Remember the Owl? ‘Give a hoot; don’t pollute’ and more letters to the editors

Remember the Owl? ‘Give a hoot; don’t pollute’

When are Hamilton County and Chattanooga going to do something about the trash problem we have on our roads and neighborhoods? This problem is out of control. District Attorney Coty Wamp's idea of sending more low-level violators out to pick up litter is a great idea. Community service is a great way to teach responsibility and respect.

I recently cleaned up trash on Montlake Road. Someone deliberately dumped two bags of trash -- I found their names in the trash bags (not too bright). I only had two bags with me and filled both to capacity. I looked over the guardrail and was horrified at the amount of dumped trash, tires etc., on the side of the mountain.

What is wrong with Tennesseans? This is your home, your mountains, your lakes. Do you just not care? How can we call ourselves, promote ourselves as the "Scenic City" if we are covered in trash?

When we travel to other states, we always notice the lack of trash on roads. This is embarrassing. We can do better than this. Earth Day is April 22. Go pick up some trash.

Monica Augustin

Soddy-Daisy, Tenn.

Bystander training helps in real world

Columnist Lynn Schmidt complained in a commentary last Sunday about being dragged kicking and screaming into the culture wars. Since she is a graduate student and now complaining about "bystander training," perhaps she is on the lucky side of the 26.7% of undergraduate college women who are sexually assaulted in college each year. However, she needs to be aware that she isn't out of grad school yet -- 9.7% of female graduate students are assaulted each year. Perhaps she feels she is safer on Zoom.

The vignette she describes in the training video occurs all too often. Just one person intervening (perhaps with or without bystander training) would make a big difference in that woman's ("Susie's") life.

I find that this is written by a woman to be particularly appalling. So her side of the "culture war" now involves not trying to prevent college sexual assault?

Tom Jenkins

Behavior behind lack of bus drivers?

Cleveland City Schools has a problem: hiring enough bus drivers, a similar problem many systems are finding difficult to remedy. In today's economy, some may wonder why this is occurring, given that driving a bus could be considered a more cushy job than most, with less hours involved (range for Chattanooga school bus drivers is between $27,000 and $40,700).

I am surprised that, with all the gnashing of teeth I see from similar reports in the newspaper, no one has posed the reason behind the lack of driver prospects. Could it be that the kids' poor behavior on the bus and lack of consequences for their actions influence perspective employees?

This writer thinks so. Apparently, many teachers today are experiencing the same dilemma.

Tom Baker


Would Trump, GOP trim U.S. democracy?

Liberal Americans fear threats to democracy while those to the far right appear to favor a Trump-like leader to enforce their vision of what the country should be. It's not that Trump and far-right Republicans have reached the infamy of a Mao Zedong, Joseph Stalin or Adolf Hitler, but would Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress trim American democracy if he were re-elected president? There are similarities between the rise of those 20th-century dictators and their exercise of power and Trump's.

Grady Burgner

Former Floridian: Be wary of DeSantis

As a Floridian from 1945 until 2018, I would like to apologize to the citizens of Florida, and maybe the entire U.S., for helping elect Ron DeSantis as governor. It was our fault.

The liberals like myself got mad at Gwen Graham, our U.S. representative, for voting with the Republicans a few times. We were so enamored that Andrew Gillum, a charismatic Black man, former mayor of Tallahassee, Democratic darling and rising star of the party, was running in the closed primary that we left Gwen, the accomplished, center-left attorney, on the sideline.

I just hope I don't have to apologize to the nation when DeSantis runs, and if he wins (horror of horrors), the presidency. If the election had been an open primary, there are plenty of sane Republicans who preferred and would have voted for Gwen Graham as opposed to the far-right, culture warrior, conspiracy theorist DeSantis.

SC Elvin

Mayors' headline fact or opinion?

In the Times Free Press lead story on Sunday (March 12), is it your opinion that these two new mayors [Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly and Hamilton County Mayor Weston Wamp] are "promising" (as stated in the secondary headline) or is that a fact or news that you are reporting?

It didn't mention who thinks they are "promising," so I'll assume it is the TFP's opinion -- or at least the writer's.

Cheryl Howe

Vet extols attributes of Veterans Center

For veterans: Most of you should know Chattanooga has a very good Veterans Center on Shallowford Road. Easy parking, ample space inside and a lot of people to help you.

I was there for the first time [recently], got registered and will be ready to receive veterans benefits soon.

Ed Foster

Government with 20 is preferable to 40

As a political science student at the University of Kentucky when Lexington and Fayette County voted to merge (1972), I remember the endless hours of discussion during the planning phase. The main sticking points were the number of districts and where to draw the lines. (I no longer remember the exact details, but I think they settled on 15.)

A delegation went to Nashville and Indianapolis (the two closest cities that had gone through the process) and got ideas to implement in Lexington. The point was stressed from the cities not to get over 12-15 representatives. That this wasn't done when Nashville's was set up is why they have so many issues and why their government process is so slow.

As far as pursuing a court challenge using the 1953 constitutional revisions as a legal basis, this is doable but given the state Supreme Court's recent decision in the education savings plan case I wouldn't hedge my bets on it being successful.

In summation, this was a good move by the legislature. Bigger is not always better and, as a conservative, I'm normally not a fan of legislative interference; in this case I'll make an exception. Twenty of anything in government is preferable to 40, particularly if you're talking about Democrats.

Charles Hyder

Dalton, Ga.

Remember, racism goes both ways

The March 19th letter on the counterpoint of canceling "Dilbert" missed the point. Cartoonist Scott Adams' point was that if 26% of Blacks disagree "It's OK to be white," they are just as racist if 26% of whites disagreed "It's OK to be Black." Both groups should be called for what they are ... racists. And, both groups should be shunned.

If the original Ramussen report was tailored to 26% of whites disagreeing "It's OK to be Black," and Adams criticized them, he would have been applauded for calling out racism against Blacks. Recently, Robin DiAngelo, the author of "White Fragility," stated that "... people of color need to get away from white people." There was no backlash. When Robin says it, it's inspirational. When Scott Adams says it, it's racist. Racism goes both ways.

G. Hayes