News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Railroad safety should trump hotel business

It surprises and disturbs me to think the city of Decatur has put a good night's rest for the customers at Country Inn and Suites over the safety of the citizens of Decatur. The guests no longer have to listen to trains blowing their horns and disturbing their sleep.

The regional manager's plea for more business at Country Inn and Suites pales in comparison to the grief of a mother who lost her daughter to a train collision six years ago.

Could it be that the increase in train traffic translates to relocation of the hotel, not compromising the safety of Decatur citizens? What was the City Council thinking?

Joanne Canada


School procedures
assure student safety

In response to Pamela Ramey's letter regarding picking up her child at Hartselle Junior High School:

I would like to say she should be thanking Don Pouncey instead of belittling him. The safety of our students has always been a priority for everyone at the junior high school, but in spite of our efforts, we still had two students hit in recent years. Mr. Pouncey genuinely cares about every student at our school, and was concerned that someone was going to be seriously injured if some changes weren't made.

This new system has not been easy for any of us, but the entire faculty and staff at HJHS have been willing to do their parts to keep the children safe. It was a long wait the first day of school, but now most of our students are gone by 3:15 p.m.

Our school does not dismiss until 2:55, so the only parents who wait long periods of time are those who choose to arrive at 2:15 or earlier and wait.

Mr. Pouncey, along with many of our staff members, stands in the heat and rain to help students get to their cars. I think Ms. Ramey lives inside the city limits, and as such, has the option of bus service. If she would take advantage of this service, it might help relieve some of the frustration she is experiencing.

We assumed that the No. 1 priority of parents would be their children's safety, and that is why we have put this new system in place. We have made adjustments to the system and, as of now, the children are picked up quicker than in years past.

Debbie Smith


Loan of local rescue crew appreciated

I just wanted to make sure that someone said "Thank you" to the folks of Decatur for letting a fire and rescue crew come down here to help us deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. I ran into your people a few days ago as they were passing through my town on the way to New Orleans. It is a moving thing to see folks from surrounding states helping each other like this. I hope these men have a safe return to their own families and may God bless you all.

Ed Britton

Baton Rouge, La.

Sheriff stands up
for Morgan County

I have been reading the ongoing saga of the power-hungry Morgan County Commission. I am so glad we have a sheriff who will stand up for what he believes is best for the county he and his officers protect.

I am happy to know that the "good ol' boys" days in Morgan County may finally be about to end.

I wonder how much money the county could save in telephone bills and wasted salary if commissioners would just stop and let the sheriff run his jail and his employees. Maybe the commission should focus on the condition of roads and bridges and the flooding problems.

Allison Munoz


U-turns on dangerous part of U.S. 31 illegal

On U.S. 31 just across the river bridge and between the Day Park, as I understand it, there is no U-turning in this area. Recently, on my way to Huntsville, I saw a Decatur city truck make a U-turn almost in the same area where people were killed in the past.

The truck was a white Ford crew-cab truck with four or five men in it. I don't know if the person driving the truck could read, but the sign plainly says, "No U-turns."

Roger Payne


City's new recreation
complex impressive

What a thrill it was to experience some college-level soccer right here in Decatur when Arkansas' Harding University and North Georgia went head-to-head at the new Jack Allen Recreation Complex on Sept. 20.

The Decatur Parks and Recreation staff not only made sure the field was exceptionally green and immaculately kept, but also ensured each team felt like honored guests. With only a week's notice, Decatur's Parks and Recreation rallied into action to facilitate this game between the colleges as a matter of convenience for both teams. A modest crowd attended the game and within minutes of the game's final whistle, all garbage, cups, towels were picked up, with watercoolers and tables efficiently whisked away.

Both teams were very impressed with the scope and quality of the fields, and one team's manager said the entire team was speechless when they stepped off the bus and onto the fields. Both coaches plan to use the fields again next season. Thank you Decatur Parks and Recreation for your efforts of maintaining this gorgeous asset to our community. Not only is this a phenomenal facility for local soccer enthusiasts, but the economic impact of just a single game like this one adds much needed revenue to our community. The park is also extremely versatile, facilitating many other turf-based sports such as football, long-drive golf competitions, rugby, flying disc, etc.

I can only imagine what the finished complex will be like when the seating, playground, concessions and other elements of the park are complete, but if the service received on Sept. 20 was any indication of how this facility will be run in the future, I feel confident any team in the world would want to come and play in Decatur.

Julianne Lowman


WMDs, body counts, Clinton lies and control

In reference to Wayne Holliday's letter, the al-Qaida terrorists attacked America on Sept. 11, 2001. They were supported by Iraq (Saddam Hussein), who was murdering his own people and producing WMDs. Those laboratories were built in semi-truck trailers for hiding purposes. The reason the United States didn't find them is because we appealed to Iraq to stop, or we would attack. Therefore, they were warned about four weeks early. Iraq had time to drive them to like-minded neighbors, such as Iran (which is now working on nuclear production).

To make it simple to understand, if someone were running a liquor still or a crack house, and the chief of police called and said his deputies were coming the next week to search the property, would they find anything incriminating? You see, Iraq had plenty of warning time to clear everything out.

Subject No. 2: Counting casualties. The military counts casualties on both sides. If the media reported it all, it would make the Republican administration look good. The Democrats think it is their God-given right to run and control the United States.

No president lied to the people more than Bill Clinton.

Carver Gordon


Wealthy should pay to
rebuild New Orleans

The new question in the news is, how do we pay to rebuild New Orleans? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Repeal the enormous tax breaks given the wealthiest people in the country — those who make more than $200,000 per year. This should give us billions of dollars.
  • Cut all the pork projects from the recently passed transportation bill. This will put back billions of dollars to be used more wisely.
  • Eliminate tax breaks to oil companies in the recently passed energy bill.
  • Reinstate the inheritance tax. The exemption from the tax in 2004 was $1.5 million, more than most people would ever inherit. But the Republicans decided that the rich shouldn't have to pay any tax no matter how much they inherit. This single tax cut is predicted to cost $1.3 trillion for this decade. At present, this shortfall will be added to the national debt over a period of years, which means we will all pay.

    The current administration favors only big business and the wealthy.

    Write your congressman, your senator, even the president. Let your opinions be heard. Their addresses can be obtained in THE DECATUR DAILY, from the local library, even on the Internet. The burden of payment for this tragedy should not be on the backs of the poor and middle classes. Let your voices be heard!

    Peggy B. Webb


    Priceville residents were firm against rezoning

    Thanks to all the residents of Priceville who signed petitions and spoke out against the rezoning of 29 acres adjacent to Marsha Avenue. It was a huge effort for the community to stand together and let our mayor and council members know how we felt on this issue.

    As you may know, Jean Tune rescinded her request to have the land rezoned. It was made clear during the council's meeting that this could come up again for rezoning; if and when that occurs, we will need your support.

    We met many people in Priceville who responded favorably to help their fellow neighbors take a stand against this action. It is those of you I want to personally thank. If this had gone through, it would have had a major impact on many lives in the surrounding area.

    When my husband and I bought our land, we never anticipated commercialization would occur right in our back yard. We are thankful for the neighbors and friends who all dug in together and stopped this action.

    Melanie Starbuck


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