I was so proud of the recent efforts of a young group of McCallie students who opened their hearts in Christian love to about 75 children of the Inner City Ministry of First-Centenary United Methodist Church.
As I observed this two-hour outdoor event, I noticed their spirits were totally involved making sure the kids were having the time of their lives. I saw no egotistical or peer-pressure behavior or trying to impress anyone but their guests.
The fun included face-painting (the older McCallie students allowed the younger Inner City kids to paint them), water balloon battles, soccer play and, the most fun from my point of view, the water gun/water balloon chasing.
I tip my hat to the students and organizers of this fine Christian outpouring.
Congratulations to the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra on the brilliant performance of Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring," a first for Chattanooga! There were some 30 out-of-town musicians who auditioned for the chance to play this wonderful composition along with the regular orchestra. The work requires a large number of musicians to bring it off, so the stage was filled to the brim. What a treat it was for all in the audience to enjoy this very exceptional event. The upper balcony was filled with students from all over the city, who apparently realized what an opportunity it was to hear such a performance. Thanks to Kayoko Dan, conductor, and the symphony board of directors for making it happen. Chattanoogans should be very proud of the quality of our symphony and show it by attending performances and with financial support of this fine organization.
CHARLOTTE AND CHARLES LANDIS, Signal Mountain
We are not apathetic as David Martin suggested in his recent Free Press commentary. I write letters to elected officials, labor unions, profit and nonprofit institutions, federal, state, city and county regulating agencies. My sensitiveness has cost me a pretty penny, including being handcuffed and jailed for trying to stop the county from paving a road leading nowhere but into my property. I am not alone. Does it make a difference if we vote? That's a valid question. President Obama's own party won't support him, and former President Reagan's own party undermined his attempts to make major reforms. Those who voted for those presidents have a good reason to raise that question. Washington, Nashville, and local governments are dysfunctional, and most incumbents need to be voted out of office. That can't be done in the primary because their party offers no opposition. But it can happen in the general election, and it would go a long way toward straightening things out. The federal, state and county purposely make it difficult to vote. It's not enough that they know you. You must have a photo ID. I suspect it will take more than a better showing at the polls for us to reclaim what we fought for two and a half centuries ago.
JAMES O. B. WRIGHT
More than a little irony (and ignorance) can be found in the eagerness of the Tennessee legislature to criminalize the drug addiction of mothers whose babies are injured by prenatal exposure. Supporters brag about their concern for the child's well-being and refuse to heed informed advice of experts. It is a case of the legislators not knowing what they don't know (the worst and most reckless kind of ignorance). Any real concern for the good health of Tennessee's children would extend far beyond drugs, as serious as that can be. What about mothers' alcoholic intake during pregnancy? What about those who smoke in the presence of babies? What about malnutrition, pre- and post-natal? It can be devastating. Can we neglect to provide our kids with programs and schools that maximize proper brain growth? Can we in good conscience deny any child good health care, including mental health? Can we jeopardize the all-important and necessary maternal love and bonding? Yes, it does take a village, not a prison, and elders who are wise enough not to insist upon their own ignorance.
BLAKE MOORE, Chattanooga
So Jesse Jackson was speaking about "peace" and "love" gathering here in Chattanooga. What does that race-baiter know about love and peace? If there was peace between the races, he would be out of a job.
Thanks are due to Mike Chambers and Jay Greeson, who in the same day's paper (April 24) provided an important juxtaposition. Chambers's fearful discussion on page B7 featured "electromagnetic pulse," which, he says, "could fry electronic components that make modern life in America possible." He says accident, natural disaster, human incompetence or human malice could cause the cataclysm that, "some say," could kill "up to 90 percent of Americans within a year." He then says that an investment of $10 billion to $20 billion could protect "all electric infrastructures." On page D7, Jay Greeson tips his hat to the Cubs for keeping Wrigley Field going for 100 years and counting. Then he delivers an indictment by reminding readers that "the city of Atlanta is about to build a new football stadium and a new baseball park to replace the Dome and the Ted - two buildings that were launched in the 1990s." Together, the two new stadiums will cost nearly $2 billion. Most NFL and MLB stadiums are less than 25 years old. We get what we pay for, and we pay for what we want. What do we really want?
Men and women of God perform miracles every day. Unsung heroes? No. Why? The Lord God gets the glory. Why are these popes saints? Are they now Gods? Who is fooling whom here? Have we traded Jesus Christ for a pope? What a sad world we live in. No man, woman or pope can even breathe without God allowing it.
ROBERT D. HENRY
America's Biggest Fibs: Breaking news. 99 and 9/10 percent effective! Guaranteed to make you look 10 years younger! Biggest sale of the year! Seven-day weather forecast. The sneaky practice of cutting packaging size and keeping price the same or raising it. The asterisk and tiny print, following large print in advertising. "I will get to the bottom of this." "Not a smidgen of evidence." "If you like your policy, you can keep your policy." "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor, period!"
While I was browsing through Parade magazine, I noticed an ad for KFC to "take a friend to lunch on them." Imagine my surprise the coupon was already removed. Pretty tacky! You raise the price of the paper, then the coupons are ripped out!
LINDA KOPLOWSKI, Ooltewah