The Times Free Press (June 6) reported the city is considering raising the fines for neglected non-residential property from $50 per violation to $500 per day. The fine for neglected residential property would go from $50 to $500 per violation.
While I am sympathetic to owners living in proximity to neglected properties, this seems like an awfully large fine. Many of the persons with neglected properties have limited means to maintain them, and imposing a large fine will only increase their hardship.
Has anyone except me noticed all the neglected city properties? What about the entrance to the Bonny Oaks industrial park? The large plastic spheres have peeling, faded paint. The planters are choked with weeds. It appears the cascading water feature has failed again. Many city and county properties don't look so hot.
It would appear our city is more concerned with buying property for a homeless shelter, or providing free housing for the undeserving, than keeping people in existing homes. Stunts such as taking the homeless to the movies garner good press for the politicians but prove to be of no substance.
Over the years, I have often marveled over why people see the world differently.
In politics, my tea party friends don't want to pay any taxes, disdain public secular schools, and they have an unwavering, unbridled faith in religion and unfettered capitalism. Sounds like Plymouth Rock and Jamestown all over again, huh?
But then over the years came the Spaniards, blacks, Irish, Italians, Germans, Portuguese, et al, and we all became "multi-cultural."
What a conundrum!
No, the South still has identity problems stemming from old antebellum days, and there continues the daily clash between absolutism and relativism. Hence the difference between, say, the Republican-controlled Tennessee Legislature and myself.
I want the whole wide world taught in schools and not just one form of religion or ideology. And I want teachers of Tennessee's children to be respected and well paid for their service to the community. This is the difference between Republicans and myself.
MIKE C. BODINE
The beautiful side of humans was on full display in the aftermath of the terrible storm which sent tornadoes tearing through this area.
One aspect of the response was the overwhelming sharing of blood product by so many donors.
More than twice the daily goal of 400 donations was rendered on the day after the tragic natural occurrence.
Now, however, that the sense of urgency has long passed, donations to Blood Assurance have fallen to only about half the required need. This is the more mundane side of human nature.
We must as a caring culture learn to react to daily needs throughout the year for blood and not just during profound emergencies.
As our freedoms decline a lot of people think the ACLU is a great friend. Consider what they stand for and how they are financed.
Name one thing they have done to stop drugs and shootings in our schools and neighborhoods. Did you see the mighty ACLU or rich labor unions helping our tornado-torn neighborhoods? No, it was the very ones the ACLU condemns.
It makes no sense to me, Christian or non-Christian, to have a document taken out of our public places that says don't lie, steal or kill, etc. It seems like a pretty good set of rules for today.
As a senior citizen, no particular party appears to be our friend. We have had no Social Security increase in a while. I believe we are being pushed over the edge. Vote smart, not black or white. Ask what they stand for.
FRED R. GASTON
So the school board came together in a 6-3 super majority and opted to replace (Superintendent) Dr. Jim Scales, costing taxpayers almost $300 grand.
Given such a plurality, one has to wonder if there isn't some hidden sanity that has not been revealed to us, even though he is on the short list for Dallas.
We read that the money is coming from the transportation budget, as if there is no greater pressing need for it. So we are forced to conclude that we are just not in the loop and hope that we are being steered to the right destiny.
I do appreciate the budget restraint some of the board members have shown toward the forever mushrooming cost of operating the schools. Year after year we are asked for more. The utopians argue that, after all, it's for the children and we need this, this, and this and it will only cost you 99 cents a week. We are prone to rebut, "Yeah, life is tough, get used to it."
While I prefer to avoid the political "discussions," I would like to bring up some concerns over decisions that have been made which deal with the future of our country. If the comments cause people to think, then the goal has been reached.
Question one - photo ID for voting: If people aren't allowed to vote because they can't afford the ID process, will those with sufficient monies be allowed to buy their vote?
Question two - Are business moguls holding on to their trillions in reserves (that could be used to provide jobs) in order to avoid helping the present administration look good and plan to dispense it when their cronies are elected? Common laborers spend their earnings and help the economy; hoarders do not.
Question three - How do people, in good conscience, take away benefits earned through FICA but do nothing to cut back the big entitlements for holding an office in government? Do you really need all that staff we pay for?
Question four - Are the "God-fearing" leaders aware they will answer to God for their depriving the less fortunate of some dignity? Those who don't fear God could care less about their destructive actions.
I was shocked to learn that TVA is still considering going ahead with Bellefonte. That's the wave of the past. The wave of the future is Germany, which is committed to going nuclear-free as quickly as possible.
Austria was ahead of the curve in 1975. They had built a nuclear plant and put it to a vote about putting it online. A majority said, "No, thank you."
In 1978, the Austrian National Assembly passed a law prohibiting the use of nuclear energy.
In June 2009, a solar power plant was put into operation at the site of this historic nuclear reactor. A total of 1,000 photovoltaic panels on the facade, the roof, and surrounding areas were installed and now provide clean and sustainable energy.
From radioactive beams to sunbeams - a global symbol for environmentally friendly and sustainable energy for the future.
Bellefonte? No, thank you.
FRED H. WRIGHT
The dictionary defines "mistake," in part, as an error, misconception or misunderstanding, to understand wrongly, to recognize or identify incorrectly. New York Congressman Anthony Weiner and much of the media insist upon identifying his recent deviant behavior as a "mistake."
How could his behavior be merely a mistake in a nation where the society often describes itself as moral? His actions could only be considered a mistake by those who are immoral or amoral. Why can we not define his recent actions for exactly what they are? If we are a moral nation his behavior can only be immoral and pornographic accompanied by lies and hypocrisy.
Our national conscience has become so seared by euphemisms that we no longer recognize reality and right from wrong. Think of the consequences if we substitute the word "mistake" for "immoral"? What then will a "mistake" become?
According to Daniel Patrick Moynihan, former New York senator, the radicals of the '60s did not merely seek acceptance of their deviant behavior. They also campaigned to define traditionally normal behavior deviant. Thus he coined the phrase "defining deviancy down."