News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


City should use taxes to assist needy residents

To The Daily: I have noticed recently that The Daily has been publishing pictures of homes where the grass may be too tall or the bushes need pruning. I recognize that Decatur can issue a warning to the property owner and eventually a fine.

However, has anyone checked out to see if the property owner might be a senior citizen who is not physically capable of doing the yard work? Has anyone checked to see if the property owner is on Social Security, is just getting by financially and canít afford the $25 or much more to have the yard cut regularly?

Maybe Decatur should show some compassion for these needy residents and instead of spending thousands of our dollars for an edifice to their glory, such as the cornerstone whatever on the corner of Gordon Drive at the Fort Decatur building, we should send out a crew to help this needy person by cutting the yard and trimming the bushes. I would certainly rather have my taxes go for this.

If the city decides to do this, please donít send out a crew of four where three watch and one does the work.

Robert F. Stone

Feature on unkempt property scares away potential residents

To The Daily: OK, itís time to end the ďHiding in plain sightĒ series. Youíve been pointing out the trashiness in Decatur long enough. Itís been going on for about five months now. Itís been going on so long, in fact, that now you have to venture out to areas outside Decatur. And how do you get these stories? You seek the help of whistle blowers, turning anonymous neighbor against neighbor. I would imagine most of these whistle blowers wouldnít have the audacity to actually say something to the ones they turned in. They probably didnít even notify the city about the problem. No, that wouldnít get any publicity.

But I think itís gotten to the point where The Decatur Daily itself has become the one Hiding in plain sight. You are trashing our city. You are the one posting pictures of these properties, properties that most of us would never have even known existed until you did so. You are the one posting these pictures on the front page so those possibly relocating with BRAC can see them. Yes, they can even pull them up on the Internet in your archives.

I am a Decatur native. Iíve lived here probably 90 percent of my 47 years. I keep everything neat and clean around my house, and I have not been featured in one of your stories. Iím not a disgruntled property owner. But I feel that with all the publicity you have given the trashiness here in Decatur, rather than trying to attract more outsiders in, youíre doing more to make those of us living here want to leave.

Erwin Clements

Businesses will benefit from smoking prohibition

To The Daily: Iíve heard about all this I can stand: ďGood food, good beer, but if I canít smoke, I wonít be back.Ē Sounds silly to me. How about those of us who donít smoke and donít visit establishments that have allowed smoking in the past?

I will now go out more often for dinner and maybe a social drink. I wonít come home and have to undress in the garage because of the horrendous smell of the smoke that I will not have in my home. Smoking is a filthy, disgusting habit. We should ban it completely.

Next time youíre driving through Decatur, take a look on at all the filthy cigarette butts lying on the ground at intersections. Why can smokers not police themselves and keep our city clean of this mess? Why should they just throw their butts out the window for someone else to clean up? I see it every day.

I believe the city of Decatur has done a good thing and I do not believe any of our small businesses will suffer because of this. I feel theyíll gain as much, if not more, business than they lose.

Allen Goodwin

Perfume, pollution are as dangerous as cigarettes

To The Daily: Iím still angry with Mayor Don Kyle for not vetoing the smoking ordinance and I e-mailed him to express my displeasure. His e-mailed reply said, ďThe vast majority were from parents, people personally allergic to smoke, and people with friends or relatives allergic to smoke, all of whom asked, in heartfelt ways, for smoke-free dining in Decatur.Ē

I think what bothers me is many of these same people who are so allergic to cigarette smoke, wear enough perfume or cologne to set off allergies as well. I have personally experienced this: standing outside a building smoking and had someone make a comment, yet their perfume was so strong it made my eyes water. Why should I be subject to their overzealous use of scent and all the chemicals it entails? My mother worked in a local business and had allergies. She had to endure one of these perfume bathers. Yet, when she asked her boss to please ask the person to tone it down, she was refused on all fronts.

These people complain about cigarette smoke in restaurants, yet they say nothing about the pollution and smells coming from the industry and wastewater plant along the river, which is so bad at times we canít be outside in our yard. We watch these industries spew forth their filth into the air every day. These same people drive SUVís that are the major polluters and gas consumers in this city, in this nation.

Yet, itís the cigarette smoke in a restaurant thatís harming us all. Right.

It is painfully clear that our new administration is indistinguishable from the last. Again, Iíll be voting against incumbents.

Lynne Orr

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