Bravo to former Hamilton County School Superintendent Jim Scales for holding forth against those who unjustly removed him from his job. (July 3 edition).
My children are adults, and I don't have to deal with school issues on a personal level, but I'm interested in what goes on around me. What happened to Scales is just plain wrong.
I appreciate the Times Free Press for telling this story in detail and for showing us in bold-face font the true colors (wink wink) of school board member Rhonda Thurman. Her words sound condescending, dismissive, pompous and uninformed.
If Thurman wants to really understand the plight of the poor, I suggest she make an effort to have further and closer contact with the poor, of which I am one (and I'm white, by the way). As Mother Teresa said, people pay attention to those who bend over their misery. If Thurman and her political cohorts don't do this, I'll continue to think they don't know what they're talking about.
I am appalled at a recent poll regarding the 3-foot bicycle law (Times Free Press, July 1).
The law is not optional, and to pose such a question is to laugh in the face of those who have worked so hard to increase the penalties and provide additional protections to bicyclists.
If your poll was an attempt to bring awareness to the law and new penalties, then it was a poorly worded and possibly dangerous attempt. Will your next poll ask if your readers plan to follow the law and stop at red lights?
Bicyclists are directed to ride in the street - ever seen a "No Bikes on Sidewalk" sign? They are obeying the law and engaging in a healthy activity.
It's puzzling to me that they draw such ire from motorists who, at most, might be delayed a minute or two.
Slow down and move over; it is not optional. That bicyclist you're squeezing and shouting at is someone's father or mother, husband or wife, son or daughter. I hope it's not ever someone you love.
The Hamilton County school board has lost its mind, with Rhonda Thurman leading the charge.
Despite a budget deficit of $14 million, it elected to spend an additional $300,000 to get rid of an effective and successful superintendent, Dr. Jim Scales.
Instead of focusing on the positives, such as an increase of 10 percent in graduation rates, the school board focused on how Dr. Scales hired talented candidates instead of giving jobs to their buddies.
All this is being led by Mrs. Thurman, who has proven repeatedly that she cares little for the health of our schools.
As a graduate of the most successful public school in the county, Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences, I have seen first-hand Rhonda's contempt for any school outside her sphere of influence.
For the record, I can thank Arts and Sciences for giving me the educational foundation required for the success I have had so far, which is something many Hamilton County graduates cannot claim.
The school board needs to stop worrying about its own internal power and cronyism and focus on the job members were elected to do - ensure that our school system is the best it can be.
I am appalled at the way the reactionary forces that have taken over local government appear to be attempting to destroy everything that is useful, good or helpful in the local area.
The recent attack on the excellent Multicultural Chamber of Commerce is especially shocking.
The Chattanooga Times Free Press June 19 story concerning the Multicultural Chamber of Commerce was terrible. Councilman Rico's remark that the Multicultural Chamber of Commerce should merge with what he called the "regular" Chamber, or the "Big" Chamber, was extremely stupid. Everyone knows that the "regular Big" Chamber is a white chamber and they do nothing for minority business.
I have talked with many minority business owners who have been very much helped by the efforts of the Multicultural Chamber of Commerce. As one of the taxpayers who provides the money that county Mayor Coppinger and Mayor Littlefield claim to serve as "stewards" of, I strongly state that if the Multicultural Chamber cannot be funded, then the "Big" white chamber should also not receive one cent of public money.
A rant a few weeks ago referred to Sarah Palin as intelligent, informed, articulate and attractive.
I don't want to discourage any Palin supporter from defending or praising her, but when you do, it should be based on fact.
The fact is, Palin has displayed on several occasions her little intelligence. If she was informed as some claim, she would not have called Obama's invitation to rapper Common to perform at a White House event a lack of class. Had she done her homework she would have found that Common is one of the classiest guys in rap music.
He promotes social awareness and remains to be a positive role model for many.
For those with a short memory such as Palin, during George H.W. Bush's term he invited the Gangsta rap icon Eazy E to a White House event.
Unless social awareness is considered low class, I think Obama chose well. She is attractive, but being articulate doesn't mean she's competent.
MARK C. RUFFIN
In regard to the Hamilton County Board of Education's squandering of taxpayer dollars to buy out a competent school superintendent for the second time, there is no underestimating the tenacity of the incompetent in service of the inept.
The embarrassing actions of certain current school board members and their Hamilton County Commission compatriots are proof positive that their goal is to promote anachronistic, parochial and divisive educational approaches which stand in stark contrast to progressive actions so clearly evident in the pro-active stance of other Chattanooga/Hamilton County entities.
How sad for Hamilton County children who have no choice but to attend public schools to be forced to endure the meddling, negative and regressive attitudes of school board's disappointing majority voters.
Thanks to Dr. Jim Scales for his efforts to make a positive change in our Hamilton County school system.
I was fortunate to work closely with him and his staff on several sponsorship projects, and I appreciate his openness to new ideas and opportunities to help our students succeed. We will miss him.
I also want to thank Ms. Thurman of the school board whose comments in this newspaper remind me why I chose to invest in a private-school education for my children.
The state of New York got it wrong when it legalized homosexual marriage.
The mainstream media and Hollywood continually get it wrong. Homosexual relationships are not the equivalent of heterosexual relationships.
I am not homophobic; I just do not want to see the institution of marriage belittled by including homosexual and other relationships.
Marriage and family are the foundations of a healthy society. This is why our government has historically, and rightly, given special recognition to this relationship. The relationship of one man and one woman and the children they rear is a stabilizing influence on society. All of society benefits when a man and a woman commit to marriage and rear children in that stable relationship.
Numerous studies demonstrate that children in intact, married families with their biological parents are: less likely to live in poverty; less likely to use drugs; less likely to be abused; more likely to go to college.
Homosexual relationships do not offer children, nor society, these same benefits. Clearly, homosexual relationships do not deserve governmental endorsement and our society will suffer as we move in that direction.