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Thank you for covering our Ferger Place meeting about the proposed combined housing for AIM Center residents and other people who currently need support on their way to a better life.

My initial reaction to this project was to support it because I have family members and friends who have benefited from subsidized housing. Without it, they may very well have been homeless. But I don't like to make uninformed decisions, so I went to the meeting with an open mind.

A few Ferger Place residents loudly and angrily expressed their opinions against the project, but no one presented facts or well-researched data to show that the project will not achieve its positive goals. Loud voices and anger are not compelling; facts, statistics and past results are. The builder, the city of Chattanooga representatives and the AIM Center staff had positive facts, statistics and successful past results. The opposing Ferger Place neighbors had anger, fear and loud voices.

While some in Ferger Place may be fearful of the unknown, I encourage them to remember Jesus' admonishment about doing "unto the least of these." We would do well to remember that at any point in any of our lives, we may be "the least of these."

I would not like to think that only loud and angry voices get your attention. Please give calm, rational, well-informed voices an opportunity to be heard too.

Karen Poole

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CSAS might be old but it is superior

The school board, the central office and the consultants they have hired as well as Free Press editorial writer Clint Cooper have never really understood what makes CSAS special and why it is so successful.

Part of that is its smallness, and the intimacy of the "too small" campus and building are a key part of it.

The U.S. has a long history of closing small schools and consolidating them. There are many arguments for it, and "consolidated schools" abound. But it has been shown that while financially successful, the academic performance of the small schools they replaced has seldom if ever been equaled or improved.

The CSAS building is old and suffering from lack of proper maintenance, but it is sound and could and should be continued in service.

John L. Odom, Ooltewah

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Open carry a recipe for more bloodshed

There have been many articles about school bullies and what might be done.

As adults we see those grown bullies every day as we drive to and from work, shopping or buying tickets to concerts. He's the guy inches from your bumper at 65 mph, trying to push you out of his way. The bully is the person who was in line first, even when they weren't. It's the person loudly angry when the show is sold out. Unfortunately, the bully is out in force in the divided culture we live in.

Now we have a governor and state legislators who think we should have those ill-tempered, short-fused people openly carrying pistols in public. No mental health questions asked or answered. No testing a person's capabilities with said weapons; no permits required. That is insane.

I seldom agree with the left side of your opinion pages, but on this subject it was spot on. The response from the right was so tepid, I think it agreed with the left. Rare.

I urge your readers to contact legislators and oppose this open carry law. Its passage will bring more bloodshed (not less), bullying, aggression, animosity. None of it necessary.

Mark Tyson

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