We now have a giant unnecessary scar on the northern approach to our fair city. By printing the before and after photos of Highway 27 (Dec. 19) you have shown what a mistake planning commissions can make by not fully considering the aesthetic impact a project would have on the landscape.
The problem which the project was trying to correct was minimal. No gridlock existed, even during rush hour. With some intelligent planning, the problem could have been mitigated at a fraction of the staggering $102 million cost of this eyesore!
We now have a chance to avoid a similar fiasco in Hixson. The Regional Planning Commission has approved a project to rip down the hill east of Highway 153 and deliver a scenic disaster just like the one depicted on your front page. Our only hope is that the City Council will have enough foresight to stop this project at its Jan. 8 meeting. The negative effect of the Highway 27 project on the adjacent housing areas is enormous. Please, City Council, do not inflict a similar type of damage on your Hixson neighbors.
KEN RENTZSCH, Hixson
What a horrible act, killing little kids in an elementary school. The first thing we will hear is ban the guns, but let's look at what really is taking place.
All of the mass shootings have been done by young people. Each and every shooting was done by young adults. Columbine, Colo., Virginia Tech, and the latest at the elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
Some young people do not seem to interact with each other except to text with their phones or tablets. Face-to-face conversation is becoming a lost art.
What I fear is the worst contributor to this out-of-control mass taking of lives is the violent, violent computer games that the young people play. The computer games are contrived to see how many people you can kill and how fast can you kill them, and they play them hour after hour. How do they stay sane?
Most of the movies are either sexual or people are getting killed or blown up. The young people must have a difficult time realizing what is real or what is artificial. We are on the road to technical mayhem.
VINCE PATTERSON, Signal Mountain
It is hard to find a Chattanooga resident who has not seen or heard of the infamous East Ridge YouTube video. This frequently viewed video pokes fun at the large number of pawn shops, liquor stores and motels overrunning the small city. It portrays a lackluster city jam-packed with limitations.
As a Chattanooga resident who works in the East Ridge area, I would like to see a change in the city's businesses represented which coincides with the rich diversity of the community's residents.
I sincerely believe bringing a corporate business such as Starbucks Coffee to East Ridge would do much for the community. Having a world-recognized, reputable business like Starbucks would encourage consumers to travel to East Ridge to purchase the beverages Starbucks has to offer as well as stimulate other businesses to consider opening up shop in the area.
Frequently on my way into work I stop by Starbucks and purchase coffee. Too bad there isn't one in East Ridge so the community could reap the benefits. Starbucks in East Ridge could boost the local community's economy as residents and visitors alike enjoy their grand triple shot caramel mocha cappuccinos and lattes.
Remember the recent school shootings in Connecticut? Did you see the teachers who were shot down?
In Norway, the same thing happened because the police were unarmed!
PHILLIP E. BAYSTON
Guns do kill, especially when people are behind them! Bill Haslam is a Republican, so he would not have ideas about gun control laws! Like most Republicans, he supports the NRA and gun rights and probably owns guns himself. If you own a gun, you have the desire to kill someone or some animal. There is no getting around it; guns were made to kill.
In 2012 we have seen what guns (especially semi-automatic) can do. Not only has Treyvon Martin been shot to death, walking through a neighborhood armed with a can of iced tea and a bag of Skittles, we have many innocent people shot to death on streets of most cities and towns in the USA; over 12,000 in fact. We hear of shootings every day right here in Tennessee.
Since January 2012, the U.S.A. has experienced six mass murders; people with guns committing bloody massacres. If guns were not around, these innocent children and adults would still be alive, sharing Christmas with their families!
First, we must ban all auto and semi-automatic guns from public hands, then we must take a look at ourselves and the world's appetite for violence ... and change it!
ED HIMES, Soddy-Daisy
Your Dec. 16 front-page article "Robberies hinder Rossville revival" has done a great disservice to the city of Rossville, and to a majority of businesses here.
The biased article has made people afraid to come to Rossville.
Our family's jewelry store (Brody Jewelers) has been located in Rossville for 76 years, and we've never been robbed. GT Distributors, one of the largest gun wholesale businesses in the country, located in Rossville, has never been robbed. The majority of business owners here can say the same thing.
Since the article appeared, we have had many phone calls from customers asking if it's safe to go to Rossville. Some of the area's wealthiest people shop here, including some Times Free Press employees. And, your advertising reps don't hesitate to come here to sell ads.
Rossville is safe. Just like every community, there will be some problems. There are robberies around Hamilton Place all the time. Why don't you write a two-page story warning people to stay away from Hamilton Place, or would that result in lost advertising?
Our family has supported the local newspaper for decades. But now we're mad.
Make this right, Times Free Press.
It is safe to come to Rossville.
A. MICHAEL BRODY
Regarding David Cook's column Dec. 19, I ask that you try this. Lay a gun on the ground and see if it gets up and hurts anyone. Blaming the gun! You might as well blame God, he had more control than the gun. The gun had to have someone load it, point it and pull the trigger.
JOHN CORDELL, HUDSON, Hixson
I've watched the devastating news describing the horror in Newtown, Conn. Like all caring citizens I would like to convey appreciation to our first responders, the policemen and firemen; but, there are other responders who are often overlooked.
I would remind people to thank those who teach our children. In my personal experience I've worked with some of the most dedicated and caring teachers imaginable. Teachers are by definition caregivers, and most go far beyond that. Listen when teachers talk about "their kids" and the worry they have about them both academically and personally. These caring professionals don't expect accolades when they quietly provide love, support and materials for "their kids." Teachers dry tears, bolster low self-esteems, and listen to stories of unimaginable sadness from children who desperately long for acceptance and affirmation. And yes, most teachers would give their lives in sacrifice for "their kids."
This horrific crime has stunned our nation. We somehow believed the most evil, the most deranged among us would not cross the line of slaughtering those so innocent. Now we must fear those who would emulate them.
As answers are searched for, remember in your thoughts and prayers those on the front lines, those first responders: policemen, firemen, and yes, teachers.
JOYCE BEAVER, Sale Creek, Tenn.