Independents need place at the table and more letters to the editors

Independents need place at the table

So we should penalize unaffiliated voters? As an unaffiliated independent, I vote for representatives of various political parties. I like to feel my vote counts, too.

I refuse to be told to swear fealty to a group instead of making informed choices.

School board members should never identify with a political party. This puts their loyalty to party instead of educating future citizens. The current debacle is horrifying.

Kudos to young voters! Hopefully, they are thinking and acting independently! The [complaint] brought about is racist and age-ist. Fie!

Helen Barrett

Downtown marina needs 'no wake' zone

As we returned to Chattanooga today on our boat, we were instantly reminded of the large wakes in the downtown marina area. We docked at the riverfront, and we were rocked often by "wake board" boats and large cruisers.

Over the last two years, we traveled the entire coast of Florida, the entire east coast of the U.S. to Maine and back. I can attest that Chattanooga is virtually the only city with a downtown marina that does not have a "No Wake" or "Slow Wake" zone on its waterfront. This is a hazard to folks getting on and off their boats and can damage the vessels and their contents.

Come on! If we're a riverfront city, let's be safe about it. Get a "No Wake Zone" for the downtown marina area.

Doug BeVille

Denounce Ukraine's Nazi Asov regiment

Watching the horrible situation in Ukraine, I try to learn about the area's history for the sake of understanding. Everyone should. I unequivocally condemn the nasty, murderous and illegal invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Its leadership (not so much its 18-year-old conscripts) should be held to account as war criminals.

Unfortunately, there is documented history of Nazis in Ukraine's Asov regiment and in Ukrainian politics at large. I don't condemn all Ukraine politics for this faction just as I do not condemn all U.S. politics for our Nazi faction. But I do condemn the Nazis in both countries. The founder of the Azov regiment is a white supremacist, and the unit has been condemned by the UN for violations of international humanitarian law.

I think it was a mistake for the Ukrainian military to embrace the Asov regiment. Now those fighters are in Russian hands, and they will probably be accused of war crimes and used to justify the Russian invasion. That justification is inadequate. But in embracing Nazis to fight Russians, Ukraine and the West have handed a degree of veracity to Russia's argument. We should denounce the Nazis and reject the Asov regiment.

Robert Landry, M.D.

Authoritarian state what Biden wants?

Joe Biden's agenda has been a disaster for America: open borders - millions of illegal immigrants flooding the country; surrender in Afghanistan and arming the Taliban with over $80 billion of U.S. weapons; shutting down the energy sector; record government spending; record inflation nearing 10%; highest gas prices in history; destruction of the working class; weaponizing the DOJ and FBI; jailing and prosecuting political opponents.

None of this can be by accident. The Biden administration and the deep state are purposely destroying this country to create an authoritarian government against the will of the people. Is this really what Biden supporters and voters wanted for this country?

Gary Hayes

Ooltewah

Candidates need to handle defeat

I hope I live to see the day when candidates accept the election results with dignity and grace again. I am a Democrat who voted Republican for mayor because I knew the Democratic candidate didn't have a chance of winning. I wanted my vote to count. I voted for Weston Wamp because he is the only candidate who laid out his plans and addressed how he would implement them.

I have voted both parties in many elections. I voted for Zach Wamp every time he ran because he worked across the aisle. Please, people, let's work together and get some things done. We are destroying our country with hate. I also hope we can learn how to handle defeat.

Christine Robertson

Ooltewah

Tree contractors leave yard a mess

I admire the new "fitness" program offered by the EPB to the citizens of Hamilton County. While the program is voluntary, it has been designed to get people outside in the fresh air. The activities are not suited for all age/fitness levels, resulting in an increase in revenue for local businesses.

The concept is simple: After the visit from a tree contractor, house owners are required to rake, drag and dispose of debris. If you are lucky enough to live where I do, you also have to repair fences, collect their trash, try to smooth over tire ruts in the yard and prune trees to cover the damage caused by the contractors.

I am most impressed that they are back a fourth time to my yard to cut even more limbs down. I was worried about the line they managed to pull down on the ground, but now that they have cut it and rolled it up at the base of two trees, I feel very safe. Perhaps whatever savings EPB managed by contracting with these firms is being covered by the citizens of Hamilton County out of their own pocket!

Jennifer K. Smith

Respect the voice of primary voters

I am writing to express concern about efforts to not accept election results for Hamilton County mayor in which Weston Wamp won the Republican primary. A source of criticism is that he reached "across the aisle" to court Democrat voters. Good for him. This skill will be sorely needed when he takes office. In Tennessee, crossover voting is allowed. It is not illegal or unethical.

There is no basis for contesting this certified election and overriding the voters' voice.

I voted for Matt Hullander. I now fully support and wish the best to Weston Wamp. That is how democracy works.

Context for my grave concern: I have been an active Republican since 1964. The Hamilton County Republican Party began participating in the primary vs. convention process in the 1980s. Before then, there were rarely viable Republican candidates. Thus, if Republicans did not vote in the Democrat primaries, we would have had no say in elections. Today, the reverse is true.

The 66 members of the Tennessee State Republican Executive Committee should not overturn the fairly elected nominee for Hamilton County mayor or any other office.

Marti Rutherford