Let me start off by saying that the actions of the Marion County High School coaches were in fact inexcusable and unworthy of men to whom parents trust their children. It is unfortunate and unfair that students from another rival school were targeted by members of the community. They deserve an apology. With that being said, I believe the whole community deserves an apology from Stephen Hargis for his incendiary and degrading comments made via tweet on 11/20/2013. They read "If this Marion football situation somehow took on human form it would look like the kid playin banjo on the porch of the movie Deliverance." His chosen profession is that of a reporter and as such he bears the responsibility of insightful and appropriate reporting. In any legitimate venue comments such as these would ultimately be a career ending mistake. His coverage of this tiny, however regrettable episode in the long and distinguished tradition of Marion County football has drawn out in an effort to be self-serving and career advancing. Regardless of the motivation these comments are reprehensible and certainly should invoke some form of remediation in the art of responsible journalism. Once again apologies should go out to the unintended victims.
CRAIG McCLAIN, Jasper, Tenn.
Pastor Patrick Hampton was quoted as saying that it's "very neat" to see multiple churches stepping forward to work to deny health care benefits to the loved ones of some of those who provide services to the residents of Chattanooga. Their effort doesn't seem very Christian to me. I wonder if they would turn away a gay firefighter who arrived on the scene to fight a fire at a burning church.
GREG GLOSS, Cleveland, Tenn.
For 35 years I have been associated with local government. Currently that association is in a sales capacity. My customers are cities and counties, and the decision whether to contract for my company's services or to use another's lies with the elected officials of those jurisdictions. I believe the best decision the elected officials can make is to choose me over my competitor, but that is not always the case. When they choose my competitor, I thank them for their time, their contemplation, and their service because I know they have a difficult job. I never would consider demanding or even suggesting that the officials, duly elected by the people, should be second-guessed and have the issue put before the citizens for a vote. Citizens spoke when they elected these officials, their neighbors, to represent them. While I might disagree with a decision, having it made by representatives of the people is good enough for me. I oppose the petition effort to demand a referendum on the benefits policy recently adopted by the City Council. What's next -- we vote whether to buy Ford or Volkswagen police cars, Komatsu or Caterpillar equipment, give raises to firefighters but not police officers?
PETE YONCE, Chattanooga
Your recently added feature, Police Blotter, is a flagrant waste of space.