News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
SUNDAY, MARCH 19, 2006


Calhoun should fund children's Learning Lab

Your article on Marilyn Beck struck a nerve. Mrs. Beck is being praised for all of the new construction and new programs being developed at Calhoun College. Your article failed to mention some negative aspects of Mrs. Beck's decisions regarding the college.

Mrs. Beck is eliminating the Child Development Learning Lab at Calhoun. This program has been in place at least 30 years, if not longer. The pre-K is state funded and has a grant in place for at least two more years, and still Mrs. Beck refuses to continue the program.

The Learning Lab is beneficial not only to the children, but also to Calhoun's teaching students as well. The students use the program to get hands-on experience in the classroom. What will they do now? Many of the children who attend the center are children of students who need childcare so they can attend classes. What will these students do?

Calhoun has $21.5 million for a new building, $44 million in construction and $13 million in reserves and Mrs. Beck cannot find enough money in that budget to continue a program that is beneficial to our children? What happened to "the children are our future"? Mrs. Beck obviously isn't thinking of them. My third child will not benefit from this wonderful program, because there wasn't "enough money in the budget" to continue it. I think the budget needs to be looked at again.

Whitney Crane


Delphi workers do good works

Generally speaking, I thank you very much for better good and pleasant news on the front page from day to day.

Specifically, I thank you for following up on a tip to Melanie Smith about the good work Delphi's employees are doing in and around Decatur. Eric Fleischauer covered the story well March 14.

The only thing I'd add is to tell of the really feel-good work some ladies do for the residents of Riverside and Summer Manor four mornings every week. Those women give of themselves beautifully.

Whatever the situation that causes Delphi to release these many helpers, I pray it all works out to benefit the company and the citizens as well.

Jane Bradford


Free speech includes right to offend

The Rev. Oscar Brooks says monuments should not be erected in places where some who see them will be offended. Will Mr. Brooks please tell me where his right "not to be offended" comes from?

In a nation whose Constitution guarantees free speech, all of us will be offended at some time. The alternative is loss of free speech.

Is this what Mr. Brooks wants?

Michael R. Bradley

Tullahoma, Tenn.

And we thought Clinton was bad

Six years ago, we voted for change following President Clinton's fiasco. In this time, 3,000 American military have been killed in Iraq. Untold Afghanistan and Iraqi American casualties are hidden. There are no WMD's, no clear al-Qaida connections, and Halliburton continues to cash in billions in hard-earned tax dollars.

President Bush is royally treated in India, where America's Food Stamp Program resides in New Delhi computers. Apply for food stamps and you deal with someone, somewhere, on the sub-continent.

During this time, fuel prices reach astronomical levels while Bush kisses Saudi princes' cheeks. Overall living costs cause default on millions of home mortgages and businesses. GM goes under and — "as GM goes, so goes the nation!"

If your standard of living has improved in this time, you are one of the rich and thus unaware that most Americans' standard of living is in crash-dive.

Meanwhile, G.W.'s '08 budget puts punitive measures on America's disabled veterans and forces states to accept greater tax burdens. Don't forget FEMA's billions in wasted tax dollars.

Bush stacks the Supreme Court and attacks freedom of speech guarantees while NSA taps our phones and Internet. If you recall, Bush was proclaimed president after Al Gore won the popular vote because a Bush brother is Florida's governor, who manipulated his swing state's Electoral College.

If Bush bombs Iran, we will have G.W. as President-for-Life (or at least the life of that war). He could prohibit free elections with his usual: "Homeland Security."

Clinton merely led a White House intern astray and delved into Whitewater. America tried to impeach him. G.W. Bush hazards American lives and the American way of life. Something is severely rotten — not as Shakespeare put it — in Denmark, but in Dubai. By starting an Iranian war, G.W. can create a nuclear holocaust.

Dollie Gull


Giving country lacks leadership

To those of you who gave to the hurricane-riddled coastal area (and a lot of us did), may God bless you. We all know what a modern-day tragedy this was. Except for Sept. 11, nothing comes close. Yet we keep hearing that nothing is being done and in some areas, people are still living below standard. It seems all the donations weren't enough, to hear some tell it.

I believe most of what is wrong is lack of leadership. We are a great country for giving but you have to have levelheaded leaders. When the whole country is pouring out their hearts to these people, there were others causing problems instead of helping. I think everything is in place now: money, building materials, food and clothing — all but someone to get things going. We have drained most of our donors and local programs are feeling the backlash from it.

We need to give to senior programs like Meals on Wheels, food pantries, senior companions, the Salvation Army and others. We all have compassion on those families that lost loved ones. The men and women in Iraq need our support, too. So, where do we start and to whom do we donate? Well, we could start at home for a change with some of the programs I mentioned.

Joseph Lyell


Lucky's plight raises some disturbing points

I have read the dozens of reports and letters of concern and disgust regarding the gross neglect and abuse of Lucky and other animals.

It should be a wake-up call to us all, as it is an indicator of our society's regard for life. But it is also disturbing to me that more money has been raised for this cause than for the fallen firefighters in Moulton. Also, the news of a child being chained up is just commonplace, barely making the news.

The person responsible for my abuse that took place during my childhood served the same sentence as a neighbor who abused a dog in front of children.

People are lined up to take care of Lucky, yet we turn our heads when children are abused because it is such a huge epidemic that maybe we feel overwhelmed.

There is an order and balance of priorities that seems forgotten
when child abusers get a slap on the wrist and more money can be raised in honor of an abused animal than for the families of fallen heroes.

Danielle C. Dodd


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