In reading David Cook's commentary (July 4), I was amazed at how cleverly he amalgamated utopia with reality, fanfare with wisdom while discussing rites of passage and adulthood.
As he so wisely concluded: "It really wasn't about the beer, after all."
The Times Free Press front-page article (July 8) totally ignored the over 350 families of Black Creek Mountain. Our investment when combined with the developers exceeds over $200 million in Chattanooga. Our annual county and city tax payments exceed $2 million per year. The planned development of Aetna Mountain will add a similar amount to the Chattanooga and Hamilton County tax base.
The portrait painted by the Times Free Press is one of inside deals and developers that have robbed the Perlaky brothers, our neighbors, of their property rights. Neighbors do not create a public nuisance and endanger the lives of the Black Creek families as the Perlaky brothers have done to us.
It was at the invitation of the Perlaky brothers that the off-roaders first accessed Aetna Mountain. The off-roaders now number in the hundreds ,and they have brought lawlessness to our community. Gunshots, drunken parties, drug use and personal injuries have been the rule on Aetna.
Yes, the road has been blocked and yes, we have enlisted the help of off-duty police but only to protect our families and preserve our investments in Chattanooga.
How can the Times Free Press turn its back on the many families of Black Creek community?
STEVEN A. HICKS
Thank you, Sen. Lamar Alexander, for your vote on the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards regulations. A Republican politician who has both a conscience and backbone is refreshing. A Republican politician who cares about the health of children after they are born is even more refreshing.
I enjoyed reading Ellis Smith's article, "Mountains and money," (July 8) and thought it was informative and well researched. That being said, I was disappointed that Smith did not include the thoughts of the Black Creek residents. While the story gave all three disgruntled Mt. Aetna property owners (who own just a small portion of the mountain) another forum for their same old "I am a victim" argument concerning the development, it completely ignored what their efforts have done to the Black Creek and Lookout Valley community.
The Chattanooga Police Department, or the developers, you could have found hundreds of pictures and first-hand accounts of four-wheelers riding their vehicles illegally on public streets destroying public and private property and creating very dangerous conditions in a residential neighborhood. This has been going on for years, and I fear that it will be a while before it is rectified. If you want to see, I invite you to spend about 30 minutes at the intersection of Cummings Highway and River Gorge Lane any Saturday or Sunday about 6 p.m. You may have to dodge one of them.
In 2000, 17 million people were on food stamps. In 2008, 30 million were on food stamps. Today, roughly 41 million are on food stamps. At the inception of food stamps in 1970, one in 50 people was on food stamps. Today one in seven is on food stamps.
Food stamps are the second largest welfare program after Medicaid. And now our government is encouraging more people to sign up for food stamps.
In many of our national forests, there are signs that read, "do not feed the animals, as they will become more dependent."
When will we ever learn?
Vote for Donna Horn for Hamilton County school board member this Aug. 2 if you are interested in quality education for all students.
Mrs. Horn has all of the attributes a good school board member needs.
She is a person of impeccable integrity who knows the current issues affecting our children and knows what needs to be done to improve the quality of their education.
With her 25 years of classroom experience, she brings an up-close, from-the-trenches understanding of what students need to be successful learners. And, as she was in the classroom, she will be a child-centered advocate for all students in Hamilton County.
During her whole career, Mrs. Horn worked tirelessly to bring out the best in every child and to provide them the greatest opportunities to succeed. And I know she will work just as hard for you as your school board member.
She listens. She understands. She will be your child's advocate and champion.
JIM MURRAY, Soddy-Daisy
Categorizing opposition to nuclear power as left over from '50s paranoia (July 7 editorial) must come from a misinformed victim blinded by nuclear industry propaganda. News the same day reports that Browns Ferry employees don't seem to know about fire regulations implemented 37 years ago by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission after the first fire.
Clearly you would have benefited from attending the Know Nukes Y'All Summit just concluded at UTC. You would have learned of very poor safety records, daily radioactive emissions, excessive water draw, and TVA higher rates related to nuclear construction. Stop making radioactive trash. Nuclear is not vital. There are safer, cheaper, more efficient paths to enough electricity.
Your assurance of no deaths from Fukushima is premature because cancer has a latency period of five to 30 years. Health data remains elusive, but Japanese children show increased radiation in their urine and farmers are prohibited from selling irradiated crops. In the U.S., over 91,000 nuclear industry workers are sick, dead or dying costing citizens over $8 billion. according to the Department of Labor Atomic Energy Employees Occupational Illness Program.
The Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission says the Fukushima disaster was man-made, not due to weather. It's not paranoia if it's real.
SANDRA KURTZ, Bellefonte Efficiency & Sustainability Team, Mothers Against Tennessee River Radiation