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Letters: Proposed child law not enough

Johnson City Press • Mar 6, 2020 at 6:00 AM

Want to have your voice heard? Send a Letter to the Forum. Authors must sign their letters and include addresses and phone numbers for verification. Letters may be no longer than 300 words and will be edited for grammar, style and length. Send your submission to Mailbag, P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605-1717 or [email protected].

Proposed child law not enough

I am thankful that Senator Crowe and Representative Hill are on board with creating a bill that would help protect children like Evelyn Boswell, however the current bill does not go nearly as far as it should. It is basically a mandatory 48-hour reporting period and does not address the current flaws in our child abuse law. The current version does not adequately address the behaviors of parents and guardians who put children in danger, and it does not hold them accountable at a level they need to be held at. Most cases would likely result in misdemeanor charges and not send a strong enough message to those who would violate it.

If you believe like many others that 48 hours is way too long to report a child who is lost and wandering around in freezing weather or walking in the middle of the highway, then please contact Sen. Rusty Crowe and Rep. Timothy Hill and ask them not to pass Evelyn’s Law in its current form. Contact Senator Crowe at the Capitol at 615-741-2468 or email at [email protected] and Representative Hill at 615-741-2050 or email at [email protected]

I am speaking as someone who was an on-scene commander in the disappearance of Kayla McKean, which resulted in the Kayla McKean Law in Florida. After three days of lying from her father, we found her body in a shallow grave next to a spring she used to swim in when she was alive. Her father had beaten her to death for soiling her clothes.

STEVE STEVENSON
Roan Mountain

Plant trees for environment

Like other participants, I’ll be adding a half-dozen more native trees to my woodlands on March 21, the Tree Day announced by the Tennessee Environmental Council. Jointly, the council and Forestry Division of the Department of Agriculture are promoting the initiative toward beautifying properties and communities through healthy tree canopies.

A new, worldwide target in tree planting — a trillion of them — was announced at the Davos Economic Forum in January. Its goal of such a massive afforestation effort is to let forests be a major driver toward solving the climate crisis. The environmental disasters and extreme weather events stemming from climate change were on the forum’s radar for several years, receiving its top ranking as risks to global businesses in 2018.

Forests remove carbon dioxide, the main causal driver of climate change, from the air, storing it in the trees and other vegetation and forest soil. Thus, acting as a natural “carbon sink,” they offset some of the damage to the atmosphere and climate brought about by the burning of fossil fuels.

Commendably, when the forum adopted this afforestation goal, it received backing from President Trump. He stated that “the United States will join the 1 Trillion Trees initiative (and) continue to show strong leadership in restoring, growing and better managing our trees and forests.”

The administration’s many rollbacks to climate- and environment-sensitive forest policies would seem to belie the latter assertion, though. One notes, for example, approval of logging in the previously protected roadless areas of the Tongass National Forest and prohibition for all our national parks and forests to even consider climate change in management decisions.

As citizens and communities, we can do more in regards to tree planting for beauty and the climate. The president should do likewise in deeds and not only words.

FRANCES LAMBERTS
Jonesborough

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