News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


City should treat odor every day

To The Daily: ďFest near sewer plant. Planners, Jaycees take steps to make sure Riverfest smells heavenly.Ē

This article appeared in The Decatur Daily on Sept. 26, 2006. Any further action taken on this issue?

I drive by this plant every morning and try to hold my breath until I get by, to no avail.

Itís amazing to me that during a ďmoney makingĒ event, the plant does not smell. But as soon as itís over, the stench begins again.

I lived around the block from a similar sewer plant while stationed in Germany and never knew it was there until I walked my dog by it one day. Clearly, an important piece of equipment must be missing or no chemical treatments are actually being done.

If it were I creating this stench, the city would cite me for being a public nuisance and fine me.

Decatur talks about attracting BRAC families, but Decatur better hope itís not on a smelly day. Between the Meow mix plant, chicken processing on Moulton Street and that sewer plant, Decatur will be lucky to attract, and more significantly keep, any BRAC families.

Michael Wascom

Farms donít need to hire illegal aliens

To The Daily: Recently, some Alabama farmers met with officials in Montgomery regarding illegal-alien farm labor. The farmers defended the illegal aliensí supposed rights to be here for a better life and even praised their character. One farmer was quoted as saying he believed the fact that illegal aliens crossing the desert from Mexico to come work low-wage, difficult jobs speaks of their character. Indeed it does. The minute one crosses into this country illegally, it speaks volumes of who he is as an individual. It says the individual is a lawbreaker and that no one should believe he will obey any other laws in this country if he wonít respect immigration laws.

Furthermore, where does the farmer think functionally illiterate, uneducated people born into generational poverty are going to work? They work the jobs they do because they donít have the skills to do anything else, not because of virtuosity.

Consumers have been fooled into thinking produce prices would rise dramatically if illegal alien harvesters were replaced by legal workers. This is untrue. For every dollar spent on produce, more than half of each dollar is markup, while only about seven cents is labor cost. Even if prices increased slightly, itís less expensive than the health care and education costs, and much more, for which those of us in the middle class foot the bill every year, so illegal aliens can have things to which we would not be entitled in their native countries.

Farmers should consider this: Migrant, native-born Americans have long been present in the fields all over America, planting and harvesting where our food is grown.

Unfortunately, their fellow countrymen have sold them out for the almighty dollar. Pay
them fairly, and maybe theyíll return.

Carmen Callahan

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