News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2007
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

National Guard powerless, but TVA police potent

To The Daily: Troops on the border. That would make us feel safer. But what they do, or better, what they cannot do, is puzzling. They cannot apprehend anyone coming across the Mexican border into the United States. And while they are armed, they cannot shoot unless they are shot at first. They cannot “chase anyone down.”

The logical question then is “Why are they there?” Oh, to help relieve the border patrol of administrative duties. One could argue that the Minutemen do a better job at a whole lot less cost. (Minutemen do not charge the state or federal government a cent.)

Now back home on the second line of defense, back in Decatur, there is a real force to deal with illegal immigrants, the border crossers who have made it to Decatur. This force has been trained as Homeland Security agents and has all the authority of the federal government to apprehend, hold and to transport illegal aliens out of the area. And local police can pick up suspects and turn them over to this authorized police force.

Who are they? They are the Tennessee Valley Authority police.

So everyone can breathe a little easier now knowing that even though the Alabama National Guard’s hands are tied at the border, the TVA police can use the necessary force to deal with illegal aliens in the Tennessee Valley.

Ernest Norsworthy
Rowland Heights, Calif.

Wilson Morgan Park vandalism sad, frustrating

To The Daily: On the morning of Feb. 4, Maria and I walked around the trail at Wilson Morgan Park as we usually do. I stopped at the men’s restroom, but I didn’t go in. When I opened the door and looked inside I saw wet floors, toilet paper, paper strewn about and glass from the broken light fixtures on the floor. As I walked on around the trail I noticed that most of the trashcans had been upended and several of the picnic tables had been turned upside down. Maria told me that the ladies’ room was similarly vandalized.

Not too long ago the end of the picnic pavilion was covered with graffiti, and the custodian was preparing to paint the walls (again) as I walked by. I mentioned that it might be good to install cameras to catch them in the act. He said they’d just destroy the cameras, too. I was more upset when I realized that he was probably right.

I am saddened to say this is not an unusual occurrence. The walls of the picnic pavilion and the restrooms are painted so regularly that the maintenance crew keeps paint in stock to cover the damage. We have been walking at Wilson Morgan Park regularly for years, and something like the recent vandalism happens two or three times a year. I am at a loss as to what can be done about it. I doubt that those who did the damage are likely to be readers of The Daily, but I just needed to vent my anger.

I don’t think this problem was as bad 30 or 40 years ago. Most people back then wouldn’t even have thought about damaging or destroying public property.

James Thornton
Decatur

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