Gentlemen, I read with great interest the article titled "Golfing Buddies" on the front page of your May 7 edition. This contained a color photo of President Obama standing on a golf course with U.S. Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee. I was thrilled that one of my senators from Georgia, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, is so highly rated as a golfer by the prestigious Golf Digest magazine. It makes me feel great that as I and thousands of self-employed businessmen struggle to keep our businesses afloat that our "leaders" find all this time to get out and hone their golfing skills. If they all were doing their jobs our great country wouldn't be in the economic mess that we're in now. I wonder if the president was playing golf when he first heard about the attack on our embassy in Benghazi.
ROBERT WESTMORELAND, Ellijay, Ga.
Because of work, I have become a frequent traveler of the Lee Highway/Brainerd Road areas. In recent months, it has been refreshing to see the businesses in the area continue to develop. Brainerd Village in particular has really started to regain some of its former glory. The revitalization of the Brainerd area has attracted new tenants such as Chik-Fil-A, River City Bicycles and Ollie's to the Brainerd Village area. These business are joining ranks with well-established businesses and local favorites: Amigo's, Hancock's Fabrics and Jackson Bakery. With all of the new businesses popping up, the Brainerd Village area has never looked so appealing.
While other areas in the Chattanooga area are beginning to lose their appeal, it's nice to see one nook of the Brainerd area thriving and continuing to meet the needs of its diversified community.
JENNIFER LEDFORD, Hixson
It amazes me how many people oppose unions.
They clearly don't understand that the reason they earn their current wages is the result of unions.
Unions such as the United Mine Workers had to fight large companies, armed private guards, and even local and state police as well as the National Guard called out by governors to support their wealthy friends and to get wages up to a living level. My grandfathers were part of that movement.
Some of the wealthy corporate owners (i.e. Henry Ford) offered to raise wages in order to keep out unions. The unions realized he could just as easily reduce those raises as he gave them. Think how you would be able to exist living on lower wages or worse, getting paid only in company script and having to purchase all your goods at inflated prices at company stores.
Yes, oppose unions and see how long you can live as the serfs of the very wealthy.
ROGER THOMPSON, Tullahoma, Tenn.
History has recorded many government cover-ups in years past, but none so far will surpass the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on our Libyan embassy and resulting disaster.
In order to protect the re-election campaign of Barack Obama and keep their jobs for four more years, White House insiders agreed with Obama not to respond to numerous pleas for help. The attack went on for nine more hours; numerous witnesses on location and military officers now are stating en mass that the lives of Ambassador Stevens and three others could have been saved with the proper response from Obama. Also, Hillary Clinton could have aided these people with a quick military request and approval from the White House. But this happening on her watch would have ended her presidential campaign before it started, so she acquiesced.
The president should be impeached for this cover-up, and Clinton tried as well, but that won't happen, because their willing accomplices in the mainstream media will aid in this horrendeous act. Shame on them all.
JOHN BERGEN, Ringgold, Ga.
Tim Omarzu's article about state income taxes in Sunday's paper struck a nerve with me. It always does so soon after I have written my check for several thousand dollars to pay my Tennessee income tax. Several times in his article he either says directly, or implies, that Tennessee does not have an income tax. This is inaccurate and misleading. The State does not make any bones about it when they label the tax return form and other tax information as a "Tennessee Department of Revenue Individual Income Tax Return."
You can clearly see this at www.tn.gov/revenue/forms/indinc/inc250.pdf. Nowhere on the tax form instructions or on the website have I found it described otherwise.
Only on page A9, in the left hand side column, does he explain that the tax is on dividends and interest, but the rest of the article says, "no income tax." I submit to you, that dividends and interest are "income," and they are taxed by Tennessee. That is an income tax exactly as the state describes it. Your articles would be more accurate if all your writers avoid the flat statement that Tennessee has "no income tax.'
TVA keeps referring to its solar program as a subsidy and keeps saying solar increases rates for ratepayers. That's just not fair since estimates are that the Generation Partners program cost $10 million last year, but that amount doesn't begin to touch the costs of nuclear, coal remediation, etc. In fact, TVA owns all the environmental attributes of the solar when they buy it, and it is a commodity that they sell on the Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) market. And TVA does not make the capital investments in solar. Private individuals (like myself, I have solar on my home) and businesses pay for the installation.
It's very frustrating that TVA officials say they can't afford to buy more solar electricity, meanwhile they say a $1 billion pollution retrofit at the Gallatin Steam plant near Nashville will happen, and it won't increase rates. A study shows energy efficiency would have been enough to close the plant altogether and end the pollution and health problems in the area. The $25 billion in debt TVA carries is mostly from nuclear costs over the last 20-30 years. TVA is biased against solar. Privatization anyone?
STEPHEN W. SCHMIDT
Why didn't some kind person at your newspaper explain to David Cook, before you published his latest (Mercy and Jail) on May 7, that "...to act above the law," even "Miles, miles above the law," is a bad thing? If someone had, perhaps David would have understood that acting above the law is exactly what Deputy Tabor did to earn his demotion.
JEFF EPPERSON, Hixson
Last week, the nation officially celebrated and recognized the profession of nursing during National Nurses Week. One specific week can never adequately acknowledge the contributions of nurses past, present and future, but it is certainly a well deserved and certainly appropriate gesture to reflect and offer sincere gratitude to those without whom many of us would not be here today.
In my 37-year career in health care, I continue to marvel at the selflessness and dedication nurses provide to patients on a daily basis. At our hospital in Jasper, we have 133 dedicated nursing professionals who choose to work here within their own community. With the many well-publicized challenges American health care faces today and in the foreseeable future, they are being asked to assume ever more responsibilities and take on greater roles, all with the realization and understanding that quality patient care and safety may never be compromised under any circumstances.
To our nurses, we simply say a genuine and heartfelt "Thank You" for your dedication and continued support in providing aid and comfort to the ill and injured in our community.
BRUCE BALDWIN, CEO, Grandview Medical Center, Jasper, Tenn.
In response to the letter "Servers should earn decent wages" in the May 3, 2013, edition. I did some research on this subject a number of years ago when the car wash where I was employed decided to impose a tip-sharing policy. I discovered a 1938 law stating employers of workers who received tips were only required to pay half the minimum wage and tipped employees were described as anyone who receives in excess of $20 per month in tips. I also learned, by speaking with numerous waitresses on this subject, tips are considered taxable income. This was not surprising since our liberal tax-and-spend government likes to punish earning. However, there is a bright note to this. Tips and regular hourly wage must be equal to the minimum wage or the employer must make up the difference.
It has been at least 15 years or so since I researched this, so there may have been some changes to this law. If not, there needs to be. In my own experience, I felt tips were between my customers and me in appreciation for services well done. It is no business of my employer, nor the federal government, the amount of the tip received.
DONALD C. MEADOWS