CARTA leaves lot to be desired
I have ridden public transportation all over the southern United States and the West. Of all the bus systems I have been on, CARTA is the worst. For one thing it is very expensive, and there are many rude drivers. It's like they are doing you a favor letting you get on the bus, when the truth is you are doing them a favor by getting on the bus. What if one day not one person got on a bus? How would that be?
I've ridden buses in Los Angeles. While there is usually standing room only, they are within minutes of their scheduled time picking you up and dropping you off.
The only thing good about a CARTA schedule is it tells you when the bus is not going to be there. I have stood at a bus stop and watched up to four buses pass by on the other side of the street before the one I was waiting on showed up. I've stood up to an hour at a stop where they were scheduled to run every 20 minutes.
Vote for Wilson over Coppinger
I support Dr. Rick Wilson for Hamilton County mayor because of Jim Coppinger's mistreatment of county employees in the last two budgets.
Coppinger did not need to lay off (or fire) 36 county employees last year. That firing effort appeared to be a political ploy to cover county government's reneging on county government's earlier promise not to object to Chattanooga city government's long-awaited cancellation of the unfair 1966 city-county sales tax agreement.
While this cancellation resulted in a shortfall to county government, that shortage was long anticipated and county government had the money in its contingency fund and did not need to fire anyone.
County government stressed they were "laying off" employees because of money and indicated they would bring the fired employees back when they found the money.
This year they found money for the county mayor/county commissioners raise, but did not rehire most of the 36 fired employees. The pay raise for regular county employees is OK, but this shows that the county had the money to rehire all 36 fired employees.
The county mayor/commission also voted themselves a raise while defunding important non-profit agencies. See YouTube at Wilson4Mayorhc for further details. Vote for Dr. Rick Wilson Aug. 2.
MARTA IZNAGA, Collegedale
You can't question Lasley's integrity
I have known Marty Lasley over 40 years. As a matter of fact, I coached Marty in football and basketball in the 1970s. I watched him grow into a fine young man, go to college and to law school. He was taught by a godly mother and father to always do the right thing. (Now, I am not saying Marty is perfect because he rolled my yard when he was in high school.)
Marty Lasley has a homespun sense of humor which is essential for a hometown judgeship. This position requires good common sense, and he has that quality also. His honesty and integrity cannot be questioned. He is the only candidate raised in Soddy-Daisy and who went to all our local schools. He knows our area and our people. I believe that is a very positive attribute.
Marty is now my Sunday school teacher, fellow worker in our church, and my friend. I cannot think of a fairer, level-headed man to be a judge for our great city. One last thing, and I think Marty would agree: Go Trojans.
STEVE SLATER, Soddy-Daisy
Powers has skills for Sessions judge
I have known Ron Powers for more than 15 years and practiced law with him for much of that time. I highly recommend him as our next Sessions Court judge.
Sessions Court handles many different kinds of cases, both civil and criminal. Whoever is in that position needs familiarity in many different areas of the law. Ron meets that requirement. When I practiced with Ron, I was impressed by the knowledge he had in multiple areas of practice. He represented plaintiffs and defendants, individuals and corporations. Ron's broad practice gives him the experience he will need to be an excellent Sessions Court judge.
Ron also has a great work ethic. He would put in long days at work and not waste time. Ron was there to work. However, no matter how busy he was with his own practice he would always take time for any of his colleagues who sought his advice or thoughts. Ron will bring that same work ethic to the Sessions Court bench.
Ron is a caring and compassionate person who has devoted a lot of time to his community. Let's let him continue to serve his community as a Sessions Court judge. I encourage you to support him.
Health plan penalty comes as a tax
For those who can afford not to enroll in Obamacare come 2014, the IRS will impose a penalty in the form of a tax.
This affects only those folks who choose not to participate in their employer-sponsored health-care plan or individuals who elect not to carry health-insurance coverage.
WILLIAM P. GALLOWAY, Signal Mountain
View Jefferson for what he was
One of your July 4th ads remembered Thomas Jefferson as a three-year Secretary of State, four-year vice president and eight-year president. It failed to mention he also was a lifelong slave master.
