In response to Pam Sohn's suggestion for "city, county and state officials to close the W Road and other two-lane mountain roads to all bicycles," I'd like to suggest an alternative.
As an avid cyclist, I've often wondered why any bicyclist would want to ride up the W Road during afternoon traffic. The W Road is my normal commute path, so I can relate to the volume of traffic that would pass a cyclist going up the mountain between 4-7 p.m. However, I'm also familiar with the amount of traffic going up the mountain during morning hours, especially on weekends. As a normal practice, I keep track of the number of cars that pass me going up various mountain climbs in the area. On a normal Saturday morning, I might be passed by seven or eight cars going up the W Road; on more rural climbs, it's even less.
Maybe a more practical solution is to prohibit bike use during high traffic times on mountain roads that are major commuter routes. As for my cycling friends, use your heads and avoid those climbs during high traffic times.
JOHN WILSON, Signal Mountain
In today's U.S. culture, women are given more opportunities now than ever to do whatever they want with their lives. They can be medical providers, CEOs, politicians, etc. After exploring these opportunities, and in many cases finding them less than rewarding, the majority of women I know simply want to do what they've been wired to do - take better care of their homes and family. They are the relationship experts! Because of feminism, women now have to work outside of the home whether they want to or not. They are still expected to carry the bulk of domestic duties while having the added stress of working a job - and it's not that satisfying to be worn out all the time. If we want to "rescue the girl," that would be a good place to start - support women who want to be women and give them some respect.
JOYCE HAGUE, Ooltewah
Whether or not some people believe it, we need to decrease CO2 emissions to save our planet. The most significant man-caused source of CO2 gases is coal-fired electrical generation. Let's move to other energy sources such as nuclear, solar and wind to address our needs. The time to act is now.
SANDY LUSK, Signal Mountain
Thank you for your May 20 editorial praising the Ohio 5th graders who raised money to restore the Ohio Monument on the Missionary Ridge Battlefield of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. They and their teacher deserve local thanks, and it was inspiring to see them receive it in person when they visited Chattanooga for the rededication of the beautiful monument. You suggest that many individuals and groups might want to contribute to similar preservation efforts within the Park, which encompasses hundreds of monuments and buildings on 9,000 acres of our beautiful region. Actually, it's easy! The Friends of the Park's ongoing Jewell Memorial Restoration Fund gratefully accepts any and all donations and holds them in trust to rescue and rehabilitate landmarks within our "local" national park that have been damaged by weather or vandals. Donations to the Jewell Memorial Fund are tax deductible and a win-win situation: they benefit the park, Friends and donor. Contributions should be sent to Friends of the Park, P.O. Box 748, Chattanooga, Tenn., 37401, attention Jewell Memorial Fund. It's a great cause for anyone in the tri-state area, where historic American Civil War battlefields are everywhere we live, work and play. KAY S. PARISH Looking back on Sept. 11, 2001 It was heart-wrenching to watch the commemoration of 9-11. So many died, so many have suffered. The commemoration was tasteful and beautiful in its own way. The actual 9-11 attack was "shock and awe," the term the Bush administration used to describe the bombing of Baghdad and other cities. I call it "shock and awful." There's no research concluding that Iraqis aren't any less caring for their families than Americans are. By his own definition of terrorism, Bush is a far worse terrorist than bin Laden. The bombing of Baghdad was broadcast like the New Year's fireworks display. The people on the ground also deserve our sympathy and compassion just like the victims of 9-11. As a country, we deserve one emotion the Iraqis do not: guilt.
FRED H. WRIGHT PhD
It seems a little odd that a company who moved a "factory" from China to Chattanooga in order to bring jobs to the area now suddenly has to lay off all its workers because the city of Chattanooga is not moving forward with Phase 2 of its purchase. Where are the customers from the China factory? Did they all stop buying because the product was faulty, inefficient, cost ineffective, etc. If Global Green Lighting "smart lights" really are the greatest thing since sliced bread, why does it seem the city is the only substantial customer after several years' worth of glorified press? If those lights delivered the huge savings advertised and if the purchase was so cost effective, other cities and corporations would be jumping on the bandwagon so fast GGL would be having trouble hiring enough workers for all of the new business.
If Rhonda Thurman wanted to run for county commissioner in District 1, why didn't she run in the primary? Does she not like who the people chose? It's everyone's right to run, but they should go about it the right way. This sounds like a struggle to keep the power, and that is exactly what the people voted against. The people in District 1 have made their choice on whom the want to serve them for the next four years. Sometimes that is hard to accept.
Chuck Fleischmann, our 3rd District congressman for the past four years, has been steadfast in support of our military and veterans. He has continued to faithfully support the promised benefits, including pay, health and retirement, our veterans deserve. Chuck has consistently voted for congressional bills that keep our military services strong and ready to meet unforeseen crises. Chuck has been faithful in responding to the needs of local veterans and particular in dealing with the Department of Veterans Affairs. He most recently has worked to open V.A. Medical Clinics in McMinn, Roane and Campbell counties. He supports the current hearings on the failings of the V.A. Chuck frequently visits with wounded warriors from our district who may be recuperating at Bethesda or Walter Reed. Two I will mention are 3rd District veterans who lost both legs in combat - one Army and one Marine Corps. Chuck was here to assure the families the V.A. would do the right things in providing health care and rehabilitation. I encourage every patriotic citizen of the 3rd District to return Chuck Fleischmann to Congress to continue the superb job he has begun.
VANCE H. FRY, Harrison
Whole Foods Market is providing a service to music fans by sponsoring free bluegrass music on Thursday evenings. Food and drinks are available, and the music provides a festive atmosphere throughout the store. Thank you Whole Foods, and thank you music fans for supporting this weekly event.
TOM ROGERS, Hixson