Singing praises of McCoy Farm

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

— Margaret Mead

Here's to the small group of thoughtful, committed citizens who created McCoy Farm and Gardens, the former home of Sen. Nathaniel Bachman and his daughter, Martha McCoy. Martha transferred ownership of the 38-acre property by gift and sale to the town of Walden with the request the property be saved as an arboretum, park and recreation area. After her death in 2004, the property fell into disrepair until volunteers founded MFG in 2015 to restore, improve and manage the site for the community.

The first improvement, thanks to the foresight of Cumberland Trail creator Sam Powell, was to design and build a one-mile trail around the property.

Led by President Mickey Robbins, the board of directors has worked tirelessly on many improvements, including renovation of the gardens, house and pavilion. MFG has recently become a certified arboretum.

Visitors come to enjoy the peaceful ambience as well as weddings, birthday parties, community forums, group meetings, square dances, bird walks, and a Memorial Day community-wide picnic.

Thank you for creating this place we cherish.

Alison Hoffmann

Signal Mountain


Let's all be consistent in following 'the science'

From many sources we are being told to "follow the science." If this applies to slowing the spread of COVID-19, does it also apply to other things in life? Does the pharmaceutical company Novartis qualify as a scientific authority?

The scientists at Novartis developed Entresto, a heart medication. But these scientists warn pregnant women that the medication "can harm or cause death to your unborn baby." Did you catch that — "an unborn baby." Not a fetus. A baby. A human baby — human life in the womb.

For nearly 50 years we have preferred our sexual liberty to scientific truth. Maybe now that the pandemic insists we follow the science, we can be consistent and also follow the science with respect to pregnancy and abortion. We must acknowledge the scientific fact that human life exists from the moment of conception and that abortion is the taking of innocent human life.

For nearly 50 years, little by little the American culture has been hardening hearts to the scientific truth of human life in the womb. It will be a hard road to return to being a culture that respects life in the womb, but it is a road that leads to healing many social problems.

Dennis Urbaniak

Signal Mountain


TFP photographer put smile on family members' faces

I just want to thank Times Free Press photographer Matt Hamilton for putting my son Bear in the paper as the "Pigeon Wrangler" (page B4, Oct. 21 edition) at Camp Jordan.

It meant a great deal to our family to see him in the paper. We got a chance to get to know Matt a little for the hour or so we spent with him, and I think he is a great asset to your paper. He is very engaging and definitely cares about his job.

Getting out in the community like that is fantastic, especially with all of the negative stuff going on in the world today. Again, I just wanted to say thank you to the paper and a huge kudos to Matt.

Heath Williams


AP reports glosses over key tax facts

The Times Free Press in its Nov. 1 edition "Not real news" report ("Biden Tax Plan Would Not Raise Taxes on Majority of Americans") by Jude Joffe-Block attempts to dis the claim by Trump supporters that Biden will only raise taxes on those earning more than $400,000 even with repeal of the Trump tax cuts.

Interestingly, the writer fails to take into account that in such a repeal the standard deduction would be halved, the child tax credit would be halved and all marginal tax brackets and their associated rates for personal income taxes would be raised. One of the most irritable things in life is a fact checker who doesn't know all the facts. What do you expect from The Associated Press?

Michael J. Zema


God gave us brains to sort out the truth

In a recent TFP Sunday edition, one letter writer states: "Each decision you and I make ... reflects the extent to which we ... know and trust God." In Dr. Holland's "Living on Purpose" column, he maintains that God has granted us "free will to have elections even if the winners are not His choice." In addition, he observes that only God can help us "discern who is telling the truth and who is being deceptive."

To me, the latter is clearly an example of low-hanging fruit. Better yet, let us go with the following story: A New England farmer was out working in his fields sweating up a storm. A preacher walked by and said, "My, brother, you and God have done a wonderful job with this farm and field." Wiping his brow and taking a deep breath, the farmer replies, "Yeah buddy, you should have seen this place when God was running it by himself."

Dr. Michael V. Woodward



America, please heal the split dividing us

I'm a New Yorker, living in Dalton, Georgia. I have a factory nearby, and I spend several weeks at a time here. I've been working here for 20 years. I agree wholeheartedly with Keith C. Burris (page F1, Sept. 13, "We are two countries, and we don't know each other very well") in that we've lost the capability to understand each other (the red and the blue). My Dem friends think anyone who voted for Trump is evil, misguided or worse. And my Republican friends believe Nancy Pelosi is the devil, and we're going to be overrun by left-wing cancel culture fanatics.

Keith is also right that the split goes right down the middle of our urban/rural divide. I wish, for instance, we can give gun owners the security they need that no one is going to take away their guns, if they can understand that guns in cities are a plague. Maybe we can solve this problem.

And why do we in the cities not tremble about looting and mayhem — maybe we're inured to it — but maybe we also know it's not as widespread as some make it seem. So again, if there were a true dialogue, I think we can sort this out.

I tried my best to get my friends here not to vote for Trump, using whatever arguments I could muster, but I'll not love them any less if they did.

Joe Sultan

Dalton, Georgia


Lee's criminal justice reform falls flat

Gov. Bill Lee ran on a platform of criminal justice reform. It is patently obvious that his view of criminal justice reform is vastly different than the commonly accepted definition. He has signed into law a bill that makes it a felony for taxpayers to peacefully protest on taxpayer-funded state property. Convicted felons lose their right to vote. Neat trick: removing the right to vote from citizens who disagree with his Republican administration policies. It's a highly unethical scheme and a blatant misuse of power.

This is a typical Republican tactic to disenfranchise people who do not vote for Republicans. Apparently Bill Lee has a vastly different idea of what constitutes "criminal" and "justice" as well as "criminal justice reform." I would say "Shame on you!" but Bill Lee is obviously shameless.

"Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence."

— Leonardo da Vinci

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."

— John F. Kennedy

Lissa Dearing