It is regrettable that the Times Free Press took a sympathetic stance in the recent front-page article about TWRA and captive native wildlife. I am a state and federally permitted wildlife rehabilitator and know firsthand the horrors of admitting native wildlife to my care that previously have been held by the public and imprinted, or improperly fed and housed. It is tragic to witness the incredible wrong done to these unfortunate animals by untrained, unlicensed, unknowledgeable do-gooders. The majority of these captive animals are suffering from metabolic problems from inadequate nutrition or have sustained terminal injuries and are beyond help by the time I get them. Native wildlife are not pets! If you find an injured bird or animal, please call a permitted rehabber immediately; we have extensive training in the care of native wildlife and are willing to help. The TWRA aren't the bad guys here. TWRA rarely euthanizes animals and only as a last resort. Laws are in place for good reasons and should be obeyed. Shame on you who knowingly break the laws and on the Times Free Press for writing favorably about wildlife law-breakers.
ALIX C. PARKS, Signal Mountain
Todd South, staff writer for the Times Free Press, did an excellent job of covering the naturalization ceremony on April 3. He brought the humanity of the individuals into the process of becoming a U.S. citizen. Standing resolute as the Soddy-Daisy High ROTC color guard passed, we placed our hands over our hearts. U.S. District Judge Curtis Collier delivered such encouraging words for 52 new citizens. Our hearts were lifted by the beautiful music from the Chattanooga Choo Choo Chorus, "God Bless America!"
Each time I attend a ceremony, I call to remembrance my paternal grandmother who came here from Halifax, Yorkshire, as an English nanny. My own husband, once an immigrant, was born in India. When I've traveled in Europe and Asia, I've always returned home appreciating that I was born an American. My heart swelled with pride as I received their beautiful smiles and shook the hands of each new citizen offering congratulations and welcoming them. This was an extraordinary day for me!
ESTHER BUTLER TAJ, Ooltewah
As a lifelong Republican, I've decided to support Chuck Fleischmann -- as opposed to Weston Wamp. I believe that Weston Wamp displayed a real sense of arrogance and lack of respect for another citizen -- as evidenced by the secret recording of his conversation with a former opponent.
We really need good leaders -- folks who have been in situations that call for leadership. I recommend that the young Wamp join the service. This would be meaningful and help mature him.
I believe 20 (something)-year old politicians who are elected to office simply because their daddy was elected are simply not leadership material. They are fortunate sons.
During the Vietnam War the majority of politicians' sons qualified for the draft didn't serve. They had more important things to do. They were fortunate sons. I believe that Weston Wamp is a fortunate son, and this is the only reason he's a contender for this office in the first place.
JAMES SHELTON, East Ridge
I'm writing to express my support of J.B. Bennett for Circuit Court judge. Recently, I had the opportunity to hear Mr. Bennett speak at a meeting. His presentation was impressive. Having 20 years of experience with a major law firm uniquely qualifies him for this position. It will be a pleasure marking my ballot for Mr. Bennett as Circuit Court judge on election day.
I read with interest and gratification the article "A New Leash on Life" by Casey Phillips. I live in Alexian Village of Tennessee, a continuing care retirement community that recognizes the importance of pets to owners. The nature of the Village, of course, dictates that we have in place a procedure for pet care if we become suddenly incapacitated or unable to continue that care. Accordingly, we have developed a pet "care plan" that outlines the pet's usual day, feeding schedule, likes and dislikes, and medical needs. More importantly, and in accordance with Phillips' report, the plan names the specific persons who have agreed, either voluntarily or by hire, to oversee the pets' care or placement should the owner be temporarily or permanently disabled. The information is included with our own medical information so that it is readily available if needed. Such a form may be of help to your readership as an addition to the section "Providing for Your Pets." Thank you for encouraging pet owners to take this important step in caring for their animals.
ANN T. FOLTZ, Signal Mountain
I encourage you to vote for Joe Manuel for chancellor. I have known Joe his entire legal career, and he is a sound, well-respected lawyer. We practiced law with the same firm for several years, and I am familiar with his legal ability. Some of the most complex cases in our county are filed in Chancery Court. Therefore, we need someone with Joe's broad experience as both a trial lawyer and an arbitrator (private judge). I trust Joe to make the difficult decisions required by a chancellor. Yet, Joe can be compassionate where appropriate but firm when necessary. Let's elect Joe Manuel as our next chancellor.
MARK KINSMAN, Hixson
I have worked with Pam Hurst since she became register of deeds in 1994 and prior to that worked with all registers since 1970. I can accurately state that under Pam's stewardship the register's office has performed splendidly, and Hamilton County is blessed to have Pam in the office. The county will be well served if she is elected to another term. Please vote for Pam Hurst for register.
CHARLES O. HON III