I took my grandson to the Chattanooga Zoo on the final day before it was closed. Our frequent zoo trips are always fun and educational; that's one of the reasons I have an annual membership.
The zoo being closed? Ridiculous! I saw the interview with the zoo's director. She said that it had been a "busy" month and "they" missed the deadline for a license by only three days.
So, what's the director's job? In part, isn't it to make sure things like the zoo being forced to close don't happen? A good director needs to take responsibility for maintaining a zoo of which the residents of Chattanooga can be proud.
Come on, zookeeper, I know you can do better. I expect better for my grandchildren and other children, such as the 6-year-old who missed seeing the animals on her birthday because the zoo was closed.
I was on a tour to Savannah this past December. Some folks requested to visit Paula Deen's restaurant. Our tour guide informed us that her company would not take tours there any longer.
The folks at the hotel seemed to be of that same thought. It appears that the local folks have been aware of the real Paula Deen for quite some time.
I personally lost respect for her when she waited to "announce her diabetes," once she had acquired a huge endorsement for diabetic products. Of course, this just seems to follow her pattern of wanting to be in the spotlight.
I read the deposition, and it is so clear what she really is. So folks who loved her crazy actions and silliness need to realize the corporations seemed to already know the real Paula Deen. If you want a real cooking show, watch "The Pioneer Woman" or "Barefoot Contessa." You will see what a true professional can do. I for one am thrilled to not see or hear Miss Paula!!
Has she messed up? As she said, "Yes, of course."
Columnist David Cook asserted recently in your paper that "he believed gay people will parade proudly straight into heaven." My problem is that he presumed to be gatekeeper of the heaven without consideration for the Bible, which sets the standard for who goes in and who doesn't. Romans (1:26-27) clearly refutes his claim. So, if heaven is real and true, then so is the word of God real and true.
His remedy to straighten we misguided believers out is for us to listen to gays who say they can't change. I say listen to those who have changed. Science says some are born alcoholics; some men have claimed they were born child molesters; the Bible says we were all born sinners and have gone astray. Everyone has to break the inclination to sin. Listen to what the Spirit says (Rev 2:28) and let Jesus set men and women free.
REV. JOEY KELLY, Ringgold, Ga.
In 1984, the Bald River Gorge Wilderness Area was permanently protected when Ronald Reagan signed the Tennessee Wilderness Act of 1984 into law. Now, the time has come to protect the entire watershed through the addition of the Upper Bald River Wilderness by reintroduction and passage of the Tennessee Wilderness Act.
Clean water is extremely important not only for the aquatic biodiversity, but also for local, downstream communities that depend upon these same waters.
The Upper Bald River Wilderness Study Area is home to an immense tributary system, including the Brookshire Creek, Kirkland Creek and Waucheesi Creek. This addition to the watershed will secure the water quality, trout and wildlife habitat of this area, which many individuals -- from anglers and hunters to bird watchers -- rely on and cherish.
Passage of the Tennessee Wilderness Act is important so that we may protect our natural heritage for generations to come. And it can be done at no cost to the American taxpayer. I urge Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker to reintroduce this important bill. And I encourage the full Tennessee congressional delegation, including Chuck Fleischmann, to support it.
TINA CRAWFORD, Signal Mountain
Walter Strony did a tremendous job to showcase Chattanooga's wonderfully unique Austin pipe organ (July 1) to the 1,500 people who came to enjoy his presentation. The program also honored our nation's service personnel, both current and past. Their recognition was particularly unique and impressive.
Strony showed his versatility and also demonstrated exceptionally well the wide range of this beautifully restored Austin pipe organ. His reputation among organists is well-deserved.
Kudos to the Chattanooga Music Club for both its dedicated work in the restoration of the organ and for putting this wonderful program together for the benefit of Chattanooga and its citizens.
I enjoyed the full-page opinion statement from Hobby Lobby. You can't help but admire a company which wants you to know how much they prize their religious beliefs. But, if you happen to work for them and don't have those same beliefs -- well, too bad. They know where you're going in the afterlife. And it won't be pleasant.
That was how this country was first settled. One Christian sectarian group running from another to save themselves. Once they had their own place of religious freedom they had to purify it by kicking out or killing any who did not share their beliefs.
Christianity in the "good old days" was no different than the Islamists of today. Ask the Mormons how Christians treated them as they fled across America.
What truly makes America a great place is that it has grown out of this through a government structure that allows people who have different beliefs to exist as one nation under God. However you perceive that god.
We are, though, still a work in progress.
GEORGE DUNCAN, Rossville, Ga.
The sandhill crane issue needs to be addressed by a disinterested third party.
I couldn't agree more with Melanie Watson and her group that these beautiful birds don't need to be hunted. There is certainly no shortage of animal species to be legally hunted. But the simple fact remains that due to Tennessee's bordering of eight states, six million citizens have an opportunity to drive to a state that already allows crane hunting.
Kentucky is a few hours drive from any county in Tennessee, and the northwest quadrant of the state is a short drive from Missouri. Bottom Line: If people from Dalton will travel to South Dakota to hunt big game, people from Southeast Tennessee will drive 185 miles to Kentucky to shoot cranes.
Part of living is learning to accept things you aren't always going to be able to change. It would be nice if we had a way to tell the birds not to cross the state line but unfortunately we don't have that option.
C.M. HYDER, Dalton, Ga.
"Do you know the difference between the Tea Party and the KKK ... robes" was recently printed in the "Rant" section of the newspaper. Rants are basically a childish insult contest between liberals and conservatives in which the authors hide behind anonymity.
I called the Times Free Press and complained about printing this childish, mean-spirited "Rant" which had no basis in truth. Idiots like the author have the right to be stupid, but the problem is that the Times Free Press chose to allow this stupidity to be published.
Imagine a similar "Rant" about blacks, women or Muslims. Would it be printed? Of course not. The fact is that the Times Free Press is run by liberals that published a tasteless joke by another liberal idiot. Since they insulted about 50 percent of their readership, it is apparent that the Times Free Press doesn't understand basic marketing.
It is cowardly to hide behind anonymity while making tasteless, insulting comments. The "Rant" section is cowardly, along with the comment section on editorials on the Times Free Press website. An opinion without a name is meaningless. If I insult someone you can be sure that I want them to know exactly where it came from.
TIM PRICE, Hixson