Police care -- for birds and us, too and other letters to the editors

Police care -- for birds and us, too

Those of us in the public eye are used to opinions about how we do our job. Negative comments usually far outweigh positive ones. Recently, police departments across the country have been the subject of many negative comments.

That takes me to the experience I witnessed recently. On the way to work at Friends of the Festival, I saw a police car stopped in the middle of Manufacturers Road, lights ablaze.

As I slowly drove past, I noticed an officer standing in front of it, putting gloves on. On the ground, was a robin. As I looked in my rearview mirror, I saw him carefully picking up the bird and walking with it to nearby woods.

Seeing this striking act of kindness, I turned my car around to thank him. By the time I had gotten back, he was gone. Police are paid to serve and protect. But, most importantly, they care.

Thanks for caring for that helpless little robin -- and for taking care of us, too!

D.C. (Chip) Baker

Gun safety measure not unreasonable

I do not want to trample on anyone's right to own a gun, but let's have some safe measures with the use of guns. Kim Davids Crossville, Tenn.

'Buy local' when building schools Few taxpayers know the last three schools have been built by out-of-town contractors. That's $75 million to $100 million that does not recirculate back through Hamilton County. These contractors are not buying items from other local businesses. So what is the low bid worth to local taxpayers? Sure, it's savings over the next bidder on the cost of the school, but if that money is not recirculated in the county, it is lost forever. There are plenty of Hamilton County contractors paying property taxes who can build these schools. The main workforce for these schools comes from subcontractors, who could number 75 to 100 people per job. Those are local people who have not been able to work on the last three school jobs. Rick Smith is proposing a huge property tax increase to fund schools, and I do not want this money leaving the county. At the very least, the school board should require the main subcontractors to have their offices in Hamilton County and/or the out-of-town general contractors to be at least 20 percent lower than Hamilton County contractors to be considered. Let's practice what we preach and truly "buy local."

Judy Gober

Rioters attacking those who abuse

The Baltimore rioters are not madly biting the hand that feeds them! They are attacking the mercenary arms that abuse them, as required by the greedy heads that have immorally stolen their economic and social inheritance, leaving them with the self-destructive choices of abject poverty, slavery, crime, drug addiction, incarceration and suicide; the historic choices of Democratic-Republicans of retribution, riots, rebellion and revolution; and the divine-human choices in the Lord Jesus Christ of mutual trust, impartiality, justice, dignity, freedom and self-sacrificing love. The news stories frequently cry about the natural choices of death and destruction, and editorial commentary seldom mentions living toward justice, wisdom and the self-sacrificing rule of God. Jesus Christ graciously overcame our natural and historical choices that lead to death and destruction. He conquered his scandalous execution and with other dead folk rose up to lead us in making divine-human choices that can and will liberate all people from the natural and historic ways of death with God's gift of life now and forever.

The Rev. Leroy T. Griffith

Tax breaks story was misleading

The news report of "Tax Breaks for Apartment Projects" (April 24) was a little misleading. The article says the apartments' property tax will be frozen for 10 years. In the case of the Chestnut Street apartments, the tax burden goes from $8,248 now to $135,755. Hardly frozen! The roughly $127,000 in new taxes are calculated on a school tax proration but do go into the Hamilton County coffers. Since city taxpayers also pay Hamilton County taxes, they also benefit. How many other developments have that large a tax burden from day one? For example, the adjoining Chestnut Street properties, both developed, have a tax liability of only $36,000 and $11,000, respectively. This property could sit there as it has in the past 25 years, generating $8,000 in tax revenue, or be developed for a much less ambitious project, generating only slightly more revenue. Or we can incentivize developers to invest $24 million in a truly exciting housing alternative for Chattanooga's downtown. The taxpayers get $135,000 tax revenue now and $480,000 in the future.

Rudy H. Walldorf

Free investment key for Dubai

The Middle East receives more media coverage than any area of the Third World. Among the cities discussed when it comes to economics is Dubai. A huge contributor to the boom of Dubai's economy is its oil; however, money is slowly shrinking. Dubai has a role to play as a freewheeling meeting point, a trans-shipment port and a regional administration base for multinationals. But it is not yet a serious financial center, nor the pioneer of technology innovation it claims to be. Dubai has a vigorous economy, but it won't fly forever without oil, even less so without tax-free status. The best way to sustain its vitality is to allow free investment. Letting people stay in the country with their cash might cause an economic landslide and far more immediately, cheaply and with less risk than throwing cash at the problem.

Farah Al Sayyad

Call congressmen on pension reform

I am a part of Central States Pension Plan. The government passed an omnibus budget in December 2014 that included HR-83 buried in the 1,600-page document. Central States now has the ability to cut our pensions. I could possibly lose up to 65 percent of my pension. There are 1,400 multi-employer pensions that could be affected. We need to pass the word. Please call your representatives at the Senate and House or e-mail them to urge them to repeal this law. Explain how it will affect you. To get more information, go to "mycspensionhandsoff.com" and click on any state committee. You can also go to the Pension Rights Center website.

Mary Anderson

Who ordered pressure washing before dawn?

Early Tuesday morning, I was awakened by a loud noise outside my condo at One North Shore. I looked out, and discovered that a pickup truck, pulling a trailer the size of a rental moving van, was parked across the street at 2 North Shore. There was a man with a hose pressure washing the sidewalk in front of the Root restaurant. The noise level was very high. Some cones were set up, but the truck and trailer were dark, as was the area. Questions: 1. Why does that sort of work, with that much noise need to be done at 2 a.m. in a residential area? 2. How safe was the worker, considering he was doing the work via flashlight? 3. How effective was the work, considering the flashlight was the primary lighting? 4. How safe were drivers, considering the poor street lighting, and a normal travel lane being blocked without any sort of flagging? 5. Who is responsible for hiring and directing that work be done at that time?

Ted Long