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I saw where Tennessee is hiring an additional 80 workers and asking county clerks to help alleviate the huge lines and wait times as people try to get their new Real ID driver licenses before the Oct. 1, 2020, deadline. Effective on this date, you will need this to enter federal buildings or fly in the United States.

This didn't just happen! Congress passed this law more than 14 years ago. However, our Tennessee state government sat around and did nothing. The first time you could get the license in Tennessee was July 1, 2019, provided you brought the correct four acceptable documents to the DMV office to prove you are a Tennessee resident. Other states, such as South Carolina, didn't wait to take action on this and have been issuing these for several years.

Unfortunately, this is not unusual in Tennessee. Our government always seems to wait to address problems instead of being proactive and taking care of issues before we have to pay for additional workers or stand in long lines.

Kenneth Barker, Hixson

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Why aren't folks fleeing America?

As we recall the breaking down of the Berlin Wall, I wonder how many of the Communists who were responsible for its construction are celebrating. I doubt if any even care to remember why it was built.

I ask the politicians today — who are unhappy with our present form of government — why we do not need a wall here to keep people in ... rather than keeping throngs out.

Why aren't millions of Americans fleeing to Venezuela, to Cuba, to China? Why not to Sweden, Mexico or the Netherlands? If you think that America is failing, the door is open, no one keeps you here. If you think socialism or communism works better than a republic, consider the results ... and go there if you wish.

Bill Laudeman, Red Bank

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Walden must stop grocery proposal

Walden must shelve the Anderson development proposal, an ill-conceived strip center that is in total conflict with the town's existing zoning and values. The supermarket is too large. Environmental problems taint the site. And the town board's decision to ignore existing zoning threatens to unleash uncontrolled development sprawl.

Mayor Bill Trohanis panicked over the loss of Hall tax revenues, and Alderwoman Sarah McKenzie appeared heavily influenced by her development background. Both voted to waive all zoning regulations. Only Vice Mayor Lee Davis showed the judgment and vision to oppose this project and urge comprehensive land-use planning. Just two individuals have given the go-ahead to an unpopular project that forever reshapes the landscape of this historic community.

Allowing the project to go forward creates prolonged conflict. This ill-conceived proposal must be halted. Walden should engage the town of Signal Mountain and the unincorporated portions of the mountaintop in a land-use study that charts a thoughtful course of growth along Taft Highway. Developers can then be invited in to compete with their best proposals.

If Mayor Trohanis and Alderwoman McKenzie listen to the community, the board members will be hailed as heroes.

Sissie and Bill Hodges, Walden

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Have a gun? It might kill you

The tragic death of a Fort Worth woman in her home should bring to the forefront facts about gun ownership.

Access to a gun in the home increases your chances of being killed by homicide by 200%. Carrying the gun increases the odds by 450%.

Gun ownership rates directly correlate to homicide rates by state. A firearm in the home is the No. 1 health hazard to children.

If guns made us safer, we would be in the safest place on earth.

Tom Peck

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Senate trial will ensure re-election

Should articles of impeachment be ratified in the House and delivered to the Senate, and it looks more certain every day, the Senate trial will spell disaster for the Democrats for two primary reasons.

The Senate is held in majority by Republicans. Therefore, Republicans will control the rules and may call any witnesses that they choose.

First and foremost, Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, will likely be called to testify to their interactions with Ukraine and Burisma holdings. Strong charges of corruption will likely result, thus ending Joe Biden's campaign for president.

The Senate's second witness will likely be Adam Schiff, the head of the House Intelligence Committee, and so far in charge of the closed-door impeachment process in the House. He will be asked to testify under oath that he had no involvement or prior knowledge of the whistleblower's complaint. It will be shown that Schiff was complicit in the original whistleblower complaint, contrary to his repeated denials.

These two witnesses will be enough to discredit the entire impeachment process and to guarantee a Trump re-election in 2020.

Roger Bartmess, Ooltewah

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GOP, time to send Trump a message

It's time for members of the GOP to find their voice, break ranks with Trump and demand his impeachment and removal. History will remember how Republicans acted in this moment — whether they upheld the rule of law or fearfully supported the criminal in the White House.

For three years, we have watched Trump threaten our elections, obstruct justice and make a mockery of our Constitution. The latest news of Trump's solicitation of foreign election interference in the 2020 election is a serious escalation of his corruption and abuse of power.

Thanks to multiple whistleblowers and witness testimony from at least half a dozen witnesses in the House's impeachment inquiry, we know Trump pressured the president of Ukraine to dig up dirt on the Bidens. He then allegedly threatened to withhold military aid to force Ukraine to comply.

We're urging Republicans to support the only viable way to hold him accountable for his actions: impeachment and removal.

Failing to check Trump's abuse of power would send a signal to this lawless president that he's free to break the law with impunity. Pushing foreign governments to interfere in an American election is unacceptable.

Debra Dubow

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Why not go after a really big fish?

Now that New York Judge Saliann Scarpulla has landed a minnow ("A judge Thursday ordered President Donald Trump to pay $2 million ..."), he should immediately go after a whale (President Bill Clinton's "foundation" that has made Bill, Hillary and Chelsea multimillionaires).

The Clinton Foundation has more than $200 million and had raised over $2 billion, mostly from foreign governments and corporations that were promised special access and favors if Hillary had become president in 2016. The judge could start with discovering how contributions have dropped off after Hillary lost.

Jeff Wilson, Ooltewah

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