News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Story showed bright Sides of people

Herbert and Becky Sides are my kind of folks. Everyone who reaches out to the poor, the homeless, the hungry, the lonely and to all of God’s creation including the “least of these ...” expresses his love.

How heart-warming was your Oct. 20 story about “Baby” and the caring people who helped. We need more good news like this and more good-hearted, caring people like the Sides in this world.

Jane Wilcoxson


Abandoned animal deserved a better fate

Wasn’t there anything else that could have been done for Baby, the dog abandoned at the car wash? Why did he have to go to the shelter and be put down? He ate for the people who found him. I think a vet would have been a more appropriate place to take this animal. Look how well Lucky has turned out. I would have found a way to make a donation to the vet who did the treatment as others did with Lucky. Let’s not be so impatient to put them down.

Barbara Jolley


Rights of way lacking proper maintenance

In regards to your article concerning the mowing of weeds on Alabama 20, that is not an exception. Over the past four years the upkeep of highway rights of way continues to deteriorate. Alabama 24 has not been completely mowed one time this year, much less twice. The road is heavily traveled during the summer by RVs and other vacationers. It is a total embarrassment for Alabama that our out-of-state visitors have to see the condition of Alabama 24. I would not want my name on the “Alabama the Beautiful” welcome sign at the state line. The conditions are ridiculous.

The so-called wildflowers are a joke. That is just an excuse for not mowing. The Highway Department has new tractors and equipment, but they spend most of the time parked on the side of the road or just riding up and down the highway.

If Alabama cannot maintain the rights of way, they should not ask the farmers to give up 300 feet of their land. Maybe 100 feet should be given back to them so it can be maintained.

It is time that the media, tourism, industrial development and others demand that the governor and highway director make the sign “Alabama the Beautiful” mean something. Then I think the next governor will take this responsibility seriously. I know I will remember the job that has been done this November.

Jimmy Long


Safe ways to protect, control cat population

I recently moved to Decatur from North Carolina, where I helped care for a feral cat colony. I am writing to tell you that there is a humane and safe solution to the problem outlined in your recent story “Crack down on Hartselle ‘cat houses’.”

The people who are currently feeding these cats need to contact an organization such as Alley Cat Allies ( about maintaining the colony through trap, neuter and release programs.

If properly implemented, the cat population can be stabilized, reduced in numbers, and protected from rabies and other diseases. It works in a lot of places in the U.S. and around the world.

Walt Turner


Traffic problem needs attention from police

Well Cedar Lake is running par for the course. Automobiles come down Cedar Lake Road going anywhere from 35 to 85 miles per hour and even chasing each other. Boom boxes are blasting and no one seems to care except the residents. Police? You must be kidding.

Dorothy Johnson


American Cancer Society promotes women’s health

Breast cancer is a serious concern for women. Breast cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death among women, after lung cancer. This year, more than 212,000 American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and nearly 41,000 will die from the disease. But every woman should know there is hope. Breast cancer is 98 percent successfully treated when detected and treated in the early stages.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It is a time to raise awareness and educate the masses about this disease. The American Cancer Society believes that early detection is a woman’s best weapon in the fight against breast cancer. Through effective early detection efforts such as mammography and clinical breast exams, women can take great strides in potentially saving their own lives. The American Cancer Society recommends women age 40 and older should have annual mammograms, as well as regular breast exams by a physician. Women ages 20 to 39 should have clinical examinations every three years. Monthly breast self-exams are an option for women age 20 and older.

If you or someone you know is facing breast cancer, contact the American Cancer Society. The organization offers programs like Reach to Recovery, Look Good ... Feel Better, and the Cancer Survivors Network, which connects cancer survivors to share experiences, strength and hope. The organization did so much for me. It even gave me a new wig when I was undergoing chemotherapy.

At every step of the way the American Cancer Society is here. For more information, call (800) 227-2345.

Elaine Foose


Bush’s wars have killed as many as bin Laden did

Yes, it is sad but true: Osama bin Laden, through brilliant planning and execution, managed to kill almost 3,000 Americans on Sept. 11, 2001. That was a terrible thing. President Bush, through lack of planning and execution, has finally done the same thing. That is also a terrible thing.

I don’t think any news organization has mentioned that, if you add the deaths of our fighting men and women who have been killed in Afghanistan and Iraq, they have finally caught up with the number killed by Osama bin Laden.

One of these men is proud of what he did; the other says, “Stay the course.” Perhaps Mr. Bush will allow bin Laden to borrow his “Mission Accomplished” sign, because it does not look like he will be needing it anytime soon.

I usually save my rants, raves and political actions to matters relating to the environment. I should mention here that, without a doubt, Mr. Bush has done more environmental damage during his presidency than any other president in our nation’s history.

It is time for people to stand up and be counted. Do not just complain around the kitchen table. Write a letter to a politician and ask where he or she stands. If you do not like the answer, vote against him. The politicians Alabama sends to Washington take their jobs for granted.

Margaret Mead said: “Never doubt that a small group of committed individuals can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever does.”

Steve Masterson


Don’t abandon morality for social ‘progress’

In the Oct. 21 religion section, the Rev. James L. Evans took pen in hand to show the conservatives how wrong we are. Don’t get me wrong — Mr. Evans advocates some very good things. Wanting us to be mindful of the poor is a great mission. You will find that most of our conservative evangelical churches give regularly to such causes and do so without sounding a trumpet in the street.

It is because of the moral climate of my country that I offer a different opinion to Mr. Evans. There have been great changes in the fabric of our society in the past generation. Racial justice and equal pay for equal work are just two of the major achievements of social progress in my lifetime. The question I must ask, however, is how many social norms must be destroyed before we are satisfied? Will there never be an end to the expansion of the sexually explicit on television? After same-sex marriage, what will be the next social frontier we cross? Will interspecies relations be sanctioned next? I really don’t know and I am sure that Mr. Evans doesn’t, either.

One thing I do know is there are some things in our country’s social structure that are good, both yesterday and today. These should be preserved for the generations to come. It is clear that Mr. Evans thinks we conservatives are being used. He is right. What alternative do we have? Should we let all things come what may without saying a word in protest? No, thank God. In our country we still have the right to disagree.

Eric D. Holland


President Bush repeats history’s failed Crusades

The president is going to consult with the Army about the war in Iraq. One would think from his long stateside experience with the National Guard that this would not be necessary.

I am led to believe that history is not the most important subject at West Point. However, there ought to be some way for him to know the Crusaders wanted to take Christianity to the area, but first they needed to kill the infidels — terrorists of that time. The Crusaders are remembered only for their cruelty.

Then maybe he could learn about President Lyndon Johnson, who wanted to “change the hearts and minds of the people of Southeast Asia.” There are 50,000 names on a long black wall to honor President Johnson’s folly.

Frances Philpot Evans


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