News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Can oppose war, support troops


I cannot agree with those who say that, since we are in Iraq, we must stay there to “complete the mission.” Years after the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam, Robert McNamara, a man instrumental in U.S. involvement there, came forward to say that the war had been a mistake; we should not have followed the course we did there. That was small comfort to the families of service members and the service members themselves (those who lived). Many people spoke out against that war. They were often accused of “aiding the enemy” or “not supporting our troops.” Both my father and I were service members during that time. All most of the troops wanted was a ticket on the red-tailed bird back to the world. The lessons of the French at Dien Bien Phu were lost on the United States in Vietnam. The lessons from Vietnam are lost on the current administration.

I don’t know what President Bush’s real agenda for going to Iraq was. I don’t know what “the mission” is now. The administration’s story has changed so many times. I suspect that now we are down to a matter of saving Bush’s face. A message to him: A truly strong man admits error and takes steps to correct it. I know it is possible to support our troops and oppose our presence in Iraq at the same time, because I do both of those things.

William Allen


City must plan for its future


When I read Paul Huggins’ article, “The Birth of a New Decatur,” I thought of the importance of each generation of leadership in the development of our economically viable, family-friendly city. Early leaders saw the connection between good business and good quality-of-life. Besides attractive housing, efficient transportation, good sanitation and good schools, early visionaries knew the importance of public green spaces, notably Delano Park. Over the years, subsequent leaders built on these ideals, so that now Decatur is one of the beacons in the state for per capita income, school performance and recreational activities, including Point Mallard, Wilson Morgan Park and Rhodes Ferry Park. Tourism has now become one of our city’s important industries.

How will leaders of Decatur continue to provide for its citizens for the future? Not only by using current resources wisely, but also by planning for future growth and needs by increasing revenues through progressive measures, such as property and luxury taxes. I believe the time is right for Decatur leaders and citizens to have continuous dialogue on current and future priorities, such as schools, transportation, safety, infrastructure, health and recreation. Together we can work to continue Decatur’s great tradition of partnering economic growth and quality-of life for subsequent generations.

Cathy Hansberry


Don’t give golf course away


Apparently our mayor is determined to get rid of the golf course at Point Mallard. I question the wisdom of this because the golf course is a great asset to Decatur.

It seems to me that the real no-income producing attractions at Point Mallard should be looked into before we even consider the golf course.

I would like to see the numbers for the ice rink, the campground and the water park. Are they all in the black? I think not. So why all the attention to the golf course? Because nobody wants the other three. So we give up the best part of the facility (the golf course) and then are stuck with the three real losers and what have we accomplished? Nothing.

I also doubt very seriously that Indian Hills and Cedar Ridge are profitable. I think that’s wishful thinking.

We need to keep the golf course just as it is because there is more play at that facility than ever before and it will only get better. Don’t give away one of the best golf facilities in Alabama. It would truly be a shame for the citizens of Decatur to have this taken away from them.

Charles R. Rankin


Time will tell about Cargill


Regarding your story in the Aug. 19 paper about a possible closing of the Cargill Decatur plant: I think it is irresponsible to get your information from an entry-level employee who apparently didn’t have the facts right.

I personally know that there has not been any definite announcement of the plant closing. The employees were told that the plant was being looked at for a possible closing in the future due to declining markets. They were not told “it’s just a matter of time.”

You were right to put a question mark in the headline because the whole story is just speculation and rumor with little fact. Surely you can do better than this!

I am a Cargill retiree who keeps in touch with the plant events. I could have given you a better and more accurate story than this one.

Charlie Reid


Missed Blues Brothers article


I want to thank everyone for supporting our “homeboys,” the Alabama Blues Brothers, on Aug. 19. But it saddens me that THE DECATUR DAILY had no article concerning this benefit performance.

When I opened my paper on Saturday, I just knew there would be an article on them. But to my surprise, a picture of Dorothy Cole performing at Ditto Landing was on the front page.

First, let me say I am a huge fan of Dorothy Cole. But I feel that our Alabama Blues Brothers should have been on our front page. Their performance was not just any reunion performance. This was to benefit the Arc of Morgan County. Jamey and Justin Crisler put together an entire show band of wonderful musicians and backup singers and worked very hard to put this show together. I have yet to see anything in our paper about this performance.

Huntsville has a newspaper and I am sure they covered this story on Dorothy Cole at Ditto Landing. I know they are celebrating a special time also. But this is something that went on here in Decatur and I feel it should have been covered, especially something that was so beneficial to such a wonderful organization as the Arc.

These guys could have done the show and gone on, but they chose to involve the kids from the Arc. They let the kids perform on the stage with them and then made a special presentation to Mark Griffin, the Arc’s director. These kids were so excited and thrilled to have all this recognition. I personally want to thank all who came to support them. There were people from all over Alabama and Tennessee there. Too bad THE DAILY wasn’t there.

Thank you for your support. We love Jamey and Justin!

Kathy Taylor


Editor’s note: THE DAILY featured the Alabama Blues Brothers, Jamey and Justin Crisler, and previewed the Aug. 19 concert to benefit the Arc, on the front of the Sunday, Aug. 14, Living section.

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