Boys & Girls Club expresses thanks
The Boys & Girls Club of Chattanooga appreciates this community. The Times Free Press and Volkswagen Chattanooga were event sponsors for our annual fundraiser, the Stake 'N' Burger Dinner. We thank them for their commitment and support. We also thank our other 65 sponsors (too numerous to mention by name). To the more than 400 people who came to hear UT football coach Butch Jones and support the inner city children of this great city, I say thank you. The additional funds will provide 17,000 lunches for children at the club this summer. This overwhelming support of the club and the children we serve shows the caring compassion of this community. We could not have provided the needed services for our children over the past 59 years without the financial backing and support of this community. We are grateful to be able to serve in such a great city as Chattanooga. To everyone who supported Stake 'N' Burger this year through their sponsorship, ticket purchase, attendance, paddle auction, and our board and leadership, I say thank you.
Urging tolerance on sexuality
Kudos to David Cook for his column about Councilman Chris Anderson. I have had the privilege during my 20 years at UTC of teaching some of the best, brightest and most accomplished students, some of whom are gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgendered or questioning. And they come in all colors and from a variety of backgrounds and family situations. Human sexuality is on a continuum, and all of us need to practice tolerance.
Dr. Betsy Alderman, UTC professor and Communication Department head
Bennett fan lauds cartoons
I am a longtime fan of Clay Bennett. I thought no one could replace Bruce Plante, but I was wrong. Clay has the ability to identify hypocrisy, bigotry, ignorance and arrogance and has the courage to name names. Those who experience his ridicule are richly deserving of it. Chattanooga seems to have an overabundance of pompous, narrow-minded bloviators, and having a Clay Bennett to lampoon their idiocy is a great pleasure. I not only enjoy the cartoons, I enjoy the reaction to his cartoons just as much. I love all the squawking, whining and name-calling from the objects of his ridicule. The psychotic gibberish naming him the anti-Christ is hilarious. In the last two weeks, he has lampooned our congressman, fear-filled gun worshipers and climate change deniers. The latter was a classic. An ostrich with his head deeply buried in his posterior was labeled "climate change denial". I suggest that the same cartoon be used with the following labels: "Tennessee legislature," "phony Christian bigots," "Tea Party sycophants" or "Clint Cooper."
TERRY STULCE, Ooltewah
Pay inequality hurts middle class
In "The Morality of Capitalism," Ron Hart asserts "our country is doomed" if Obama's "income inequality" rhetoric continues. You need not hold a Nobel laureate in economics to appreciate concerns raised by one such prize winner, Joseph Stiglitz, in his "The Price of Inequality," regarding an increasingly skewed pattern of American incomes since the 1970s favoring an ever smaller and more enriched minority. Since that book's publication last year, the following has been widely reported: 1) CEO to average worker compensation has accelerated from 46-to-1 in 1983 to 331-to-1 in 2013; 2) from 1980 to 2010, the median annual income of American workers has trailed the pace of pay growth enjoyed by average workers in other advanced economies, and is now surpassed by Canadian workers; and 3) during that same period, wages of the upper 5 percent of American workers have markedly increased relative to their counterparts in other industrialized countries. In fact, the America economy as we have known it, fueled by middle class prosperity, is being threatened by changes in American income distribution over recent decades, in which the poor have been more adversely affected than any other group. That disturbing trend merits bipartisan attention.
PATRICK LAVIN, Signal Mountain
Do right by our veterans
We each have a family photo of an honored man or woman in military uniform. We honor those fallen in service to our country. We hold dear their sacrifices that ensured we may continue to live in the land of the free. This year, as America's longest war ends, we have honored thousands of brave young Americans we lost and tens of thousands others wounded physically and spiritually, with deeds that will heal the divisiveness that sits upon our great nation. This Memorial Day we honored these good Americans by renewing our efforts to give their families the care they deserve. We can remake the Department of Veterans Affairs to meet the sacrifices our veterans have made for us. As we look on those photos of our family members in uniform, let us remember the sacrifice of every American in uniform, but most of all those who died for us. Let us resolve to make ourselves and our nation worthy of their sacrifice by putting our differences aside and coming together in deed and in the American spirit.
DR. MARY HEADRICK, Maynardville, Tenn.
Vote for Patsy Hazlewood
I am writing to express my support for Patsy Hazlewood for State Representative for District 27. As a resident of Signal Mountain, but a native of Soddy-Daisy, I know what is important to a broad spectrum of the residents of the district. Like me, they want a small, efficient state government that encourages business, respects and protects the rights of individuals, and interferes in our lives as little as possible. Patsy believes in these things, and her unique experience for many years at the highest tiers of the business world and more recently as regional director of the "jobs base camp" program created by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development gives her the means to put them into effect. She is a person of high character and strong values who will listen to and work for the people of our district.
SAM D. ELLIOTT, Signal Mountain
Gun owners and safety
Kudos to David Cook for a well written commentary about his meeting with concealed weapon permit holders. It gave a balanced view on the topic and did not portray permit holders as macho "Dirty Harry wannabees." I am a professional person with a graduate degree. Although I am a competitive shooter, I never carried a gun until I took about 20 overnight ride-a-longs with a police officer friend many years ago. There is a whole other side of Chattanooga about which most people are blissfully ignorant. If anything, I am far more cautious than I was before I carried a gun. I avoid confrontations, and my family and I are seldom out and about late at night. I have taken every training class available to me, and I am always up for more training. I do not ever want to have to use my gun to protect myself or others, but neither do I want to be a helpless victim. The police officers I know are dedicated professionals who want to keep citizens safe. Regretfully, many times their role is more about documenting crime after it has occurred than stopping it.
Vote Vince Dean for court clerk
I have personally known Vince Dean for over 10 years. Hamilton County needs a leader like Vince Dean. Vince has served in the 104th, 105th, 106th, 107th and 108th Tennessee House of Representatives general assemblies. Vince has served as chairman of the House Transportation Committee and has proven to be an effective elected official in Nashville. Vince supports his constituents as he was instrumental in getting motorcycles added to the lemon law statutes. Hamilton County needs someone like Vince Dean for the Criminal Courts office, and I think he is just the man for the job. Vote Vince Dean for Criminal Court clerk!