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Solar, wind power

must rely on God

In the Perspective section of Sunday's (March 15) Times Free Press, there were two articles pertaining to the nation's energy situation. One by Sen. Lamar Alexander, who advocates coal and nuclear energy, and the other by Sam Gomberg of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, who advocates wind and solar energy.

Sen. Alexander promotes the use of coal, which now provides 54 percent of energy for our nation, and he also advocates expanding nuclear energy. He acknowledges that coal needs to be "cleaned up."

Coal and nuclear are proven sources with coal being the cheapest form of energy available. Wind and solar are in the embryonic state and are limited by the availability of the wind and sun, both of which are at the whim of "Mother Nature." They both are considerably more expensive than coal or natural gas.

What Mr. Gomberg fails to recognize is that "Mother Nature" is, in effect, God. Those who are knowledgeable of the Bible know that God controls the wind, sun, rain, hail, pestilence, famine and floods. And, due to the hedonistic society we live in today, God apparently does not look too kindly on the United States of America. Go figure.

DARDEN NEWMAN

Signal Mountain

Don't make military pay for insurance

It has come to my attention that there is a move within the Democratic Party that the military should have to pay for their health insurance. "After all, everyone else does. What makes the military so great?"

Hmmm - could it be that they are willing to lay their lives on the line for us? Could it be they are willing to face enemies, "both foreign and domestic?" Their children and wives spend months without them so that they can defend countries where they aren't even appreciated, and the Democrats want to make them pay for their insurance! My word!

We as Americans can't do enough for the military! We need to show more and more support for them, not cut their pay, charge them for insurance and make them believe that they are about as appreciated as the soldiers coming back from Vietnam.

Wake up, America! As the bumper sticker says, "If you can't stand behind our troops, please feel free to stand in front of them."

PENNY WEBSTER

Whitwell, Tenn.

Government needs

to help farms more

Regarding your front page on the plight of farms (March 11) in Tennessee and Georgia.

Washington is too focused on getting the economy running and has paid little attention to the farmer.

The decline of farms in this country is shocking, and if the trend continues there won't be any little farms in the future, only large combines!

During the 1940s, the farm was the backbone of the nation, the breadbasket.

I for one think the farmer needs to get more help from the government because if there ever becomes a food shortage, your money won't help.

ROBERT LINDSEY

Put more libraries

where people live

After moving from Orlando, we are distressed with the lack of neighborhood libraries in the Chattanooga area. We go downtown periodically but the distance and lack of parking discourages us from more participation. There would probably be more visitors and checkouts if libraries were more accessible.

If the downtown library is suffering from a lack of patrons, why not sell it and use the proceeds to build libraries where the people live? We don't have the answers but think a growing city needs and deserves resources that encourage intellectual pursuits.

DALE & NELL YODER

Library's problem

is lack of funding

Our city library's budget (adjusted for inflation) has declined 25 percent over the last decade. We have been Chattanooga library patrons for over 40 years and have always found the staff and management to be very knowledgeable and helpful. David Clapp is intelligent, compassionate, and cares deeply about the library and staff. He is a diligent manager with ambitious and prudent plans for the future of our library system, which is hamstrung by bickering between the city and county over funding.

We attended the meeting where the study authors advised us to assume there were no budget constraints and we should tell them what could be done at the library if we had untold millions to spend. This was a ludicrous premise. The only problem the library has is a critical lack of funding.

The study recommends hiring a middle manager. If the library had sufficient funding, it could hire sorely needed additional staff, pay employees adequately, provide parking for staff and patrons for its downtown facility and purchase more books. The $50,000 spent on studying the problem of insufficient funding was a waste of our tax dollars, and the study's report an insult to library science and our community.

TIM & LUCY TAYLOR

Don't tamper

with secret ballot

I have called my congressman, Rep. Lincoln Davis, three times to find out his position on the "Employee Free Choice Act" without any response. Congressman Davis, please let us know how you plan to vote on this important piece of legislation.

Personally, I believe that the employee has true freedom of choice when he or she casts a secret ballot. The same logic that is used for this check-off system could be used for any election. Suppose we use a check-off system for electing congressional representatives. The winner would be the one with the most intimidating campaign workers.

With the exception of how our elected representatives vote in their governing assemblies, a secret ballot is one of the most basic foundations of our country. It should not be tampered with.

TONY STAMP

Hixson

School board needs to alleviate concerns

Has the school board done all it can to alleviate the concerns of parents and inform the public of their intentions? No! Only questions persist in regards to Thursday's decision to close a number of schools.

First, why aren't the students at 21st Century quickly incorporated into an Arts or Sciences or another magnet school?

Second, how long will the new East Ridge schools take to complete, and what will be their mission?

Third, does the board have a long-term strategy?

Fourth, where are the county commissioners and council people of these districts? Isn't the welfare of their constituents, children in fact, important enough to state an opinion over?

Fifth, what is the point in retaining so much abandoned property such as Mary Ann Garber and Piney Woods?

Most importantly, why do we need the two new schools downtown? Surely Tommie Brown, a terrible location for minor children, would be more beneficial to UTC and save funds?

ERIC ATKINS

Avoid presssure,

keep vote private

The government has the responsibility to protect individual rights. The right to vote without fear of intimidation is one of our rights and can be ensured only by enforcing that ballots be cast privately.

During a union organizing attempt, employees, whether in support or opposition to the union efforts, could feel intimidated by both the employer and the union. It has been said that employers can threaten with the possibility of loss of job security for voting in favor of the union. It is my experience that unions can impose an equally intense intimidation through peer pressure to support the union as well as through direct contact from union organizers in the home and at work. This pressure can be quite intense as employees often are asked to declare their intentions prior to the official vote which can result in being ostracized.

The only way that employees are truly allowed to vote their feelings is by voting privately without the knowledge of either the employer or the union organizer. This practice should be maintained for the benefit of the employee.

GEORGE PATTEN

Hixson

TO SUBMIT LETTERS

Keep them topical, short (200 words or less), legible and not more often than one every 30 days. Letters may be edited for clarity and length.

Must be signed with name, address and telephone number.

Send to: Editorial page editor (either Times or Free Press), P.O. Box 1447, Chattanooga, TN 37401; fax: 423-757-6383; or email: letters@timesfreepress.com

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