Nevels story has a familiar tone
Joan Garrett's thoughtful article "Tempest in my soul" (June 24) brought back many personal memories. Having lost a brother to AIDS-related causes 17 years ago, our family, too, faced scrutiny from the church. In our case the Presbyterian Church in the North.
I remember well my late mother telling me about participating on a church panel and being questioned by her church friends about how she could forgive her son for being gay and with AIDS. Shaking her head at the ignorance of the question, my mother simply stated she was his mother and she loved him -- unconditionally.
We all gathered at my brother's funeral just like the Nevels family -- our family and my brother's partner. It was one of the most meaningful and powerful experiences of my life. It could have been divisive, but I look back to that event as one of the most blessed days because we came together as a family.
My sincerest sympathies go to the Nevels family. I greatly appreciate how they've chosen to honor their son through their charitable work just as we honor my brother each year by walking in Chattanooga Cares' Strides of March. My 15-year-old son, named for my brother, hasn't missed one in his life.
RODNEY VAN VALKENBURG
Enjoy Riverpark, but beware bikes
On Saturday, June 2, my husband and I decided to take a bicycle ride at the Riverpark and go downtown for dinner. We began our trip at the Boathouse parking lot, and not far ahead on the trail at the rowing center our trip ended when a cyclist traveling down a hill at a very high speed slammed into me, knocking me off my bike. I landed flat on my back on the sidewalk moaning with severe pain. He also was knocked from his bike, and I was unable to move for a while.
I would like to thank the people who gathered around to help us. I did not get any names but they were very kind and reassuring to me. I am very grateful for the time they took to stop and help us out.
To everyone out there who does use the Riverpark, please be aware that there is danger, especially with the bikes. I know that there are babies, young people and old. I ended up with a broken hand, contusions and bruises and was out of work for three weeks. I don't want anyone to endure this kind of trauma from neglect of someone who is irresponsible with a bicycle. Everyone deserves the opportunity to enjoy the Riverpark.
Vital's credentials make him ready
There seem to be two popular paths to elected office. The first way is that of the political "lifer," someone who decides at a young age that they want to run for office, either immediately or at some point in the future, and they spend the bulk of their time operating within the political realm to achieve that end. There is not anything overtly wrong with this track, but it can limit a candidate's experience to a very narrow scope.
The other is to dedicate a sizable portion of one's career to nonpolitical affairs, such as community building, business, education or some other pursuit that helps round out a candidate's perspective, equipping them with more tools to successfully represent a constituency. I prefer the latter to the former, hands down. And Greg Vital is that type of candidate.
He is a successful job creator, farmer and longtime champion of conservative principles. The folks of Tennessee's 10th State Senate District are fortunate to have such a high-quality candidate as Mr. Vital. I look forward to having him represent me and my neighbors in Nashville.
Present politicians don't understand
I recently discovered a quote from President Woodrow Wilson. He said, "The history of liberty is the history of resistance. The history of liberty is a history of the limitation of governmental power, not the increase of it. When we resist the concentration of power, we are resisting the powers of death. Concentration of power precedes the destruction of human liberties." The Founding Fathers understood this. Our present politicians don't.
I used to be a Republican. Then I became a conservative. Now I am a libertarian. Soon I will be an anarchist.
Put Horn's skills to work on board
I support Donna Horn for school board in District 7. I have had the privilege of working with Donna while she was a kindergarten teacher. She was one of the hardest-working teachers that I knew, always going above and beyond for her students and her school. All of her accomplishments are a result of her excellent leadership skills.
She was a huge supporter of the Allied Arts program. She was always filling out forms to get money for grants to help better the school. She was always thinking about ways to help improve her students and their environment. I always have been amazed at all she could accomplish while also being a wife and mother. I am proud to show my support for this remarkable woman. Please give her your support too.
Curtail those seeking injunction
Too bad I'm not a resident of Hamilton County. It is time for a resident of Hamilton County to seek an injunction against the plaintiffs who are trying to forbid the prayer at the opening of the county's commission meetings.
