Howard High baseball story is inspiring
The lead sports story on Thursday about Howard High School's new baseball field was so inspiring and well done!
Congratulations to writer Stephen Hargis and photographer Doug Strickland. The picture of the players lining up to play immediately catches one's attention. Too much can sometimes be read into a photo, but those boys look pensive, proud, and cold —which, after reading the article, you realize is exactly how they should feel.
Great job to Coach Jon Johnson and everyone who came out on weekends to make a home field.
Column based on faulty understanding
I want to comment on syndicated columnist Larry Elder's recent column on the Chattanooga Free Press page, "Obamacare Can't Be 'Fixed'."
I take exception to the following sentence: "Insurance is about pooling groups of people whose premiums cover unknown risks, not known ones." I do not believe that is correct. It is in fact because there are known risks that insurance is sold. We know that there will be fires that will burn some homes, we know that there will be auto accidents, we know that we will get sick, and we know that we will die. Insurance allows a community to pool its resources so that such eventualities can be met without devastating those members of the community who have less.
I don't know what qualifies as an "unknown risk." Insurance premiums are usually determined by the known factors of the risk: Is there a history of that disease in my family, do I live in a flood plain, how many auto accidents and/or tickets have I had in the past, etc. Contrary to what Mr. Elder has written, insurance is about pooling resources to cover known risks,
Robert D. Williams
On mobile phones: End distractions
The last paragraph of the editorial, "Mobile phone bill not dialed in," on the March 11 Free Press page appears to favor punishment rather than prevention. Unfortunately, this is no help at all for those injured or killed by careless drivers distracted by some "mobile device," and I personally include looking and talking in the meaning of the word "distract."
Tennessee praised for safety messages
The winners of the Tennessee Department of Transportation's "dynamic message board contest" were great. My favorite was the top message "Do your duty. Seat belt your booty!"
I would have liked seeing one about the dangers of distracted driving, however.
I commend both the Tennessee and the Georgia Departments of Transportation for all of their efforts to make our roads safer and to encourage safe driving habits. Both of these states desperately need to go one step further. They should follow the example of North Carolina and 27 other states by legally requiring all back seat passengers to buckle up.
Corker, GOP should protect environment
I wrote this to Sen. Bob Corker after getting one of his robo-responses:
I read your response to my concern on the environment. It appears you either have a form letter to reply or maybe a staff member. I totally understand why you would do that with the volume of correspondence your office receives daily. I also understand as a citizen of Tennessee and the United States of America, you are selling out the environment for the sake of party unity and wealth.
You have to remember the air pollution and smog that smothered Chattanooga and many other manufacturing cities in Tennessee in the 1970s. I do not want Tennessee to return to those days. My son was in Beijing recently and said the air is even worse than reported by the media. You know your millionaire friends will not willingly comply with clean air and water standards unless there are regulations and penalties for noncompliance! You know our streams and rivers will suffer greatly from deregulation.
Shame on you and your Republican Party for putting wealth ahead of our citizens and a clean, healthy state and country.
Oak Ridge, Tenn.