Category Archives: Letters

Reader thanks Rep. Powers and Sen. Yager

Dear Rep. Dennis Powers and Sen. Ken Yager,

I would like to thank you for supporting the autism insurance reform bill SB1286/HB1265. As you know a lot of children and adults in our area suffer with Autism, and this bill will help them and their families immensely. As a parent of a child with Autism, I believe this bill with help my child, as well as other children and adults to get the therapy and help they need to be productive citizens in the future.

Thank you,

Jennifer Richardson

Commissioners endorse sales tax increase

You’ve probably heard about the ‘potential’ sales tax increase but we want to share some facts. As
commissioners the majority of the ‘complaints’ we receive deal with paving our roads. With
approximately 700 miles of roads in Campbell County and the average cost to pave 1 mile at $70,000,
the current operating budget of the Campbell County Highway Department can only pave approximately
10 miles of road annually. At this rate, it would take 70 years to cycle through a complete paving of our
roads and we all know that asphalt won’t last 70 years. The County Commission has a dilemma on how
to fund the paving of our roads and we are looking at various options. Do we lay off a large portion of
the county worker’s and risk them not having money to spend with other local businesses and risk
additional businesses failing when we don’t have enough jobs now? Do we raise the property tax rate
which puts the entire burden on property owners? We have many questions and limited options.
Therefore, we are bringing one option to the people. On the March 6th primary ballot voters will see a
sales tax referendum to raise the local rate from 2.25% to 2.75%. If passed, the new rate would take
effect July 1, 2012. This increase in rate translates to an estimated $900,000 increase in local revenue
which, when allocated to the highway department, will pave approximately an additional13 miles per
year. State law requires the majority of the sales tax revenue to be allocated to the school budget.
However, the overall increase in revenue will allow the commission to increase the highway department
budget by allocating additional property tax currently being collected. This would NOT be a one-time
funding. Once the funding goes into the highway department budget it must be funded annually due to
the ‘maintenance of effort’ requirement. If you make a $50 purchase the overall tax increase would be
25¢. It’s up to you … the voters.
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Reader shocked by small town church’s attitude

I’m a visitor to this beautiful mountain town. I decided to church close to where me and my family was staying. It was a quaint little Baptist church out in the country. I hate to say it, but it was far from a pleasant experience. I consider myself a Christian and try to not be judgmental, but this church was quite the opposite. I came into overhearing the tail end of a Sunday school lesson in the main sanctuary where the teacher was telling the class Catholics worship the Pope, and Mary. One comment was that the Pope may actually be the anti-Christ. I have Catholic friends and these views are so far off base. Move to he main sermon and the pastor was talking about homo-sexuality. I’m against homosexuality, but he was harsh and almost violent about it. Where is love the person hate the sin? I was quite put off. The people were friendly to the visitors, but seemed hostile to beliefs differing a little from there on. Later that week I was fishing and started talking to someone that attended one of those Baptist country churches. I was joking about having a beer after a hard day fishing and he told me that was a sin. He said drinking alcohol was a sin. I asked him what he thought Jesus drank grape juice? He said it wasn’t wine. I’m sorry, but that is one of the most ignorant things I have ever heard. The Bible tells to not drink in excess, but I’m sorry to bring reality to some, but Jesus did drink and even make wine. Sorry, but that was my first and last visit to the country church. I don’t believe in compromising your principal, but some people should read the Bible for themselves, and learn about other faiths not here say, some one tries to teach you.

Robert Simpson
Cleveland, Ohio

Reader praises online newspaper format

Dear Volunteer Times,
I love that you have an online newspaper. Instead of having to wait a week for an outdated story, I can come here for free and see what’s going on. I really enjoy the stories, and the fact updates are made daily, not weekly. You guys were the first ones I went to when I saw 2,000 cars coming through LaFollette. With your newspaper I feel more in touch and know what’s going on. The sports coverage is great to. I love the fact you have video. I just found you guys about a month ago, but I hope you are around for decades to come.

Ruth Smith

Reader mulls Anthony trial fall out and “Caylee’s Law”

Dear Editor,

I am writing in response to the recent news that Tennessee legislature is apparently considering adding “Caylee’s Law” to the law books. Making it a misdemeanor to fail to report a missing child, and a felony if the child is injured or dead.

Now at first viewing you think “Well, that’s a great law to have!” but the thing is, it’s already a law in Tennessee that you are required to report a missing child.

Further, Nashville/Davidson County Public Defender Dawn Deaner was quoted as saying that in her 15 years on the job she has never had a case where a parent didn’t report a missing child.

The proposed law also states that you must report the child missing as soon as possible. Keep in mind that you are considered to be a child in the state of Tennessee when you are 17 years, 364 days old.

So as a parent, if you don’t know where your 17 year old is at all times, you can be fined up to $2500 and face a year in prison for not reporting them missing “as soon as possible”.

If you dial their cell wondering where they are and they don’t answer, you better file that report with the police immediately. And God forbid they’ve been injured, because if you don’t call immediately and that turns out to be the case, welcome to felony charges.

It seems the law was proposed by two legislators who saw a Facebook campaign and this is their response. Another law, and a useless one at that, since it’s already the law in Tennessee.

When lawmakers start making useless policy in response to Facebook crusades that have been sparked by the Nancy Graces’ of the world the legislature is headed for trouble.

Especially laws like this for things that literally haven’t came up a single time in Tennessee’s second most populous county in 15 years or longer.

You shouldn’t let an inflamed public guide your lawmaking policy or frankly we’d have so many stupid laws on the books you wouldn’t be able to walk down the street without getting fined.

What happened to Caylee Anthony was tragic. But the court did it’s job, as did the legal system and the jury in that case. It was the failure of the prosecution to prove it’s case beyond a reasonable doubt that allowed Anthony to walk free.

There is a reason there is such a high standard for proving death penalty cases. Better 10 murderers walk free than one innocent person be put to death.

And better one law that’s already on the books that has worked for decades in Tennessee without issue stay than a new law be added to satisfy the people who see this as somehow getting retribution for Caylee Anthony.

William J. Le Petomane Jr
Tennessee