News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Bus stop needed; why
is council opposed?

I recently read another article about Mr. Deldar's bus stop/gas station.

I have been following it for a while and I can't understand why the City Council will not let him have it, even when it seems he complies with what they ask for.

I always thought the City Council was a fair-minded group of people. This makes me wonder if I have not been wrong.

As far as crime in the area, I never hear of anything there. Any business can breed crime if allowed. It seems like a good location to me.

The bus stop is necessary for us poor people who cannot afford plane fares and I'm also sure it will bring some much-needed tax money.

Bessie M. Bailey


City needs to enforce
its noise ordinance

After reading the letter to the editor about the automobile noise, I thought it might interest the citizens of Decatur that I have already addressed this issue with Ronny Russell, council member of District 5, with no satisfaction. I also addressed this with the mayor and the chief of police. Their remark was that the law is so ambiguous that it is not enforceable.

Well, according to the state law, each vehicle has to have a muffler without baffles. There may be four motorcycles in town that have legal mufflers. The city enacted a law relative to noise some time ago, but they want to restrict it to businesses.

The money that the city wants to invest in that Trojan horse called the mall should be spent to get the local police officers hearing aids. They couldn't possibly be that deaf. What this city needs in the worst way is: a new City Council that has the guts to do something besides spend money, a mayor who has enough male testosterone to grab the bull by the horns and instruct the chief of police to enforce the law, and a new city attorney who will prosecute these inconsiderate jerks to the fullest extent of the law.

If these mentioned will not do it, then in three more years, we can show them what we mean.

Aaron Potts


Silence noise pollution caused by trains

I tip my hat to City Councilman Gary Hammon for his current investigation of the noise levels caused by the trains and their whistles going through Decatur. I also congratulate City Engineer Carl Prewitt for beginning the study on all the crossings.

We live in the Farm subdivision just off Spring Avenue. Our home is less than one mile from the tracks. Under the right wind and weather conditions, on any given day, we can hear the irritating noise from the train whistles at Cedar Lake, Lenwood, Poole Valley and Mill Road! Prior to this, we lived on Rigel Drive Southwest, so we have been putting up with these window-rattling blasts for 18 years.

It's high time we silence the noise pollution caused by these trains and give the surrounding neighborhoods back to the city of Decatur.

Leo M. Spain


Options while waiting
to pick up children

Here's a list of "things to do" for parents waiting in line 30-45 minutes to pick up and drop off students at Hartselle Junior High:

Stick pins in a Don Pouncey voodoo doll.

Stick pins in a Ron Puckett voodoo doll.

Pretend the pylons are city council members, and swerve at them.

Consider the value of an elected superintendent.

Consider the value of an elected school board.

Watch your car's gas hand slowly creep toward "E."

Change your last name to Smith so you can use the safer M-Z line.

Ponder the cost of gas wasted sitting in line vs. private school tuition. Private school may be cheaper.

Ponder if "one way is safer" really means "now two ways with kids crossing in front of you again is safer."

Read "War and Peace."

Practice obscene gestures. They will come in handy when you meet the suited man at the end of the line.

Smile and thank the officers directing traffic. This is not their fault. Bake them some brownies or something. You can probably do that on the hood of your car.

Ball practice or dental appointments at 3:30? Not gonna happen.

Reread Ron Puckett's comments on Aug. 13 stating, "I'm not concerned that it took parents 30 minutes to pick up their children at HJHS." Remember them at FOP donation time.

Try to remember when anyone asked the parents if they wanted this new system.

Take a nap. You were probably here at 7 a.m. for the morning drop-off fiasco, too.

Make more voodoo dolls of the school board, City Council members, and maybe the mayor too — just in case.

Hug your children when you finally get to see them. They are the ones standing there in the heat, rain, etc., missing homework time, play time, and mostly, you.

Pamela A. Ramey


Lack of consideration
by others is frustrating

Could someone please tell me where to get my very own membership to the "obliviot" club? Definition of "obliviots": Those who pick up their children at school using the driving lane instead of the pickup lane because they don't have to obey the signs that say "No stopping, loading or unloading." They stop, blocking traffic, and don't have the courtesy to move when "beeped" at by those who obey the signs.

