News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Area Scouting program needs your support

I would like to thank you for the recent article regarding the Scouting program in our area. The Gustin family is to be commended for their commitment to Scouting. As the wife of an Eagle Scout and mother of both a Boy Scout and a Cub Scout, I can say the whole family has to make a commitment for the Scout to have the most success. I have seen the positive effects of Scouting on our family as well as others. Scouting emphasizes skills that boys will use for the rest of their lives, both in the outdoors and academically.

As school starts, so does the Scouting year. Scouting is like many organizations in that it needs help from the community to sustain itself. Some of the boys who participate in Scouting do not have the resources to pay for summer camps and the needed equipment. Leaders often end up paying for awards for the boys out of their pockets because the unit doesn't have the money. Fundraisers are essential to reaching these goals. Scouts in Morgan, Lawrence and Limestone counties will be selling Trails End popcorn soon. You can get cheaper popcorn, but can you help someone reach his or her goals or have fun learning experiences by buying it? Some units may have other fundraisers throughout the year as their leaders see the need. Please continue to support Scouting so that this organization can reach boys and help them, not just for a few years now, but for the rest of their lives.

Lisa Ramey


Two suggestions to reduce number of steel coil spills

I have two suggestions concerning the steel coils that keep falling from the trucks.

First, they need to fix the intersection at U.S. 31 and Wilson Street. Every time I sit at that intersection, I watch the trailer trucks come from Wilson Street to make the left turn going north across the river bridge. Almost every truck that makes the turn in the outside lane has his inside rear wheels come completely off the ground as he gets just past the middle of the intersection. Is this because the outside turn lane slopes the wrong way? I don't know, but I am amazed more trucks don't turn over or lose their loads at that spot.

Second, looks to me like they could figure some way to transport the coils on their sides. This would eliminate a lot of the problem, since the coil would be on a flat side rather than a round side. It would not be as prone to shift and fall off.

Charles Rankin


Traffic near Priceville school heavy, dangerous

I recently read an article about humans who do strange stuff for thrills. They pay to see scary movies, ride machines that turn them upside down, bungee-jump and skydive.

If you are a person with a risk-taking behavior, don't pay for the rush; just go with someone to pick up his children at Priceville School on Alabama 67 in the afternoon. It is a speeder's dream. There are no stoplights or stop signs — just a yellow light flashing 35 mph. The speeding motorists plow east, with no respect for the school zone or the danger of the parents exiting the school.

I do not live in the Priceville area but I do have loved ones trying to exit the school daily. It is Russian roulette. Who is leading an effort to make safety improvements? Who is looking out for the safety of the children and their parents? When will there be a new school built and moved off busy Alabama 67 before someone is fatally injured?

I wonder if the safety of the children isn't more important than new parks and ball fields.

Barbara Hamilton


Immigration reform requires discrimination

Immigration cannot be handled on a local level without criminalizing skin color. Businesses will simply avoid anyone who looks illegal. Notice that the same people who want to starve Hispanics to death also opposed Amendment Two in 2004, which would have ended segregation.

Blacks and Hispanics are twin targets of domestic terrorism. Talk-radio voices are demanding a repeal of the 14th Amendment, part of the package that ended slavery, so that babies born to foreign nationals can be deported.

The GOP domestic agenda is such a train wreck they'll blame anyone but themselves.

Ryan A. Amptmeyer


Library serves community, needs funds

As a supporter of the Decatur Public Library, I have become aware that local funding of the library may be lower than the match required for state and federal funding. Our city and county elected officials receive many requests for funding of worthy services, but the library offers equal access like no other entity.

For example, last year 212,719 people came into the library to get print books, audio books, CDs or DVDs. Another 30,215 people waited in long lines to use the library's computers to reach the Internet. In addition, 22,905 people used the online library, thus having access to 76 databases, tutoring services for grades four through 14, and practice tests for a variety of occupations or for entry into college programs.

Many organizations are uniting to entice BRAC families to come to Decatur. Many will live in Huntsville and Madison, but some will choose our city. Estimates may vary, but the total number of people affected by BRAC likely will be in excess of 10,000 to 15,000 individuals, including spouses and children. These families will expect good public library services.

Comparing funding for Decatur City Library, which is a city/county system, to that of Florence/Lauderdale Public Library, Florence receives $130,000 more per year than Decatur.

All citizens in Morgan County, including those who reside in Decatur, deserve good library services, including adequate staff, everyday operating hours, current materials and interesting programs. Public access to information can make a huge difference in the lives of all of us.

Please contact today the mayor and City Council members and those serving on the County Commission in support of adequate support of Decatur City Library. Go to for more information.

Cathy Hansberry


Get off dead-end road in Iraq as soon as possible

I'm writing about your thoughtful editorial of Aug. 10: "Riley ties to Bush, Cheney turn off some Alabamians."

I'd like to add that the war in Iraq is over. We won.

President George W. Bush told us so three years ago, while posing for the photo-op on the deck of the USS Lincoln in front of the "Mission Accomplished" banner.

We now have an occupation of Iraq. Occupations of foreign countries cannot be won. Who is going to sign the peace treaty? The only question is: When are we going to leave Iraq?

Our occupation of Iraq is a dead-end road. When is the best time to turn around or get off a dead-end road?

It seems to me that the answer is: As soon as possible — no matter how far we have traveled down the dead-end road.

Kirk Muse

Mesa, Ariz.

Elected officials serve selves, not voting public

Your Aug. 10 story on the routing of incumbents and the editorial on Gov. Riley's walking down the national primrose path were on target. Through artful redistricting (gerrymandering) and huge contributions from lobbyists, we now have a group of individuals who use their official positions to manipulate the law and the economy to their own, self-serving ends. Unfortunately, this applies to government at every level.

Whether it is the Iraq war, immigration, health care, education, the economy or local traffic, it is clearly apparent that the current crop is either too uncaring or too incompetent to provide answers or solutions.

Regardless of the political party or position on the issues of the day, it is important that we realize there is no "right" of incumbency. All of these "public servants" asked for their jobs and we presented the job to them. It is up to us to take it away.

Ron Maloof


U.S. must abandon war in Iraq

I'm tired of all the warmongers in the GOP and Democratic Party using terrorism to scare Ned Lamont supporters and other voters into supporting Sen. Joe Lieberman and the war in Iraq.

Several things need to be made perfectly clear. One: The invasion and occupation of Iraq had nothing to do with terrorism. Two: Even if President Bush had the best intentions with the invasion, it has been a disaster, resulting in thousands of American deaths, tens of thousands of Iraqi deaths, wounded, and sectarian violence. Three: While the GOP argues for further occupation and military action in the Middle East, others have pointed out that this will just result in more terrorism and send the signal that advocates of the invasion never intend to leave Iraq.

We must realize the fate of Iraq will be determined by the people of Iraq. Withdrawal must come soon or it will lead to defeat later.

Richard G. Rich


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