I write this to say the broken record continues. The mass shooting in Texas in a suburban section of Houston brings more senseless loss of life. The shootings we see and hear about frequently in our inner cities across America are also horrid. Our heads of state in the Senate, Congress, all the way up to the White House must engage in this situation. Yes, a lot is on the president's plate, but he has to know how terrible this is. Now is the time to get logical and get community safeguards enacted for us all.
N.E.N.A. of Chattanooga has been filling backpacks for underprivileged children to start school with for six years now. Our coverage area is mainly in the Lookout Valley and Dade County schools. Last year we were recognized by the Dade County Board of Education. We will be having our annual collection drive this weekend at the Lookout Valley Walmart on Cummings Highway and would appreciate any support you and your community could give us. We started with two backpacks six years ago; last year we filled 128. This year we are reaching out to Davis Elementary School as well as a few in other locations that reach us by word of mouth.
I was pleasantly surprised to read in the Times Free Press that our Criminal Court clerk, Gwen Tidwell, has been able to save Hamilton County property taxpayers more than $6 million over the past 15 years. The article said she has been able to pay her staff's salaries from the fees and fines paid to the clerk's office. She also did not have to use any money from the county general fund at a time when so many government agencies seem to require more money every year. It is gratifying that since Ms. Tidwell did not need a county government appropriation for staff salaries, that money can be used for other programs (public schools and public safety were mentioned). She no doubt helped hold down the need for tax increases.
Judge Christie Sell takes off her judge's robe and becomes a community partner, partnering with Memorial Hospital, the city of Chattanooga Department of Youth and Family Development, East Chattanooga Improvement Inc. and on a violence prevention program aimed at encouraging young people to make good choices in every phase of their life. On July 10, I witnessed Judge Sell sharing with a group of teens at Avondale Youth and Family Center. While sitting on the sideline I saw the judge in several roles.
First, she presented herself as someone who really wants to help young people. Secondly, as someone who was a young person and understands why young people make choices at one stage in life and wish in a later stage the choice would have been different. Thirdly, she presented herself as a mom showing concern for her kids. Lastly, as a person who has the duty and responsibility to manage the law fairly.
We really appreciate Judge Sell for working off the bench to encourage young people to make good choices so they will never have to face her or another judge in a courtroom.
I've seen many opinions regarding Patsy Hazlewood in the last few weeks. Her accomplishments, qualifications and voting record have been discussed, but not much has been said about who Patsy is.
Patsy is the product of God-given intelligence and hard work. She grew up as the oldest of four on a farm in Alabama and worked her way through college.
While Patsy worked and served the community, she always made sure her family came first. She attended every sporting event, no matter how hectic her schedule, and she worked and cooked dinner every night. Her character was revealed in her everyday life when she showed her husband and son she was always there for them, no matter how busy her schedule. It is this kind of attitude and ability that will serve her constituents well.
How do I know this to be true? That's easy: I'm her son, and I've seen her character demonstrated for all 32 years of my life. Please consider voting for my mom on Aug. 7. She pours her heart into each task, and I know she will make every effort to serve the residents of District 27 completely and honorably.
After serving for 20 years as Criminal Court clerk, it's time for Gwen Tidwell to move on. It's time for new leadership, new ideas, new agendas.
Someone who will go the extra mile to get the job done is Vince Dean, a man with proven, effective leadership who will work diligently to serve all the people in Hamilton County. He will pursue procedures to collect the millions of dollars in long overdue uncollected fees. He's not a lawyer and is not being supported by lawyers who are obviously acquainted with Tidwell from when she practiced law or from conducting business in the court clerk's office.
If Vince Dean was a former lawyer and had served as Criminal Court clerk for the past 20 years, these same lawyers and more would be supporting him.
But whether or not you're a lawyer, a white- or blue-collar worker, a homeless person or whoever, I have no doubt that you'll be proud to say "I voted for Vince Dean."
I have known Vince Dean for 25 years. He is highly respected, honest, hard-working and qualified to serve as the next Criminal Court clerk.
NRA ratings are important in our area, but so is knowing the facts. Jim Cobb always voted in favor of gun rights.
Mr. Cobb served three terms in the state legislature (2006-2012) and was given an "A" rating and endorsed in all three terms. Mr. Cobb, along with a large number of legislators, was given a "B" rating after his third term for delaying the guns in parking lots bill for one year. More time was needed to allow private property owners to have input into the issue. The "B" rating was given while Cobb was running for his fourth term.
I applaud Mr. Cobb again for not letting lobbyists control his votes in Nashville. I am a hunter and fisherman and want my rights protected, so why shouldn't the rights of property owners at least be heard? We must continue to elect representatives who are not afraid to stand against lobbyists!
The standoff in Congress over raising the minimum wage has let partisanship get in the way. Raising the minimum wage would equally help Americans who live in Republican and Democratic districts. Also this raise would pump money into the local economy while saving taxpayer dollars by reducing the number of low-wage workers receiving federal assistance.
From 1938 until 2007 majorities in Congress have recognized that as the cost of living goes up, so should the minimum wage. Five million Americans would be lifted out of poverty and 14 million children lives would improve by a boost in family income. Increasing the minimum wage is a win-win.