News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Politicians must be accountable for actions

On Murphy vs. Deputies: Alabama has had more than its share of "politicians" who think they are above everyone else. This is the same old song with new players: big "I," little "you."

Alabama has no need for more politicians who believe they should not be held accountable, as though politicians do not have to comply with little things like court orders, traffic tickets and taxes. Are these regulations only for the peons?

Patsy Sparkman


Ticket brouhaha sending out wrong message

Somewhere it must be an unwritten rule that elected officials do not get traffic tickets. It seems they think they are better than the common citizen when they make a mistake with our state's traffic laws, and the officers that enforce them. Case in point, Morgan County Commissioner Kevin Murphy.

This situation looks bad for Morgan County. Not because of the deputy that wrote the ticket, but because of the way the elected officials are handling the ticket. Do I think if I, Mr. Citizen, got a ticket from a deputy that the sheriff would meet with me and the county attorney to discuss the matter?

Will a commissioner conduct an investigation into the actions of the deputies involved? Should I, because I got a ticket, make an ethics complaint against the deputy who wrote it? I've got news for all of the above: no!

Mr. Murphy should do as we all do: when we get a ticket, we pay it or go to court.

Shame on Sheriff Greg Bartlett, because that is exactly what he should have told Murphy to do. If Commissioner Stacy George wants to conduct investigations, he should run for sheriff.

All of these officials are sending a very wrong message when it comes to abiding by and enforcing the law. In the meantime, unless they handle this the right way, which has not been done, they will keep sending the wrong message and embarrassing the county in the process.

As for the deputy? The last time I checked, we pay him to enforce the law, but one has to wonder about his future for doing his job.

David Peterson


Religious group doesn't belong in public schools

We were somewhat dismayed to learn that Team Impact (a tour of Christian athletes) appeared at Decatur city high schools, and are curious to learn more about who paid for their visit and when these assemblies took place.

Even though they had a supposedly secular message at these meetings, it still seems to us like a sideways way to insert Christianity into the high schools. After all, everyone must admit, it's not likely a group of upstanding Muslim athletes would have been allowed to speak to the students, and then to invite them to one of their events taking place at a local mosque.

Tina Seeborg


Poultry industry must take steps to protect public

I believe it is high time that our community and others throughout the country, cried "fowl" over the trucks that carry live chickens to slaughter on our roads. For years I have been sickened by the large 18-wheelers that carry hundreds of cages full of chickens with feathers, excrement and stench down our highways and rural roads. They leave in their wake sickened car drivers who, unless their vehicles have an air system that recycles the internal air, are forced to endure the smell and flying feathers.

Although I have mostly griped and complained to my family, I believe that it is time to act before more serious problems arise. The world's governments are now poised for what they hope will not come to pass — the transmission of avian influenza. Sixty human deaths have been recorded so far due to direct human contact with poultry; however, many feel that this deadly virus could soon mutate and be passed to others as an airborne virus. If our country succumbs to cases of avian influenza, I believe that the virus poses the largest threat to the public through our own public highways, exposing tens of thousands of us every day who must share the roads with these filthy chicken transports-on-wheels.

I would like to see the poultry industry start focusing on contained transport of the chickens from the producers to the processing plants. I understand that there would be a short-term cost increase for the new trailers needed, but I think this small cost is worth the long-term results. At the very least, the public would not be forced to endure the offensive odor, flying feathers and chicken waste.

Edward Terry


We're responsible for maintaining old cemeteries

The editor was right on point with his Oct. 21 editorial: Descendants absolutely have an obligation to maintain these old cemeteries and not rely on someone else or the county to fulfill what is truly their responsibility. The suggestion of a directory at the site of the cemetery is an excellent idea and one I will pursue with the Prospect.

It is easier said than done, though, to motivate interest of "the living" to honor "their dead." My personal experience is sometimes there is a disconnect between the two because they did not personally know their ancestors beyond a grandparent or great-grandparent. A name on a tombstone is all some see, and even though they are informed this is their direct blood, they just don't feel a connection strong enough to motivate them to action when it is needed.

From something tragic — the vandalism — something good may happen with this historic and hallowed ground and all of those like it; more will see what the editor so eloquently pointed out that these places must be preserved by those of us who are here now because of the ones that came before us. They deserve our best efforts to honor their final resting-places as much as we would honor our own parents graves. Our ancestors who lived so long ago are as much a part of who we are as the ones we know in this life.

I am reminded of a quote I once read that seems to speak volumes to what the editor was trying to say; "Show me your cemeteries and I will show you what kind of people you have."

How very true that is indeed.

Sunni Evan Montgomery


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