As a user of the Chickamauga lock on the Tennessee River, I am surprised anyone would fall for Congressman Chuck Fleischmann's propaganda after the Congress finally passed the weak version of the Water Resources bill. Chuck says "people were trying to assert political agendas to scare the public. There is no danger." What? Is he now trying to say the lock will not close? Ask the Tennessee Valley Association, The Inland Waterway Users, all the businesses up river, the recreational boaters and the Corp of Engineers if there is danger. They know we have run out of time and this bill does not guarantee that our lock will get a dime for four years. Fleischmann didn't even offer an Amendment. He had nothing to do with the new split of dollars. Sen. Alexander did this and he says we must let the barge owners raise their fees as they have asked Congress to do in order to raise enough money to get Chickamauga Lock going again. Fleischmann has opposed this. Since Chuck took office we don't even get the annual money to repair. Zero! Do your homework please. We have got to send Weston Wamp to Washington to represent us. He won't bury his head in the sand. He will fight for the 3rd District and he has already proved that he has vision for the future.
After 10 years of letters to everyone from the governor to the federal Civil War Preservation Program, I am relieved to see some attention is being given to Sherman's Reservation on the north end of Missionary Ridge. (It should be named Cleburne's Reservation as his men, including my great grandfather, "stayed" Sherman's 17 charges and it is written Uncle Billy [Sherman] cussed with "astonishing vivacity.") Gen. Pat Cleburne saved Braxton Bragg's Rebel army twice in two days in two different states. A bronze statue of him was erected two summers ago at Ringgold Gap, Ga., on the far south end of the ridge, while here on the north end his battlefield has been ignored and blockaded for over 10 years. Before the blockade we could watch our cars from the park, but now we are forced to park a long distance away. Several cannons have been hack-sawed and plaques are missing. It has saddened me for years to see the most quaint, beautiful park of the war being ignored. Speaking of the area: I wonder what happened to hundreds of our antique, pea-gravel posts that have been replaced with aluminum railing -- so shabby. Surely they didn't end up in the dump?
ROBERT L. BROWN