Amtrak spending not 'wasted'
Concerning the funds "wasted" on Amtrak, one should realize that the funding received by Amtrak is a pittance compared with that which most foreign governments provide for their national railroad passenger service.
It also is a pittance contrasted to the vast sums spent on highways and for the airlines, which don't own a square foot of an airport, nor the air traffic control system.
Yet "experts" compare Amtrak service with foreign services, then rant about the "losses."
It is noted that the passenger services of many state-run railroads "lose" money, yet their passenger systems provide an eco-friendly service, reducing vehicular traffic on their highways. I suspect that dollar-for-dollar we get more out of Amtrak than many foreign systems.
It would be most refreshing if you were pushing for an expanded Amtrak, especially if the expansion were to be a long-lost Miami-Chicago train, preferably through Atlanta, Chattanooga and Knoxville.
Amtrak, while offering over 500 destinations, is still underfunded. There are many potential routes that need to be activated, and equipment purchased to enable enhanced service on existing routes. How about multiple daily trains rather than one on long-haul routes.
ALLAN PHILLIPS, Tunnel Hill, Ga.
Favors not where she needs to be
I was amused by Rep. JoAnne Favors' comments concerning Ms. Rhonda Thurman's comments in the Times Free Press.
However, just four sentences spoken, and Rep. Favors heads to Chattanooga to get some press and voice her righteous indignation. Where has she been?
Where is Rep. Favors' concern for the prevalent gang and violence problems, chronic unemployment, substance abuse and general economic malaise of her constituency?
Where, I ask?
Nashville, wasting our taxpayer dollars heading up countless committees that effectively do nothing. That's where.
SCOTT HARRINGTON, Ooltewah
Fix Medicare, don't demolish it
As Ronald Reagan said, "Facts are stubborn things." Voters in the arch conservative 26th District of New York were being told by the GOP candidate the Ryan budget plan would not do away with Medicare, but would "save it." She said she would have voted for it. When the voters dug into the Ryan plan and read the facts in it, they found the GOP candidate was misleading them and that Medicare, in fact, would be eliminated. Most of us know the result; for the first time in decades, a Democrat was elected in that district.
The GOP's budget (Ryan plan) bill does abolish Medicare for those under age 55 and replaces it with a voucher (or coupon) plan. In other words, it "privatizes" health care for seniors.
Many do not realize that all Tennessee GOP congressional representatives and Sens. Alexander and Corker voted for this bill.
Many of my conservative friends claim the GOP plan will "fix" or "correct" Medicare. If you had a fine car that needed a "tune-up" you obviously could "fix" or "correct" it by destroying it. Medicare needs a major "tune-up" for future generations, not total demolition.
CHARLES J. ROGERS, Lynchburg, Tenn.
GOP interests not for working people
The current economic crisis is in large part due to Republican economic policies.
They also have stifled every attempt by President Obama to overcome it. They refused to vote sufficient money to provide a real stimulus and then blamed its lackluster effect on the president and the ineffectiveness of federal help.
Now they are claiming the debt, which they never considered a problem when they increased it with unfunded wars and tax cuts, the major problem facing this country.
It is a cynical ploy to alarm working Americans into accepting policies that are against their economic interests.
The real problem is unemployment, which leaves millions of Americans unable to buy the goods that American businesses provide.
Corporations won't provide the jobs because people can't buy what they produce. Only the federal government can provide the economic stimulus to get the economy moving again as it did during the Great Depression.
Republicans had no problem increasing the national debt by giving tax cuts to the already wealthy, but they refuse to increase it by giving the federal government the means to create jobs.
Despite all their rhetoric, Republicans continue to prove that their interests are not those of working Americans.
TED TUMELAIRE, Signal Mountain
Response to benefit cookout amazing
To the citizens of Catoosa and surrounding counties:
Thank you, thank you, thank you! Your kindness and generous support of the American Legion-sponsored Fourth of July Benefit Cookout was, in a word, amazing.
More than 1,400 pounds of ribs and chicken, approximately 60 gallons of baked beans, and 50 gallons of slaw were prepared for the event. Yet, some of you arrived only to be told not enough had been prepared. Please accept our heartfelt apology.
Many of us involved in preparing food for the occasion had envisioned eating leftovers for several days. It is evident we underestimated the compassionate nature and supportive spirit of our friends and neighbors.
Again, we sincerely apologize to those who were unable to be served, and we thank all of you for your wonderful support. It is with the help of kind and loving people like you that we will be able to rebuild our sanctuary.
MT. PERIA MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH FAMILY, Allen Smith, Clerk, Ringgold, Ga.
Hazelwood choice is a good one
Picking Patsy Hazelwood for the important position as regional director for the state's Job4TN initiative will prove to be one of Gov. Haslam's best decisions since taking office.
Those of us who have worked with Patsy at the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, United Way and the Stadium Corp. know first-hand of her ability and reputation for getting things done. I say thank you, Governor.
His plan to have nine regional directors who will work with our small city and county mayors will be a plus for smaller communities and give us the opportunity to be at the table in competition for landing new industry. I feel strongly that great cities like Crossville will have a better chance to be successful.
Here we are in Crossville with a well-managed city and county, with top-notch mayors, over 1,000 acres of prime land to offer, great schools, low crime rates, a top-rated hospital - plus a great work force. If his appointment ranks up there for our area with Patsy Hazelwood - we've got a chance.
CURTIS D. ADAMS, City Manager and Economic Director, City of Crossville, Tenn.
Are sagging pants here to stay?
What happened to the good old days when clothing styles used to change?
I remember wearing bell bottoms for a while. Then came flared pants. Straight legs, cuffs, no cuffs.
These days, it looks as if sagging is here to stay. How long has it been? When, oh when, will it ever end?
I am tired of looking at dirty boxer shorts. Will the person who brought us sagging please give us something else? It is way past time.