The lengthy editorial tribute (Times, Feb. 7) to Gene Roberts was a fitting reminder of the former mayor's fundamental decency, honesty, patience, compassion and wisdom. Many additional chapters could be written. I offer one.
As Gene departed the cabinet of Lamar Alexander, he extracted a commitment from the governor to make a special appropriation to Chattanooga to balance, in part, the state's recent contributions to Nashville, Knoxville and Memphis. The governor's response was to honor Chattanooga Venture and Vision 2000 with a state package of seed funds in support of the Bessie Smith Blues Hall, Tivoli restoration and a state aquarium at the waterfront.
Announcing the award at Ross's Landing, Alexander encouraged Chattanoogans to build the most ambitious aquarium it could afford; local leaders accepted the challenge, raised the ante considerably and soon built the largest freshwater aquarium in the country.
The aquarium stands as a potent symbol of the city's renaissance. Out of respect for the service of Gene Roberts and the promise made to him by Gov. Alexander, the state of Tennessee helped set into motion the execution of the riverfront plan that continues to attract major private investment, is a source of pride to the city's residents, and an inspiration to visitors from around the world.
RICK MONTAGUE, Lookout Mountain
When so many of us are selfish with our time and talents, it thrills me to see a person like Roger Tuder who, after many years at a professional career, wants to continue on to help others by running to be a city commissioner.
Roger has supported the Associated General Contractors of the Chattanooga area with his tireless energy, and he will do the same for you and me as a council member.
Please vote for Roger Tuder so Chattanooga will continue to flourish as the best mid-size city in America.
LEWIS CARD JR.
I have recently been hearing about the possible closing of the Miller Eye Center at Erlanger Hospital.
As a former resident of Ringgold, Ga., I see this as a huge loss in the health care field for the Chattanooga area.
My reason is both a medical and personal one. I was severely injured in my right eye and was sent to the Miller Eye Clinic. I was immediately rushed to the operating room where a team of excellent eye doctors did an amazing job of saving my vision. I was told had it been a longer lapse in time getting medical help, I would have been blind. I was monitored very closely for over three weeks by great doctors on staff, one in particular, Dr. Sanders.
My sight is restored and is still good 12 years later. If I had not been so close to a trauma eye care facility, and had been airlifted to a surrounding city, it would have been too late to save my vision.
If anyone from Erlanger Hospital reads this letter, I urge you to please reconsider closing this valuable service from a group of people who have been blessed with sight because of excellent care at the eye clinic.
EDWARD R. TAYLOR, Rock Hill, S.C.
Cheese sandwiches deserve respect
I just can't sit back and say nothing while the cheese sandwich is being belittled. Children who attend Whitfield County Schools, whose parents are more than $10 behind on school lunch fees, will be punished by being served a cheese sandwich. What's wrong with the cheese sandwich?
Cheese sandwiches are good, nutritious and should be served on occasion anyway.
Several years ago, I picked my sleeping grandson up from preschool. His teacher gave me his snack so that on the way home he could eat it.
I took the opportunity to see what they were feeding my baby. I unwrapped it and bit into the cheese sandwich, and it was delicious. Actually, it was great!
Don't disrespect the cheese sandwich. It needs no apology.
FAYE J. WILLIAMS