Today, there is a movement in the country to weaken the nation. We can blame a lot of this on the Environmental Protection Agency placing harsh restrictions on manufacturing, causing management to seek out cheaper labor in other nations to manufacture its products. Like it or not, this nation is dependent on oil and coal! Let's change this trend by bringing our military home from all over the globe and use them to seal our borders against illegals and terrorists. Restart our factories, bring our jobs back home, drill for oil and use our coal and natural gas while searching for an alternate energy source to become self-sufficient again. Let's start minding our own business, ridding ourselves of the ACLU and others who wish to change the real meaning of our proven laws and the Constitution. We must remember that we cannot buy friendship; it has never worked and never will. Our hope as a nation lies in a return to the high standards of yesteryear, morality, a good work ethic and a strong belief in God. Folks, we can do this!
GENE O. WAGNER SR., Rossville
The race between Hamilton County Criminal Court Clerk Gwen Tidwell and her opponent is one of action versus words. Gwen Tidwell offers her record of innovation and hard work, making the Criminal Court records accessible and operating for 15 years without spending a dime of taxpayer money for salaries. All Vince Dean offers is words. I ask you to join me in voting for Gwen Tidwell for Criminal Court clerk.
ANNIE HALL, Signal Mountain
Since 2002, Tennessee abortion facilities are not required to be licensed or inspected. Nail salons are. The Tennessee Legislature currently has zero enforceable power to regulate the abortion industry. Why? In 2000, a Tennessee Supreme Court decision by four justices (Planned Parenthood v Sundquist) struck down the reasonable abortion regulations enacted by the Democrat-controlled Tennessee Assembly. Two years later (in Tennessee Health Department v. Gary Boyle et al), Tennessee laws about licensing and inspection of abortion facilities were struck down due to Tennessee's constitutional "inherent right to abortion" found in the 2000 ruling. Tennessee only has a few remaining regulations on the abortion industry. One is parental consent, preventing under-age girls from getting an abortion without either one parent or a judge's approval. That law will certainly be challenged and lost as well if Amendment 1 fails. Tennessee is the third highest abortion destination state; one in four seeking abortions in Tennessee comes from out of state. Federal law prohibits the outright ban on abortion. No matter your take on abortion, every citizen should want Amendment 1 to pass; well, except those making millions of dollars off the abortion industry.
MIKE WARNER, Clarksville, Tenn.
Teachers are asked to wear many hats these days -- educator, counselor, cheerleader, nurse, among others. More than 99 percent of Tennessee's educators wear these hats professionally, appropriately and with great skill. Unfortunately, that doesn't make for an attention-seeking headline. Instead, a Chattanooga Times-Free Press story picked up statewide dramatically exclaimed, "Teachers' misconduct revealed: Hundreds have been disciplined in last decade, Tennessee records show." The Tennessee Education Association agrees the upward trend of misconduct cases is troubling. We want to see the number of cases at zero. The association has a number of programs in place to make that a reality. TEA hosts new teacher training annually to help those new to the profession navigate the complex role of being an educator. The association also hosts local, regional and statewide professional development opportunities specifically geared toward professionalism and appropriate interaction with students. Tennessee students deserve to have a safe and supportive learning environment led by a qualified, committed teacher. Fortunately for our students, more than 99 percent of teachers in our state meet that standard daily.
GERA SUMMERFORD, president Tennessee Education Association
An artist labored for weeks over the imaginative and creative mural on the Koch's bakery property. Unique visual surprises like the doughnut mural are what give a city flavor. What is aesthetically offensive and should be removed or at least lowered and reduced is the unimaginative oversized Applebees sign at our city's front door on the corner of Broad and Fourth streets. This sign blaringly says to me, "Welcome to Chattanooga, we have sub-par, processed food just like where you came from."
DAN S. SAWYER, Signal Mountain
I recently read in this paper that all kids attending 47 Hamilton County schools can get free breakfast and lunch, no matter what their family income is. When I raised my kids years ago, we fed them breakfast at home and then packed their lunch or gave them lunch money. Now I have to help feed everyone else's kids, whose parents may be more well-off than I am. I wonder how long it will be before I have to help pay someone's mortgage and car loan? Socialism succeeds when the masses rely on government to provide their daily needs. It won't be too long before U.S.A. stands for United Socialists of America.
GARY HAYES, Ooltewah
How many people killed does it take to make everyone understand that something needs to be done? I can assure you that the forefathers did not consider AK 47s and the rest to be considered in "protecting life and property." I'm sure they're rolling over in their graves. This is a tragic, unacceptable, disgraceful society we live in. What will it take to stop this violence and tolerance of guns, guns, guns? Shameful! It is embarrassing to the entire world what we've become!
BEVERLY MAC KAY