We are residents of a republic, and our legal system is built on the premise that the majority rules. About 87 percent of the populace acknowledges the existence of the Almighty God. The populace has observed the custom of asking His guidance ever since the commission was organized.
Those plaintiffs are members of the 13 percent minority, hence their objections should be considered of no consequence and are frivolous nonsense.
The injunction should prohibit their continued residency in a democratic society based on the premise of majority rule and their objections considered as a renunciation of their citizenship in our civilized society.
God bless America -- one nation under God and in God we trust.
WILLIAM P. CORBIN
DaGaetano stands out in judge race
I am writing to recommend Joe DeGaetano as a candidate to replace Judge Bob Moon in the General Sessions judge race.
I first met Joe 11 years ago after he joined our law firm in Nashville. Joe and I are both from Hamilton County. Joe became recognized as one of the brightest legal minds in the firm. Joe established himself as a hard-working, polite and compassionate lawyer. Joe's legal work was always top notch. Joe got along well with clients and everyone he met. Joe was always respected and turned into a very highly regarded trial lawyer.
During the years that I have known Joe, I have never known him to raise his voice, express anger or disrespect another person. These are excellent traits for a judge.
Eventually, Joe decided to return to Chattanooga. Joe and his wife, Heather, moved to Chattanooga. Joe built an excellent reputation in Chattanooga as an excellent lawyer, a very good father, husband and member of the community.
There are well-qualified candidates in the race to replace Judge Moon. I recommend that you consider Joe DeGaetano.
WILLIAM D. LEADER JR.
How to handle being in minority
Gary Christenot is a devout Christian who was horrified to hear a Buddhist prayer before a high school football game in Wahiawa, Hawaii. Most of Wahiawa's people were Chinese-American or Japanese-American, and most of them were Buddhist or Shinto. So "naturally" the pregame prayer was always Buddhist or Shinto.
Mr. Christenot was in favor of majority rule in government prayer, until he found himself in the minority. That changed his mind, at least about pregame prayer.
I ask every Christian advocate of government prayer to read Mr. Christenot's own account of his experience. Search "Gary Christenot" at au.org, then click on "Why I'm Against Pre-Game Prayer." I also ask them to obey their own law: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
Article illustrates Papers' decline
The June 3 Times Free Press Perspective front page contained two seemingly unrelated articles. However, upon closer inspection, one can draw a straight (no pun intended) line from the one to the other.
The article on the left of the page provided some degree of analysis into what is going on with the print media, specifically newspapers. Whether these news outlets are dying or consolidating is for others to judge and the market to determine.
The article in the middle of the page tried to demonstrate the irrelevance of the Bible in the homosexual "marriage" debate. Unfortunately the author demonstrated ignorance of both marriage and the Bible. Observation of creation and Bible teachings leave no doubt that marriage is between a man and a woman. The first mention of marriage in the Bible was recorded around 3,500 years ago. The Bible and the family (man, woman, and children) have been the bedrock of Western civilization until relatively recently. One would have to be delusional to believe otherwise.
Why are the two articles related? The publication of the article attempting to justify homosexual marriage demonstrates one of the reasons that newspapers are fast becoming irrelevant.
City can be leader in green design
We were excited to read David Cook's column of June 4, "Our city deserves a real entrance."
He imagined "a living laboratory on green urban design":
"On site, build homes, factories, businesses, gardens. Zero waste. Zero carbon. Self-sustaining and headline making."
We at Chattanooga Collaborative Senior Housing enthusiastically support green, urban, sustainable design and the vision that our city can be a global leader in demonstrating its value.
Acuff believes justice matters
I would like to express my support for Mike Acuff for Soddy-Daisy City Court judge. I've known Mike and his family for many years and find him to be an honest, fair and caring individual. Mike has worked as both a prosecutor and defense attorney. He has served in the Army and Army Reserve for over 35 years, working his way up from enlisted man to Army JAG officer. He believes that justice matters and is committed to a diligent and unbiased legal system for all. I believe Mike's diverse legal and military experience, along with his temperament and passion for justice, make him uniquely qualified for this position.
The citizens of Soddy-Daisy will be well served with Mike Acuff as their City Court judge.
DEBRA L. DENTON