News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Farmers Market vendors still need customers

To The Daily: Your June 20 article about the drought plight of farmers supplying the Farmers Market was a very informative public service to the community. You are to be commended for your community spirit, involvement and promotion.

Rather than promoting the Farmers Market, however, was your article actually counterproductive? A possible conclusion inferred from your well-intended article is: “There is very little produce available at the Farmers Market, so don’t waste your time going there.”

Actually, there is more there than is being purchased, leaving many, if not all, vendors with unsold produce. Those few fortunate vendors with irrigation sources are actually reaping less profit due to a lack of customers.

In fairness to those few vendors and their many missing customers, it might be appropriate to check the actual circumstances and write another article, eliminating any confusion that may exist and encouraging greater participation.

James L. Nix

Bill would prevent service monopoly by dealerships

To The Daily: If you are like most folks, once your new car warranty expires, you take your vehicle to a repair shop you trust and that is convenient to your home or business. But imagine if you could no longer do that, and had no choice but to return to the dealership for the entire life of your car. This could happen. Why? Cars are run by computers today. The car manufacturers don’t want to release the computer codes, which are required for anyone to determine what is wrong with a car before it can be fixed.

Whether you like the dealership or not, it doesn’t take an economist to figure out when there is no competition, prices rise and service suffers. This is truly a consumer-protection issue.

In Alabama alone, there are nearly 4.2 million vehicles, and only 355 car dealerships. I’m not great at math, but 4.2 million divided into 355 looks like the makings of a disaster for the consumers in our state unless something is done. In addition, there are thousands of businesses in our state that repair automobiles for a living to keep you on the road. Over time, they would be forced out of business because there will be fewer and fewer vehicles they could repair.

Fortunately for the people of Alabama, Sens. Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby are in a position to help. But they must hear from you. If we work together, we can pass consumers’ Right to Repair legislation, thus ensuring the motoring public, and not the car companies, determines where its vehicles are repaired.

Call Sen. Sessions’ office at (202) 224-4124 and Sen. Shelby’s office at (202) 224-5744 or visit

Randal Ward

GOP makes hero out of poor role model

To The Daily: Just eight days after the famous “punch” from Sen. Charles Bishop to the face of Sen. Lowell Barron on the Senate floor was seen around the world, the Alabama Republican Party hosted a GOP dinner in Birmingham where Sen. Bishop was recognized as something of a hero with full party support. He was given a loud standing ovation by the 575 attendees. Sen. Bishop has really exhibited what a preemptive strike is: “Do to others before they do to you.”

Where is the public outcry against violent behavior in the Legislature? The Republican Party has demonstrated the truthfulness of the statement, “People call evil good, and good evil.” The Republican Party, known for law-and-order agenda, cannot discern a wrong act in its body. While the Republican Party has engaged in a blind partisan loyalty to its members, I find the salute to Sen. Bishop deplorable and disgusting.

Four days before the GOP dinner, a circuit court judge in Norfolk, Va., (my native home), sentenced a 16-year-old high school female student for punching a female teacher in the face on school property. The sentence was 30 days in juvenile detention, a $500 fine, 100 hours of community service, a suspended driver license, probation and a 10:30 p.m. curfew until she reaches 19.

The student’s sentence seems too harsh, however, people who physically assault other people must accept the consequences for their actions. Now, the Alabama Senate Ethics and Conduct Committee will deliberate on Sen. Bishop’s action and determine his sentence. Partisanship will have no discussion in the matter, I hope. Since children and youths imitate adult behavior, good or bad, it behooves all adults, especially elected officials, to exert positive behavior in public. There are many silent watchers around us and taking note.

Isaiah J. Ashe

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