News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2006
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Trash pickup, street sweeping not coordinated
THE DECATUR DAILY:

I wish Decatur would follow the Athens or Hartselle methods of collecting garbage. Braswell Subdivision has people throwing grass clippings on the street the afternoon after pickup or day after pickup so they sit there 24/7. Some don't pick up the garbage container for days. Cars are forced to slow for oncoming traffic because of this. It makes the whole neighborhood look bad.

People pay good prices for their homes and you would think they would take a little more pride in their surroundings. Some put their trash out on Monday when pickup is on Thursday here. What makes it worse is the street sweepers come around on Wednesday instead of the day after. So it's useless to send sweepers out here at all.

Save on the money to do this or do it the day after pickup. It looks like Decatur Public Works is not doing a very good job. Good thing they don't vote on giving these people raises. Raises should be granted on merit and how well they do the job.

Let's get with it folks.

Orville Wahoski

Decatur

Plant's odor a racial issue
THE DECATUR DAILY:

I find it curious that the issue of the wastewater treatment plant's odor made Sunday's front-page news. The curious thing is that this article coincides with a change in the racial and class makeup of the students and teachers at Leon Sheffield.

When the students at Leon Sheffield were predominantly poor and African-American, the smell was acceptable to the white community of Decatur. Now that the students, for the most part, are white and upper-class, suddenly the smell of the plant is an issue. That looks like racism to me.

I acknowledge the article's mention of a 2002 project in which some money was set aside to clean the air by "scrubbing" it with chlorine. Chlorine is a toxic chemical. Is introducing poisonous chemicals into the air only acceptable when those who breathe it are African-American?

To Decatur's great misfortune, racism is alive and well here. Those who are interested in organizing to combat racism may contact me at equalaccess
alabama@hotmail.com.

Ashley Reynolds

Decatur

Signs don't grow out of ground
THE DECATUR DAILY:

It is pathetic, simply pathetic for a city councilman to have everyone in the Austinville area to come to a church to have a community meeting for the renaming of a park, yet the park sign had already been made. This had to have happened over a period of time, because the sign company doesn't just do these things at the drop of a hat on their own.

David Kelly indicated he had contacted the mayor who said it was out of his hands. Someone discussed it with the Planning Department and there had to be a work order to get the sign made that the city paid for. Someone had to approve the landmark change. Does this mean that city councilmen can order and change landmarks without the entire council voting, or even discussing it with the citizens it affects?

This shouldn't come as a surprise, because the same city councilman wasted more than the sign money on relocating a dog pound. He has no concept for the dollar because he voted to waste money on projects we don't need, then borrows money for things we do need. I guess that is why this same city councilman had to declare personal bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy is just another form of "legalized stealing." This same person holds a district meeting in a church as if he were a patron saint. Webster's definition: a "charlatan."

Neither the sign builder nor the mayor was there to face the crowd. So just who voted for this new sign, approved the money, and what did this "white elephant" cost the people of Decatur?

Right now the City of Decatur is in debt to the tune of $64 million, to be paid out in 2033.

Aaron Potts

Decatur

Ethanol plant would be good for Decatur
THE DECATUR DAILY:

I was pleased to see the results in overwhelming favor of THE DAILY's poll on local support for the proposed ethanol facility. Nearly 70 percent of respondents shared my personal view that ethanol isn't only good news to this country as a whole, it's good news for Decatur and Morgan County.

Our nation is critically in need of alternative sources of energy to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Welcoming a plant in Decatur makes us part of the solution to our nation's energy crisis. In the process, we get to reap the benefits of having a major new industry in town that will provide high-paying jobs and spur the local economy. This is a win-win for all. I work in Decatur and also own residential waterfront property across from the industrial riverfront and welcome new industry and its accompanying growth to our community.

Dale Cook

Decatur

Appreciates Decatur fire response
THE DECATUR DAILY:

Many thanks to the firefighters of the Decatur Fire Department for their hard work during the Second Avenue fire involving Willis Gray Art Gallery. They saved the hearts, souls, and many creative hours of local and area artists. Their caring and dedication is greatly appreciated.

Pam Welch

Decatur

Lobby group wolves in sheep's clothing
THE DECATUR DAILY:

I read the editorial "Christian Action Alabama same folks in new package" in the Sept. 17 DAILY, and I agree with your reasonable assessment of this religio-political group. At a recent news conference, John Giles, formerly president of the Christian Coalition of Alabama, called the name "perfect." However, it is a real shame to see that sacred name "Christian" being misrepresented from its high nobility of purpose for political purposes. I see the group more in wolf-like garments than in sheep-like character, even refusing to show any compassionate effort toward the helpless.

I understand that the Christian Action Alabama will be vociferous in denouncing abortion, gambling-lottery, same-sex marriage, stem-cell research, tax increases, and raising the minimum wage, but the group will remain silent on weightier matters such as corporate greed, couple-cohabitation, high divorce rates, global warming, institutional racism and teen pregnancy.

What bothers me is that this religious group seeks tax shelters behind the cloak of Christianity in its pursuit of political issues. Now, this is wrong because it violates the principle of the separation of church and state. Mr. Giles and his chapter will play the politics, but they will not follow the rules of disclosing financial contributors to their organization; they want the benefits, not the responsibilities.

If Mr. Giles and Christian Action Alabama would spend half the devotion, energy and zeal that are given to partisan politics in proclaiming the Gospel commission through helping the poor, undoing heavy burdens, healing the brokenhearted, releasing the oppressed, and providing a time of Jubilee, they would be rewarded for their good works in reforming the positive virtues of Alabama.

Isaiah J. Ashe Huntsville

President Bush is no devil
THE DECATUR DAILY:

I read in THE DAILY that Venezuela President Hugo Chavez, in a recent speech at the United Nations, claimed that George W. Bush is the devil.

Chavez's claim is, of course, untrue and downright silly.

Everyone knows the devil is not an idiot.

Thomas Paulk

Decatur

Yard-waste pile becoming a dumping ground

THE DECATUR DAILY:

I recently observed a woman pull up to Acadia Drive Southwest, open the back of her Durango SUV and take out two garbage bags containing large shrubs that had expired long ago.

She proceeded to empty the bags onto a pile of lawn clippings that is growing taller by the week.

This individual does not live on Acadia Drive or Westbury Court Southwest.

It is one thing to have residents dump clippings and yard trash on the pile, but now we have people bringing in their trash from outside the neighborhood and disposing of it.

After many calls, I could not get an answer to the question: Is this legal?

The old saying goes, "One man's trash is another man's treasure." On Westbury Court/Acadia Drive Southwest, we do not need any more treasures.

Rita M. Vernetti

Decatur

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