Change laws, allow broadband access
Governor Haslam, many residents in parts of Hamilton and Bradley counties, along with the rest of the state, are only able to get Internet via cellphone providers or a dish. To get television, we need an additional dish on the roof. None of these options are consistently reliable. The data plans are limited and expensive.
If we really want to be the state that supports education, then all the tools necessary for success must be made available for all residents, and this includes high-speed broadband access. I encourage you to push for repeal of the outdated laws and allow municipal utilities to provide broadband service. ATT, Comcast and Charter are against this but refuse to provide the service to rural Tennessee. They say private business should not have to compete with municipal utilities. Follow the money, and you will see the private telecoms get more federal funds than municipal utilities to service rural areas.
We need EPB to expand in this area as it is the only company willing to provide broadband to underserved areas.
Was 'remodeling' really needed?
I have wondered why the I-75 South Georgia Welcome Center has been closed for so long. The Chamber of Commerce says it is closed for "extensive remodeling" and will reopen in the spring. I thought that Georgia was/is hurting on money. If the state had excess funds, why not apply it to reducing our taxes?
The state has complained about not receiving enough gas tax, due to reduced gas prices, so why spend this money foolishly? I am sure that "extensive remodeling" was not needed at the welcome center. If it needed an inside paint job, I'm sure there are many who would be willing to volunteer.
It's about time we voted out all these people and start over with new ones who have not yet become politically acclimated and don't look at these elected positions as careers.
Chattanooga 2.0 can offer help
As a local teacher for a generation, I read with interest Friday's article about Chattanooga 2.0. This group essentially has it right: that local schools can use help with education and job preparation. It is great to get businesses, colleges and private citizens involved, and funds are certainly needed. Our schools are pathetically underfunded by taxes and can certainly use more resources, mentors and job preparatory experiences for kids.
Hopefully, a new technical school — a modern version of Kirkman — can rise. Some people think we have "failing schools." The schools aren't failing: They are staffed and managed by competent, caring professionals. It is the socioeconomic situation (poverty) and home life of many kids that are failing, and social issues (no decent parental figures, drugs, crime, gangs) are beyond the power of schools to fix. The great thing about 2.0 is that perhaps it can help with some of these issues.