Respect Obama for view on rights
Many people I've talked to have been adamant about not voting for President Obama this November. I've heard many people tell me they hate him, but nobody can give me a solid reason why.
I, personally, can't wait to cast my vote for our current president. I respect that President Obama emphasizes women's rights as well as gay rights. While many religious voters list the president's support of gay rights as a definite con, I very much respect him for it. I don't believe religion and politics are one in the same, and I believe they should be kept separate. Homosexuals shouldn't be denied the right to marriage on a federal level simply because it's against some people's religion. America was founded on religious freedom, and making laws that cater to Christianity alone completely defeats that. Not everyone in America is a Christian.
I also think it's ridiculous that people believe President Obama hasn't made enough change. It's as if he has been expected in four years to clean up a mess that took much longer than that to make, a mess he didn't contribute to making before his first time as president anyway.
East Ridge needs Pruitt's values
I will fully support Ann Pruitt for East Ridge City Council for one simple reason: She has no other motive to be on this council other than to try to help make East Ridge the best it can be. Anything else that is implied or said is wrong.
She lives on the property her grandparents bought when they moved into East Ridge in the late 1800s. Her intent is to work to bring East Ridge back to a prosperous town that is respected and admired by everyone. Ann Pruitt is from a generation that believes you do not spend more than you earn. She will be a full-time advocate for our city, and I am 100 percent convinced her leadership and values are needed at this time in East Ridge. Every decision she makes will be based on what is best for this city, not a group or others.
I am proud to call her my friend and ask you to support her with your vote.
DAVID RODEN, East Ridge
Area missed chance to make it better
The North Shore Design Review Committee's approval of the new Publix grocery store design is a travesty. Shame on Publix for seeing the value of the location but not seeing that imposing suburban design principles in an in-town neighborhood and closing streets are wrong.
Shame on the committee for neither respecting our existing guidelines nor pushing Publix to do the kind of high quality building that they apparently know how to do ... and that other communities apparently know how to get them to do.
Will it destroy life in North Chattanooga as we know it? Of course not. But it's a missed opportunity to make the place better, instead of just rolling over for a developer who says, "This is the way we want to do it. Do you want our store or not?" The way to respond is, "Yes we want it. But you can do it better, and we're going to help you figure out how." Negotiating to create a better outcome does not make development go away. That's what the late, lamented Urban Design Studio did so well for 25 years. We need it back.
WTCI/PBS kids programming tops
As a mother to a 6-year-old and as a children's book author, I really don't understand why WTCI/PBS kids local programming would receive any bad reviews.
My child started reading early at the age of 3. I do spend lots of time reading to her, but when we choose a television program, it's always been "Super Why" and "Word World" on WTCI.
These shows are educational and fun and keep my child engaged. I also don't have to worry about unnecessary, inappropriate comedy aimed toward adults like you see on the other cartoon channels.
WTCI/PBS also reaches out to the public, allowing visitors at the station. Children get a taste of how their favorite television shows are produced, getting to play in front of a green screen, meeting characters from the PBS shows and even receiving free books!
From "Super Why" and "Word World" to "The Cat in the Hat" and the new "Daniel Tigers Neighborhood," I honestly feel that it doesn't get any better than WTCI/PBS kids programming.
HOLLIE STOCKMAN, Signal Mountain
Romney campaign full of propaganda
The Romney/Ryan campaign has been nothing but hateful rhetoric to stir up the infirm and uninformed voters. They listen 24/7 to Fox "Fake" News, therefore never hearing facts, just GOP propaganda.
According to the Fox News listeners I've encountered, they still push the lie that President Obama is not a Christian, that he is not a U.S. citizen, the lie about welfare reform, about him going around the world apologizing for the U.S. Ask Osama if he accepted the apology.
All of us are not fortunate enough to be born with a silver spoon in our mouths, or supported by the wealth of our parents before us. We've worked hard for every penny we ever earned and sometimes life hands out circumstances that drive people to need help. Is this not what being a "Christian" is all about? I guess not.
A progressive tax system such as ours is by definition "redistribution." Money from the middle class is being redistributed up to the 1 percent while we in the 99 percent are asked to sacrifice even more to support the GOP tax cuts to the wealthiest so they can fight their hateful wars, poison our air and water, and feed their offshore accounts.
ANN BENTON, Signal Mountain
Sculpture lauds city and its revitalization
I recently had the honor and pleasure of fabricating and installing a new permanent sculpture at the Bluff View Overlook, in the Art District of Chattanooga. Created from stainless steel and granite, the sculpture is titled "Continuum" and honors the ongoing efforts of the citizens of Chattanooga to revitalize and energize their city, through venues in the arts and culture, architecture and education.
The sculpture also is in honor of the many years of contributions that Jack Murrah, of the Lyndhurst Foundation, has made to the city; he stands as a wonderful example of what an individual and an organization can accomplish for the greater good of a community.
I would like to specifically thank several individuals and groups involved in this public art commission: Peggy Townsend, director, and Elizabeth Carriger, program assistant, for Public Art Chattanooga, and their selection committee members; Allied Arts of Chattanooga; Bruz Clark, president of the Lyndhurst Foundation, and Karen Rudolph, their program officer for Arts and Culture, as well as the Lyndhurst family and Foundation; and Dr. Charles and Mary Portera, for their visionary contributions to the Bluff View Art District, truly a jewel in Chattanooga's crown.
Shine on, Chattanooga!
SALLY ROGERS, Penland, N.C.
Store designers need to think again
This is an open request to the designers of the future North Shore Publix. I encourage and implore you to at least do the bare minimum to be a good North Shore citizen: put in some permeable pavers, grass, plants, and trees. There is zero reason not to install some green infrastructure in your parking lot! With potential stormwater fee credits, you could start to see savings within a relatively short payback period, and you could keep the store from being an asphalt-covered eyesore.
It sounds as though you have completely ignored many of the desired design ideas of the North Shore, opting instead for a strip mall-style one-story building with a giant parking lot that does nothing to encourage walking or biking. Do the right thing and at least help improve the local water quality by reducing your runoff.