The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

July 1, 2012

Letters to the Editor 7/1/12

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

Need real farmers market

Dear Editor:

I’d like to respond to the article about the Athens “Farmer’s Market.”

When I moved here four years ago I was very excited to hear that my new town had a farmers market. That lasted as long as it took me to make the 15-minute drive from my house to Green Street.

When I got there all I found was a yard sale in the middle of a lot. What a disappointment. Many people today are trying to eat healthier and many want to support local businesses (which the local Chamber of Commerce and the city leaders are always begging us to do). This can’t happen at the same time in Athens.

If I want to go to an actual farmers market I have to take my business elsewhere (Decatur to be exact). We need a real farmers market here.

I’m all for a good flea market (which this area already has an abundance of) or a day of yard sale hopping. However, those things are not a farmers market and the city is missing a real opportunity to make more money from actual farm vendors, the seniors could make more, and the city could promote area health while supporting local agricultural businesses.

Starting next year make it what it is supposed to be already!


Donna McPherson


Decision based on lie

Dear Editor:

Immigration law, stolen valor and health care … OK what happened and how bad is it? Well, it’s all good, really good, except for the precedence created by the decision.

For me, a Republican activist this was the best decision at the best time, the very nucleus of the 2010 victory was the Obama health care act and illegal immigrants. Chief Justice (John) Roberts has handed the Republican Party the winning issue once again and it could not have come at a better time. Justice Roberts has “awakened the sleeping giant.” Thanks mister chief justice; we needed that.

Now on the ruling, my concern is the fact that this Supreme Court allowed a lie to stand as fact within that court and this court ruled in favor of that lie. When the majority leadership of congress and the president of the United States stand before the people and proclaim the individual mandate is not a tax and the Supreme Court allows their attorney to argue it is a tax, that court has broken the very basic principles of our court system, allowing a lie to stand as fact. Justice cannot exist where the absolute truth is not demanded, especially within the jurisdiction of our Supreme Court. The heart of this decision was based on a lie.


Rex Davis


Time for a change

Dear Editor:

I’m probably the last person in the country to figure this out. I was trying to understand why liberals are so interested in “spreading the wealth” by taxing the “evil rich.” And then it dawned on me. Liberals believe there is a limited amount of wealth in the country and the rich have more than their fair share.

If that were true, I could understand them better. In fact, wealth is created and destroyed every day. Conservatives believe there is an unlimited amount of wealth to be made and creating more of it would benefit everyone.

If a person starts a new business and hires people, he might create more wealth for himself, but he also creates more wealth for those who work for him. The employees have more money to buy “stuff,” which creates demand for more “stuff” and more jobs and more wealth. Rinse and repeat.

Another way to look at it: If the liberal idea applied to God’s love, every new child that is born would reduce the amount of love God has to give the rest of us. When Adam and Eve were the only people, God had a lot of love to spread. Now, with 7 billion on the Earth, each person would only be getting a tiny amount of love from God. How absurd!

God’s love has no limit. Likewise, wealth (opportunity) has no limit, as long as the government doesn’t punish those who create it and reward those who don’t. For the last three years, our government has been punishing (with taxes, regulation, class warfare and nasty rhetoric) those who want to create wealth for themselves and others. We are overdue for a change.


Bruce Wilson


Respect community

Dear Editor:

A comment was recently made that concerns about health care, the environment, and other humane issues mean nothing if our personal freedoms are lost. I do care about my fellow human beings and find it oddly and incredibly selfish not to.

I do not understand the connection between concerns for these issues versus the loss of personal freedoms. Individual freedoms are important but we do, after all, live in a community. If, for example, I live next door to you and I want to burn tires that is my right, but then it impinges upon your right to not inhale the fumes.

The United States Constitution was not developed merely to keep the federal government at bay. It was an attempt to ensure that no one faction could become so powerful as to allow the development of a tyrannical dictatorship born out of the selfish self-interests of a few — hence, a vague yet rather complicated set of checks and balances whereby no one group would likely be in power for a lengthy amount of time — hence, differing, staggering, years for senatorial, representative, and for that matter, presidential, elections.

Government should strive to be efficient and effective as well as equitable for all citizens. I do hope that justice and fairness will prevail.


Christa Crabtree


Redistricting problems

Dear Editor:

The recent redistricting of Alabama resulted in the identification of eight members of the state Legislature who will represent Limestone County and its municipalities, and only one member will live within Limestone County. As implemented, this will have a profound impact and effect, and compound our problems regarding Home Rule. The ability to provide services locally to our citizens, as well as insure parity at the local level regarding receiving state funds, has the potential to be greatly hampered, degraded and perhaps even curtailed.

Redistricting will result in individual senators’ and representatives’ worrying about being re-elected along with the usual power party politics. Also, strong conflicts of interest regarding geographic areas of representation will influence how they vote. Required legislative decision-making processes to accomplish needed local actions will become truly a group grope and fail to be responsive to our local needs. Their pursuit and exercise of individual power will preclude required cooperation.

A legislator living outside Limestone County, say in the city of Madison, or for that matter in Madison, Morgan, or Lauderdale County, will have conflicting interests, and a built in bias to vote for initiatives which favor the local areas in which they live. An excellent example would be the city of Madison’s desires regarding annexed portions of Limestone County vs. the best interests of the balance of Limestone County’s population, or vice/versa. These differing interests will influence the vote of representatives who don’t live in Limestone County, which could include having local tax revenues being expended outside of Limestone.

To qualify for and run for an office at the local level, a person is required to live in that county or city, and that’s the way it should be and for the most part at the state level. As an independent voter I agree with some of our locally elected officials — redistricting as currently configured can have negative consequences for Limestone County citizens. 

In conclusion, our state legislators talk about the federal government being too involved in controlling our lives, and I agree. However I might also ask:  What is the difference between the federal government, and state government controlling our lives by not allowing us to take over our own control?

This leads me to agree “the free state of Winston” was an excellent concept.


Ralph Diggins


Making a choice

Dear Editor:

We are about to enter the municipal election season. City District 5 will have an open seat this year that 23-year District 5 resident and former police chief (Wayne) Harper has decided to pursue.

A few months ago the mayor, personally, told me that (former) chief Harper would be the best candidate for the position. Harper also spoke to the mayor several weeks ago regarding his running for the District 5 City Council seat.

Now we have Brian Terry also running for the same seat. Mr. Terry is a teacher at the Limestone Tech Center.

In 2004, the night Mr. Terry lost his re-election bid for his city council seat, he couldn’t immediately be found to fulfill his obligation, as City Council president, to sign off on the election results. This is not the conduct expected of a responsible public official.

Retired chief Harper has the administrative experience necessary to be an excellent City Council candidate. He also knows the city, its problems, and its citizens, very well after almost a quarter century as our police chief.  District 5 has had some problems from potholes, which their residents have called me to help get them repaired, which I did, to graffiti on businesses, and needs someone that has worked closely with the mayor, City Council, and other city department heads to try to resolve some of their problems. 

Chief Harper would be an outstanding member of the city council and representative of District 5.

We need retired Chief Harper elected to District 5’s City Council seat to help lead this city forward in 21st century. He has what is needed both in District 5 and our city.


Quentin D. Anderson Sr.