As the new Tennessee General Assembly session begins, I ask McMinn County area lawmakers -- Sen. Mike Bell, R-Cleveland, and Rep. John Forgety, R-Athens -- to vote to control meth and support health care.
McMinn County is still ranked in the top 10 counties for meth use. A Vanderbilt survey reports that over 60 percent of Tennessee residents support requiring prescriptions for the ingredients for meth (ephedrine and products containing it).
The current program of registration is ineffective. We need to control the ingredients, and I hope that you have not taken lobby money from the pharmaceutical industry that clouds your vision regarding what is best for district residents.
As for health care, Sen. Mae Beavers' and Rep. Mark Pody's bill to prohibit any cooperation by Tennessee in implementing the Affordable Care Act is absolutely absurd. The Affordable Care Act has helped more than 60,000 Tennesseans.
To see the need for health care in this district, I invite you to Sequoyah High School in Madisonville this weekend to observe the Remote Area Medical Clinic. There will be over 1,000 people lined up in the cold 17-degree night, awaiting a number to have free health care provided.
Support health care and stop meth.
JEFF EASTMAN, Athens, Tenn.
Few people really know much about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the proof is that so many call him "Doctor."
It seems that American society, being generally uncomfortable with things of the spirit, prefers to see Martin Luther King Jr. as some sort of secular authority on civil rights. I myself thought this way for the most part and was pleasantly surprised to hear the words "thank God Almighty, we are free at last" in his "I Have A Dream" speech.
Soon after I checked out an audio tape of the Rev. King from the library and learned just what a deeply moving and spiritual man he was -- things the mainstream media leaves out wholesale.
After his house was bombed in Montgomery, King told people that it's awful hard to love some people; "but Jesus says love them, and love is greater than like."
How our society, its schools (especially parochial), its churches, its government would benefit to know this side of King (the spiritual side) as well. We have ignored it only to our society's own spiritual detriment.
WILL LANCE Hixson
This is in reference to the comment by a letter writer who feels that there cannot be any intelligent life forms on earth because of programs like "Duck Dynasty," "Honey Boo Boo," or organizations like the tea party, gun nuts and Jesus freaks.
Apparently the spacemen did not find the letter writer so intelligent either, because of the conclusion they reached.
FRANK HERMAN, Cleveland, Tenn.
This is the "always" answer of the Republican party: Limit federal regulation. Regulation is bad, after all, for business, no matter the effect on the public at large.
You might recall the river disaster in Charleston, W.Va., soon headed to points west and south such as Cincinnati. Memphis., etc. According to the Wall Street Journal (Jan. 16), chemical storage wasn't within EPA's federal regulatory purview and was therefore left to the state of West Virginia regulatory authorities.
According to the same article, the leaked vessel had stored chemicals there since 1938 and was supposed to have filed an environmental plan with the state of West Virginia. No plan was ever filed.
Don't worry, be happy. Let the states take care of it.
JOHN F. EARY, Ringgold, Ga.