News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Hartselle school board members bring shame

I've worked for 10 years with Ronnie Abercrombie — about 10 feet away from him. Nobody has a better understanding of the time and energy he devotes as chairman of the Hartselle School Board — nobody.

During the past two years, Ronnie has totally dedicated himself to represent the community's interests. That takes a huge amount of time. For every person who drops by, there are several more waiting in the wings for a piece of his time, every day, every week. School's out for summer? Doesn't matter. The stress is incredible, and all the while he is at work, trying to earn a living. Callers and visitors number more than 100 per week. I see it every day. I see how tiring it is, because there always seems to be one more knock on his door or another phone call to take. And he accepts each one. Ronnie used to worry about his customers' needs — now he also worries about Hartselle's children and schools.

If anyone feels ready, he should nominate himself and step up to the plate. Will he work for Hartselle as hard as Ronnie? Times have changed and the position is no longer an easy one. It's no longer just a title. It's a huge burden to carry without pay. Who would serve as chairman and put his career on hold?

Jeff Gray and Andy Dukes have private practices. How many of their clients or patients will be ignored? How will their partners feel about that? Greg Cain and Kathy White Goodwin have employers who may not tolerate 30-plus hours per week while at work. Cathy and Andy never call Ronnie. I should know. I answer the phones.

They're mad that already-public information was published. Asking for Ronnie's resignation was contemptible. They embarrassed this city. Shame on them.

David Stults


Teams, students source of pride for Decatur

My wife and I attended the regional basketball tournament at Wallace State College in Hanceville on Feb. 24. We saw much more than an outstanding basketball game.

Austin and Decatur high schools played in a well-coached game, but the overflow crowd in the 5,000-seat coliseum showed us something that made us proud of our Decatur community.

Most of the crowd was dressed in red or orange with school colors painted on their faces and signs were everywhere. There were some large signs that must have taken hours to paint. These two student bodies cheered and supported their respective teams in a manner I have never seen before.

I refereed high school basketball in Georgia for about 20 years, so I've been to a lot of games and tournaments with large crowds. But the enthusiasm and decibel level were beyond anything I have ever witnessed at a high school game. I couldn't even hear the person next to me at times! The students were cheering in unison with the cheerleaders. The cheerleading was better than any I have ever seen. Both schools had cheering squads that were of the highest level. The game was played at a level as good as one will see anywhere in the country.

The high level of spirited play was not only a testimony to the teams' skills, but also to their coaching staffs. They displayed exemplary sportsmanship during and after the hard-fought game. The players, one by one, congratulated each other on a well-played game.

Austin and Decatur high schools can be very proud of those students who attended the game at Wallace State. That is one game I will never forget.

Bill Prewitt


A different perspective on Auburn's diversity

Re: Feb. 25 sports article, "Black caucus calls for Auburn boycott."

Talk about micro management and politics at its ugliest.

Laura Hall, D-Huntsville, chairwoman of the Alabama Legislature's Black Caucus, makes a very good point in her assertion that Auburn should employ more diversity in its athletic department. Her position is twofold. She asserts that color, not ability, should be the criteria for employment of the two dismissed black employees. But then she turns the other face and uses the opposite position, ability, not color, to justify the majority color makeup of the athletes themselves. She wants to have her cake and eat it too.

OK — to satisfy Ms. Hall, be politically correct and equally fair about this whole thing, Auburn's athletic department, including all team members and administration, should represent a demographic cross section of our country. A majority of all athletic team members have to be white.

Makes as much sense as the Black Caucus' self-serving political position.

James L. Nix


Does Garrison praise end at Tigers, Tide?

Wow! How correct you are. As a proud graduate of UAB (philosophy and political science, 1981), I must say I am surprised that Dr. Garrison is being supported in this manner by an out-of-town newspaper. Of course, I hope you realize, we still are going to have Division 1 sports that compete with Alabama and Auburn. Does this still make it a OK? Or does this fit into your praise of Dr. Garrison?

