News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Thanks to Austin coach, a positive role model

Three cheers for Kendral Ellison of the Austin High School football team and for Coach David Norman, as well.

The Oct. 20 sports page article attributes a quote to Ellison: "I believe what they are trying to do is make us better people in life." Sounds like he's learning the lessons his coach is teaching, which are certainly the skills of the sport, but also life lessons that will go with him into a successful future.

Thanks to Coach Norman and others like him who are positive role models for our young people and who challenge them to be the best they can be.

Julia Chenault


Hartselle City Council needs a fresh start

Have you ever seen a jackass eating briers? I have. In fact, when I look at every school board member, any council member, any member of the planning commission or any chamber of commerce member of Hartselle, I think of the old jack, when he gives you that fake smile.

I think about the recent and third step toward destruction of the school drug policy and removal of the school nurse's involvement from the drug test; the debacle of the under-intelligent form of dropping off and picking up kids at the junior high school; the changing of the school board meetings back to Monday, just to keep DeAngelo McDaniel from reporting "all" the news, by forcing him to choose between council and school business.

Our City Council is spending money hand over fist. As long as it's not their money, who cares, right? They are grossly anti-business, as is obvious by their actions toward restaurants and group homes. Our mayor lives in a fantasy world, where everything is perfect. The remainder of the council are mindless robots.

Our chamber of commerce was recently found where it belongs: in the "potty." The lack of intellectual acuity of the chamber president seriously diminishes their entire purview. Our planning commission is so backward it's pathetic. Every person on every board, every committee, council and chamber should be on the next fast train leaving Hartselle, with or without their consent. We need a fresh start with people who have everyone in Hartselle in mind, and people who don't come with strings attached.

Charles Dudley Warner once said: "Politics makes strange bedfellows" and Plato said, "Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber." I wonder if either of them ever visited Hartselle, Ala.!

Mike Dowdy


Treat all buried in cemeteries with reverence

I think to a certain extent your editorial is correct, but I disagree with you about the general population knowing what veterans from what wars are buried at cemeteries. It should not make any difference!

I love old cemeteries, and a friend of mine and I ride up and down many of the county roads, looking for the old cemeteries. We go into them with pad and pencil to index the veterans from the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Civil War. It just so happens that we belong to lineage societies that pertain to the above wars. It does not mean that the other wars are less important, because they are not. I have had family members who were veterans in every war since the Revolutionary War, and they have all lived down South. All of my veterans are very special to me and just as important, as the next.

I was taught that there is a certain formality and etiquette to do with cemeteries, and that they should all be treated with reverence, because everyone buried there was someone's family and they were special to them. It should not make any difference to the public who is buried in the different cemeteries, except that they are humans and they should be treated with kindness and courtesy!

Lorraine G. Ennis


Parks, Mary Baker Eddy, crusaders for all

Thank you for the Oct. 26 editorial, "Rosa Parks' loud voice came in seated silence." Her individual act of courage changed a way of life, "not with muscle and outrage but with passive resistance."

Mary Baker Eddy was another reformer, who challenged 19th century limitations on women. She was a crusader for the rights not only of women, but also of everyone — regardless of gender, race, color or creed. In her best-selling book, first published in 1875, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mrs. Eddy wrote: "A few immortal sentences, breathing the omnipotence of divine justice, have been potent to break despotic fetters and abolish the whipping-post and slave market; but oppression neither went down in blood, nor did the breath of freedom come from the cannon's mouth. Love is the liberator."

Truly, the actions of Rosa Parks spoke louder than her words. What an example for us all!

Eileen M. James


Reader needs reality check on job quality

About the letter in the paper where an opinionated female reader called it "disgusting" a worker at Delphi isn't feeling "blessed" for just having a job. All I can say is that she needs a reality check. The UAW already negotiated a two tier wage with Delphi (reopened the contract) where new hires would start out at the supplier level pay of about $14 an hour. Now they want to pay us $10 an hour, take our pensions and cut our health care.

The reader went on to state she went from making $15 an hour, to working nine hours a day for $35 a week. That's 80 cents an hour. No wonder you had it tough. The United States can't compete with countries paying 50 cents to $1 an hour, with no regard for the environment, no work rules, unfair export/import taxes, child labor, market flooding, etc. And they employ skilled workers, too. You can get three workers with almost any advanced skill from India, Poland, China, etc. for the price of one here. Delphi is the biggest employer in Mexico, with thousands more to follow. Does anyone think consumers will see any price drops in cars when they pay everyone $10 an hour? No, but the CEOs will get nicer perks.

I hope the lady who was "disgusted" at the Delphi workers' remarks is first in line to work in a hot, smelly, oily, dirty, high cancer rate job, doing the exact same thing 3,000-4,000 times a day. You'll be begging for your rake back, even for $35 a week. Local management did the best they could with a plan from Detroit that set us up for failure to start with. The corporation sent people to help us through it. How nice since they're the ones who put us there.

Norman Mixon


Council spends while rest of us tighten our belts

When Cargill came to town did anyone get a rate decrease on any of their utility bills? Of course this is a rhetorical question! But when Cargill leaves town, we are supposed to get an increase?

When they are gone the city will not have to provide power, water or treat any waste. They don't collect any city tax right now because they are not in the city limits.

It appears that the city and Decatur Utilities will have to learn to tighten their belts like the rest of us have to do when money gets tight. With all these services not being needed, perhaps Decatur Utilities might have a surplus of personnel. I can point out six salaries right off the top of my head and it would save the city a lot of money. Do away with the mayor and the five City Council members. They do nothing now but spend money.

It's unfortunate that we don't have the ability to have a "recall" vote. If we did, there would be some major changes in the way the city business is handled and the City Council would know beforehand that some appointment would be decided. To be at the helm of the city, someone must show some semblance of leadership, something this administration has failed to show over the period of 18 months.

Truth to tell, it has gone from bad to worse.

Aaron Potts


Safety an issue with policemen shortages

I can't help but wonder which our citizens would rather have in our town: beautification or safety?

We have a shortage of policemen in Decatur. With everything going on in this world, we need protection and we don't have enough of it. We elected our mayor and councilmen to make changes and we have not seen it. The people we depend on the most, our firemen and policemen, are not given the services they need to protect us. And did you know that every speed bump that has been put up has caused the police, firemen, and ambulance drivers to slow down when they are rushing to help someone in trouble? What happened to good old-fashioned stop signs?

As elected officials, it is their duty to protect us as much as possible.

Joy Watson


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