News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Council needs to listen to Decatur


I am very dissatisfied with the Decatur City Council.

During the elections we were all told this administration would be different from all of the others. As it turns out, they are worse. The administration does not listen to the people and they do not make any progress. I continue to hear about how small business will help Decatur to operate, but I also hear that the city makes it very difficult to do business in Decatur.

The council has had an application for a new ambulance service since September 2004, and they have not acted and given a permit, which should have been given within 90 days. They know that this is illegal but they do not seem to care. They know that they are going to get sued and it will cost the city money but they do not seem to care. Once the City Council loses money on a judgment they will simply raise the taxes.

The people of Decatur need to be heard and the council needs to listen.

David Childers


Thanks for kindness during hurricane


We hope that this finds all of you in Alabama doing well; as for my wife, Bonnie and I, we're doing fine.

We just want to say "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!" to all the fine Alabama folks who have been so incredibly nice to us this year.

Being a traveling musician (banjo/guitar), we traveled throughout Alabama the week Katrina hit, and the people showed immense generosity and empathy toward us, putting us up in their homes, buying our dinners, and even topping off our gas tank during the gasoline shortage to make sure we got home safely. Everywhere we performed, the folks mobbed us trying to find out how they could help: "Are you OK?" And, I-59 was swelling over with Alabama folks coming to help us get back to normal. Again, thanks. We love you all!

Bobby Hathorn

Ellisville, Miss.

Domestic spying probe necessary


I'm glad the Justice Department is finally doing a full investigation of the leak of the classified NSA Eavesdropping program on al-Qaida telephone conversations, as well as the recent leak regarding the Rendition Program for holding terrorists in Europe.

It is apparent that our security was compromised by these leaks. They are much more detrimental to national security than any White House effort to refute the lies of Joe Wilson or any inconsistencies between Scooter Libby's testimony and several journalists.

The New York Times, Newsweek, and Washington Post reporters and editors should be brought before a grand jury and required to give up their sources for the classified information. If they refuse, they should be jailed to the maximum extent possible.

Access to the classified intercept program was limited only to those with a need-to-know for operational and oversight purposes. All individuals who had access whether at NSA, CIA, FBI, Justice or senators/Congress and their staffs should be interviewed and given polygraphs when appropriate. Therefore, nothing is more reasonable than protecting Americans and our way of life.

I believe most Americans are willing to forego some privacy when necessary to protect us. The only ones who should have a reason to object are the ones intent on assisting terrorism or other crimes. We are at war with terrorists and that requires extraordinary effort to protect America and our friends.

Edwin R. Hyatt


Consider TV series' community impact


I find myself wondering where the American Civil Liberties Union and our courts in America have taken us. The new movie "Brokeback Mountain" and now the NBC series "The Book of Daniel Webster"?

The characters in "Daniel" include: Daniel Webster, a drug-addicted Episcopal priest; his alcoholic wife; his son, a 23-year-old homosexual Republican; his daughter, a 16-year-old drug dealer; a 16-year-old adopted son who is having sex with the bishop's daughter; his lesbian secretary who is sleeping with his sister-in-law; and a very unconventional white-robed, bearded Jesus who talks to the priest; on prime time evening television time.

Does anyone see anything beneficial about a series that would contribute to the community in such a series? I have written to WAFF to ask them to please reconsider airing this series, and the answer I got told me even though they have the option not to air the program, they intend to air it anyway.

If the television stations are supposed to be an asset to the community, then what part of asset do you suppose Channel 48 is? I hope the viewing public will take particular notice and contact the local advertising companies and ask them to reconsider spending their money on positive advertising, because Channel 48 will not reconsider.

Aaron Potts


Should prisoners get better quality of life?


It is good that we now have a more updated and especially a more secure facility in which to detain those who have committed crimes against our community.

I do question why the prisoners should have a "higher quality of life," when many of those who were victims of their crimes would love a "higher quality of life."

Many of these victims would appreciate a "real nice" home in which to reside. No, Sheriff Bartlett, your prisoners will not keep it "real nice." There is no reason to hope that this will occur when dealing with people who have no regard for the property of others, unless it is something they can steal and sell.

"Exercise room," "medical care" and "dental care "— it's a shame that they have better care than many good people in our county can afford for themselves.

George W. Southard


Respect in schools needs to return


I recently read a letter to the editor written by Jimmy Robinson of Hartselle. Many of the things he wrote reminded me how things used to be and I agree that things did seem simpler.

I, too, remember when things seemed better than they are today, especially where schools are concerned. Respect for others was taught in the home and displayed in the schools. Manners were more noticeable back then than they are today. I remember when parents supported the teachers in their efforts to maintain discipline at school. There once was the belief that if you got in trouble at school, you definitely got in trouble when you got home. It was simpler then because teachers and parents were supportive of one another.

I am shocked and saddened to see students harming and even killing school teachers. When I was in school there might be the occasional fist fight, but that was the extent of the violence. I never felt unsafe at school and certainly never worried that guns or any type of weapon would ever come into the school.

If we could return to those simpler days it might go something like this: Children would learn respect and love for individuals; teachers would be respected by the students and their parents; teachers could simply teach and not worry about their safety at school. I remember a preacher once saying, "a child's first teachers are their parents." What a profound and true statement, which makes me wonder what kind of lessons children today are receiving from their "first teachers."

Becky Whitlock


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