Albert A. Turner


Intolerance pervades Alabama politics

The editorial "Marriage ban nothing but political statement" in the Feb. 10 DAILY was the truth and I applaud you for it. Politicians use the fear factor toward gays unduly for their self-serving purposes on a redundant law. I see no justification for Alabama legislators in singling out a particular group with sexual orientation that differs with the dominant religion.

Religious zealots think that homosexuality was the great sin of Sodomites. But they are sorely mistaken with their narrow view about the biblical record. The prophet Ezekiel gives this picture: "The iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy." Arrogance, wealth, pleasure and indifference to human needs were prevalent; however, homosexuality was also an abomination.

Christ's discourse on end-time events stated nothing about the vilest passions in Sodom, but he declared the people "ate, drank, brought, sold, planted, built and ... Remember Lot's wife" when judgment comes. While same-sex marriages constitute one of many sins, Christ revealed the foremost evils of self-indulgences, greed, intemperance, possessions and covetousness.

Conservative Christians speak unkindly that gays "will not inherit heaven," but these professors of the faith will not pronounce the same sentence on "fornicators, adulterers, thieves, murderers, drunkards, liars, hatred, and envying." Conservatives forget the phrase "such were some of you."

Bigotry, castigation, discrimination, intolerance, and prejudice still pervade Alabama politics. Since scapegoats are often sacrificed, what group will be targeted next?

Isaiah J. Ashe


Heavenly inclusion could spark trouble

Indirectly, Dr. Billy Graham says that all Muslims are not going to heaven. He quotes the Bible, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved" (Acts 16:3).

I think that if Christians have a Heaven; Muslims have a Heaven also. Muslims make up approximately 30 percent of the world's population. They have their beliefs and faith just like the Christians.

The Muslims are a rowdy bunch. If they go to heaven with Christians and the Jewish faith, there is going to be trouble in Heaven. But I don't know where they will get their explosives.

Leroy J. Carlisle Hartselle

City annexation would end hunting, farming

For the last two or three weeks, rumor has it the mayor and City Council of Somerville are trying to annex all the way to Brewer High School. They are supposedly promising better police and fire protection. I personally don't want to be in Somerville's jurisdiction.

The sheriff's department does a great job. I believe the Florette Volunteer Fire Department is as good as any in the county. It seems Somerville applied for a grant to refurbish the old courthouse and received it, but they need matching funds to use it, so now they want to annex more businesses and a four-way stop sign to help bolster the funds.

If they annex this into the city limits, the new firearms law will stop anyone from firing a firearm in city limits. This would cover a lot of area used for hunting. What would be next? A livestock law — no livestock in the city limits?

They tried this several years ago and did not succeed. We still don't want to pay their bills.

Sam Cowart


More to Bush, Clinton than a little pot smoke

This is in response to the letter from Rev. John C. Bush, which appeared in THE DAILY on Feb. 27, in which he attempted to equate President Bush's morality to that of former President Clinton. He emphasized that President Bush is a "self affirmed pot smoker ... who apparently both inhaled and exhaled."

Without saying so, he implied that Clinton may have smoked pot, but he never inhaled, thereby maintaining a higher moral standard. On that basis, Rev. Bush feels that religious leaders of the "religious right" (Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, James Dobson, et. al.) should either castigate President Bush or apologize to former President Clinton.

Rev. Bush, in my opinion, has a myopic view of morality. He forgot, or chooses to ignore, that Clinton had multiple extra-marital affairs, that he lied to the American people, he lied under oath, and that he participated in oral sex in the Oval Office. Those were the actions that prompted the moral indignation of the "minions of the religious right" (Rev. Bush's term), but they apparently are not acts of moral depravity in Rev. Bush's book.

I do not condone pot smoking or any other drug use, and I have never partaken of any drugs. But, I believe that I would have to be high on something in order to equate Bill Clinton's morals to those of George Bush.

Robert A. Matasick


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