published Sunday, April 13th, 2014

Ticket to prosperity and other letters to the editors

Ticket to prosperity

In response to the article about Tennessee leading the nation in minimum-wage jobs and those who protest for a higher minimum wage, the solution is simple. Higher-paying jobs are available to those who are prepared with marketable skills, education and motivation. Minimum-wage jobs are primarily entry-level positions meant as a starting point, not a lifelong station. Permanence in a minimum-wage position is a result of a lack of skills, education and/or ambition. A person cannot complain or protest for pay they don’t receive for work they cannot or will not do. Stay in school, work hard and advance — that is the ticket out of minimum wage.

ROY C. CURTIS, Jasper, Tenn.

Trust Smartt for commission

Even brilliant people are wrong from time to time, but they have a choice between covering up or fessing up. The person who refuses to admit he is wrong does not belong in leadership. Any voter should look for positive signs of why a candidate should be elected, and danger signs of why one should not. There are few danger signs more clear than when a person refuses to admit he is wrong. And the Sabrena Turner campaign is wrong on the annexation claim. It’s hard to miss the bright blue signs proclaiming “Sabrena: the “ONLY candidate that fought annexation.” However, a little reading of past Times-Free Press articles on the issue clarifies that Phil Smartt fought annexation while chairman of the WWTA. But it’s not about who was successful in fighting annexation. It’s not about who cares more. It’s about who I trust to be honest, exercise good judgment, lead with integrity and work with other elected leaders. Maybe that’s why Phil has been endorsed by every influential Republican in this area — Claude Ramsey, Harold Coker, Bobby Wood, Gerald McCormick, Justice Mickey Barker and others. They know we can trust Phil to lead with honesty and integrity.


Vote Fleenor for judge

We are fortunate to have someone of Pam McNutt Fleenor’s caliber running for Chancery judge in our May election. Pam is a native of Chattanooga who loves our community. She will work with determination to ensure that Hamilton County citizens are treated with dignity and respect. Pam’s character and ability are without compare. I have known Pam for 40-plus years. She is smart, honest and compassionate with a strong work ethic. Pam was the salutatorian of Central High School in 1977, graduated from UTC and then completed law school. She has practiced law here in Chattanooga all of her career. I know Pam well, and if you get the chance to meet her, you will feel that you know her well, too. She never meets a stranger. She is working with diligence to get out and meet as many in our community as possible. Don’t hesitate to introduce yourself to her. I ask for your vote for Pam McNutt Fleenor in our upcoming May election. You will be proud of the job that she will do for Hamilton County!


Thanks to Marion County

The baseball game between Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences and Marion County started like any other on a recent Thursday evening in Jasper. However, it didn’t end like most. Two CSAS players collided hard in the sixth inning to end the game. Both were knocked unconscious and showed signs of head trama. Eventually, the injuries were found to be not serious, but at that time, we didn’t know how badly they were hurt. The parents and coaches of CSAS would like to thank the players, coaches and fans of Marion County for their support while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. Their main concern was getting the injured CSAS players the medical attention they needed as quickly as possible. The Marion County baseball program is truly a class act.


Newspaper’s price increase shocks

I have been subscribing to the Chattanooga Times Free Press for several years since moving here. I just received my renewal notice and was shocked to see the price increase. By my calculations, the price increase is 50 percent. It appears your cost of a new printing press is being passed on to the customer. My husband and I owned an engineering firm before retiring to Tennessee. When we needed new computer equipment, software, etc., we paid for it with our profits from previous years, not by charging our customers more. I cannot see how you can justify this tremendous price increase.

ANN DALE, Cleveland, Tenn.

Be consistent with criticism

The president has been criticized for not wanting to go to war with Russia over the Ukraine. He is called a wimp. However, when Russia invaded and conquered part of Georgia in 2008, Bush got by with calling the Russians “bullies.” He did not even invoke sanctions. The tragedy in Ben-ghazi is endlessly blamed on Hillary Clinton. However, when 241 Americans died in the Beirut barracks bombing in 1983, I do not recall any criticism of Ronald Reagan’s secretary of state. There were never any arrests or reprisals for that substantially greater tragedy. The political discourse in this country would benefit from a touch of consistency, self-awareness and honesty.


