Build character as part of education

Build character as part of education

June 26th, 2011 in Opinion Letters

Build character as part of education

I am appalled by the tripe put forth by the "educational experts" across our nation these days. Invariably their models can be likened to the building of a three-legged stool with one leg missing.

Give a common thief access to a freight car and he will steal from it. Give him training in corporate law and finance and he will steal the railroad. Character building must be an integral part of real education.

KENNETH W. SIMONDS

Insurance firms operate as cartel

I am a capitalist and strongly believe in a free market.

We are having problems with health care because the health insurance industry has been allowed to operate as a cartel. Health insurance companies are allowed to decide who they sell to and can discriminate on price and services based on what is best for them. No other industry in America is allowed to operate this way.

Let the free markets work! Offer a range of services and compete on price with no discrimination. If companies are allowed to sell their products to whom they want under conditions they set, the system cannot work. The system works when buyers choose who they buy from, not the seller deciding who to sell to.

We are at a decision point. Is the health care industry going to operate under rules of the free market or not?

We have made the worst of all choices. We have this system of limited free markets and cartels. If we choose not to have a total free market then we must embrace socialized medicine for all run by the government.

If we do not change, the system will collapse under its own weight.

JOHN GLENNING

Signal leaders not acting wisely

The Signal Mountain Town Council voted on an action many elected officials have found to be easier than being responsible stewards - kicking the can down the road.

Because of a windfall due to low interest rates, we have a surplus collected for our payment of the Signal Mountain Middle and High schools bond. Previously, this was used to pay down the principal, shortening the life of the note and saving us the money we would have paid in future interest payments.

This year, we have the same opportunity, bringing the final payment to 2017. Our council is considering not making these payments, which would extend your loan to 2021 and increase interest by $150,000. These estimates are made with the present low interest rates, lowest in the history of the U.S. Treasury. Rates surely will increase.

The City Council voted to transfer these funds for high school construction to the general budget because of a possible shortfall, and not raise property taxes.

Costs are increasing, and inflation will continue. Because of these two inevitable facts, property tax will increase from time to time.

Please do not ask the citizens of the future to pay for what you want today.

ROBERT GRIESINGER

GOP doesn't vote for good of people

Nothing would please me more than for Republicans to have a correct plan, program or to vote for the good of the American people.

The sad fact is that they are a completely owned subsidiary of big corporations and the greedy billionaires who run and control them, much to our detriment. Republicans have a gang mentality when it comes to voting.

Space allows only two examples here.

Every GOP senator voted to continue giving subsidies to big oil, some of the most profitable corporations in world history! That is our tax money they are handing out!

As much as 60 percent of the price of gas that you pay at the pump goes to oil speculators. Republicans' favorite word is "deregulate"!

"Free market" is not as free as they would have you believe!

WALTER M. BENTON

Signal Mountain

Road contractor doing a great job

The contractor that has been hired to do the paving on the road going up/down Signal Mountain is doing a great job.

They have a well-thought-out and organized schedule that has minimally disrupted (at least for me) the area traffic flow.

I appreciate that the Department of Transportation has shown respect for the taxpaying commuter by employing such an efficient company (although I don't know who they are).

LEAH M. GERAGHTY

Signal Mountain

Here's the truth on rate increases

Electric Power Board rates to increase a whopping 31 percent.

Per Times article on June 18, the average EPB residential bill is $130.98. After the rate increase, the average bill will be $142.49 or an increase of $11.51 (8.78 percent).

Approximately $110.44 (84 percent) of this average bill goes to TVA and $20.54 (16 percent), goes to the EPB. TVA is raising the wholesale rate (cost to EPB) by 4.5 percent or $4.97 which the EPB passes on to each customer. The rest of the total increase, ($11.51 minus $4.97) or $6.54 goes to the EPB. Since the EPB's portion of the average bill is only $20.54, this is an EPB rate increase of 31.8 percent ($6.54 divided by $20.54).

Your article said that the EPB approved a 5 percent rate increase for its share of power bills adding $6.54 to each bill. $6.54 is 5 percent of both TVA's portion and the EPB portion of the average electrical bill. 5 percent of EPB's portion of an average electric bill would be only $1.03, not $6.54 that is being added.

The public needs to understand the truth about the rate increases.

BEN LAKE

Soddy-Daisy

Don't sell out city's wonders

Having studied environmental science, land use planning and environmental land use regulations, I'd recommend Chattanoogans collectively vote for some other town than Chattanooga for the Outside Magazine Best Town Facebook contest (Tucson, since they're in second place).

Throughout history, humans discover beautiful places, decide to move and live there, and then proceed to overpopulate the area and destroy most of what made that place wonderful and beautiful initially.

The National Park system was created to protect some of those beautiful places from just such human encroachment.

Traffic, sprawl, water and air pollution, and don't forget retail strips, follow overpopulation and development. Multiple examples abound. Look at other places people like to go. Have you ever heard someone lament, " I remember when this used to be a nice place ... before it became so popular and crowded and we had all these problems"?

To simply accept it's good for economic development without considering the repercussions and ripple effect of that development is short-sighted.

I advocate keeping much, much quieter about what a wonderful place Chattanooga is. Don't spoil a good thing by telling everyone and their brother about it. Discretion is the better part of valor. Protect our lady, Chattanooga. Don't sell her out.

REID SISSON

Use driving classes to teach belt usage

In the June 20 paper there was an article indicating that city-sponsored driver's education classes had exceeded expectations so much that another class will be offered, but not until Christmas! I think this is an urgent situation that needs to be addressed in Chattanooga to save some lives!

Almost every week I read about people being killed in car accidents because they are thrown out of a car because they did not use seat belts.

I understand that it's a law in Tennessee, and everyone is required to use seat belts. Well, this law is not being enforced because of lack of driver education. All drivers should take the responsibility to ensure their passengers are "buckled up" before they turn the ignition key. Parents should not allow teens and young drivers to drive unless they strictly enforce regulations.

I am tired of picking up your paper and reading about people being killed because they did not use their seat belt and were thrown out from the car. It's time for teenagers and young drivers to take some responsibility to make sure they and all their passengers are "buckled up."

Lives could be saved by (using seat belts).

MARY COLEMAN