On Aug. 7, we will be electing, among other positions, our Criminal Court clerk. Gwen Tidwell, the present clerk, is seeking another term and deserves one.
The clerk, in a manner of speaking, is the CEO of the office which files, organizes, stores and retrieves hundreds of thousands of important legal documents and records while collecting legislatively approved fees for its services.
Since being elected in 1994, Ms. Tidwell has tirelessly improved, steamlined and modernized the office, allowing wherever possible for easy public review of records and efficient court operations. Her office is widely recognized as one of the best, if not the best, offices in the state. As a practicing attorney, I have witnessed this transformation and know what a valuable contribution she has made and how lucky we are to have her.
Ms. Tidwell has in the past, and will again, run under the Democratic Party label. Those who are Democrats might be tempted to reflexively cast your vote for her because of her party affiliation, Republicans just the opposite. Both approaches would be wrong in my view.
Vote for Ms. Tidwell because she has made our Criminal Court Clerk's Office the best it can be and will continue to do so. A job well done.
Concerning the doughnut mural: I know you have a job to do, and I'm sure you are trying to keep our city visually pleasant. But how about a little compassion here.
Have you ever lost three breadwinners in your family? Have you ever reared three grandchildren by yourself? No, neither have I.
My heart goes out to Barbara Davis for the small business contribution she has made all these years to Broad Street. Thirty-one years is a long time for faithfulness in business and in family relationships. I think she should be applauded for her work ethic and her love of her family.
Just a little compassion here, please.
LANSING HAMILTON, Lookout Mountain, Ga.
Candidates, be respectful and courteous when putting out your campaign signs. When supporters ask, give them one; when you see a good spot, ask permission.
As always, there are lots of activities going on everywhere, so making an impression is important. But remember, signs have a way of reinforcing both positive and negative impressions. Be thoughtful and considerate.
Thanks to all the candidates for their willingness to serve.
BILL WALLACE, Signal Mountain
Taking money or whatever is wrong for sure; however, I was somewhat amused to learn that monies collected to enter the Bessie Smith Strut were missing.
My question is this: Why charge people to engage in cultural fellowship with great music, good food and cold beer in the first place?
Shame on the city leaders, each and every one of you. Looking out for public safety you say? Well, the hot spots for safety are in other parts of the city, not on MLK and certainly not on Strut night, yes?
I am not African-American, nor am I an African-American business person. However if I were, I would be all over the city leaders for this injustice.
Talk about taking money out of your pocket. Perhaps, you are spending too much time majoring on the minors and not enough time majoring on the majors. Enough. Dialogue is welcome?
Let us fix things that are broken, perhaps focus on how to correct the trash problems in downtown and north of the river! Talk about something broken!
Most Veterans Administration doctors do not deserve the media flack that is coming down on them. I go to the VA clinic in Eastgate.
Luther Stanfield is my doctor. He once stayed over at that clinic, on his own time, till after 7 p.m. to help me when I was too sick to drive to Murfreesboro. He has been my doctor for nearly 15 years.
He and many other doctors like him at VA clinics deserve nothing but respect.
In regards to Mr. Clay Bennett, I think he is a talented artist, but I believe he would make a very poor politician.
Mr. Bennett is what my grandmother used to call a "yellow dog Democrat." Simply put, if a yellow dog, or a pink cat, or an escaped chimpanzee were to run on the Democratic ticket, Mr. Bennett would vote for him rather than a Republican. That's great for party loyalty, but it's also going through life wearing blinders.
There's both good and bad in every party. An example: Toward the end of August of 2009 when Sen. Ted Kennedy died, Mr. Bennett's cartoon the following day was a drawing of the U.S. Capitol with a very large pair of shoes next to it. It was easy to see what was implied -- that Sen Kennedy's shoes would be hard to fill.
However, what popped into my head at first glance was that if Ted Kennedy had shoes that large, he could have stepped over the creek at Chappaquiddick, and just maybe, Mary Jo Kopechne would still be alive today.
See what I mean?
I am a retired soldier and a veteran of the Vietnam War. I've read comments from readers of this newspaper expressing complaints about Bowe Bergdahl's situation.
Right, wrong or indifferent, he is an American soldier who was in enemy hands. I served with former POWs from World War II, Korea and of course prisoners of the North Vietnamese, and each had his own story. All captured Americans were not "model prisoners."
Regardless how Bergdahl got there, what he did while in captivity or what the circumstances of his release were, he deserved to be back in American hands.
If he committed a crime in the process, charge him, try him and if convicted, punish him. If found not guilty, let him get on with his life.
JOHN WOODHAM, East Ridge