I congratulate David Cook for his timely and accurate appraisal (Oct. 17) of the Hamilton County schools "reluctance" to show up when a crisis is evident, i.e.. the gang problem. It is my position that schools do not want, nor are they qualified to address the issues with kids becoming gang members, or the sociological implications of not dealing with the problem. There is a Latin term, "in loco parentis," which means "in place of parents," which loosely defined says the schools do have a role in both the discipline (training) and academics teaching the fundamentals.
My growing up years in a small town were a small part of my experiences with how to manage one's life. If I messed up in school, my mother knew about it before I got home. The school principal would see my father.
The community of children today is very different and very disassociative. What is needed is a school-based community center of learners which include the parent, the churches, the community centers, the institutions that serve the community and well-trained and caring professionals in the schools.
What is needed are out-reach trained personnel that can become the visible and vocal link to the community of the child, the home.
Every inner city elementary school needs a professional "jack of all trades" that represents the best interests of the troubled child; the academic deficits; the parental concerns or lack of and the important liaison between the teacher and staff who ultimately must deal with children that aren't quite ready for the school setting.
These programs are going to cost some taxpayer funds; not a lot of money and not a lot of money comparative to the cost of crime. Superintendent Rick Smith needs to do more, lots more. But what is really needed are the voices of the concerned citizenry. The voices speaking about this issue and it's cost to the community should resonate with members of the black community in this town and further the voices of those leaders speaking loudly to school officials in the school system. Rather then a top-down leadership let us consider bottom-up leadership. I am happy to be among those.
ROBERT J. BROOKS
I grow weary of the continual blandishments of Republicans and conservatives against Obamacare. I am sick of their lies about how the Affordable Health Care Act will take away the freedom of Americans in dealing with health care providers and insurers.
The only hindrance faced by the middle class and the poor are the high premiums on pre-existing conditions foisted on them by insurers.
I laud both the Times editorial page and Paul Krugman for their exposes of the Romney-Ryan laws which appeared in the Oct. 16 issue of the newspaper.
The Medicare voucher proposals of the Republicans are nothing less than an example of willful cruelty upon the non-wealthy. And the call for a return to the "doughnut hole" of the Bush era Medicare Part D is yet another insult.
I rely on TennCare for my medical care. I fear what the election of Mitt Romney and of a Republican Senate will do to me and to millions of others in Tennessee and in the rest of the country.
Evangelist Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, appeared on the Piers Morgan show on CNN Oct. 15.
As expected, the subject was politics and the coming election. Franklin Graham said he already had voted by absentee for Mitt Romney.
Then Piers Morgan asked Graham if he thought Romney, a Mormon, was a Christian. Graham hemmed and hawed around and finally said, "You ask him." Anyone would know that Franklin Graham, being an evangelical, believes Mormonism is a cult.
This is the same Franklin Graham who spoke at Baylor school in 1996 and told students that the only way to heaven was by confessing Jesus Christ even though there were Jewish students present. He didn't hesitate to give his convictions then.
I can tell you what I think. I think that Franklin Graham is a hypocrite.
These are some of President Obama's accomplishments:
Equal pay for women (Lilly Ledbetter);
Dream Act support;
Affordable Care Act -- insures over 40 million Americans; helps offset $50 billion in annual uncompensated care costs;
Eliminated Bin Laden;
Implements structured withdrawal from Iraq;
Initiates disciplined exodus from Afghanistan;
"Assists" with demise of Gadhafi -- no lives lost;
Adds tough sanctions on Iran;
Provided key financial support for banking industry;
Initiates stronger bank controls (Dodd-Frank);
Adds over 2.5 million private sector jobs since 2009. Note: Bush added 1 million jobs in eight years;
Oil production in U.S., highest ever;
Initiated improved gas mileage requirements;
Over his watch carbon emissions dramatically lowered;
Over his watch corporate earnings at an all time high;
No terrorism attacks on his watch;
Initiated strong immigration activities, more border supervision, more deportations while implementing a two-year residency for those born in USA;
Provided major assistance to auto industry, saving 200,000 direct jobs and 1 million jobs totally;
Stock market doubles in market value;
Federal tax rate (17 percent) for citizens at all time low;
Plus much more ... yet with minimal help from Republicans in Congress.
Regarding Rep. Richard Floyd's comment on alcohol related deaths, "People who make it, people who sell it, and people who buy it, they have a share of responsibility," I would like to pose a question. Do you feel the same way about guns?
We urge everyone to re-elect Bill Wallace to the Signal Mountain Town Council. Bill's love of our community should be obvious to everyone who knows him. He is a sane voice on the Town Council who votes for what he feels is best for our community and not what other council members want for their own agenda.
Bill and his wife, Cissy, have lived on Signal Mountain for 28 years and been active in the business life of the community having achieved national recognition for their professionalism. Bill is an active volunteer in both the community as well as his church.
Signal Mountain needs Bill Wallace on the Town Council. Actually, the Town needs several council members like Bill Wallace.
JOHN AND BUFFIE HARPER
I do not consider myself a diehard Republican or Democrat. I vote for whom I think is the best qualified for the job.
In my opinion that choice for the representative for the 3rd District has to be Mary Headrick. I do not know her or have ever seen her in person.
But I have heard her on talk radio. She comes across as a very honest and brilliant person who has a good understanding of the problems facing our country and the 3rd District. She answered every question that was asked of her directly and precisely. She is a physician and has a scientific background and that is sorely needed in this day and age in our governing officials.
I also have heard her opponent, Chuck Fleischmann, on talk radio. He came across sounding like a politician, his main theme was the belittling of the president and the spouting of some sound bites. There was no substance or depth to his answers. Considering the time he has been on the job I feel like he has learned little and does not deserve to be elected. Vote for Mary Headrick.