News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Committee ignored public suggestions


The Child Support Advisory Committee met June 30 in Montgomery to vote on proposed changes to the CS Guidelines (Rule 32). This committee, seated by the Supreme Court of Alabama, is charged with review/changing of these guidelines to comply with federal law.

Private attorneys, DHR attorneys and judges hold the majority of seats. Only three public citizens are members. Periodic meetings take place without any coverage by the media. Wonder where this is leading?

Public input was accepted at the March 11, 2004, meeting and no mention was made about the need for greater amounts of support. The public did request changes to the guidelines to allow credit for time spent with the non-custodial parent, better collection practices, alternation of federal/state tax deductions, allowance for dual household expenses, cost of transportation of child, credit for children post-divorce, changes in childcare cost, exclusion of periodic overtime, etc.

Having heard numerous options, the committee voted to pick the highest of four options on a new cost chart, pro-rate insurance cost for children and allow for some small credits for post-divorce children. All other public input was completely ignored. Any deviation from the guidelines (new or old) must be argued before and approved in writing by the presiding judge. Private attorneys will get richer, DHR attorneys won't have to bother with visitation by the non-custodial parent and judges will still do as they please. Foxes watching the hen house? More later.

All this can be viewed at:

Tim Smith


UA's social engineering will ruin country


As a graduate of The University of Alabama and as a retired teacher, I was shocked to read an article in the Jan. 16 Newsweek that The University of Alabama has joined the ranks of the most activist universities in the indoctrination of future teachers in the art of teaching students what to think rather than how to think.

They arrange to do so by admitting only those future teachers who they believe will most readily accept this "social engineering," which includes such principles as hatred of America and the military, free and open immigration policies, fewer prison sentences for many crimes and short sentences for child molesters.

If it continues at the expense of mathematics, science, traditional engineering and other usable skills, the United States will continue to fall behind other countries in education. Such a lack of real training will leave our people unable to compete with the highly trained workforces of other countries.

This kind of decline could lead to a depression, to a downward slope in our standards of living and to an inability to defend ourselves.

Gertrude Powell


Lower wages will result in fewer nurses


I have been a Registered Nurse for almost 25 years and I work for Home Health.

I love what I do for a living. People need nurses in hospitals and in their homes.

If the community wants to encourage nursing as a career, the pay scale must remain competitive. It is an outrage that cutting nursing wages would be looked at as a solution for the high cost of health care. The costs are much greater for medications, high-tech equipment and testing than will ever be paid to a nurse.

I have never heard of any other profession being singled out to have their wages lowered as an answer to any problem. Does the community realize that lower wages will only drive more young people away from the profession?

Who in his right mind would train for a job that is so poorly respected or cherished that it would be singled out to have wages lowered and frozen? I certainly would not train for that job. Would you?

Gena Kyle


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