I would like to endorse Hamilton County Board of Education member Greg Martin to continue his service.
In the two-plus years I've known Greg, he has served the school system with honor and commitment. He has been involved in school functions at all of the schools in his district, including sporting events, awards ceremonies and school talent shows.
I can truly say that Greg works tirelessly for the students and teachers of Hamilton County. Meetings, events and daily involvement are commitments that Greg relishes and succeeds in.
Greg also brings a true business acumen to the board. He not only understands the needs of the schools but the financial requirements needed to properly allocate resources and funds. Greg understands there is a limited budget and does his best to serve those students and families.
Greg has demonstrated a substantial commitment to the students, to the families and to the educators of Hamilton County. His service not only should but needs to continue for our schools and our children to have the best opportunity to succeed.
BRADLEY D. CHURCH, Hixson
I would like to commend you for your series "Into the Darkness" about suicide prevention.
In Tennessee, more people die by suicide each year than from homicide, AIDS or drunken driving; suicide is the No. 3 cause of death among young people ages 10-2;, and yearly suicide deaths are about twice that of homicide deaths.
Despite these high numbers, Tennessee has made significant progress. For three years, the Tennessee Lives Count grant has provided suicide prevention training to more than 5,500 individuals as well as enhanced follow-up services to 237 high-risk youth under age 18.
Also, the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network has collaborated with counties that have high suicide rates and has seen those counties' suicide rates drop as much as 40 percent.
We know suicide is preventable, and we work with other agencies, including TSPN, TLC, Tennessee Association of Mental Health Organizations, Tennessee Association of Alcohol, Drug, and other Addiction Services, Tennessee Mental Health Consumers Association,
The Jason Foundation, Mental Health America, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, etc. - to help people get the information and counseling they need. Also, a crisis lne is available 24/7 at (855) CRISIS-1 (274-7471).
Together, we can save lives.
E. DOUGLAS VARNEY
I am very concerned with the lack of direction that our country is on. We have a do-nothing Congress that refuses to work together.
Partisanship is at an all-time high with no relief in sight. We have a $17 trillion debt and high unemployment that needs to be addressed while the two parties continuously blame each other.
It's time for serious reforms, but with the current political climate in Washington, there is little chance of that happening. I'm concerned Congressman Chuck Fleischmann is at the center of that partisanship and has no intention of working toward a resolution to our issues.
It's time for young, new ideas. It's clear to me that the current crowd is incapable of resolving our problems.
That's why I support Weston Wamp for Congress. Weston is an intelligent and impressive young man who understands what is at stake. I have known the Wamp family my entire life, and I'm confident he can handle the job. It's time for a change!
The Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision is yet another thing Obama can "blame" on Bush. In fact, he can hit both Bushes on it.
All five justices voting in favor of religious freedom were appointed by Republican presidents: Bush I, one; Bush II, two; and Ronald Reagan, two.
The four justices voting against religious freedom were appointed by Democratic presidents: Clinton, two; and Obama, two.
DONALD CHEATHAM, Tullahoma, Tenn.
Uchiyama hit right note on golf insights
I wanted to congratulate Times Free Press staff writer David Uchiyama on the best short golf article I've seen in a long time ("A Different Look," July 2).
While the article is about golf fashion, David illustrates how difficult golf can be for most of us: "Everybody dresses in the '70s and shoots in the 90s." I used to tell people, "I look like a golfer, talk like one, and even take a practice swing like one, but when the ball goes on the tee everyone discovers the truth."
My wealthy brother's second wife had a horrible hitch in her swing but was considered a "scratch dresser" and owned a closet full of golf shoes. The article went on to discuss new trends in golf fashion and included details about local golfer Brooke Pancake's clothing sponsor.
But the article opened with a great saying I hadn't heard before: "It takes five minutes to look like a golfer and five years to become one." David, for some of us, it takes a lot longer than that.
BYRON CHAPIN, Hixson
We have a "day" for many things, but I think we need an "Obey the Law Day."
On this day, we ask all drivers to stay within the speed limit, use their turn signals, not tailgate, wear their seat belts and act in a courteous manner while driving.
We would experience a number of positive outcomes. The drivers would get to their destinations just as fast. We would reduce accidents and prevent unnecessary injuries. It would make driving much more pleasant.
And last of all, it would set a good example for our children in the back seat.
ROCKY RENNEISEN, Signal Mountain