Many teachers deserve awards
After teaching 36-plus years, I have an interesting observation about awards and honors teachers receive from various agencies and school organizations. Most of my high school teaching was in Georgia where Star Teacher awards are given by PAGE, a great teacher organization that recognizes outstanding teachers. I was fortunate to receive this award several times and am very thankful to the students who recommended me.
I am not ungrateful! I would like to observe, however, that many teachers who work day after day teaching classes for students who are not taking AP classes or some of the more popular classes never get recognized for their day-to-day, sticking-at-it attitudes and job skills required to work in required classes that have a different set of problems that some of the special classes do not engender.
Parents need to appreciate these (and all) teachers who conscientiously work to do what they do without much recognition. Their names never appear in the newspaper or anywhere else. Thank you, teachers, who do this. In fact, you work as hard or harder to do what only you can do! If I could give you an award every week, it would not be enough!
DR. PAT TAYLOR, Ringgold, Ga.
Bin Laden's death not Obama's victory
Who killed Bin Laden? A Marine answers: "America is not at war, Marines are; America is at the mall."
Obama did not kill Bin Laden. An American sailor, who Obama was debating whether to pay, did! In fact less than two years ago, his administration charged and attempted to court-martial three Navy Seals from Seal Team Six because a terrorist complained he was beaten. Obama's administration commented on how brutal they were. The left was calling them Nazis. Now the brave men vilified are heroes when they make his administration look good. Obama just happened to be president when the CIA found Bin Laden and sailors took him out. Obama only said, yes or no. This is not Obama's victory!
Obama's words: 2008: "Navy Seal Team Six is Cheney's private assassination team." 2011: "I put together Seal Team Six to take out Bin Laden." 2008: "Bin Laden is innocent till proven guilty; must be captured alive and given a fair trial." 2011: "I authorized Seal Team Six to kill Bin Laden." 2008: "Guantanamo is entirely unnecessary and detainees should not be interrogated." 2011: "Vital intelligence obtained from Guantanamo detainees located Bin Laden."
Truth or consequences?
JOHN J. SPITTLER, Signal Mountain
Going green a different way
Dear President Obama,
My wife and I decided on taking your advice on "going green." So last week we purchased a set of green bed sheets. The best part is they are energy efficient, since they are wrinkle free and need no ironing.
In 2013, we probably will replace our present vehicle. It also will be green; no, not electric but just green. I hope in some small way this helps promote your green agenda.
DICK DeMARS, Crossville, Tenn.
Defer death by adding tax
New York City Mayor Bloomberg's decision to ban supersized sugary sodas has resurrected the age-old debate over the role of the state in protecting the public health. In recent years, this debate involved bicycle helmets, car seat belts, tobacco, trans fats, saturated fats in meat and dairy products, and sugar (or more aptly, high-fructose corn syrup). Public subsidies for tobacco, meat and dairy, and corn production added fuel to the debate.
I would argue that society has a right to regulate activities that impose a heavy burden on the public treasury. National medical costs of dealing with our obesity epidemic, associated with consumption of meat, dairy and sugars, are estimated at $190 billion. Eliminating subsidies for these products, as well as judicious taxation to reduce their use and recoup public costs, should be supported by health advocates and fiscal conservatives alike.
Benjamin Franklin claimed that nothing is certain except death and taxes. Ironically, death can be deferred substantially by taxing products that make us sick.
Make a difference by electing Starnes
Gary Starnes is running for Sessions Court judge. I have known Gary for many years. He has been married to his high school sweetheart, Carol, for 30 years, has three children and one grandchild.
Gary established his own law firm and has been practicing law for 26 years. He has served as a special judge in Hamilton County General Sessions Court, the elected office he now seeks. He is committed to making a difference.
Why will Gary make a difference? Because he is passionate about this community and he understands the challenges that face Chattanooga. He has practiced law since 1986.
A graduate of the University of Tennessee Law School, he is licensed to practice law in Tennessee and Georgia. He is an advocate for children and youth, supporting the Children's Advocacy Center, Chambliss Children's Home and Shepherd's Arms Rescue Mission.
He understands the issue of gangs in Chattanooga and recognizes that this elected position will be one of the key pieces in curtailing these gangs.
Make a difference in Chattanooga. Join me in voting for Gary Starnes for Sessions Court judge on Aug. 2.
Keep newspaper coming every day
I am 75 years old, and in all of that time I have never lived in a home that did not have a daily paper. When most places had morning and evening papers, we always took both. At my grandparents' out in the country, the paper came in the mail, and mail time was rest time and time to read the paper.
We have moved around the country and always took the local paper. When traveling, we buy a local paper. My busy children know they can rely on me to let them know of anything that would pique their interest because I will clip it out and send it. We also take two small-town weeklies from places we lived as kids just to keep up with what is going on there.
I find it totally distressing that several Alabama papers are cutting back to three days a week and advising customers to read news online. I am computer literate and can read news online, but if the Times Free Press is cutting back, please tell us what we can do to help keep the paper coming. We want our paper every day!
CAROLYN R. McCRARY, Hixson
Teachers do most important work
The teachers of Hamilton County are on summer break. Many have registered for various staff development opportunities. Some wrote grants to "go somewhere to learn something" to make them even better teachers.
Some are on this two-month "vacation" calling the Hamilton County Education Association office asking for "swap" days -- an opportunity to share teaching materials. Some are on family vacations gathering interesting pictures and memorabilia that just happen to support a story or unit plan.
Are these people obsessed with doing a quality job? Perhaps, but I would call them dedicated, quality educators helping our children's dreams come true by providing skills and knowledge of how to analyze, compute, synthesize and present information.
Please thank our teachers. They do the most important work in the world educating our future leaders.
SANDY HUGHES, HCEA president