Could being nice work for gangs?
Sunday's paper had an article: "Pupils compete to stop bullying in Scout project."
It hit me as a perfect way to let children be the ones to make this a great project in schools.
The girl who suggested this said, "We wanted to prove that kids could be nice to each other." Great idea!
Maybe I'm very naive, but could this work with gangs too? They do a lot of "bad" to get attention. Maybe they could do a lot of "good" to get attention, working together, rather than shooting each other.
Maybe gangs are being bad because nothing better has been suggested. They could make a great name for themselves doing something helpful.
It's almost spring -- maybe gangs could help a young baseball team. Maybe start friendly rival teams. Coach those who need it. Help old folks with yards and chores. Chattanooga Food Bank always needs helpers.
Many things come to mind where a gang could be very useful and valued by our community. Think about it! Wouldn't it be wonderful if something like this happened -- for the boys involved -- and for the community as a whole.
BETTY COOPER, Signal Mountain
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Emissions testing wastes time, funds
Several residents in Hamilton County have spent hundreds to thousands of dollars in unnecessary repairs trying to get their vehicles up to the standards required by emissions testing.
There is absolutely no reason for this testing to continue.
In speaking with several people from the EPA, TDEC and APCB, I learned this testing was put into place along with 11 other programs to reach clean air "attainment" status, which we have done.
Also, there is no way of knowing if this testing actually helped in this because according to the APCB, "This program alone cannot be measured."
Only six counties out of 95 in the state participate in this testing, none of which are bordering Hamilton County.
Common sense should tell people there is no way this testing has helped when millions of non-tested vehicles drive through our county each year. They are just extortion centers used to hurt the citizens of this county that can least afford it.
For more information, find Stop Vehicle Emissions Testing on Facebook. Please sign our petition and write our officials to let them know how this testing has affected you: www.thepetitionsite.com/1/stop-emission-testing-in-tn/
EVA MILLIGAN, Signal Mountain
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Coppinger, Haynes deserve support
I would like to take this opportunity to endorse two friends of mine for public office, Mr. Jim Coppinger and Mr. Marty Haynes.
Both of these have the qualities needed in today's world to make intelligent decisions regarding critical issues affecting our lives such as forced annexation, school programs, etc.
Mr. Coppinger has demonstrated the ability to handle an impossible budget, as county mayor, with dignity and respect toward everyone involved.
Mr. Haynes has demonstrated similar abilities.
In my opinion, both of these gentlemen deserve our full support in their efforts to make this a better place to live and work.
LARRY TOLBERT, Hixson
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Honor guests with best hospitality
A story that almost got lost. The vice president of China was on a formal visit to the U.S. this week and returned to the small town in Iowa that hosted him 27 years ago. He remembered the friends he made there, the family he stayed with, and the genuine hospitality extended to him when he was just a midlevel official. Today he is next in line as president of China.
The governor of Iowa welcomed him as one befriended many years ago and then signed a contract to sell $4.3 billion of soybeans from local farmers. That hospitality and those friendships paid off big time.
I was struck by this story because we in Chattanooga have many opportunities to show our hospitality to foreign guests every year. Organizations like Sister Cities and CISV bring international visitors here for the purpose of friendship and understanding. These organizations are run entirely by volunteers, and they deserve the community's support and participation. We should honor all guests with our best Southern hospitality and treat them with the respect we would give to a future president.
Not every act of friendship results in a $4.3 billion contract, but the rewards of international friendship are inestimable.
ELEANOR M. COOPER
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Washington a man of faith
Few celebrate the birth of George Washington, whose leadership led an encyclopedia to say, "in the history of the world no man has done more to help any country than Washington did to help the United States."
Few know Washington was a dedicated Christian.
Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Marshall said, "Washington was a sincere believer in the Christian faith and a truly devout man."
Washington's nephew, Robert Lewis, said he witnessed his private devotions and prayer both morning and evening and on those occasions he had seen Washington kneeling with a Bible open before him and believed it was his daily practice.
Tim LaHaye said, "That Washington was a devout believer in Jesus and accepted Him as his Lord and Savior is demonstrated by reading his 24-page personal prayer book written in his own handwriting."
Washington told how God had protected him during a battle. It happened in the French and Indian wars. Four bullets passed through his coat and two horses were shot from under him yet he was unhurt.
Years later, he met an Indian he had fought, who said he wanted to meet the man God was protecting. The Indian said he shot at Washington 14 times.
DANIEL D. NAVE, Elizabethton, Tenn.
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Church imposing dogma on all
I am tired of hearing men pontificate (pun intended) on the issue of contraception.
The hierarchy of the Catholic church claims providing coverage for contraception in health care plans is an infringement on First Amendment rights and an assault on religious freedom.
But when the church rails against supplying this coverage to their employees -- many of whom are not members of the church and do not agree with its teachings -- the church is imposing dogma on more than the members of its flock.
Paul VI stated in Humanae Vitae, 1968: "A man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduces her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires."
I gather that rendering a woman continually pregnant throughout her childbearing years is more helpful to her "physical and emotional equilibrium" than giving her the opportunity to determine how often and when she gets pregnant. Instead of "being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires," she is better served by being a baby-making machine.
As a Catholic, born and raised, I am offended by this misogynistic pronouncement.
ARLENE JARA STRICKLAND, Ooltewah