Meth ingredient should be controlled
Last year, Tennessee ranked second in the nation in the number of meth labs found.
Methamphetamine is easy to make, and the ingredients - including pseudoephedrine - are readily available.
Meth is highly addictive and ravages the lives of the users and their families. Meth was responsible for the placement of 484 children in the care of Children Services last year.
Environmental consequences include fires, explosions, toxic fumes and waste that harm children, neighbors and law enforcement officers. The financial costs associated with meth are staggering - estimated at over $1.6 million last year.
There is a solution. Proposed state legislation (HB 181/SB 561) would make pseudoephedrine a controlled substance - available by prescription only. Oregon and Mississippi have seen their meth lab numbers drop dramatically since passing such legislation.
Unfortunately, industry lobbyists have convinced Tennessee legislators to back an alternative tracking program. This tracking program did not work in Kentucky, which is why Kentucky is now considering a controlled substance law.
Please join me in urging our legislators to support HB 181/SB 561. We need to take the action that has been proven to reduce the production of this destructive drug.
Tunnels named for Bachman's dad
A recent letter decries dropping T.C. Thompson's name from Children's Hospital. The letter writer is correctly saddened at how the public tends to forget noted personalities and politicians for whom various facilities are named.
Ironically, the letter provides us with Exhibit A: It said the Bachman Tubes were named for Nathan Bachman, a U.S. senator from Tennessee (1933-1937). Newspaper accounts tell us the Bachman Tubes were begun in 1927 and dedicated in 1929, four years before Mr. Bachman became a senator.
Newspapers of the day also tell us the tubes were named for Sen. Bachman's father, the Dr. Jonathan Bachman, the official city chaplain, who died in 1924.
Dr. Bachman was pastor of First Presbyterian Church for a half century and had become known as the Bishop of Chattanooga. A Confederate army chaplain, he later was a healer between Union and Confederate veterans, on local and national levels. He sacrificially served all in the yellow fever epidemic. He dedicated many facilities, including the Walnut and Market Street bridges. He was a leader among local clergy. He was influential from muddy post-Civil War days to the era of skyscrapers. Only Memorial Auditorium was large enough for his funeral.
Zoo needs leader for animal welfare
The zoo needs a director who understands the basic needs of animals.
Neglect and abuse will not be corrected with administrative adjustments. For example, a qualified person would know that pregnant or lactating animals need more food, that tortoises are cold-blooded and require heat lamps in the winter, that tropical monkeys cannot endure extreme cold.
They would know that cages can be insulated with hay and wrapped with tarps to reduce wind chill. Keepers, the caretakers of zoo animals, must at the very least care. Sensitivity, compassion and the will to protect their charges are their qualifications. If the Chattanooga Zoo cannot create a supervisory position for animal welfare, it should close.
Breaking unions not a good thing
Don't believe the attacks on the teachers' union have anything to do with children's education. It's politics, plain and simple. Busting unions is job one for Republicans. Why? Because unions historically support Democrats, who protect workers' rights.
One after another, our factories have closed. We were told it's the unions' fault. We were told keeping corporations and the wealthiest individuals' taxes low and keeping tax loopholes so they could make more profits would trickle down and promote jobs. Well, where the trickle are they?
Now Republicans are telling teachers and their organization it's their fault. Give up your collective bargaining and it will solve budget woes and make children smarter. Don't fall for it!
Public employees' wages have finally increased into a decent living income, a good thing. The wealthy power brokers and their representatives in the Republican Party have almost accomplished their job of breaking private sector unions. Now they are after the public unions. I fail to see how this is a good thing for America or Tennessee.
Estill Springs, Tenn
Look toward Japan to learn resilience
When I observed the people of Japan - standing in lines to get food, water and supplies, while holding babies for over three hours - I saw patience. I also realized how my country has changed.
I see the Japanese sharing when they have next to nothing, while my fellow Americans are robbing homes, stores, cars, parking lots and even cemeteries.
I hear more and more about my neighbors not knowing how to have a constructive argument; there's just destructive argument; there's just destructive killings in the end.
When I look at the Japanese people, I see an ability to recover or adjust easily - known as resilience. The American people need to slow down. Start living at a slower pace.
Is there someone you need to thank or say "I love you."
You blink your eyes and the world has changed. Look at Japan. Stop and smell the roses.
BRENDA J. GUIDER
Commissioner doing her job
I cannot believe this criticism of Walker County Commissioner Bebe Heiskell concerning the Hutcheson/Erlanger deal.
If there is blame to place, put it where it belongs, at the feet of the Hutcheson Medical Center Inc. Board.
The financial situation at Hutcheson has been deteriorating for years due to the incompetent inaction of the HMC Inc. Board.
They are an autonomous organization that only recently asked the county commissioners to be included in the negotiations with Erlanger.
Their procrastination is what has led to this situation, not Bebe Heiskell. Ms. Heiskell is simply doing her due diligence in protecting the taxpayers of Walker County.
Police are trying to hold us hostage
I would like to comment on the billboard ads placed by the police union.
The police spend hundreds of dollars per hour to fly helicopters around, looking for dangerous marijuana plants, but they can't fight real crime because their benefits are being cut.
These are hard economic times. Everyone needs to make cuts in spending.
If the police feel they are being unfairly targeted, maybe they should quit their job and apply for a teaching position with the school board.
Meanwhile, the citizens can rest assured we are safe from the pot plants, but when it comes to armed thugs we are on our own.
It sounds like the police are trying hold us hostage.
Rising Fawn, Ga.