The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

December 30, 2012

Letters to the Editor 12/30/12

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

Medical services are excellent

Dear Editor:

During the season of gifts and giving, I think of the number of people who have given to us their time, medical knowledge, compassion, and services.

Words cannot express my sincere appreciation and thanks to Athens-Limestone Hospital and Athens Rehabilitation and SeniorCare for all the services they have given to my sick husband during his illness since September 2, 2012. We are most fortunate to have these excellent services in Athens.


Argent Thomas


Public supports toy drive

Dear Editor:

I would like to take a moment to say thank you to the community for supporting the toy drive we had this year. With your donations we were able to help 20 children in the Owens community have toys for Christmas.

Thank you also to Mrs. Holt at Owens Elementary School, Kathy and her team at the Dollar General Store on Hwy. 99, and The News Courier for advertising the toy drive in the Limestone Ledger.

The two days spent in the parking lot of the Dollar General Store were special to the members of our department. We not only saw old friends, but also made some new ones. We saw parents teaching children to help those in need. It has been a wonderful, heartwarming experience that we hope to make an annual event.

Thanks again, and from our family at the Owens Volunteer Fire Department to you and your family, we hope you had a safe and merry Christmas and will have a happy new year .


Dennis Blakely, captain

Owens VFD

Rights taken away?

Dear Editor:

I’m writing about all the hospitals, businesses and public places banning smoking. First of all this is taking our rights away. And second if you are going to ban smoking, then ban all the people from wearing perfume and cologne, using air fresheners, bleach, cleaning liquid with smells, anything that has a smell like perfume. Because this is what swells my airway closed, not the smoke.

No, smoking is not good for you but it’s not the cause of lung problems. No, I’m not a doctor but I had lung problems all my life and I have not smoked all my life. But I have been around chemicals they use on cotton and farm equipment all my life. You know we never heard anyone complain about smoking until now. Now every time you turn on the TV it’s either smoking or something you eat that’s causing cancer.

I’m here to tell you I’ve beat breast cancer  and smoking didn’t cause that. Everyone carries cancer cells. It’s not caused by anything you eat, drink or do. These things don’t help. But they don’t cause it.

You see I have a lot of health problems and am allergic to a lot of things, but smoke is not one of them. I was sitting in an X-ray department this week and a couple came in with perfume or cologne on. It swelled my throat shut. I had to get up and go outside. So if you want to ban something, ban things that really cause breathing problems.

You know everyone has habits someone else don’t like, but the smokers don’t go around trying to tell everyone when and where they can do their habits. As long as they are not driving or stealing, who are we to tell them what to do with their money?

The most of us have worked or still work paying our insurance, taxes on habits, so until you all pay for my habits and taxes you should not have the right to tell me when or where I can smoke. I pay taxes that go to the hospital.  I worked and paid my Medicare in just like the rest of you.

If we are not allowed to smoke at these places then we shouldn’t pay taxes for these places.

This is my opinion.

Sincerely, a smoker,

Sandra Dempsey


Angels in East Limestone

Dear Editor:

During Christmas we always hear that the true Christmas spirit is that it is better to give than to receive. Well in one community, they do this all year long.

The East Limestone community has some of the kindest, most generous people I have ever had the honor to meet. They are without a doubt people that exemplify the true meaning of what America and Alabama are all about. They never take credit for what they do, for it is their way of life.

With the names like Black, Drake, Pugh, Abercrombie, Whitt, Zirbel, and the list goes on and on, they are a people full of compassion and friendship. When my brother (East Limestone football Coach Cav) passed away, then later with my dad’s passing and my younger brother’s home taking a direct hit from an F-5 tornado, this community came out in large numbers. They came to Decatur for visitation and for the two funerals in numbers that was simply breathtaking each and every time, and they worked hard to help my brother with his tornado recovery.  

I wish I could live in such a community, and I am thankful that my two little nephews will grow up there with so many great examples of what a person should be.

Andy, Barney and the folks from Mayberry I think would be proud to live there. A song that is played a lot during Christmas asks the question if there are angels among us. One needs to travel no further than to East Limestone to answer that question. And if you can’t go there, I have, and the angels are definitely there.


Randy Cavnar


Be thankful for what you have

Dear Editor:

Diane Lehr, a Spirit of Athens board member, recently wrote a letter about allocating funds to social nonprofit groups.

She mentioned that she had lived in cities with cultural offerings of art exhibits, historic tours, plays, music festivals and fantastic little business and shopping districts that reflect the symbolic values and interests of the community. In larger cities, many of those fantastic little shopping and business districts are ethnically oriented. Athens doesn’t have any sizeable ethnic population groups that would support such areas.

Personally, I have performed on the piano at Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, the violin at Northwestern University’s Hahn Hall, sung with the Tulsa symphony and my wife and I have also lived in some of the largest cities in this nation. We’ve visited Los Angeles’s Getty Art museum, the Louvre in Paris, Kyoto, Japan’s Buddist Temples, Beijing, China’s opera, among many other cities and activities. All these cities have great cultural offerings, but they aren’t Athens’ size. My wife and I have also been patrons and supporters of major city symphonies, Broadway theatre plays and art museums.

Athens doesn’t have the population, or real or potential revenues to support all these various activities, meaningfully, now or in the long-term future. If you want this experience, go to Huntsville, Birmingham, Nashville, Atlanta, New York City, etc., that do have those opportunities. We’re not “living in a potentially dingy, diminished bare-bones sort of community,” due to our city’s leadership being discriminate in the city’s funding allocations, and our good politicians should resent this remark by Ms. Lehr. Many cities are cutting allocations. It takes comprehension of not only what you’d like, but what our city can afford.

Spirit of Athens promotes the downtown district as the heart of Athens and Limestone County. There is more to Athens than just the Square and historic district that requires funding. Nonprofit organizations must capitalize, and expand, their own independent funding support sources and grants that are often funded by taxpayer’s taxes.

We need more attention and planning for the total revenues available to allocate funds to meet all the city’s needs, including paving, police equipment, fire equipment, major retail business development and other civic requirements. Ms. Lehr’s dreams and desires can’t take priority over everyone else’s realistic needs.  Be thankful for what you have been allocated from taxpayer’s funds, in light of so many unmet critical needs of the city.

Happy new year.


Quentin D. Anderson Sr.