Coal operation is a step back
I was shell-shocked to learn a large coal mine operation was setting up on Walden's Ridge and in Cranmore Cove.
The coal processing plant will be within 4.5 miles of my home, only a mile away from my family's farm. I understand the desperation for jobs and the county's need for money. However, there is a price, such as our health and safety.
A glaring problem with the proposed mines concerns the roads. Ogden Road is narrow, with little to no shoulder and several sharp turns. The coal company estimates Ogden Road and Highway 30 will be traveled almost 150 times a day by coal trucks. On a 12-hour schedule, there could be a coal truck on Highway 30 every 10 minutes.
With only one lane eastbound, Highway 30 is going to be a nightmare for commuters. More delays will follow as TDOT maintains the roads. Tourists may opt to go through Dunlap and skip Dayton to avoid the traffic.
The decision to mine coal again is setting us back a century of progress. Rhea County should look toward a sustainable future instead taking quick riches that will show their costs over the long-term.
CHANDA TAYLOR, Dayton, Tenn.
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Judging teachers on weight wrong
I just read a letter (Feb. 29) concerning teachers' "weight."
In it the writer complains that most of the teachers she sees "interviewed on the local news" and the one she saw on "Jeopardy" are clearly obese.
She then goes to say that by setting this example, teachers are responsible for children being overweight.
As a teacher we have (unjustly) been blamed for many ills of society, but this is a first.
Ironically, on the same day, I saw the teacher interviewed in Ohio who chased the gunman out of his school in this week's latest school shooting. He also stayed with and prayed over the students who died while risking his own life.
By the way, he was considerably overweight.
I have taught high school history for 25 years but I am most proud of teaching tolerance.
I think that is a more important example than judging people on how they look.
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Pay more attention to prison guards
It would seem that the Georgia Department of Corrections is much more eager to share details of prisoners being attacked than of officers being attacked.
The first officer who was attacked suffered 18 stab wounds, none fatal, though he did need surgery. The officer who stepped in to support him was stabbed once in the neck.
Hays State Prison is a closed security prison for "problem" inmates. Knowing this, it is appalling that they have steady access to the materials to make weapons, and that they can roam free within prison walls in the first place.
They are given cable television, education, health care, and three meals a day while my husband and other officers risk their lives to protect them from themselves, each other, and escaping.
The public needs a more complete picture of the issues within prisons, not just the issues inmates face.
BREANNA MITCHELL, LaFayette, Ga.
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Levine energizes children, parents
My family follows the career of Ms. Jill Levine, principal of Normal Park School, long after our child left her umbrella of excellence in public education.
Ms. Levine is commonly referred to as a trailblazer in public education, and frankly that is an understatement. She energizes children and parents to excel and merge into common goals. This is a powerful recipe.
I lived a mile from the former Chattanooga Middle School for 15 years and was zoned for the lowest performing and dangerous middle school in Hamilton County, according to the state report cards. In my opinion, Chattanooga Middle was a deplorable school with padlocks and fencing at the tops of the each stairwell, a prison atmosphere, with teachers and students who accepted mediocrity as a school culture.
Turning a failing school into excellence requires extinguishing the school culture of failure and a fresh start. Thank you, Ms. Levine, for restoring our belief in public education. My family will be watching the trailblazers of Normal Park from afar knowing children are getting the best public education possible.
APRIL EIDSON AND FAMILY
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Receive apologies before giving one
I think we should hold off on any kind of apologizing for accidentally burning few Qurans until we receive an official apology for all the U.S. flags that have been burned and for Americans who have been violently killed and dragged through the streets.
EARL BLANKS, Soddy-Daisy
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Officials should aim to cut taxes
My son recently purchased a small building to store his mower. He paid taxes on the building when it was bought. He got his tax bill on his property taxes a few months later, and they were higher. When he called to investigate, he was told it was because of a new structure on the property.
So on top of paying taxes on a small building to begin with, he has to pay more taxes from now on.
Sadly, American people are so used to the forced continuous taxation, they are not even bothered by stuff like this, which is wrong.
If they were going to charge more property taxes because of the building, then it should be tax-free to buy it to begin with. Right?
America is a ticking time bomb and the leaders are too greedy or just too stupid to realize it. Every elected official should make it their main focus to lower taxes, or remove them if possible. Every person who votes should vote on the platform of reducing taxes. This type of tax insanity cannot go on because as you all see it will only get worse.
TERRY ELROD, Ringgold, Ga.
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Don't take taxes to give to idlers
This letter is in reply to one that demanded Republicans eschew Social Security/Medicare and VA benefits.
For one, we pay into the Social Security system, so we by definition are "entitled" to it.
Secondly, VA benefits are part of the compensation package of our military.
What we abhor is the government taking taxes from us, at the barrel of a gun, and giving it to people who are seemingly content to live off the labor of others. That is in fact the definition of slavery. I am a slave to no one, let alone an idler who doesn't know what he/she's talking about politically, other than what they are told to think by Big Media agents.
LON ACREE, Dalton, Ga.
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Investing in Camp Jordan a good step
As I was walking at Camp Jordan, a letter complaining about the park came to mind. With baseball and soccer tournaments, surely this is a positive environment for our kids.
The Shrine Circus, dog shows, coin shows and numerous other events bring revenue to East Ridge.
I always have found the park to be well kept and observe many people enjoying it.
There will always be conflicts about where to spend money, but in my opinion, investing in Camp Jordan is money well spent. I am proud of our park and hope others will enjoy it as I do.
LOIS VAN HOOSER
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Wheaton is home of Graham Center
Having had the recent information about Billy Graham's education in Cleveland, I thought it might be of interest to provide additional facts concerning the remainder of his college years.
After leaving Bob Jones College, Dr. Graham enrolled at Wheaton College (Ill.) and continued his studies there through graduation. There is an impressive Billy Graham Center at Wheaton, as well as items collected from the estate of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.