Many thanks to all those who made the weekend COVID-19 testing at the emissions testing site an efficient, pleasant experience.

We went on different days and at different times, but our experience was the same.

We are grateful to everyone involved for making it so.

David and Marcia Kling

Pay raise whiplash sends wrong message

The Board of Education decides to give a minimal pay raise in February and then in May takes away step pay increases in next year's budget. This speaks volumes of what Hamilton County thinks of one of the most precious commodities it has.

Please tell me that is fair!

Ed McCoy


COVID-19 reaction overblown to risk

The reaction to COVID-19 boggles my mind. First, the world population is 7.7 billion. As of last week, 252,000 deaths recorded worldwide or .003274%; the U.S. is .02141% and Tennessee is .00279%. The chance of dying is extremely minuscule.

The CDC says flu deaths are an average of 400,000 worldwide, which is a .005195%. When compared to COVID-19, you have 58% higher chance to die from the flu.

In the U.S., smoking kills 480,000, 40,000 from car accidents, 88,000 from drinking alcohol, and 640,000 from heart disease. Why don't we outlaw smoking, drinking, driving a car and eating cheeseburgers?

These are facts, not "computer models." Shutting down this country with China-like, draconian, communist methods was stupid and unconstitutional. Sweden disproved that those methods were needed. It took reasonable steps, no mass closures or communist methods and hasn't ruined the economy.

When you compare this cowardly response to our ancestors and what they went through to feed their families, you should be ashamed. Fear has wreaked havoc. Giving into fear means you are a coward.

What if first responders, food producers and medical personnel acted in the same way? Are they just sacrifices to your fear?

Tim Price, Hixson


Does this sound familiar?

Ten ways to grossly mismanage a pandemic:

1. Do not believe that one could happen.

2. Do not prepare in advance for the possibility of one.

3. Do not employ people to be on the lookout for one.

4. Do not believe people who say one is coming.

5. Do not act immediately to prepare for the worst.

6. Sow misinformation and disbelief about the seriousness of the situation.

7. Deny that there is a problem.

8. Blame others for the problem.

9. Provide contradictory and wavering guidance.

10. Completely fail to provide leadership or show compassion.

Sound familiar?

John West, Hixson


Give us mail-in ballots for November

To Sen. Alexander:

Thank you for your reply to my concerns about voting access in Tennessee.

I am aware of the information you shared in your May 1 reply about Tennessee's absentee ballot and that each state manages its own voting procedures.

To date, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and Secretary of State Tre Hargett have not indicated any intention to expand access to absentee (mail-in) ballots to all Tennessee voters, not even during this health crisis.

Due to COVID-19, a significant number of poll workers won't work, thus cutting short the number of polling locations.Tennesseans who don't meet the current restrictive absentee ballot requirements may choose to not vote in person, in deference to their health. As has been noted, citizens shouldn't have to choose between their right to vote and their health.

Please reconsider thinking that a federally directed universal ballot, especially for federal elections, is overreach, as noted in your reply:

"State governments are responsible for managing how their elections are run, not bureaucrats in Washington D.C."

I urge you and your Senate colleagues to establish a postage-paid, mail-in ballot for our 2020 nationwide election. This work has already begun with The National Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act (NDEBA). As you noted in your reply, "The right to vote is at the heart of what it means to be an American."

Therese P. Tuley


Recent 'IRS' letter is Trump misdirection

When I went to the mailbox Saturday, I was surprised to find an official looking letter from the IRS.

Imagine my astonishment to find it was really a campaign letter from Uncle Donny! If he is going to campaign on America's dime, shouldn't America expect more for our money? Where do I send the bill?

These letters had to cost millions, and I want my money back! It is wrong and maybe illegal to force America to pay for this campaign of lies and misdirection.

No wonder he has gutted any oversight the people of this country have on the presidency. I've never seen bigger clowns at the Ringling Brothers circus.

Maybe "like magic," he will disappear in November!

Rusty Chastain, Soddy-Daisy


How is free trade working out for us?

Not long after World War II, the U.S. changed its trade policy to what eventually became "free trade," which cleaned out the bulk of the country's factories, which had become ubiquitous, particularly in rural areas.

Since this calamity occurred one factory at a time, the people were asleep to the fact the value of U.S. labor was steadily being downgraded, unions were collapsing and wages were declining. Mexico, China and other countries boomed and became more prosperous as our national debt climbed.

Today, people continue to be oblivious as to why we are practically at war with each other, fighting over scarce face masks, ventilators and medicines.

Not long ago, our sewing industries could have covered the country with face masks, and our thousands of capable factories could have stocked every hospital with ventilators in short order. Now, we are reduced to accepting 1,000 ventilators from China while the finest automobile factories in the world adjust to produce ventilators, which is not their long suit.

One wonders — how is world trade working out for us? And what if we had a little shooting war with China, would there be a few problems?

Bart McPherson, Hiawassee, Georgia