News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
SUNDAY, MARCH 27, 2005


As gift to others, make wishes known now


Both the government and Terri Schiavo's family are attempting to speak for her. Hospice of the Valley's thoughts and prayers go out to those who will be confronting this difficult decision — especially the family members. They are confronted with a decision most of us will never have to make. In situations where the most personal and intimate of matters are debated by a third party, there are no winners. It does not matter what the judicial decision is, family members will still be left to struggle with their pain and loss.

A lesson we can all learn from this painful situation is the need to talk with our loved ones about our last living and dying wishes. Living wills and health care powers of attorney — all forms of advance directives — are critically important. It is a gift we give our families when we make our health care wishes known. Comfort comes to families when they know they are carrying out the wishes of their loved ones.

In addition to establishing advance directives, we should also talk openly about the care we wish to receive at the end of our lives. These conversations are difficult but have the potential of enhancing our relationships and opening dialogues that could be precious memories. These conversations and the preparation of documents do not have to be done in a lawyer's office, but rather around the kitchen table during calm times, not in the midst of a health care crisis.

Hospice of the Valley has advance directive information readily available to the community. If you would like to understand the options you have in making your wishes known, please call our office at 350-5585. Give your family a gift: Make your wishes known.

Carolyn Dobson

Executive Director

Hospice of the Valley


Wilson Morgan would serve shoppers well


More than three years ago, I began walking for my health. This activity is a big part of my life now, due to the amazing benefits I now enjoy.

I love the parks in Lawrence County and Morgan County, with the walking trails at H.A. Alexander Park and Delano Park being my favorites.

However, I no longer walk in Wilson Morgan Park due to the large amount of traffic around almost all of the trail. The park is pretty, but the volume of traffic is very distracting and dangerous.

I believe this area would serve well as a shopping complex instead of a park.

Sandra Jones


Glasscock straddles fence with vote


Last November, the citizens of Morgan County voted for a change when they elected new members and a new chairman to the County Commission, because they were tired of the waste of taxpayer money, especially unauthorized travel expenses for county employees.

Last year, the commission adopted a resolution that requires all officials and county employees to get approval in advance for all trips in excess of one night.

If I remember correctly, Mr. Glasscock voted in favor of this resolution, yet just recently, he broke a tie by voting to allow this very thing to happen in favor of letting the license commissioner's office do just that, by taking along Patsy Dougherty without approval.

Whose side is he on? It seems he wants to straddle the fence by voting both ways. I think a lot of taxpayers are very upset by this vote.

Maybe he intended to allow all county officials to take along whomever they please for a free vacation at the taxpayers' expense!

Margaret Smith


Proposed Big Brother bill endangers drivers


There is a bill being proposed to allow police to use cameras to catch red-light runners. Even though this is legal and other cities are using them to reduce red-light runners and side-impact accidents, has there been a study to determine if rear-end accidents would increase? It seems to me they would increase when drivers attempt to stop short when they know which intersections have these cameras.

I think increased driver awareness about the dangers of running a red light would be better than having Big Brother spying on them. I don't think this is a good idea and the bill should not be passed.

Calvin Whitmer

Lacey's Spring

We must enforce U.S. immigration laws


The recent article about the stabbing death of a Tanner woman prompts me to write.

I am the product of four first-generation grandparents who emigrated, legally, from Ireland.

This letter is not about bias, prejudice, or political correctness. It is about upholding the law. The article referenced that both the victim and her husband were illegal aliens. Who will now care for this child? Will DHR now step in and care for this poor child?

While I have compassion for the boy, I do not think I should be forced to support him via my tax dollars. At the same time my tax money is also being used to support the father while he awaits trial in the county jail.

And what of the unfortunate mother? Who will buy her casket, pay her funeral expenses, and bury her? Dare I say, probably the state or county, again using my tax dollars.

All of this waste of life and money could be prevented by deporting any illegal aliens in our community as soon as they commit their first known crime, which is entering this country illegally.

When will this lack of enforcement of our immigration laws end? When our government is so overwhelmed by the financial responsibilities of sustaining our criminals by their selective enforcement of the immigration laws that our legal, health, and welfare systems all collapse under the weight.

While we should welcome all who aspire to access the opportunities our great country has to offer, we should act aggressively to get rid of all of those who break our laws in crossing our borders. How can we spend millions on homeland security in hopes of protecting our country and have open borders at the same time? It is a recipe for disaster.

Darrell Milligan


Sex offenders should wear transmitters


I am writing about little Jessica Lunsford, the 9-year-old girl from Florida who was allegedly murdered by her neighbor who was a sex offender. It saddened me when I watched this on the national news.

This innocent little girl's life was taken, and it didn't have to happen. The police did an excellent job on this investigation, but we need to get a mandatory bill passed in every state where known sex offenders who are released from prison must be required to wear a transmitter on them at all times.

I can only hope that people will call or write their representatives in Congress and let them know that we need this bill introduced, passed and signed into law. Our prayers go out to Jessica Lunsford and to her parents and family.

David W. Kelley


School bands deserve more positive attention


I would like to say a big thank you to Russ McCollum for the letter he wrote (published March 16). He was exactly right about our bands needing more attention.

My daughter plays in Danville High School Band and they also have made great strides in the past two years.

This year our band was also recommended to state competition and traveled to The University of Alabama. We were not paraded down the halls, as was the basketball team that made it to state. Nor were we supported by the student body. There was no fanfare at all.

Sometimes we wonder why our students make fun of the band and why they don't see that they are of any importance. It's because they are not treated with any importance. Maybe a morning announcement, a good-luck wish or maybe a pat on the back was given, but no significance was made over our band. It is really sad and I think schools need to boost and stand behind all band programs.

We did have a police and fire truck escort away from the school and for that we say a big "thank you" to the Danville Fire Department and to the troopers and sheriff's department. That show of support was special to our band and it meant more than we could ever express.

But I think Mr. McCollum hit the nail on the head with his letter and I say, "Way to go."

Go Hawks Band!

Mitzi Oaks


Local public radio listeners have options


For listeners to public radio, the choices have traditionally been about the same as what Henry Ford offered with the Model T: "any color as long as it's black."

That is, in a given location there typically has been no option of picking among variant flavors of public radio programming. And, tuning in has traditionally meant dealing with an unstated message of, "Here we are, we're your station, take us or leave us!"

But for more than a year now, those of us in the Huntsville-Decatur area have been favored with a new choice, although many may still not be aware of it.

Thanks to the Alabama Public Radio system (specifically, joint efforts of WUAL-Tuscaloosa and WQPR-Florence), the programming out of Tuscaloosa is available in our area at 94.7, 98.1 and 100.7 mhz on the FM band.

I would encourage others to give this alternative a trial listen. They may discover, as I did, that competition and choice are good things — even when it comes to something as noncommercial as public radio.

Jerry Berg


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