. Singing with an infectious spirit from the front of the nave was a troupe of 31 singers, led by a dynamic director who, occasionally, half-turned to the audience for their eager applause during two non-stop segments which left the audience completely enthralled.
Ninety minutes passed quickly. Toward the end, at least 50 in the audience, obviously ready for the invitation, walked to the front of the church to join the Singers to express the feeling of the moment -- the "Hallelujah Chorus" from the Messiah.
When it was over, my friend who invited me disappeared before I could thank him. That was probably a blessing, as there are times when words don't quite cut it.
The December concert was already the Singers' 10th visit to this mid-sized city in Draper's home state of Virginia. Hopefully, for me, and clearly for the audience who gave them a standing final ovation -- it won't be the last.
EDWARD C. HAYES, Harrisonburg, Va.
Deputy Alverson gets due respect
On Nov. 30, 2010, we buried a dear friend in former Hamilton County Sheriff's Chief Deputy David Alverson. David was not only a magnificent officer of the law, he was a man of deep moral convictions and one of the utmost integrity.
For all of us who got to know David, we will always remember him for his humble ways and outstanding leadership qualities. All of us in the law enforcement community are going to miss David Alverson.
I would like to thank the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department for helping David's family realize even more than they did by the tribute that they showed him and his family. The honor guard and the funeral possession from Heritage Funeral Home to the National Cemetery were absolutely a beautiful sight and such a gracious gesture to honor this man.
I cannot say enough for the kindness shown to the family by the Sheriff's Chief Deputy Alan Branham, Chief Ron Parsons, City Police Chief Bobby Dodd and Assistant Chief Tim Carroll. David would have been so proud of the respect given to him.
Many sports need changes
If I were the czar of sports, here are changes I would make.
Golf: Hit a 250-yard drive and the ball is inches out of bounds; go back and hit your third shot. Whiff your tee, you reload and hit two. Seem fair?
Baseball: You cannot advance on a foul ball but you can be caught out. Just do away with the foul line and play the whole field, or run on a foul ball.
Football: Field goals, graduated. Five points over 50 yards; four points over 40; 3 points over 30; two points over 20, and one point under 20. Think strategy!
Basketball: Since Dr. Naismith put up a peach basket, the rules are basically unchanged, except having to drag in a ladder each time a basket was made. Slowed down the game considerably. Those days a six-footer was a rarity; now seven-footers are common. I propose to you that a seven-foot-two-inch player dunking a ball flat-footed is not an athletic move. Pros need a 12-foot basket; colleges, 11-foot; high school, 10-foot; middle, nine-foot; grammar school, 8-foot.
I don't think my 13-year-old grandson should be using the same height as the pros. Gimme a break!
GEORGE THOMPSON, Blairsville, Ga.
Generation sacrificed a lot
Thanks to S. Dale Elrod for the super letter he sent in (Jan. 16) about the greatest generation that sacrificed so much for the freedom of the world we live in.
As a member of that forgotten generation, myself, and my fellow vets thank you, it was a great letter. I would love to see more of them.
We hope to reprint your letter in the 40th Engineer Combat, attached to the 45th Infantry Division paper.
GENE MILLER, Commander of the 40th Combat Engineer Team
Alcohol interlocks won't be optional
The alcohol detection technology being tested by the federal government and automakers would not be "optional" or "voluntary" as U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood claimed ("In future, cars might decide if driver is drunk," Jan. 28).
A Department of Transportation fact sheet on the technology released Friday admits: "The goal over time is to equip all passenger vehicles in the United States with the technology." Mothers Against Drunk Driving has made similar admissions; former CEO Chuck Hurley said MADD has "a long-term goal to make alcohol interlocks a standard safety feature that is installed in all new vehicles." Even the head of the federal alcohol detector research program, Susan Ferguson, is open about this objective: "Ultimately we would like them on all vehicles."
Ferguson has also admitted that the devices will be set below the legal limit.
Advocates of this new alcohol sensing technology are running a bait-and-switch on the American public. Rest assured, proponents have every intention of seeing alcohol detectors come standard in all cars and set below the legal limit. Don't be fooled by the government's attempts to "soft-sell" this technology.
SARAH LONGWELL, Managing Director American Beverage Institute, Washington, D.C.
Be liberal in use of the TV remote
Re: a letter "Pundits, politicians must stop 'hate' talk" (Jan. 30). Although I agree with the reader's views in principle, she selectively chose Fox News, Hannity, Limbaugh, Sarah Palin to prove her point.
I wonder if she would've made an equally strong case for her point by substituting Fox News with CNN/MSNBC, Hannity with Chris Mathews, Limbaugh with Keith Olbermann, Sarah Palin with Harry Reid. I guess people only want to talk about popular news channels/pundits to embellish their stories.
This is a great country where speech isn't curtailed. Due to a free and fair press, people have an outlet to express opinions. Let's give the same opportunity to Hannity/Chris Mathews, too. If you don't like someone's opinion, that's what you have a remote for. Liberals need to be liberal in the use of their remotes and watch what pleases their eyes and don't tell me what I can/cannot watch, read, or listen.
Let's not try to attribute a reason to a few senseless acts of lunatics. With all that violence shown in movies, and access to Internet, lunatics don't need to waste their time listening to Limbaugh or Hannity's criticism of the current administration's policies.
The press is free; let's keep it that way.
SEKHAR TALLURI, Hixson