The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Letters to the Editor

August 19, 2012

Letters to the Editor 8/19/12



William Ray Sanders


Keep American dream alive

Dear Editor:

Barack Obama gave a speech in Iowa on Monday, Aug. 13, in which he adamantly stated that he thought that Americans should share their prosperity. Of course, all of those in the audience who are on the dole clapped in agreement. 

But what about all of us poor souls who work for a living? I certainly don't mind sharing my prosperity with those less fortunate than I am, but I want to make that decision, rather than trust it to some government bloated program bureaucrat.  But, here's the real deal, Mr. B. O.: Americans have been sharing their prosperity for many generations — it is the basis of the American Dream. 

That's where Joe America notices that there is a need in his community for a pizza place/auto parts store/reliable plumber/gas station/electronics repair shop/etc. So he scrapes together his life's savings, borrows a little more from his in-laws, and starts his own small business. (And, contrary to another previous B. O. comment, the only way the government is involved is that they take part of his money to pay for licensing and regulations fees.) 

Joe America becomes successful with his business, and pulls family members in to help with his workload. A little later, he hires a couple of friends, who are out of work, to help. He is sharing his prosperity! The McDonald's chain started as one burger joint.  Sam Walton started Wal-Mart with one store in Arkansas. These and other similar companies are still sharing their prosperity when they hire millions of people, who actually work for a living.


Mike Wahl


Athens needs art council

Dear Editor:

Athens future direction is in the hands of the voters. There is an item that needs to be carefully considered.

We are very fortunate to have authors like Bill Hunt and others, along with poets, residing among us. We also have many with artistic talent of note along with up-and-coming entertainers. 

This pool of talent of various types is all available locally and ready and willing to help develop Athens as an artistic and entertainment center of real repute. It could become the center of interest for our children and grandchildren along with providing them the opportunity to develop their God-given talents.

Entertainers from Nashville would be interested in providing a Christmas presentation and subsequent events.

What Athens needs is real leadership with a plan to capitalize on these resources. We’ve spent $20,000,000 on a Sportsplex that does not benefit all of the citizens. Having the ability to provide talented entertainment and art, on a regular basis, would be a benefit to all our citizens and greatly improve our quality of life.

Why haven’t we developed these resources? Mainly due to lack of foresight and leadership by the mayor. We have some very competent people who want to develop these resources, but get little meaningful help in planning how to accomplish the goal of developing Athens into the “gleaming city on a hill.”

It will take a great deal of in-depth planning and financial commitment, but would ultimately provide new jobs, new revenues for our citizens and the city, and cater to all the public’s interests.

To start, the new library could provide a portion for a gallery to display local artists work and to promote our local authors and poets writings year around. Next would be development of a master plan, including a long-range financial plan to support the endeavor. It won’t be cheap but nothing worthwhile is. 

Over time, we would have major crowd-drawing events involving entertainment, music, arts, film, and stage events that would be highly promoted. It would also involve the development of an experienced full-time Arts and Entertainment council.

Let’s get new leadership in our city now. It’s time to achieve these benefits we all want.

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