True, he wrote of the equality of all men (not women) and their creator-endowed rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but throughout his life, he owned hundreds of his fellow citizens, lock, stock, and barrel, including six of his own children. Apologists excuse this egregious hypocrisy as merely part of the climate of the times. Perhaps so, but well before the revolution, thousands of Americans already strongly opposed human bondage.
Jefferson did at times hint that he knew slavery was wrong, but as a politically ambitious Virginian, he also knew opposing slavery would doom his chances at advancement.
Historian Gary Wills has pointed out how the Constitution allowed slave states to count "others" (i.e., Negro slaves) as three-fifths persons for census purposes while otherwise treating them as chattel; thus, these states gained 13 more electoral votes in the 1800 election than they'd otherwise have had. Jefferson "won" that election by only eight votes. We do tend to view our history through rose-tinted glasses of denial.
THOMAS RODGERS, Dayton, Tenn.
Vital clear choice in District 10
In the Republican District 10 state Senate race, voters have a clear choice on which candidate has job- creating experience. Greg Vital has almost 1,000 employees at his company. He has restored buildings and runs a large farm. He has worked on the greenway system, saving historic places around the state, served as a board member for the National Park Association, four years on the Collegedale City Commission, and numerous other endeavors.
Todd Gardenhire is a Wall Street stock broker. When I think of jobs for Tennesseans, I don't think of Wall Street. When I think of Wall Street, I think of China, Mexico, Indonesia, pollution, mountain-top removal, dirty water, mega-banks, foreclosures, Washington, and small-town farmers being run out of business -- not Tennesseans being put to work.
One candidate has a proven track record on private-sector job creation and life experience that he can take to Nashville to help create jobs for Tennesseans, and that candidate is Greg Vital. The voters have a clear choice; they can actually vote for someone who knows how to make good-paying jobs for Tennesseans.
DAVID BARTO, Collegedale
Tobacco is tobacco, and it can kill you
Roll-your-own cigarettes are indeed hazardous. Aside from the obvious benefits of quitting smoking rather than switching to roll-your-own cigarettes to save money, I'd like to address some erroneous comments contained in the July 6 article, namely that such cigarettes contained fewer "chemicals" than traditional cigarettes, thereby suggesting they might be less harmful. This simply is not true.
Numerous scientific studies from this country and others have looked at the chemical composition of the smoke generated from RYO cigarettes. These studies have consistently found the tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide yields of such cigarettes are not materially different from what one would expect from their standard Marlboro, Winston or other mass-produced cigarettes when adjusted for tobacco weight, puff frequency, puff volume or other smoke parameters known to influence smoke yield.
What makes smoking so extremely hazardous to one's health is more related to how the cigarette is smoked than how its made or by whom. The more tobacco burned, the higher the level of harmful smoke constituents produced, the more damage to the lungs, heart and other organs it causes when inhaled.
Put simply, tobacco is tobacco, and a cigarette is a cigarette; if you continue to smoke, chances are it will kill you.
DONALD R. SHOPLAND, Ringgold, Ga.
Keep Fleischmann as representative
The 3rd Congressional District can be very proud of the faithfulness of Chuck Fleischmann. During his first term in Washington, he has worked tirelessly on many fronts, but none more consistently than the support of a strong military and the readiness of our troops. I personally chair Chuck's Military Advisory Committee and find him always ready and eager to listen to sound advice.
Chuck regularly visits the seriously injured troops who are brought to Walter Reed Hospital near Washington, responding to the needs of the families. He has been a leader in making certain the veterans hospitals provide the care our troops deserve. He understands the concept that "freedom is not Free," and this is foremost on his mind at all times.
He has also worked hard to rein in budget deficits and out-of-control spending. We must send Congressman Fleischmann and others like him back to Congress. These are critical times for our nation and the citizens of Tennessee. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to keep this great nation safe and prospering!
VANCE H. FRY, Rear Admiral Navy (Retired), Harrison
Bennett earns, deserves our vote
I highly recommend Bill Bennett to the taxpayers of Hamilton County to be their property assessor.
I have personally known Bill for almost 50 years, from Combustion Engineering to the political arena.
If you look up character in the dictionary, it would have Bill Bennett's picture. I believe this man to be above reproach.
I cannot imagine a better assessor of property than Bill Bennett. Neither could the state of Tennessee, as they named him "Assessor of the year."
Bill has earned our vote. He deserves our vote so let's all vote for him as Assessor of Property.