Nuclear energy not right choice and more letters to the editors

Nuclear energy not right choice

So, Gov. Bill Lee wants Tennessee to lead in new nuclear energy development? He says he's "creating a task force filled with nuclear energy experts, advocates and leaders from government, business and utilities to help identify and correct obstacles to building a bigger and safer nuclear energy portfolio." And he will throw $50 million in the pot from our tax money to do it. He is certainly in sync with TVA CEO Jeff Lyash, who promotes new nuclear for TVA.

This proposed task force makeup rings false since it is charged with putting a positive stamp on a forgone conclusion. Where are public health representatives or climate scientists or environmentalists who can provide valid information about why nuclear is a poor energy transition choice? Nuclear is costly with unjust fuel sourcing. It is not clean or zero carbon. It takes too long to build given the time frame needed to slow climate change impacts.

To this day, there is no solution for disposal of toxic radioactive waste now sitting in casks at nuclear sites.

Redirect our money to support energy solutions that provide a bright future for healthy Tennesseans in a green economy.

Sandra L. Kurtz

Yes, there are ‘good and honest’ people in the Scenic City

About two weeks ago, I went to the Target store on Gunbarrel Road to buy a gift card. After making my purchase, I went to the ladies restroom. My wallet fell out of my pocket, but I did not notice that until 15 minutes later when I went to buy gas.

I immediately contacted Target's service desk. The staff member told me a female employee, Ms. Gomez, had turned in my wallet, which had my credit cards, driver's license, insurance cards as well as some cash.

Thank God for that employee for being an honest and caring person.

I would have been devastated at losing all of that.

There are good and honest people in Chattanooga, and one of them works at the Target on Gunbarrel Road.

Waneda Sikes

East Ridge

Our factories need chaperones, too

The May 29 TFP article headlined "Businesses requiring teens to be chaperoned" states that New Jersey's second largest mall is requiring anyone under 18 to be accompanied by a chaperone (21 or older) on Fridays and Saturdays after 5 p.m.

And yet, Iowa has just passed a law changing the minimum age requirement to 16 to provide unsupervised care to school-age children in child care facilities. In addition, 14- and 15-year-olds now will be allowed to work an additional two hours per day while school is in session (from four to six hours), and 14- and 15-year-olds will be permitted to work in industrial laundry services, freezers and meat coolers.

Then there's Arkansas, which recently decided youth under the age of 16 can be employed without a work permit. In Alabama, multiple factories in Hyundai-Kia's supply chain employ children as young as 14, many from Guatemalan migrant families. Much of this legislation undoubtedly targets lower-income minority children. Not surprisingly, reports of federal child labor law violations have increased by 37% over the last year.

Question: Should they not have chaperones as well?

Michael V. Woodward

Six murdered people are the very problem

Maryville Rep. Bryan Richey said of Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee: "Your proposed special session is a solution in search of a problem."

Rep. Richey, I am a woman, a wife and a mother. The problem is three murdered Nashville adults (two women and one man) and three murdered Nashville children. How insensitive, how callous, how blind must you be not to see and understand that?

Tresa McCallie

Hart off on history; Democrats on rise?

While I agree completely with Free Press columnist Ron Hart that the late Queen Elizabeth II was an "old gangster," though not perhaps in the sense Hart intended, I must take issue with his history-lite analysis of the War of 1812.

Hart, not given to understatement, greatly overstated and oversimplified the political complexities of that conflict when he wrote that "New England actually sided with Great Britain against the United States" during the war. While it is true that many New Englanders, with strong ethnic and financial ties to Great Britain, did not favor going to war with Hart's beloved Mother England, it was far from the blanket opposition he alleged.

A better approach might have been for him to consider the analogies between the elitist, money-worshiping, plutocrat-dominated, isolationist, anti-immigrant, voter-suppressing, Supreme Court-packing, secession-threatening, semi-treasonous Federalist Party and the current Republican Party led by another obscenely greedy authoritarian supporter of foreign despots and international bullies.

After the War of 1812 concluded with a resounding victory by our fellow Tennessean Andrew Jackson and his army of small-d democrats at the Battle of New Orleans, the Federalist Party collapsed, and the more inclusive, freedom-defending Democratic-Republicans (forerunners to the modern Democratic Party) flourished. One lives in hope that, as Mark Twain supposedly observed, history doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

Roy Morris Jr.

'In God We Trust' not motto of all

The Tennessee General Assembly recently passed a bill requiring the motto "In God We Trust" be incorporated into the state seal by 2025. I suspect the overwhelming bipartisan support the bill received from legislators may partially have resulted from elected representatives not wishing to be mistakenly perceived as anti-religious. However, adoption of the bill is concerning as it seems discordant with a core principle of those who founded our country. Patriots such as Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton were particularly interested in respecting the rights of minority groups, especially unpopular ones, to avoid a tyranny of the majority.

A 2021 survey by the Pew Research Center found that about 4% of Americans identify as being atheist and 5% as agnostic. By definition, that significant minority of our population does not endorse trust in God.

Given the recent legislative action, Tennessee will soon have a new state seal displaying the phrase "In God We Trust." It falls upon us to be mindful that our body politic includes all Tennessee citizens, even those nearly 10% unable to affirm the state slogan. Doing so will reduce unhealthy "we" versus "them" divisiveness.

Patrick Lavin


Are we ditching our 'Scenic' hallmark?

Thank you, Glenn Miller, for giving Chattanooga world recognition through the hit song "Chattanooga Choo Choo" during the big band/swing era. Thank you, Bob Brandy (former local children's TV host), for your song "Chattanooga, My Home Town." Thank you, Bob Elmore, former civic leader and promoter of Chattanooga. Both songs, in different genres, identify Chattanooga as a welcome destination and offer hometown pride.

I have travelled to both coasts, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean, and besides the Southern accent, people readily identify Chattanooga as Choo Choo City, Scenic City of the South, home of Rock City, Ruby Falls, Lookout Mountain, Chickamauga Battlefield and Moonpies. Now, according to a news story, the Choo Choo complex is going to undergo a "renovation" and be re-imagined as The Hotel Chalet. Sounds Swiss to me (yodeling, beer and skiing).

Meanwhile, several abandoned foundry sites are to become a baseball stadium with adjacent housing and shopping. What welcomes visitors to Chattanooga now is traffic congestion on Interstate 75 from Georgia. The view from White Oak Mountain on 75 is no longer rolling fields in a picturesque valley but scores of houses jammed one on top of another, and from I-24 more congestion and soon to be scores of housing and a ballpark.

I don't oppose economic development. For a city to survive, it must embrace development but with attention given toward infrastructure needs and the community's desire for preservation of the area's natural beauty. So long, Scenic City, and thank you again, Glenn and the two Bobs.

Jan Ditzer

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