News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
MONDAY, JULY 23, 2007


Animal shelter proves mayor, council don’t care

To The Daily: I am writing about the new dog pound being built at Wilson Morgan Park. I grew up here in Austinville, which once was a city itself. It is now a big part of Decatur and we’re located in District 4, which is Councilman Ronny Russell’s district. I love my community, but when I see something that’s wrong I get very upset.

What Ronny did was wrong. Mr. Russell should have met with the people not only in District 4, but all of Decatur, because this will affect them also. Mr. Russell has proved to us that he doesn’t care anything about us. No one will take their children to Wilson Morgan Park with this dog pound on it because of all the barking animals that will be there, and for fear that a vicious dog could attack their children. What was wrong with our present dog pound, especially since Decatur growth has actually shrunk? Take away the Hispanic population here and the population of Decatur would be down. Decatur is starting to look like Mexico. No one wants his or her children in a poor school system here.

I see more people moving out of our city every day. Mayor Don Kyle and Ronny Russell and all of our city councilmen should be ashamed for voting for this dog pound at Wilson Morgan Park and for allowing this to happen to Decatur. All Mayor Kyle had to do was have two councilmen vote and use his veto power, which he didn’t do, or chose not to do.

The public can’t even speak up anymore at a regular City Council meeting. We can just hope our new mayor and City Council in our next city election will care about our city.

David W. Kelley

Gov. Riley’s rain prayer promotion inappropriate

To The Daily: Gov. Bob Riley’s recent proclamation of June 30 through July 7 as “Days of Prayer for Rain” seems to imply that all Alabamians pray, and further that all believe in the appropriateness of intercessory prayer. “I encourage all Alabamians to pray individually and within their houses of worship for sufficient rain,” he states.

I would like to inform the governor that not all Alabamians necessarily agree with his theology, and more significantly, not all Alabamians pray or even believe in “gods.”

I don’t think the citizens of Alabama — or anywhere else in the United States — need government officials to instruct them in religious matters. In fact, this practice is absolutely prohibited by the First Amendment. Such a statement by a governor implies that the state of Alabama endorses a particular form of worship. This makes those who don’t share such beliefs feel that they are less than full citizens.

Rain will return to Alabama whether this is prayed for or not. Our religious liberty, however, will not return until such actions as Gov. Riley’s proclamation are a thing of the past.

Philip Conley

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