When I was about 7 years old, my father married my then-stepmother, who brought into the family an autistic daughter. We were a family of five children, with two children on the autism spectrum, as my brother is also diagnosed with Asperser's syndrome. They were married for several years, but I think the burden of caring for two autistic children led to resentment in their marriage and eventually a divorce. It may not have been the only factor in driving my father and stepmother apart, but it was a major factor. Autism is a growing epidemic, with one in 88 children being diagnosed. Many parents don't understand the stresses and the financial burden it can put on a marriage. Caring for an autistic child can be expensive. Many researchers believe that this stress can be combated with outside support and couples counseling. I believe that if my parents had received more help, they would have found a way to make it work. There simply isn't enough information out there about this, and many people don't know what to do about the stress on their marriage. I believe that if we make these facts known, and better publicized, we could save many marriages.
Your Saturday, Nov. 9, edition contained an error in the Business Section article on Typhoon Haiyan. The article claimed that these storms rotate clockwise in the northern hemisphere and counterclockwise in the southern. In fact the opposite is true and is obvious to the casual observer of weather news. In the northern hemisphere the storm rotates counter- clockwise and the storm track is clockwise. Consider the storms we experience in the eastern U.S. As the storm travels west off the coast of Africa and crosses the Atlantic it begins to track north by northwest, finally turning north and then north by northeast, circling in the clockwise direction. In fact, Hurricane Dennis made land fall in the U.S. twice as it came full circle for a second pass at us. The entire time that the storm is active it is rotating counterclockwise. Although your article was sourced to the Associated Press with additional weather organization sources, you printed it. We appreciate and enjoy the privilege of having your fine newspaper. Please don't allow sloppy reporting by the AP get the better of you.
DAN C. JOHNSON
In response to a Nov. 16 letter from a veteran who thought the VFW was just for World War vets, let me say I am the Jr. Vice Commander at VFW Post 4848 on Riverside Drive in Chattanooga. My contact information is firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-855-6876. Anyone can contact me regarding membership information. We would like to invite you to join our post. Instead of driving by, stop and come in. We will buy you a beverage of your choice. Show up with your DD-214 in hand, we must verify your military service and qualifications for joining the VFW. We will welcome you with open arms. Any other veteran is welcome to stop by and join our post. In your service.
ALAN W. SYLER
The news reported an increase in bullying among school children. There were 5,478 confirmed cases of bullying in Tennessee last school year. Bullying harms education by causing missed school days, stress and suicide. It's likely the decline in spanking by both parents and teachers has caused an increase in bullies and depressed children. Psychologist Dr. James Dobson said it's beneficial to spank a defiant child. A 2010 Wall Street Journal article said a study at Calvin College found spanking children makes them happy years later. The study found teens who were spanked as children ended up with a "sunnier outlook," were "better students," had "more positive academic records and optimism about the future" and volunteered more than their unspanked peers. In 11 behavioral variables analyzed, the never-spanked group never scored the best. This showed the never-spanked group was more selfish, self-centered and spoiled. The saying "spare the rod and spoil the child" is true! Words without action prove ineffective. Indifference and not disciplining children are forms of child abuse!
Boy, if we marked off a circle of free speech for every whacked-out nut job in the country, we'd soon run out of space. Whatever happened to disturbing the peace? Inciting a riot? Hate speech? Plain old common sense? Tuition-paying students at UTC should not have their studies and campus life affected by Angela Cummings' vitriol (is she even enrolled?). There's a lovely little spot over on the bend of the river for her to do her "preaching."
MARK H. HOLDEN
I had hopes that this would not be necessary but, sadly, it is. George Zimmerman was, and is crazy. There is no other phrase that fits him quite so properly. Knowing this, we know also that either we lock him away for our own safety and his, or some one of us is going to suffer the consequences of our not taking immediate, and lasting action. It should not have to be pointed out over and over that Mr. Zimmerman's temper and his obsession with firearms is going to one day result in the death of another person. I am not a believer in the death penalty and this is not a sudden change in my belief. I simply feel that, aside from war, it is the worst thing we do to one another, and is utterly useless. It's only useful counterpart, lifelong imprisonment and concomitant therapy is the only other viable choice in this instance.
RICHARD W. SHULTZ
So, Bill Johnson makes $5.9 million as TVA chief for nine months! If my math is correct, that comes to $655,555 per month. Using the estimate of 200 working hours in a month it appears that he gets about $3,277.77 an hour. Not bad! My question is this: on Oct. 23 between the hours of 10 and 11 a.m. what did he do that was so innovative, so masterful in leadership, so important to the function of TVA that we (ratepayers) should have given him $3,277.77?
BOB VOGT, Ooltewah