As a resident between Jenkins and Gray roads, we had no communication or power after the April 12 tornado. On Tuesday, April 14, I called our newspaper carrier who has delivered our Times Free Press paper since we moved to Chattanooga in 2008. I told John Gonzales that we missed our "news" and could he save the newspapers for us.

That afternoon, while walking our dog, I was talking with a neighbor at the corner. Here comes two men down the street with armloads of something. My neighbor screamed with delight: "Newspapers. We have communication!" It was John and his helper bringing the Monday and Tuesday papers to those who subscribe to the paper. Every morning thereafter, my newspaper is in the driveway.

The newspaper carriers are a dedicated, quiet group of workers and are among the many groups helping us in the East Brainerd area recover with the news of our community and the world. John, to you and your helper, my neighbors and I appreciate your dedication to delivering our newspapers. We all say, thank you!

Maggi Burns


COVID-19 lessons we have learned

Here are some coronavirus lessons:

1. How intelligent journalists are. It is unbelievable how Anderson, Shaun, Don, Andrew, Laura, Pam and even Clay have all the answers. Too bad they are not running the world.

2. What the real meaning of "exclusive" is — "the first" to announce the current death count.

3. Doctors don't trust each other. CNN, Fox, CNBC, MSNBC, newspapers and other forms of the news media have their own Republican or Democrat professional "analysts" or "world renowned" epidemic specialist.

4. We rediscovered how to cook Sunday dinner.

5. We don't have to travel near as much as we thought.

6. The news media's favorite TV show is "Fear Factor."

7. Liquor stores are more essential than churches.

8. Businesses (all sizes) live on the borderline of bankruptcy.

9. The weekend can still be enjoyed without sports.

10. Everybody has two things: a belly button and an opinion, and no one cares about either.

Ronnie Case, South Pittsburg


Time to expand Medicaid, Gov. Lee

To Gov. Lee,

I am writing to you to ask that in this time of illness that you expand Medicaid to give poor Tennesseans the health insurance they need to battle this epidemic.

I pray you can do what Gov. Bill Haslam tried to do twice. He knew this state could not afford to have so many people uninsured. More people need health insurance now than ever before.

Please pass it for their sake. Thank you for your service to this state.

Mary Caliandro


Political blaming keeps dividing us

It is obvious we have no leadership in our country right now. We have the leader of our country dividing us rather than bringing us together. So I suggest we take it upon ourselves to make this country better on our own.

To start, I suggest getting Time magazine of April 24. Read what people from all walks of life have to say to help bring us together. The constant blaming from both our political parties is simply dividing us.

We need a leader. I guess it is up to us to do it.

Jack Pine, Dunlap


Gospel song offers reassurances after all

In response to COVID-19, one of your columnists recently alluded to the gospel song, "His Eye is on the Sparrow." After his joyful discovery of newly-hatched birds in a nest, the Easter storms struck, destroying the birds and their home. As is true with the calamitous forces of nature in our fallen world, this happens on a human level as well.

The writer says so — "babies died, nests collapse, homes collapse" — and many other crushing events take place in our needy world. History does not record otherwise. The writer ends his commentary on this subject with "we rebuild our nests, hoping, somehow and somewhere, that someone's eye is on us."

I have heard and have sung "His Eye is on the Sparrow" many times. I am reminded of phrases in the verses, poetically conveying discouragement and hopelessness — "Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come, why should my heart be lonely? ... whenever clouds arise, when song gives place to sighing, and hope within me dies."

Then comes the antidote in the song: "Jesus is my portion, my constant friend is He, for His eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches me."

Janet Reeve


The deadly cost of incompetent leadership

Over the last three years, Americans have suffered with Donald Trump's incompetence and his conglomeration of psychiatric symptoms. His malignant narcissism, pathological lying, impulse control disorder and sociopathy are all too familiar.

As Americans have suffered and died, Trump has demonstrated that he is unfit for the job, both intellectually and mentally. When America has most needed leadership, he has dithered, flip-flopped, told lie after lie, offered false hope, and been the source of dangerous misinformation.

His initial response was denial, followed by minimization of this deadly virus. He claimed it was a Democratic "hoax" and would disappear as the weather warmed.

These missteps were followed by denying his presidential responsibility and blaming others. He blamed China, the media, Democrats, governors, and the World Health Organization while claiming he had "no responsibility."

The American death toll will only increase.

What's the difference between America and Italy, Spain, and even China and Iran? The answer is obvious. There is a complete lack of leadership in the Oval Office.

Terry Stulce, Ooltewah


Wary of 'woke poison' infecting U.S.

Re: The woke poison spewed in a recent letter, "How to recognize 'covidiots' among us." The true idiots that infect our country/community:

* Andy Berke: Chattanooga's leader definitely did not want "a crisis to go to waste." No sir! Berke wanted to shut down Chattanooga until the November election to help flip the 3rd Congressional District seat.

* Blue state liberals: All the leftist shutdown governors can think about is winning in November. But until then, their seats will begin to get very hot as the unemployed "wake up."

* Lamestream media: They wish they could blame the Wuhan virus on President Trump, but the facts keep getting in the way. The Chinese and WHO are the ones to point at.

* "Sleepy" Joe Biden: This guy didn't think the Wuhan virus was a problem early in January and condemned Trump for stopping inbound flights from China in late January. But I reckon he would have shut down our economy in order to win in November.

* Woke folks: Those people who wish harm on people who express their rights as Americans to peacefully assemble.

Ronald Williams