I am responding to the letter in the July 26 edition of the Times Free Press titled "Liberals live in a world of fantasy." While the politics of an editorial cartoonist - conservative or liberal - are always up for debate, stating that Clay Bennett "has never had a real job in his life" is inaccurate, and, in my opinion, slanderous.
Working at any publication is difficult; however, meeting the creative requirements under the deadlines of a daily newspaper requires a work ethic and talent few outside the business can possibly imagine. Many times an important event - 9/11, stock market crash, natural catastrophe - occurs after a concept is completed, leading to a rapid response to meet deadlines.
Again, the politics can always be debated. Other factors cannot: the pay and hours at newspapers stink. The talent required is beyond most folks' comprehension, and the ability to create an image readers understand originates from a place even most artists can't fully explain.
MARK H. KELLY, Jasper, Tenn.
I have read with increasing concern the articles on the possible unionization of the workforce at the Volkswagen plant. As a native Chattanoogan, I remember the time when our reputation as a union town kept us from getting businesses to locate here. Surely we don't want to go back to that era.
I remember a speech by a banker with an advanced degree in economics who said unions exist when bad management deserves them or when the workers need them. This struck me as being true. Surely no one can seriously say that Volkswagen has bad management or that their workers are treated unfairly.
As a member of Leadership Chattanooga a number of years ago, my group project was to conduct an informal study of big businesses that had considered locating in Chattanooga but decided otherwise. I remember a recurring underlying concern with the lingering image of Chattanooga as a union town being expressed. Chattanooga has so much momentum going for it now, I would hate to see this setback.
Competition for new business is fierce, and we don't want to give our competitors any advantage. I hope that, for the good of Chattanooga, Volkswagen remains union-free.
JOHN W. BEARD, Lookout Mountain
I was distressed to see that the owner of the Rossville Golf and Music Shop was tossing perfectly good golf bags into a trash truck in a photo on page B4 of Saturday's paper.
Did it occur to Charles Chambers to donate these bags to Goodwill? Folks could use these bags! People shop Goodwill for more than their own clothing; many people buy gifts there. When purchases are made, everyone wins! Instead, these lovely golf bags will just add to the critical landfill problems we have.
Come on, Mr. Chambers! Think next time that you could help your community by following the "reuse, recycle" motto we encourage here in Chattanooga.
GINNIE HARRIS, Signal Mountain
As a lifelong resident of St. Elm0, I need to mention events that are ruining a normally fantastic neighborhood. I know all my neighbors on both sides of the block (throughout St. Elmo as well), and we all look out for one another and help each other like neighbors and friends should. As St. Elmo has "come back" (not sure where it ever went), a small but vocal group of busybodies have decided they control the whole neighborhood.
Examples include calling the cops regarding fireworks at 9 p.m. for a 16-6ear-old's birthday party, vehicles parked on the sidewalk (regardless of how long it has been there) and stalking/reporting Millennium cabs as they drive through because they must be suspicious.
Congratulations! You are quickly ruining the charm of this neighborhood. St. Elmo is a very diverse neighborhood representing a little of everyone. The sidewalks not just for SUV strollers and people who feel they are entitled to rights more than others. Live and let live. The heart of St. Elmo is its residents and the real residents are not Johnny-come-lately to a neighborhood that has "come back." We, along with St. Elmo, have always been here.