Could arbitration help settle dispute?

Thank you for Sunday columns by representatives of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and CHI Memorial Health System about their standoff. Although they criticize each other's negotiating tactics, they espouse similar objectives and values. The main disagreement is about whether the future rate of payments to CHI would be above, at, or below market average.

The facts about rates of payment should not be that hard to verify if the relevant data is made available to a suitable outside party such as a knowledgeable consultant or an arbitration panel. The outside party could then render a judgment regarding the real facts. It does not look like this has been done. Why not?

While both make vague claims without providing factual evidence, they hide the reality, prompt questions about their motives and jeopardize the trust which patients have placed in them.

Bob Taylor



Soccer vet says keep park Sculpture Fields

About using the lands next to the Montague Sculpture Fields as youth soccer facility, I am in an interesting position.

I have coached youth soccer since 1981 in Wisconsin, Seattle, and here in the Chattanooga area. I have also refereed soccer. I played soccer at the collegiate level. I am a huge soccer fan and in fact am a proud owner of the Chattanooga Football Club soccer team, commonly known as CFC.

It is with this background that I strongly oppose oppose the use of the 13 acres next to the Sculpture Fields as a youth soccer-oriented property.

As someone who has seen sculpture gardens in Seattle, in Grand Rapids, Mich., and elsewhere, I can unequivocally say that the Sculpture Fields in Chattanooga are as good or better than any I have ever seen. They are truly a world-class gem.

My understanding is that there are many other locations that youth soccer fields could be built. I strongly encourage the Chattanooga City Council to lease or award or grant the 13 acres back to the Sculpture Fields.

Having a youth soccer facility next to that field is not in alignment with the purpose of the sculpture area or youth soccer.

David Kuhns


Just a head-fake by Sculpture Fields?

If the Sculpture Fields organization and leadership are so concerned about legacy industrial and environmental site conditions and compatibility with youth sports and recreation activities, why haven't they been over at Renaissance Park jumping up and down for the past decade?

Likely because proper site capping and soil management, coupled with outdoor activity, eliminate the statistical health risk that the art organization's leaders suddenly seem to be inappropriately invoking.

The Sculpture Fields organization's sudden concern with a responsibly managed legacy site, in my opinion, has less to do with visitor welfare than it has to do with perceived intrusion by certain undesirable youth and family demographics.

This feels like elitism at its very worst. It also contradicts the core principles of environmental justice, which our city has done a very good job of otherwise honoring.

When I was a soccer player, and later when I was a soccer coach, I always placed great importance on watching the ball and not on the head-fake being attempted by an opposing player.

I trust our city's leaders and their judgment in continuing the great progress which has been achieved by responsibly bringing legacy environmental sites forward in a manner which fairly benefits future generations.

Michael Mallen