News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Extent of DU rate increase misrepresented


On April 14, THE DAILY headlined "DU rates rising 17 percent, blame it on TVA." This is including the latest 9.95 percent to cover the TVA increase. According to the newspaper and Mr. Kem Carr of the utilities, residential consumers are only supposed to see an increase of $5.64 a month for electricity. That is, of course, if you only use 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity in a month. Who do you know who uses only 1,000 KWH? They must live in one room, read by lamplight, fan with the other hand and eat beanie weenies out of a pop-top can three times a day.

True, when we get our bills in May, we will have a monthly increase of $5.64 per 1,000 kilowatt hours plus tax. But if we have used 2,000 KWH, won't it be $11.28 plus tax, or if we have used 4,000-plus KWH, won't it be $22.56 plus tax? The article stated that Decatur Utilities has been granted permission to make the increase retroactive back to April 1. Why? So this means those using 4,000 KWH will see an increase on their May bill of $45.12 plus tax. Mr. Carr and the City Council stated they haven't had many complaints on this matter. You think it is because it has been made to sound so minor, based on 1,000 kilowatt hours? You may consider this my complaint.

In your April 14 paper, a headline read, "And now the truth about the Means case?" I challenge THE DECATUR DAILY to print a story titled, "And now the truth about the rate increase." Let your readers be prepared when their May bills hit — especially seniors who are already struggling to survive on a low, fixed income.

B.J. Hopkins


John Caddell not replaceable


The Smith Service Corporation recently gave their Friends of the Library membership in memory of Mr. John A. Caddell. It was a Silver Membership which means Mr. Caddell's name will remain on our Friends' Wall of Honor for years to come. This seems a fitting memorial for this quiet gentleman who was a champion of reading. Only a few weeks before his passing, Mr. Caddell spoke with passion about the need for every child to learn to read well. He believed reading was the foundation for all learning and success in life.

Here at the library, we looked forward to his weekly visit to pick up a mystery which he read for relaxation. We profited from his advocacy of the library and his sound advice. Individuals like Mr. Caddell are few and far between. In a city our size others will step up and carry on, but already we know he is not replaceable. We are all indebted to his memory for the work he did his life long for the city and the people who call Decatur home.

Sandra Sherman McCandless


Wheeler Basin Library


Wren, Krinkle enhance Point Mallard course


As a regular golfer at Point Mallard Golf Course, I was pleased to read in THE DAILY that the city has hired a full-time golf professional, Charlie Krinkle. As reported in the paper, Mr. Krinkle comes to Point Mallard with excellent credentials. I was also pleased to read that one of his plans is to start a program to get more children involved in golf. I agree with Mr. Krinkle that "golf is a great parallel to life." I believe this would be an excellent opportunity for Point Mallard to become involved in the First Tee program.

Just like a CEO of a corporation depends upon sound advice given to him by his assistants, a golf pro also needs a competent person to assist him. Mr. Krinkle is fortunate to have such a person already in that position — Jack Wren. Mr. Wren has worked with all the golfers over the past two years so they would have a pleasant experience when playing at Point Mallard. He has a passion for golf and a servant's attitude. He has developed a rapport with the golfers and has been given a lifetime membership with the Point Mallard Independent Golf Association.

I would like to personally thank Jack Wren for his leadership and management at Point Mallard Golf Course for the past two years.

Milton Sivley


Real history of racism in America


On April 13 you wrote: "helping to ease racial tensions that justifiably link racism to the Confederacy."

The segregated Union Army of the slaveholding North (Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, Missouri, West Virginia, Washington, D.C.) did not enlist blacks until 1863, and restricted non-whites to "United States Colored Troops" and desegregated in 1950. USCT were cannon fodder so whites dying would not risk support for the war.

Non-whites served in the Confederate Army from the beginning. Unsegregated combat ranks of the Confederate Army included 13,000 Indians (one a brigadier general, several colonels), 6,500 Hispanics (nine colonels), 5,500 Jews (one the secretary of state), tens of thousands of immigrants, Filipinos from Louisiana, Amerasian sons of the first "Siamese Twins" and an unknown number of black Confederate combat soldiers. Black Confederate soldiers are documented in the Federal Official Records, Northern and Southern newspapers, foreign newspapers, letters and diaries of Union and Confederate soldiers and in period photographs.

In 1860 Southern slave states had more "Free People of Color" than Northern states. Lincoln offered to protect slavery permanently in 1861 and even offered gradual compensated emancipation (slavery lasting until 1900) in his December, 1862, State of the Union Address.

Lincoln's "Emancipation Proclamation" excluded from freedom all of the slaves in Union slave states — including the Confederate state of Tennessee — and areas of the Confederacy then under Union control "as if this proclamation had never been issued." Lincoln did not "free" a single slave. When the Confederate armies surrendered in April, 1865, the slaves in Confederate states were freed. Slaves excluded in the proclamation remained slaves until December, 1865, eight months after the war ended. The last slave nation in North America was the U.S.A.

Shall we reassess which side(s) were "justifiably" linked to racism? How can you editorialize about "racial tensions" when you do not even know the reality of history?

Michael Kelley

Pascagoula, Miss.

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