The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

December 2, 2013

Letters to the Editor 12/1/13



Letters policy

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



Disappointed over county's Christmas tree decision

Dear Editor:

I wanted to write and express my heartfelt disappointment with Limestone County Commission Chairman Stanley Menefee and the Limestone County Commission.

I don’t want to talk about politics. I want to talk about a poor decision that has broken a decades-old tradition that families in Limestone County have enjoyed for years.

As a Christian and a parent who loves celebrating Christmas in our community, I’m shocked at the misguided decision Mr. Menefee has made in regard to the county Christmas tree.

A look back through The News Courier will show out-of-control spending on everything from an old Fred’s to courthouse stair to the amount of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Yet, when it comes time to celebrate Christmas in Limestone County, Mr. Menefee says that the county simply doesn’t have the $1,800 it would take to bring in a proper tree for display on our Courthouse Square.

Anyone who pays attention to the county’s finances knows this is a stretch, to say the least. If the best option we have to save our county’s finances is by eliminating a time-honored Christmas tradition, then perhaps we need to look at both the decisions that are being made and the people making those decisions.

Instead of asking for donations and creating a sense of community to keep this tradition alive, Mr. Menefee instead planted a small, 6-foot tree that he says will one day grow large enough to serve in its proper role. Maybe my grandchildren will enjoy it.

In the meantime, I’d like to encourage our local businesses, churches, individuals and organizations that care about this traditional family event to help find a way to continue it.

While Mr. Menefee may be a Grinch who was born with a heart (and a tree) three sizes too small, perhaps there is enough support in our community for someone else to save this tradition and be the Rudolph that lights the way.



Ricky Hamm



DA's public criticism of judge wrong

Dear Editor:

Is it wise and helpful for the district attorney to attack the decision of the chief circuit judge in a public forum? Livid, irate and furious were the headlines after our chief circuit judge handed down a sentence the District Attorney’s Office disagreed with, after publicly stating the judge was not following the law and was wrong on the punishment imposed .

The district attorney went further by filing a writ of mandamus against the judge, which is nothing less than a demand the judge complies with his opinion of the sentence.

To be enforced, the district attorney must be able to show that he or she has a legal right to compel the respondent to do what they demand.

So, our district attorney thinks he has the authority in law to demand a circuit judge comply with his demands. I would ask the public to consider the consequence if a district attorney barks orders at a judge.   

Disagreement with the sentencing imposed by judges must be handled in a responsible professional manner. I ask, were the district attorney's actions helpful to the judicial process?

I think not, in this attack, the credibility of the system has been dealt a serious and unnecessary blow.


Rex Davis