Tourism future dim with mounting litter
I about bust a gut laughing at the article "Cautiously Optimistic" by Mary Fortune in the March 10 Business section. So you think that the future is brighter for tourism?
We moved here one year ago this week. The accumulated trash along Highway 27, Hixson Pike, Dayton Pike, I-24, I-75 and other major highways is beyond disgusting. Why anyone would want to bring their families here only to see trash everywhere is beyond me. I am ashamed to have my family see the kind of county we've moved to.
Sending "jailbirds," as was explained to me on social media, to clean does little to no good. On a Monday, Highway 27 was cleaned around Chickamauga Dam; on Wednesday, there were four or more bags of obvious take-out food in the center. There was a dead coyote on Highway 27, south of Morrison Springs Road, on the northbound side. It had been there for more than a week. Other states have signs on the highways saying "No Littering," with a hefty fine attached. Why doesn't Hamilton County?
Will miss columns by Bill Stamps
I was so glad when Bill Stamps returned to write a column for the Times Free Press on Sundays, and now I am so sad to read of his death.
His stories took me back to a happier time when people seemed more connected and life was slower paced.
I will miss hearing about Miz Lena, Elizabeth and his dog, Prince.
What a treat his columns were.
Grateful shopper thanks Good Samaritan for returning purse
Many kudos to the wonderful, kind Samaritan who turned my purse into customer service when I absent-mindedly left it in the cart return at the Ooltewah Walmart on March 5.
Almost immediately I realized what I had done and frantically drove back to Walmart to search for my purse. Not seeing it in the cart return, I rushed inside the store to customer service to inquire if anyone had returned my purse.
Words cannot explain the immense gratitude and relief I felt when, without saying a word, one of the Walmart women simply pulled my purse from underneath the counter and set it on top of the counter.
My heartfelt thanks goes out to you, my guardian angel, for your honesty and integrity. I pray that the good Lord will bless you every day as you have selflessly blessed me by your impeccable character.
Deep State is now in complete control
I was quite amused with the letter to the TFP that Biden was elected because 81 million Biden voters disapproved of Trump's policies compared to 74 million who didn't. In the last elections (2012, 2016), Obama and Hillary garnered 65-66 million votes each. So, where did 15-16 million (about 25% more) extra votes come from for Biden? It surely didn't come from conservatives and Republicans. Trump never lost his base from the 2016 election. In fact, he gained Democrat and independent votes because of his policies. And it's a farce to believe that Biden, who spent his whole campaign in his basement, was more popular than Obama and Hillary. The extra votes could only be by fraud, and the evidence is there, but corrupt swing-state governments and courts refused to review that evidence. They didn't want you to know the truth. Our elections are now just as fair and honest as Venezuela's or any other dictator's country. The Deep State now controls who occupies the White House — not the voters.
State needs classes conducive to learning
"But this is Tennessee" (editorial "Tennessee on wrong track with newest teaching law"). What does Times editorial page Editor Pam Sohn mean by this? Is she aware that thousands of people have moved here over the last year because of good jobs, fair taxes and fantastic living opportunities?
No one moves to Tennessee, and especially Hamilton County, because of the fabulous public education. As much as anything, Tennesseans want a good education for their children. We want those good jobs going to our friends and families.
Pam may not be aware of the saying "One bad apple can spoil the bunch." A good education is the largest factor in helping disadvantaged children rise above their current means to a more successful life. Unruly behavior in the classroom disrupts the learning process for everyone, and the disadvantaged are even less likely to have alternatives to escape those classrooms. In Tennessee, we want classrooms that are conducive to providing a quality educational atmosphere. If that requires legislation from Nashville, then that's Tennessee.
Bloated: Record budget is too much
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee's 2021-22 state budget is wrong for Tennessee taxpayers. He wants to increase the size and cost of running Tennessee government to a record $41.8 billion (state and federal money). He wants to spend $4.7 million on criminals being released from prison, $6.6 million on mothers to stay home for a year after having a baby, $100 million for corrections, $120 million in raises for teachers, $75 million in state employee raises, $63 million in raises for higher education employees, $181.5 million for health and social services, $4.4 million for more TBI agents, $3.5 million for police cameras and radio upgrades, and $50 million to add to the rainy day fund that is already $1.5 billion.
Tennessee needs to reject this big-government spending plan and return the savings to Tennessee citizens. Reducing the 7% base sales tax rate would help every Tennessee citizen and make Tennessee a more favorable destination for new businesses. We need to cut spending throughout our wasteful state government and reduce our high sales-tax burden.
Call or email legislators now.
Protect voting access to protect democracy
As a questionable voting bill is submitted and withdrawn in Nashville and some of our state legislators trash-talk Congress for trying to address voter rights, I'm shaking my head. We're losing sight of who really loses when eligible Americans face unnecessary hurdles to having their vote counted.
Just look to our neighbors in Georgia, where the legislature seems insistent on chipping away at the ways its citizens vote. As we see them moving toward dismantling voter access like expanded absentee and early voting, I hope we'll take heed.
Voting alternatives are especially important to working men and women, especially those who are parents and caregivers, and to seniors like me. Leaders: Older Tennesseans (and Georgians) need your support for voting access. After all, rank-and-file citizens face enough challenges in keeping things together these days. Or is that point lost on you?
We have collectively fought to ensure more Americans have the right to vote. If our leaders try to move backward on voting access and alternatives, let us not remain silent.