Your article stated Olan Mills knew that the [pension] fund was underfunded since before 2008. Yet $66,600 was given to the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee in 2011 and 2012. Some funds were given to other charities. Olan Mills funds should have gone to the Olan Mills pension fund for employees prior to other donations.
The Federal Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation is charged with paying pensions where plans fail. The FPBG is funded by the federal government, which is funded by all taxpayers. Your article states that the FPBG is underfunded. That means the American taxpayer will the forced to cover shortfalls.
Why don't the political campaigns and organizations that received donations from Olan Mills since 2008 return that money to the Olin Mills pension fund for their retirees? Wouldn't that be fair and honest to the employees and taxpayers?
BILL AND IDA COTTER
David Cook's plea (June 4, Metro section) for the re-establishment of the city's Office of Sustainability is thinly veiled by his "idea" of a gateway site to welcome visitors to our city as they arrive at the U.S. Pipe/Wheland Foundry facilities. The concept of a welcoming gateway entrance to Chattanooga is one of the most prominent reasons that our partnership acquired the 141 acres that constitute the former foundry properties. We have worked cooperatively with multiple leaders, constituencies and stakeholders to master- plan the site, to arrange for Interstate access, to enable the Riverwalk to traverse the site on its way to Lookout Mountain and to engage in serious discussions with national developers regarding the use of the land as a legacy site, offering more than a power center with big-box stores.
We will continue to work diligently to see that vision through. However, for Mr. Cook to assert that our ability to do so hangs precariously by a thread tied to an Office of Sustainability is just wrong. The leaders of Chattanooga and Hamilton County are committed to establishing a legacy site that will serve our community for the next century, and the absence or presence of a single governmental department will not affect that goal.
The sights and sounds of M.L. King Boulevard will be transformed on Monday into the legendary street fest, the Bessie Smith Strut. The Strut is one of Chattanooga's long-standing pre-summer events that have particularly brought so much enjoyment not only to Chattanooga residents but also to visitors to the Scenic City.
The Bessie Smith Cultural Center, partnering with Riverbend and the city, has made improvements to this year's Strut for ensured sustainability and longevity of the 30-year tradition. Enhancements include enclosing the site, enforcing a youth escort policy, imposing an admission price and having both Chattanooga police and private security to secure the festival. These enhancements will not compromise the integrity of the Strut; instead they will improve and enhance the overall experience for strut goers.
We know that many were saddened and disappointed to hear that the Strut was being canceled three months ago. You have the power to make a difference this year and for future years by choosing to attend on June 11! The event is from 4-8:30 p.m. Get ready to dance to great blues and taste amazing food in a safe and festive environment.
For more information, visit www.thebessiesmithstrut.com.
Executive Director, Bessie Smith Cultural Center