Gravitt ready for service

I’m extremely humbled by having the unique position of running unopposed to serve District 30 as its state representative. While I’m thankful for the opportunity to go to Nashville and represent my community, I will not accept this gracious opportunity by standing on the sidelines. I will continue my campaign with an emphasis on meeting with community leaders and citizens to highlight the good qualities of the district and discuss my ideas on key issues — public education, tax reform, job creation, government spending and economic development —that I expect to be raised during the next legislative session. I would be remiss not to thank the people who have assisted me. First and most important, I want to thank my wife, Cleo, and daughter, Kensley. A campaign is truly a family affair. Having them at my side was my strongest asset. I also want to thank those who helped spread the word, from elected officials who publicly endorsed me to my campaign committee members — Vince Butler, Robin Smith and Barry Watson. Last, I want to thank all of the contributors to my campaign. Your financial support made this day possible.


Bible truths answer all

Is there a problem with believing that anything that happened before Adam and Eve is prehistoric? The most wonderful history ever recorded tells us our story if we want to take the time to read it. It is a glorious story of love and redemption, and the more you read it, the more deeply satisfying it is and the more faith in the goodness of God grows. Jesus’ bloodshed on the cross paid the price for mankind’s inability to be sinless. His glorious resurrection is proof of his deity and power. Study, if you wish, the rocks and the heavens above. Try to figure out what happened before we were given a written account. As for me, I want to know why I’m here and where I’m going. “It is written.” This is what Jesus told Satan.


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Rickaroo said...

Roy Curtis, you could not advertise your cluelessness any better than this letter from you does. Are you blithely ignorant of the fact that since the Recession of '08 millions of jobs were lost and have not been replaced? Unemployment still hovers at an average of 7% nationwide. There are 3 unemployed people for every available job. Many people are stuck in minimum wage jobs (two or three of them actually, since one minimum-wage job alone does not even pay the rent) because that is all there is. Sure, some lucky few are able to still land a decent job, but the key word there is "few."

I don't care whether a person flips burgers, cashiers at Walmart, mops floors, or empties bed pans in a nursing home, they are performing tasks that are necessary to the public good and to the vested interests of their employer, and as such should be paid a decent, living wage. Sure, anybody with even a smidgen of ambition is not going to want to do those types of jobs forever, but those jobs are not going away any time soon. Somebody has to do them and they are essential to the survival and profitability of the institutions and employers they serve. They DESERVE to be respected and dignified by paying them better than mere slave wages.

And in many cases we are talking about hugely successful businesses that rake in tens and hundreds of millions each year. Please explain to me how paying their employees a decent wage is going to threaten the success of their business or keep them from still raking in obscenely large profits?

April 13, 2014 at 2:41 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Mrs. Decosimo, just what is this "most wonderful history ever recorded?" Are you referring to the Bible? Surely you jest! Have you actually read it - I mean, really read it and ingested it fully, with eyes and mind wide open? No one can read it objectively and come away with it as being a "most wonderful history." It is only because you are afraid to open your mind and view it as the compilation of primitive myths that it is that keeps you enslaved to a worn-out dogma of original sin and salvation through blood sacrifice by a supposed son of God.

I know that you want to live forever and that desire and the fear of our own mortality is what makes Christians cling to their Bible and their belief. But once you read the Bible unafraid of heresy or doubt or the condemnation of a God that demands blind belief over intelligent scrutiny, your eyes will be opened fully and you will see how liberating it is to throw off the shackles of primitive superstition and false beliefs.

April 13, 2014 at 3:03 p.m.
sangaree said...

Roy Curtis is so naïve. He doesn't understand economics and what actually drives down salaries aren't necessarily a lack of education, but the number of workers applying for a certain field of work. That's why American employers went to India where they could hire computer programmers at less that what America pays at minimum wage. So goes for many engineers in many other countries outside the U.S. In many other countries, even developing ones, engineers can be had for a dime a dozen. The same would apply even if Mr. Curtis owns a business with plenty other businesses selling the same products. He'd have to reduce cost to stay in business or close up shop.

What Mr. Curtis doesn't understand is the very foundation set up in America was designed to keep a certain percentage of its population at the bottom to guarantee jobs and positions at the top. When the top becomes too top heavy the top starts to quickly breakdown.

Remember when there was a shortage of nurses and the population was encouraged to go into the nursing field. Then there was an overload of students leaving college with nursing degrees who couldn't find employment because the field had an overload of nurses?

Then there's the nepotism. During my decades in the working field I became aware of a lot of unqualified individuals rising to the top of companies because they were cozy or related to management.

April 13, 2014 at 7:48 p.m.
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