published Sunday, January 29th, 2012

Reporter's Notebook: Greg Beck fishes for metaphors

A group of fourth-graders from Normal Park Museum Magnet School attended Thursday's Hamilton County Commission meeting.

Commissioner Greg Beck explained to them why the meeting was a somber one.

"We're talking about a county commissioner who lost his son, and a county commissioner who had open-heart surgery," Beck said. "There's also a chair that will be open in the courts building, a judge that was dear to us. That's why we are so somber."

Beck used a fish story to explain to the fourth-graders how their teachers and parents were preparing them to take advantage of big opportunities someday.

He told about how he once hooked a big fish but lost it because he hadn't set his drag properly.

"I was not prepared to bring in the big one," he said, adding, "Judge Moon would be real happy, wherever he is, looking down on you if you grow up and become solid citizens in our county."

PACHYDERMS HOST HAYNES

Hamilton County Commission District 3 candidate Marty Haynes will address the downtown Pachyderm Club this week.

The group meets Mondays at noon at the Hilton DoubleTree Hotel on Chestnut Street.

HAMMOND STANDS BY "YOSEMITE JIM" CARTOON

Early in Sheriff Jim Hammond's presentation about his budget needs Thursday, he displayed Chattanooga Times Free Press editorial cartoonist Clay Bennett's image of "Yosemite Jim."

Etched into the character's guns was Hammond's statement, "Send them to the funeral home."

That's what Hammond said to Kiwanis Club members recently about gang members.

"They understood what I was trying to say," Hammond said.

On Thursday, Hammond defended his statement, saying it prompted a groundswell of community support.

He said the statement "stirred the most emails and calls I've ever gotten."

People were telling him, "'We don't want to see people get killed, but we want answers,'" he said.

about Ansley Haman...

Ansley Haman covers Hamilton County government. A native of Spring City, Tenn., she grew up reading the Chattanooga Times and Chattanooga Free Press, which sparked her passion for journalism. Ansley's happy to be home after a decade of adventures in more than 20 countries and 40 states. She gathered stories while living, working and studying in Swansea, Wales, Cape Town, South Africa, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Ga., and Knoxville, Tenn. Along the way, she interned for ...

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