If East Ridge wants to grow and progress, then do something for the citizens and business owners. Suggestions: The turn lane on Ringgold Road should extend, continuously, from one end of East Ridge to the other. Turn lights should be at every traffic light. If it was important enough to have a traffic light, it is important enough to have a turn light. Citizens of East Ridge deserve to have CARTA bus service once again. Many are elderly, economy minded or perhaps environmentally minded. If department supervisors didn't have extra supervisors, this could be met financially. Require building owners to keep up the appearance of their buildings, even when vacant. Work on getting some big name restaurants here. (No offense to our local ones.) We have vacant restaurant buildings here; try to fill them, and not with more fireworks stores or car lots. Hooray for Garden Ridge! I never thought I would say it, but I miss Sears Essentials. I guess we need council people who truly care about East Ridge and its progress.
ALMA PHIPPS, East Ridge
March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month. As one affected by colorectal cancer, I write to urge my friends and neighbors to get screened. In August of 2010, I was your average Chattanooga housewife. That is, until I was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer. Today, I am cancer-free! But, I would much rather say, "I prevented cancer with early detection," than have to say, "After seven months of chemotherapy, now, I'm cancer-free." Colorectal cancer will claim over 50,000 lives in 2014, making it the second leading cause of death from cancer. Too often individuals don't get screened because they are afraid of the procedure and are diagnosed with late-stage colon cancer -- like me. Which would you rather have? A colonoscopy or chemotherapy? Get screened.
Our government has not come to the aid for drought-stricken California. Why should anyone get mad? That water is going to good use. Barack Obama needs a green golf course with active sprinklers.
JANICE LOCKE, Rock Spring, Ga.
The trampolines are OK for Chattanooga, but the one on the Southside is not the first ever, as stated in Shelly Bradbury's Feb. 26 article. There was one on Brainerd Road in 1959-60, about where Sir Goony's Family Fun Center is now. It had about eight trampolines over pits in the ground. It wasn't real fancy, but it was a treat for us teenagers. Wonder if others remember it?
LAURA BEAN, East Ridge
As an emergency physician, I am on the front line of the debate on the Affordable Care Act (aka "Obamacare"). Opponents of the ACA frequently claim that "there is no problem with access to health care; anyone can just go to an emergency room." However, while we are required by law (and our ethics) to treat anyone presenting with an emergency, this is no substitute for routine health care. In addition, while the law requires that we do this regardless of ability to pay, it doesn't prevent billing for these services. Uninsured medical costs remain a significant cause of personal bankruptcy. There is a myth that the emergency room is the place where the uninsured get their care. However, studies have shown that the uninsured are more likely to not seek care they can't afford, at least not until their condition becomes more advanced or critical. There is also a myth that the uninsured are all deadbeats when the reality is that most of these folks are hard-working but working at jobs without benefits or they are self-employed. Those opposed to the ACA have never presented a reasonable alternative other than "go to the ER." The bill is not perfect, but it is a huge step in the right direction. The law is working and expanding the ability of those who couldn't (or wouldn't) afford i, to obtain health insurance. It is time to move forward in this debate. It is also time for Gov. Bill Haslam and the state of Tennessee to provide insurance for those left out of the ACA.
DR. PAUL M. HENDRICKS, Signal Mountain
My only experience with unions was the summer I worked at a cement plant after high school, earning $3.15 an hour, a higher wage than many adults made in the 1960s. Fast forward to Chattanooga, where no one is surprised that in this "red" state, the VW workers voted against unionization. (What was surprising was the actual closeness of the poll.) It is sad to think some of the workers were swayed by the likes of Sen. Bob Corker and other elected officials. Many would say lawmakers are at the head of our welfare state, drawing salaries for ineptitude. Isn't it amazing that advertisements actually affect politics -- that voters are swayed by what they hear on TV? I still don't get it.
TOM BAKER, Hixson