Letters to the Editors

Letters to the Editors

February 3rd, 2010 in Opinion Letters

Sidewalk puts walkers in danger

As a former long-time resident of the town of Signal Mountain and member of the Signal Mountain Golf and Country Club, I read your editorial (Jan. 27) about the rift between the town and club and I am amazed at your lack of research and your extreme bias that led you to a ridiculous conclusion.

First of all, the lease between the town and club is complicated and has a lot of history that space does not permit me to elaborate. Most importantly, if the town puts a sidewalk parallel to James Boulevard on the hole number one fairway, it is a matter of time before a walker, mother or child is struck from an errant tee shot from a duffer like myself. I did not realize that you have a problem with safety concerns.


Many misinformed about school zones

To ensure accurate information is given to the public, I must respond to the article in Friday's Times Free Press about Normal Park and zoning issues and to clarify the misperceptions circulating in various media outlets and public meetings.

First, the majority of magnet schools are zoned magnet schools and as a result are "neighborhood schools"; therefore, we're not trying to "destroy" the neighborhood concept.

Second, zone students have automatic entrance into the zoned magnet schools, as with any zoned school. None are ever denied seats. It's only after the zoned magnet school principal determines if any open seats are available that magnet students (from outside the zone are allowed), through a lottery process, to take a seat.

Third, bus transportation to Battle Academy, Brown Academy, Donaldson Academy, and Normal Park Museum Magnet is provided to in-zone students only. Parents of magnet students who live outside these schools' zones must provide their own transportation.

I also think the wrong question is being asked. Instead of asking how can we get rid of magnet schools, why, as a public concerned about its future, are we not asking, "How do we replicate the educational practices we have in our top magnet schools?"



of Innovative Programs

Hamilton County


of Education

Teacher's passing sparks admiration

I was significantly impacted by the news of the passing last week of 35-year educator Kathy Close.

Although I did not know her personally, I felt an instant admiration for her after reading her obituary and watching the television news about her sudden death.

I was struck by the selfless way in which she both lived and died. Mrs. Close had devoted her life to teaching the children of Hamilton County and ended her life in the classroom with students whom she loved beyond measure.

She received the prestigious honor of being named Hamilton County's 2007 Teacher of the Year in recognition for a job well done.

Perhaps, her greatest honor is yet to come and will be seen through the lives of the hundreds of students her teaching positively affected. Her life and death have reminded me what really matters.


Rossville, Ga.

Play it smart with terrorism

For decades now Europeans, particularly the French, have undergone vicious terrorist attacks by unassimilated, hostile Muslim minorities. But they have followed a policy of containment rather than military response, and it has worked; not perfectly, but effectively.

In 1946 political scientist/Russian specialist George F. Kennan prescribed a policy of containment rather than military confrontation to deal with the Soviets on the theory that communism would eventually implode of its own contradictions and dysfunctions. Every administration, Democrat and Republican, followed this policy until the USSR's collapse in 1989.

To contain Islamic terrorism we must neutralize radical influence in moderate Muslim states, develop intelligence resources to infiltrate and root out terrorist networks and, above all, maintain the friendship and cooperation of our allies.

Bush's open-ended war on terrorism has only fanned the flames of Muslim resentment and reinforced their propaganda that ours is a war against Islam itself.

When we attack in Afghanistan they simply move to Pakistan, Yemen and beyond. Conventional tactics have limited effect against guerrillas fighting on their home turf.

The 9/11 attacks were actually plotted in Germany, mostly by Saudi Arabians. Maybe we should have bombed Hamburg and Riyadh?

Why not play it smart -- for a change?


Rossville, Ga.

Rebuild Haiti using specific group aid

Regarding the rebuilding of Haiti, it would be useful if the Red Cross and other agencies would divide the damaged area into neighborhoods and villages which could be individually adopted by area and professional groups in our country. Thus, coastal areas could help revitalize the ports and fisheries, agricultural areas could help with farming villages, medical groups with rebuilding hospitals, etc.

This approach would lead to more donations, volunteers and local involvement in the rebuilding. Because of the personal relationship that would grow between the neighborhood in Haiti and the town or city here, there would be a better long-term outcome.


Keep Signal animal control in county

Attn: Signal Mountain animal owners -- Contract awarded to Cleveland, Tenn., animal control.

If an animal is turned in they can immediately be euthanized. If the animal is picked up by Cleveland Animal Control the three-day limit is required before killing the animals.

Does the owner have to go to Cleveland to identify and pick up an animal?

What if the owner is out of town and does not know the cat or dog is loose, until it is too late to claim it?

Gunshots, firecrackers can cause your animals to dig out or climb fences because they are so scared.

Our Humane Society here in Hamilton County and Pet Placement Center are "No Kill Shelters."

How sad, so many animals (due to foreclosures) that the owners have to take them to shelters knowing that in Cleveland they can be destroyed the same day they are brought in.

A "No Kill" shelter expenses are every day. In Cleveland there are one to three days' expenses.

Aren't there enough animal lovers and owners who would contribute to keep the contract in a Hamilton County "No Kill" shelter?



Section on kids' activities hepful

I was "blown away" with your insert in Sunday's paper (Jan. 31) about SCHOOL KIDZ Camps and Education Market. I had no idea there were so many opportunities for our children and would be willing to bet that not very many other folks were so informed.

This information should be used by Realtors, the Chamber of Commerce, Choose Chattanooga and all other organizations that encourage out-of-towners to settle in Chattanooga.

As a former Realtor, I would have loved having it at my finger tips, because one of a prospective buyer's first questions is "what opportunities do you have for my children?" Thank you.