News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Mayor didn't mention scope of opposition


In the Jan. 1 DAILY, Mayor Melvin Duran portrayed the citizens of Priceville as ignorant to the need for growth. In my dealings with the citizens of Priceville concerning the rezoning issue Mr. Duran spoke of, I don't recall anyone ever saying growth was not good. What I understood the people of Priceville to say was they didn't want commercialization in their back yards and that was why they moved to Priceville.

The mayor failed to mention that, when the issue arose for rezoning 29 acres of the Tune property, citizens from all over the town spoke out against it, with more than 320 people signing petitions. This is more than the number of people who voted in the last election. When it became apparent commercializing that land would directly affect the surrounding subdivisions and area residents, the people of Priceville supported each other, not only from Pleasant Acres, but from all over the town.

The meeting minutes from the night when the 29-acre rezoning was on the agenda should reflect the number of people present and state the views they expressed, mainly protesting this rezoning. Let the facts speak for themselves.

It was apparent in the courtroom that night: The majority of residents did not want to commercialize those 29 acres. If commercialization is done right, yes, it is good; but to commercialize just for personal profit, and not care what your neighbors' wants and needs are, is just plain wrong. Thanks to Mrs. Tune for withdrawing her request and caring about her neighbors.

Melanie Starbuck


Hospital should allow Christian literature display


As a Lawrence County native, I am concerned about a new policy at Lawrence Medical Center. During the time that Baptist Health Care leased the hospital, I distributed Christian literature in public access areas. I learned several weeks ago that Lawrence Medical Center does not allow the distribution of "any material regarded as religious."

Orr Ministries is a growing and viable part of the community. We distribute more than 2,000 free magazines in seven states. Some of our local sites include Decatur Med Plus, Decatur General Hospital, Parkway Medical Center, Hartselle Medical Center and local dental and medical facilities. We also mail to more than 1,000 residents. Our magazine is non-denominational and promotes both the ministry of marriage and following the path of God.

During a recent visit to Lawrence Medical Center, I reviewed the literature available in public access areas. They included:

Entertainment Magazine: "The Sex! The Gore!"

Entertainment Magazine: "Desperate Housewives; The guilty pleasure returns."

TV Guide: "Three-way sex on TV's Nip/Tuck. Tune in!"

Star Magazine: "Emmy nominated movie portrays gay lovers!"

As a citizen, community leader and Christian, I am concerned and deeply saddened with the hospital's decision to remove religious materials from public areas. When you are in a stressful situation, when the lives of your family members are at stake, when you are in need of inspiration, hope and peace, the answers you need will not be found in TV Guide or other magazines.

The word of God is the only thing that will bring peace to troubled hearts and save dying souls.

Let's bring religious literature back to Lawrence Medical Center. Let's give the citizens of Lawrence County a choice in what reading material is presented to them.

Carolyn Brackin Orr


Drop the food tax to rebate state's surplus


When Gov. Bob Riley took office he soon led a massive media blitz, which was joined by every newspaper and TV station in Alabama (including THE DECATUR DAILY and the Moulton Advertiser), trying to convince their readers that only a large tax increase would save Alabama. The people, in their wisdom, voted it down. Since that time, newspaper circulation and TV-viewing have dropped. Since this seems to have been a nationwide trend, the willingness of the Alabama media herd to join the propaganda blitz can't be blamed entirely on this aborted campaign. Still, it is a clue.

The media could partially redeem themselves — and possibly even improve circulation — if they were to support a suggestion that the $500 million surplus be returned to the people by dropping the sales tax on food. This would be of immediate benefit (with no extra paperwork required). It would be especially welcome to those with large families to feed or to those whose expenditures for sustenance form a large portion of a meager income.

I'm too fat to make this a personal issue, but it would ease life for those trying to raise families.

Allan G. LeBaron


Tell TV station how you feel about 'Daniel'


A few weeks ago American Family Association provided information concerning a new NBC show titled "The Book of Daniel." The promo language indicates this is a serious drama about Christian people and the Christian faith. It is not!

Daniel Webster, the main character, is drug-addicted Episcopal priest whose wife is hooked on martinis. Webster regularly sees and talks with a very unconventional white-robed, bearded Jesus. The Webster family also has a 23-year-old homosexual Republican son, a 16-year-old daughter who is a drug dealer, and a 16-year-old adopted son who is having sex with the bishop's daughter. At the office, his lesbian secretary is sleeping with his sister-in-law.

The writer of the series is a practicing homosexual. The network calls this "edgy," "challenging," and "courageous." That is not what I would call it.

I have been communicating with Lee Meredith, vice president and general manager of WAFF. We have shared several e-mails concerning this show. The local stations are not obligated to air the show, it is a local decision. WAFF has decided to air the show. Meredith claimed he felt uncomfortable acting as a censor.

My reply was simple. "When will you draw the line?" We will never see a show ridiculing Muslims, homosexuals, or any number of other people groups. However, it is "open season" on Christians. I watch local stations only for local news. I much prefer to watch the stations that have some idea of decency, like the Independent TV network, or some channel with re-runs of shows made many years ago.

May I encourage people to call, write, or e-mail WAFF? The phone number is (256) 533-4848; fax: (256) 533-1337; e-mail to Lee Meredith is: justaminute If viewers don't take a stand today, when will we take a stand?

Gary Cosby Sr.

Muscle Shoals

Recognize work of all soldiers doing their jobs


Thank goodness for heroic soldiers like Spc. Bianca Henderson. As a retired Air Force Security Forces veteran of Desert Storm and post 9-11, I truly appreciate her service to her country.

But tell me, what is the difference between her service and the service of a Confederate medic from Decatur? Both were, as she so appropriately put it, doing their jobs as soldiers. So why would you honor one and turn your back on the other?

R.B. Masterson Jr.

Mount Hope

Exactly whose rights have been taken away?


I would like to comment on two letters to the editor entitled "Bush's paranoia denies freedom" and "Constitution forbids usurpation." Larry Brown stated that "George Bush is probably the most paranoid president in the history of our country and has been willing to sell our birthright of freedom and justice for a bowl of soup he calls security." Of the approximately 300 million people in the United States, can Mr. Brown name 100 citizens whose freedom has been curtailed? How about 10? How about one? It appears that Mr. Brown is suffering from paranoia of a different type.

Joey Bennich stated that "President Bush is spying on American citizens without a warrant." This domestic spying involves foreigners who are not citizens. Mr. Bennich also refers to our rights the federal government takes from us. Specifically, what "rights" have been taken away from us? In the war on terror, I haven't had any taken from me, and I know of no one who has had any taken from him.

After Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt rounded up more than 10,000 Japanese residents and citizens and threw them into internment camps with the blessing of the Supreme Court. Apparently, in wartime, the president has certain wartime powers.

In 1942, the Supreme Court upheld the use of military tribunals for eight German spies captured on U.S. soil, two of whom were U.S. citizens. The court found that military tribunals were appropriate for suspected enemies who had entered and remained in our territory without uniform with the intent to engage in an act of belligerency without uniform. Six were executed in eight days.

In response to the worst terrorist attack in world history, the United States has detained fewer than 1,000 Middle Eastern immigrants (not citizens).

Steve Scurlock


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