Also included are those who believe they're too good to have to wait in the street to pick up their child because the line is so long. They pull around all the other cars and squeeze into "no parking" spots.

Then there are those who block service road intersections because they don't have to obey the sign that says "Do not block intersection, " and finally, those who drive 90 to nothin' down residential streets because they don't have to obey the posted speed limit.

These same obliviots behave the same way in department and grocery stores, blocking aisles with their buggies and children, talking to someone on a cell phone, or carrying on a conversation with another person, giving me a dirty look because I have the audacity to want something on that particular aisle.

I want a membership to this club so I can take care of me, myself, and I and treat the rest of the world like they were put here for my benefit!

Karen McDaniel


Safe driving requires
undivided attention

Thank you for your editorial on Aug. 10 regarding cell-phone usage, especially by young drivers. I am glad to see Colorado taking action in banning the use of cell phones by young drivers behind the wheel.

However, it is my opinion that cell-phone use should be banned for all drivers while behind the wheel. This is one of the most distracting practices and with the increasing number of automobiles on the highways, and cell-phone owners, it is proving to be a deadly practice.

Most cell phones have caller ID. Therefore, a driver should find a place to pull over and park and return the call. I know the cell-phone industry is very much in protest of this action, also complaining about those who eat or put on makeup while behind the wheel.

Perhaps legislation should be written against performing any other activity while behind the wheel of a vehicle. We should recognize that lives are at stake here and do all we can to protect not only the drivers, but also the passengers.

Iris T. Wiggins


Youths must be taught video is not reality

In our society today, teachers and parents are hard-pressed to compete with MTV and "Grand Theft Auto." Many pre-teens and teens are at home alone most of the time due to economics (and plain old deadbeat parents), and the parents don't have a clue about what their children do. Violent video games have become a virtual reality for many of the home-alone crowd.

Twenty years ago, with Pong, Donkey Kong and Pac-Man as video game novelties, children and teens had fun playing these games. After playing these games, teens didn't become enraged and murder people. It all became passe.

Now, video games lining the walls of video stores and grocery stores consist of gang violence, thievery and the torturing of women and the defenseless.

Is it a coincidence that, after these games were put on the market, crimes escalated in this nation? I think not. Video games of this caliber can teach your children how to become thieves, perverts and all-around hoodlums.

Here are some examples: In Fayette, 18-year-old Devin Moore stole a car. While being apprehended, he shot and killed three policemen.

In 1997, Michael Carneal, age 14, shot eight students at a school in Paducah, Ky. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris killed 13 people at a school in Columbine, Colo., in 1999. All the shooters were enamored of violent video games. They all acted out what they played on the screen. It became their way of life. What teens hear and see does have an effect on them.

At a hearing for Devin Moore, he was heard to say, "Life is like a video game. You have to die sometime."

Jimmy Robinson


Illegals are criminals,
a drain on system

A recent letter published in THE DAILY would lead us to believe that illegal aliens were actually having a positive impact on our economy by paying taxes while not being legally eligible to draw Social Security.

I would like to point out that, in the same edition, there was an article showing that the Hispanic population in Alabama has quadrupled in the last 15 years. These figures were for legal Hispanic residents, the article said, and that in Birmingham alone, there are four times as many illegal aliens as legal immigrants.

Our state has almost 500,000 illegal immigrants now, with more coming daily. Most of the illegal aliens are young Hispanic families, and while it is true that some pay minimal taxes from their paychecks, and sales taxes on money that they spend, they are costing us much more. Once these illegals are here, they are eligible for benefits, including housing, health care and food stamps. The illegals are getting better care in some cases than people whose families have paid taxes for generations.

Our schools are providing classes in Spanish while our own children suffer. The illegals are bringing in crime, drugs and diseases. They do not file tax forms, have legal identification or auto insurance. They cannot read road signs or follow traffic laws, which creates more accidents.

By definition, the illegals are criminals. They are here illegally, draining our resources and taking from our citizens' needs.

We as citizens should demand that our leaders enforce immigration laws and seal our borders, demand that our social programs be for only legal U.S. citizens, and eliminate the "Anchor Baby" citizenship rule. Our government, whether Democrat or Republican, is not going to do anything until the citizens demand it.

Terry Goodman


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