The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

April 1, 2012

Letters to the Editor 4-1-12

The News Courier

The News Courier encourages letters to the editor. Submissions should be no more than 400 words and should include a name, address and telephone number for verification. Submissions that do not meet requirements are subject to editing. Send letters by noon on Thursdays to P.O. Box 670, Athens, AL, 35613, or email to

Thanks for finding purse

Dear Editor:

On Monday, March 12, I lost my purse in the Athens Wal-Mart store. I immediately went to the Customer Service Desk to ask if a purse had been turned in to them. It had not, but the associates at the Customer Service Desk immediately began calling the appropriate personnel to try and determine if my purse was indeed lost or had been stolen. 

My cell phone was in my purse, but one of the ladies at the Customer Service Desk offered the use of her personal cell phone so that I could call my husband. She also called the Athens Police Department for me. A policeman was there to assist me in just a very few minutes. 

After filing a report with the policeman, I accompanied a Wal-Mart manager to the area I last remembered having my purse, which was near the pharmacy area. He went to the pharmacy counter to see if anyone had turned my purse in to them. I followed him and was delighted when I got to the window to see my purse setting on a shelf. 

I would like to thank the Wal-Mart personnel, the Athens police officer and, most of all, the wonderful, honest person who took the time to turn my purse in to the pharmacy desk. To be honest, I feared that I would never see my purse again and was already dreading the hassle of having to cancel credit and debit cards, obtain new driver’s license, insurance cards and who knows what else. 

Thanks to all involved in helping me and, again, a special thanks to whoever found my purse and turned it in.  I only wish I knew your name so that I could thank you personally.


Hilda Malone


I’m tired of government

Dear Editor:

I am tired. I’m tired of the government using my tax money to pay people not to work. I’m tired of living in a country where more and more people join the ranks of freeloaders while I pay for it with my tax dollars. What would happen if those of us who work and pay taxes decided to quit working and start taking “free stuff”? Who would pay for it?

I’m tired of the president giving my tax money to failing “green” companies who return part to him as a campaign donation. I’m tired of the president doing everything he can to stop oil production and then not taking the blame for raising gas prices. Oil production may be up, but it is on privately owned land. Production is down in government controlled areas.

I’m tired of the president making secret deals with Russia and other countries with the promise he can do what he wants when he doesn’t have to worry about being reelected. I’m tired of the president apologizing to other countries and acting like we are the bad guys.

I’m tired of the president and his liberal friends turning everything into a race issue. I’m tired of threats of violence from the New Black Panthers and Al Sharpton. Why are they not in jail? I’m disgusted that a member of Congress would put on a gang uniform to show his support for his race. Are gang members now the good guys and all whites bad? I’m tired of the liberal media lying and distorting the truth. I’m tired of the liberal media openly campaigning for Obama.

I’m tired of the GOP candidates attacking each other. I’m tired of them ignoring the real problems in the country and instead talking about birth control and other personal issues.

I’m tired of 50 percent of the public ignoring the fact our country is going over a cliff and seeming to be happy about it. “We’ve got trouble my friend. Right here is River City.”


Bruce Wilson


We need more growth

Dear Editor:

Regarding “Growth and the future of Athens and Limestone County,” I would first like to commend and congratulate the principles involved in bringing Alabama Green Lubricants LLC to Athens.  The efforts of Tom Hill, the Limestone County Economic Development Association, Mac Martin, and the Athens City Planning Commission are paying great dividends. 

As noted in Adam Smith’s very well written articles, we are obtaining a business that supports our community with good paying jobs and additional revenue. It is just what we need. I strongly urge the Athens City Council to vote their approval of the annexation and rezoning request coming up at the 04/09/12 meeting and continue to provide strong support to all the follow-on required actions.

Looking ahead, as well as the performing an analysis and developing the plan as recommended by Mr. Anderson in his letter to the editor published on 03/25/12, what we need now, is for each governmental entity to continue a very strong effort in promoting new economic development and growth.  While at the same time, the city and county should make additional efforts to “jointly team” and work on attracting new business development opportunities like the teaming it took to bring CTC to the area.

I also agree with Mr. Anderson’s assessment regarding the future impact of annexation actions taken by Huntsville and Decatur, all of which will drive our standard of living and quality of life, in an extreme fashion. As well as planning and teaming regarding economic growth, the future must be ours to manage and take advantage of as best we can. 

Why not resurrect and analyze what benefits might be found in some form of a joint metro government, or home rule, or even a strong joint teaming arrangement with those cities who are annexing Limestone County property.


Ralph M. Diggins


Don’t want them leading

Dear Editor:

There is a compelling need to respond to the March 18 letter to the editor allegations by Ms. Deborah King and previously by Limestone County Republican Executive Committee current Chairman Ronnie Coffman. 

Something neither Ms King nor Mr. Coffman addressed is the fact that each of the LCREC past officers resigned, as did approximately 12-15 very loyal, well respected, experienced and long-time LCREC members (did not quit, or as Mr.  Coffman stated in his February letter to editor, “left the Battlefield as cowards.”

Contrary to Ms King’s statement, none of the past officers ever intentionally ran ‘tea party’ members from the committee. Our concern was not with an organization, but that of ethically challenged, inexperienced, disruptive and argumentative members who did not understand the role of an executive committee.

Rex Davis (current vice chair) challenged Mr. Smeenk for vice chair after it became clear he could not unseat Jim Burden (LCREC chairman of 12 years), for chairman; and Mr. Davis was soundly defeated. At this time, Mr. Davis (a self proclaimed classical liberal) stated (via email and verbally) he could not work with either official. 

This small group then became very disruptive within the LCREC. Meetings were spent with them challenging past minutes, membership and member dues, committee appointments, by-laws, steering committees, Roberts Rule of Order procedures, etc.  It was embarrassing when guest speakers such as sitting judges, a district attorney, local, state and national elected officials, a school superintendent and other invitees waited to speak while this disruption continued.

The committee ceased to be effective, productive or fun; longtime loyal members were being driven away. At each monthly meeting, this group brought more potential members, with the stated objective of ruling the committee thru voting, not thru elected office.

In addition to the ethical and moral issues Ms. King referenced from a previous letter to editor, were other actions that frankly we as former officers and members wanted no part of.

Those of us in past leadership positions during our careers sometimes had to deal with disruptive individuals, but it was our job; this position was as a volunteer. The 15-plus members and officers resigning all agreed we did not want to lead nor be lead by this inexperienced and disruptive group.


Randy Smeenk