Voting causes security concerns
With the recent election this week, I saw many political signs, various people in lawn chairs on school grounds, and active campaigners at our local city schools while our children were present for a regular school day. It is time to move the voting polls out of our schools while our children are present. I see two options:
If schools must be used for voting, then school needs to be out of session for that day. Our children do not need to be at the school while hundreds of strangers are in the building and roaming around on campus. This is only asking for trouble and is not necessary.
Move the voting polls to many other accessible areas in the city. I would think that having a large voting precinct downtown would be an excellent idea. It would bring people into downtown to vote. While they are there voting, residents could visit many of the wonderful places to eat or shop that have moved to the downtown area. This seems like a "win-win" situation to me. Many people don't go downtown because they don't have a reason to go there. However, if voting took place in one of the vacant buildings, it would introduce many people to the improvements to our downtown area and give them a reason to come back and support the local businesses and restaurants.
I did not send my child to school this past Tuesday on election day. I hope that I don't have to make that decision again this fall.
Johnson City, TN
Children > animals
I am certainly not the smartest person in the world, but could someone explain to me how an East Tennessee woman received six years for animal cruelty — I love animals and believe people who mistreat them should be punished — then you have a bus driver in Chattanooga who caused the death of six kids get four years.
What is wrong with this? I guess animals are more important than kids.
End military’s oil dependence
A documentary film I saw at ETSU recently, about U.S. military operations in the Middle East, contained some distressing scenes. Our soldiers there are put in harm’s way by having to spend too much of their time transporting oil to the bases and guarding the transports. Improvised explosive devices kill or maim many of them, despite best effort and much investment in armor-security of the transport vehicles.
The film’s title, “The Burden,” reflects the threat to our troops and great cost in lives of overwhelming dependence on fossil-fuel energy by the Military. But other consequences of using fossil energy — which is the principle driver of global warming — greatly impact the military as well.
Marine Corps Pacific troops were sent to the Philippines when typhoon Haiyan landed there, killing more than 6,300 people. I learned that the U.S. military, whose service personnel are the best trained first responders anywhere, receives a foreign disaster-relief request every two weeks. We know that violent storms and other disasters come around more often as global temperature rises under climate change. Thus, this new scale of deployments for disaster relief comes at great cost to the military and the taxpayer.
As an article by the Associated Press indicated recently, the Army is presently having difficulty recruiting enough new soldiers. It must ask “experienced service members to stay on the job.” Additionally, the Army must accept applicants with lower fitness or other qualifications, or lower recruitment goals.
To ease these burdens on the military, and the cost to our economy and threat to future generations, we should demand that our government take positive action, such as carbon pricing, to solve the climate crisis. It is imperative that we support our military’s plans to move toward alternate energy.
DR. NORMA MORRISON