News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

One good turn deserves another

If Limestone County ever faces a disaster, some folks on the Gulf Coast plan to offer help.

Thomas Dooley, 64, a member of Berea Baptist Church in Athens, is one of numerous local residents who have gone to the Gulfport, Miss., area to give hurricane-ravaged residents food, supplies and help in cleaning their property.

The church has been taking donations since Hurricane Katrina hit.

"They've been so grateful," Thomas told Holly Hollman. "Limestone County's well thought of. The folks there have assured me that if we ever need them, they'll return the favor."

Smoke-free agony

State health officials are pushing for more restrictions on smoking in Decatur businesses, but nobody can say City Council members don't know how smokers feel.

Mayor Don Kyle was telling council members about his trip to Japan, now under way, to visit industries with local ties.

Looking to needle the mayor a bit, Councilman David Bolding observed, "That's 14 hours without a cigarette." He was roundly applauded for the heartlessly comic observation, but Don took it in stride.

"That's like golf without a cigarette," he said.

"Why golf without a cigarette?" Council President Billy Jackson said.

"That's my point. Why golf without a cigarette?" Don laughed.

Pay tax or buy gas

Councilman Ray Metzger may be going into advertising if he ever gives up the motorcycle business.

Ray's best known for his effort to rescind the 2001 penny sales tax hike. He's not had much luck persuading council colleagues to see it his way.

But with gas prices pushing $3, he's hoping to dissuade people from leaving town for shopping as a tax protest. He proposes this slogan: "Don't be fuelish. Buy in Decatur."

"If we can get all the retailers on the same wavelength ..." Ray said. "Buy a billboard. How many people drive 20 miles to save $2 when gas is more? We need to take advantage of high gas."

Political strategies

Chris Bell, longtime local reporter for The Huntsville Times, always has a quip or three.

At the dedication of the North Alabama Birding Trail, a little bird overheard this conversation between Chris and Kim Pritchard, board chairman of the Decatur-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce:

Chris: I'm going to run for gov'nor.

Kim: Really? What will be your platform?

Chris: Free DECATUR DAILY subscriptions for everyone.

Kim: And how will you pay for it?

Chris: I'll write a check.

Kim: Will it be any good?

Chris: Yes. It's written on the Bank of the Tennessee River.

Kim: What do you think I should run for?

Chris: The county line!

Send stories for You Don't Say to or call Weekend Editor Steve Stewart at 340-2444. Or write P.O. Box 2213, Decatur, AL 35609. DAILY staff members contribute many of the items you see here.

Steve Stewart Steve Stewart
DAILY Weekend Editor

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