I just finished reading the article in the newspaper and I am thrilled that they have allowed the Delta Queen to stay where it is.
I have never even boarded the Delta Queen, but someday I will.
It is a terrific tourist attraction for Chattanooga and if you ask, many people will tell you they take pictures of it when they come here.
According to Bob Doak, CEO of the Chattanooga Convention & Visitors Bureau, two dozen influential people had told him the old steamboat obstructs their view of downtown and the Aquarium.
I would love to know where these people live because unless you live in Coolidge Park it doesn't obstruct any views( maybe they sleep in the park).
The trees in front of the steamboat obstruct more views than the riverboat.
ELAINE MALONEY, Rossville
My photo file of the Delta Queen now exceeds 100 pictures dating back to 2007 when she came to Chattanooga once a year just to visit.
Even though the Delta Queen is no longer moving on the river, the character of the boat stands there inviting your eyes to look her over many many times and take hundreds of pictures before you leave.
Nothing surrounding the area has such an appeal. Nothing. When visitors come to town, what visual images do they take home with them? The 120 foot void spot in question, will leave behind just a river bank of stones and weeds. The departure of the Delta Queen (would be) irreplaceable from my viewing the riverfront for many years.
The architects and contractor care less about the what they have left us to view for the next 100 years. Just look at the square Walmart style boxes known as condos and apartments and tell me where the riverfront beauty is going.
The city for years has been known for having a great view of Lookout Mountain. What has happened? Is the mountain still there? Who really cares about the beautiful, irreplaceable 100-year-old Delta Queen anyway?
Approving another condo will fill the space.
BOB ROCK, Red Bank
Rev. Brian Cosby is a Presbyterian minister who rejects evolution and claims Freedom From Religion Foundation is "bullying" schools which violate the law by promoting school prayer. He claims state/church separation means only "that the government has no right to dictate the affairs, theology, and worship of the church." True, the First Amendment importantly guarantees the "free exercise" of religion. But it also, as Thomas Jefferson put it, "erects a wall of separation between church and state." There can be no true freedom of religion, without the freedom to dissent.
Cosby apparently thinks churches have the right to dictate the affairs of the state - that's theocracy. The Constitutional Framers were aware of the horrors of theocracy in the Old World, and the persecution and bloodshed church-state alliances had caused in the original colonies. That's why they deliberately adopted an entirely godless Constitution, whose only references to religion are exclusionary, such as that there shall be no religious test for public office.
Government neutrality is no myth. Under our secular Constitution, citizens are free to believe, or disbelieve, but government cannot take sides or settle the debate. FFRF works to protect freedom of conscience for all, particularly for schoolchildren. Public schools should teach, not preach.
ANNIE LAURIE GAYLOR, Co-President, Freedom From Religion Foundation
The mayor may be on to something. He wanted the Delta Queen to leave this tourist mecca because he says it blocks people's view of downtown and is an eyesore on the downtown shoreline.
Of course, the Walnut Street Bridge should go, too. It's also blocking the view and is an even older eyesore. Let's not forget that also blocking the view of the riverfront are the Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga Theatre Centre, Tennessee Aquarium and certainly the Southern Belle, River Gorge Explorer and Blue Moon. They all should be sent packing, too, because they also might obscure an observer's view of our waterfront.
After all, what do thousands of photographers know? What do thousands of tourists know? What do the thousands who have spent the night on the Delta Queen know? What do Cincinnati and New Smyrna Beach know, as they attempted to get the Delta Queen? What do we Chattanoogans know about the pride in having such an historic vessel be docked here? What do magazines and advertising spreads know as they prominently focus on this iconic resident of our shores?
Yeah, the mayor's on to something, and the rest of us are all out of synch. This piece of the puzzle that makes Chattanooga the jewel that it is, surely needs to go. And take with it jobs, tax revenue and history. Who needs it?