News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
SUNDAY, JANUARY 30, 2005
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Cummins family story was accurate, deserved
THE DECATUR DAILY:

Re: recent article on "Family of Faith." Congratulations on an excellent write up. I am very familiar with Dr. and Mrs. Cummins, and I want to assure you that every word you printed was totally authentic.

Dave Cummins was my pastor in La Crosse, Wis., for five years, and then again four years later, in Warren, Mich., for 5 years. My son, Jim, married his youngest daughter, Myra, and we share the children for Christmas. I have nothing but respect and admiration for David Cummins and Mary, and believe me, they are positive role models for vast numbers of people even outside of their immediate family. He is an accomplished speaker and devoted Christian, and is in demand all over the world as a main speaker for prestigious events. But, he will speak even at small churches like our Victory Baptist Church in Kokomo, Ind. You could have said much more, but what you did say was right on!

I appreciate your accruate reporting on a wonderful family.

Jim Wright

Kokomo, Ind.

Libraries provide tools and enrich our lives
THE DECATUR DAILY:

Recently I read of the possible library closing in Salinas, Calif., because of budget cuts. Since Salinas is the birthplace of one of America's most notable writers, John Steinbeck, I find a sad irony in this. In this time of tight budgets, money must be directed to the greatest needs. What could be greater than the accessibility of information, the thoughts of mankind through the ages, and the exercise of reading that increases mental focus?

As a child growing up in Decatur, I walked from Johnston Street to the old Carnegie Library on Church Street to check out books. Later, as a college student and mother, I frequented the "new" Wheeler Basin Regional Library on Sixth Avenue as I wrote research papers, checked out books or took my own daughters to check out their books and write their research papers. Now, as a teacher, I send my students to do research and read at the same library.

Today I also go to the library to check out large-print books for my father. Because of the physical limitations of age, the quality of his life would be reduced if it weren't for the fine section of large-print books in the library. Continuing to read has given his life an interest nothing else could provide.

Mark Twain said, "The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the men who cannot read them." We must use our ability to read. I encourage each DAILY reader to do two things: use Wheeler Basin Library frequently and contact your city or county representative about funding our public library system at a higher percentage. To improve life in our area, we must empower all citizens with the tools for knowledge and critical thinking.

Peggy Riddle Black

Decatur

Commercial as tasteless as the food it promotes
THE DECATUR DAILY:

I would like to call your attention to a new fast food commercial that depicts a young woman who thinks her boyfriend is ogling an older woman who is bending over showing her rear end (with her clothes on).

It had to be some weirdo with a sick sense of humor who created such a commercial. They must have a sick sense of humor to accept this type of advertising.

I find this to be disgusting and vulgar. I have yet to understand what this has to do with advertising fast food.

I personally stopped eating at this restaurant several years ago because of bad service and lousy coffee. I realize I will not put them out of business, but it is personal satisfaction for me.

Joe Teague

Eclectic

More to military benefits than meets public eye
THE DECATUR DAILY:

Sen. Jeff Sessions has a bill before Congress that increases the death benefits for survivors of men killed in action. I have a personal connection concerning this issue, as I had a son killed during the Vietnam War. That was 30 years ago, and his widow is still drawing benefits and will continue to do so as long as she lives and remains unmarried.

I would have no objections to this, but there is a kink in this story that needs to be addressed. She has lived with a man, raised a family, yet legally can draw a monthly check from the government. I don't know how the government could keep a record of women living a double life, having her cake and eating it too, but it is so wrong! Since she isn't breaking any laws, there isn't anything I can do about it. To add insult to injury, we had to pay funeral costs the military didn't cover, and his divorce would have been final the day we buried him.

I have long since made peace with this injustice, but there should be some law passed to correct it.

Yes, there are many areas where soldiers and families are getting the short end of the stick. Wrongs such as this should be brought to the public's attention, so something can be done about it. It's one more reason I feel sorry for the men putting their lives in jeopardy.

Thelma Henderson

Hartselle

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