Keep trees out of housing debate
Somebody, please give developers and the Regional Planning Agency some trees and show them how to plant them. Trees are not responsible for the decades of inadequate affordable housing — developers are. To be fair, there are many other reasons great and small for this deficit of affordable housing, which has evolved over many years. Developers cannot make money on it.
Trees, however, are innocent. Wall-to-wall concrete and cementing over every inch of this beautiful city will doubtless make someone a lot of money; at the same time, it will also funnel stormwater into our lowlands — and Chattanooga is a lowland, erode our creeks, smother aquatic life, and super heat the city even more every summer. It will also kill all those pesky birds which annoyingly fly into our oversized windows and make us feel bad.
The elimination of the natural world is the problem, not the solution. Focus on including the natural world into developments large and small, instead of completing its destruction. We will not live without it.
More Chattanooga police are needed
Mayor Tim Kelly has proposed two solutions to deal with violent crime in downtown Chattanooga. The first, creating a commission, seems like another attempt by a politician to kick the can down the road. The second, more police downtown, is certainly a step in the right direction. However, I am afraid that this will come at the expense of the suburbs, which are already short of police. Every day, I see at least one driver run a red light or a stop sign. Speed limit signs are nothing more than suggestions.
Chattanooga needs to hire more police officers and provide resources sufficient to ensure that all of our police are fully trained in the law and proper police procedures.
Also, in addition to the police dedicated to shootings that result in a death, Chattanooga needs a police unit dedicated to investigating and closing shooting cases that do not result in a fatality, like the FAST unit in the Denver Police Department. Denver has shown that this approach results in fewer shootings. Every resident of Chattanooga will benefit from more tax money being invested in more police.
Appreciates report on McCallie case
The purpose of this email to to thank the Times Free Press for reporting and writing on the 29-year-old man sentenced in connection with violent crimes, "Chattanooga man sentenced to over 9 years in connection with McCallie Avenue mass shooting."
I had no idea that the sentencing was happening, and I think that it is a very important matter to discuss. I had almost forgotten that this happened, and I think more should be written about it.
Thank you for writing on such an important matter.
State GOP keeping money from schools?
More and more the GOPers controlling this state show they do not want the voters to be educated.
They set up plans to take money from school districts and give it to their friends — calling them grants.
Then they want to refuse federal funds, which we paid for with our federal taxes.
Are they trying to make Tennessee the lowest educated state so they and their friends can make money at our expense?
Cuban refugees not treated like others
If you are from Latin America — or some terrorist-breeding country — you are free to enter this country illegally through our Southern border. We'll even give you a plane ride, education, benefits and make it easier for you to vote in our elections.
However, if you are a Cuban hoping to flee communism for freedom in America, forget it. HHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas declared you're not getting in. Why? The Democrats are counting on illegal immigrants eventually voting Democrat when amnesty is passed. But Cubans escaping communism for freedom would more likely vote against the Democrats' socialist policies they've experienced in Cuba. And the Democrats know this.
Not a fan of Will's 'swampy' commentary
Washington Post columnist George Will's Monday commentary on the Free Press editorial page was a disgusting example of the Washington media swamp's inability to tell the whole truth about either side of a policy disagreement.
Every time I read one of his articles, I become more convinced he doesn't know what he is talking about, but only spews his disinformation about world affairs.
To claim that Republicans are helping Putin in his immoral, evil war against Ukraine is on its face absurd, and he knows it. We all want Ukraine to win, but there needs to be accountability for the billions of dollars we taxpayers are being called on to provide.
If Will were as smart as he thinks he is, he would discuss the nuances of what the Republicans are doing. But, he wants to look like the good guy with his fellow media swamp rats. TFP should drop his commentaries and find someone who can be honest with his or her words.
Refusing federal money is awful
The education of our children is among the top priorities of our government. That's why it's hard to understand why our governor and GOP majority statehouse are considering rejecting $1.9 billion in much-needed federal funding for K-12 education. I have contacted my state representatives and senator for an explanation and have not gotten any answers.
I hope everyone who supports our public education system will contact their representatives and senators and post their responses. Our public education welcomes all children. If our state lawmakers succeed on the path they are apparently on to refuse federal education funding, then there will be children left behind.
Federal money not the key to success
The Times Free Press ran a Page 1 report last week about a special legislative group meeting in Nashville to discuss the roughly $2 billion Tennessee receives from the federal government for K-12 education and whether Tennessee should reject these funds based on "strings attached." This is a very vague term and needs further explanation. According to the article, the Grundy County school district, a poor district, receives nearly 18% of its revenues from the federal government while more affluent Williamson County receives a little over 3%.
My first thought upon reading these statistics was how are these two school districts performing with regard to what children are in school for, which is to learn? I was amazed and disappointed that the article did not address what I consider to be a very important "string," so I did some research on my own. Turns out that Grundy County schools are ranked 116th out of 141 districts for performance while the Williamson County School District is ranked third.
Clearly, the expectations of the federal government about how it distributes money for K-12 education has nothing to do with student performance.