Unique national park best for all interests
In reference to your series on Moccasin Bend, I can picture it being a true gateway to Chattanooga. Imagine a restored Native American village where the hospital now sits. What a thrill coming around the bend and seeing the early morning campfires of Native Americans living as their ancestors did for thousands of years in a national park living history scenario. The non-commercial possibilities are endless spiritually. I can see a Trail of Tears ferry to the Bend from Ross's Landing. The commercial prospects are egregiously soul-deflating to many of us because it's the easiest way to solve things today.
As a retired archaeologist in cultural resource management, I know of the cost involved to assess such a unique project, but that shouldn't deter this. I've personally worked on National Park Service sites that were way less important than Moccasin Bend. State and federal lawmakers will hopefully get the message that a unique national park with Chattanooga's city limits is in the best interests of all parties.
What’s at risk at McDonald Farm
For some, it is hard to imagine the size of 900 acres.
Some examples that might help are: a football field is about two acres, Chattanooga Golf and Country Club is about 130 acres, Chattanooga National Cemetery about 130 acres, The Bend and Perimeter Properties (think baseball) combined are about 350 acres, Moccasin Bend south of the golf course is about 900 acres, 1.4 square miles is about 900 acres, Volkswagen Industrial site about 1,400 acres.
There are about 15,000 mature trees in a 900-acre forest. I hope our development-minded leaders are considering the areas in Hamilton County where these trees could be replanted.
Kudos for December cartoon strip 'Mutts'
A big thank you to the Times Free Press and [artist] Patrick McDonnell for the wonderful December of "Mutts." A poignant lesson was given in cruelty ending with the joy of human kindness with the help of Mooch, Earl and Shtinky's, and of course, the angel neighbor girl.
I looked forward each day to see how Guard Dog was doing. What a great ending to the story of the Guard Dog in his forever home!
View stadium as community asset
I am writing to express my wholehearted support for the building of the Lookouts stadium, a transformative investment that has the potential to shape the future of the Southside in ways unseen for decades.
The Southside has long awaited such a significant investment that could redefine the trajectory of the entire area for the better. This initiative has the power to breathe new life into neighborhoods that have been overlooked for generations, providing the much-needed catalyst for positive change.
It goes beyond a mere stadium; it's a gateway to opportunity that can uplift communities from poverty to prosperity. For too long, residents in these areas have heard promises from politicians about the American dream.
Now, with the prospect of development and financial investment accompanying the Lookouts stadium, these promises have the chance to materialize. This project is not just about constructing a stadium; it's about revitalizing communities.
We can simultaneously support the Lookouts stadium project and allocate resources to education. By embracing both, we can walk and chew gum at the same time, demonstrating our commitment to the prosperity of Hamilton County.
Let us join hands in supporting the Lookouts stadium project and, in doing so, invest in the promising future of Hamilton County.
Read Trump books before next election
I want to commend Free Press editorial page Editor Clint Cooper on a recent editorial about the reading of books. His list had one on George H.W. Bush that sounds great. I intend to read it.
Reading books is the only way to be completely informed. Harry Truman was the most prolific reader I have ever read about. He opposed censorship — and hated "dirty books" — but would have never banned one. He believed, "Every reader is not a leader, but leaders must be a reader." Trump is no reader, but a president must be.
It's unconscionable that Republicans want to ban books, even those about Frederick Douglass, and pass laws that restrict social studies teachers from teaching our history about slavery and systemic racism.
Here's a list of books I recommend: "The Room Where It Happened," John Bolton; "Fascism, A Warning," Madeline Albright; "A Higher Loyalty," James Comey; "The Trump Tapes," Bob Woodward; "Too Much and Never Enough," Mary Trump; "Peril," Woodard and Robert Costa; "Enough," Cassidy Hutchinson; plus "Oath and Honor," Liz Cheney.
I encourage you to read at least one of these books before the next election.
Wilbourne C. Markham
Insurrection cabal began before Jan. 6
The violent attack on our Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, should not be considered the defining aspect of the 2020/21 insurrection. The insurrection was begun by Trump's lies of an illegal election, designed by his recruited Republican confederates, and acted out by Trump's Republican confederates in his administration, Congress and swing state GOP hierarchies. The violent Trump mob attack was just a tool of Trump's insurrection conspiracy to aid in a disruptive delay attempt of the Electoral College vote certification. It would then have allowed denial of the peaceful transfer of presidential power had stalwart members of Congress and Vice President Mike Pence not upheld their oaths to the Constitution.
Trump's attempt to foil our Constitutional electoral process was indeed an attempted insurrection of complex design and multifaceted implementation. The Jan. 6 mob was only one facet. It is sad that some of the participants were simply gullible zealots, but we are all held responsible for our actions. Also, many of the participants exhibited far more than gullible zealotry. Which is why some have been convicted of seditious conspiracy. And all of those currently incarcerated are convicted criminals. They are not "hostages," patriots or heroes as our traitorous ex-president says.
Pursuit of UAP truths should be embraced
As we embrace 2024, it's imperative to address a topic of burgeoning public interest and significance: the need for greater disclosure regarding Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP). Once a fringe topic, UAPs have now garnered serious attention, thanks to a series of revelations and increasing public discourse.
UAPs are not mere curiosities; they represent potential breakthroughs in our understanding of science and technology. The possibility of UAPs as advanced technologies, perhaps even of extraterrestrial origin, necessitates thorough scientific investigation. This cannot be achieved without openness and the dissemination of information.
Moreover, governmental secrecy on UAPs raises significant questions about public trust. While national security is paramount, the withholding of information creates a chasm between the government and its citizens. Transparency in this context is crucial to maintaining public confidence and ensuring that the government is seen as an ally in discovery, not a barrier.
I urge scientists, government officials and the media to champion an open and systematic approach to UAP investigation. The time for secrecy has passed; we must embrace a new era of clarity and discovery. The pursuit of truth and knowledge is a collective journey — one that requires our united efforts and openness.