The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

May 5, 2012

Letters to the Editor 5-6-2012

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


Service agencies needed

Dear Editor:

I don’t know if local citizens realize how important the Family Resource Center and Crisis Services are to this community. These two organizations do tremendous work for people in need of shelter, protection for abused spouses, both women and men, and many other services.

Why would our (Limestone) County Commission even think of stopping this mission? Maybe they should wear the other shoe for a while.

We need these agencies to help our community, so please voice your opinion.


Brenda Behel


Dear Editor:

When the Obama administration’s health care financing plan was signed into law, President Obama and Congress promised that funds under the new law would not cover abortions.

This has now been proven to be empty rhetoric.

Why? Because the Department of Health and Human Services has mandated that under the health care law, private health insurance plans must cover the “full range of FDA approved contraception” — in which category HHS explicitly included the abortion-inducing drug ella.

This mandate includes a so-called “religious employer exemption,” yet the exemption is so narrowly defined that most religious schools, colleges, hospitals and charitable organizations serving the public do not qualify. Even an expanded definition of “religious employer” would fail to protect non-religiously affiliated organizations, individuals and even religiously affiliated health insurers whose pro-life consciences are nonetheless violated.

This is an unprecedented attack on the freedom of conscience of millions of Americans, eviscerating their freedom of choice to purchase private insurance that does not violate their ethical, moral or religious objections.

I hope all readers will contact their elected representatives in Washington, D.C., and voice outrage over this anti-life mandate.


Helen Childress


Dear Editor:

Funding allocations are critical to Athens total expenses. Athens has many organizations that are supported by special interest groups that want and or get city funds allocated to them. A real world example is the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism group. You cannot justify funding without solid data regarding why the funds are necessary and a clear plan for the use of the funds.

For example, the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism personnel have not done extensive polling and questioning of out-of-town and out-of-state visitors regarding where they are from, where they are going, the purpose of their trip, and what would attract them to Athens. This would seem very basic to any plan and how to be able to meet the needs/desires of visitors. 

Yet, amazingly, it has never been done in depth! The incursion of new retail businesses in west Madison and along county line road will be detrimental to Athens sales tax revenues. Again, where is the Chamber’s leadership?

There should be in-depth justification before any funds are allocated other than just the desire for money to implement the special interest desires and salaries of “directors” of something that is redundant or unnecessary. Many organizations response for detailed funding allocation reports have either not delineated expenditures or that it was based upon salaries, but no comment showing how funds had directly benefited citizens. Our City Council has several members that really want to make the most efficient use of taxpayer funds, but not just dole out funds for the sake of giving out taxpayer dollars.  Athens has many greater priorities, particularly paving our roads.

By the way, our country is being told to reduce fattening foods and calories to reduce obesity, a real killer.

Why does Spirit of Athens plan a “Grease” festival that will bring criticism of the judgment of Athens by people everywhere? This definitely shouldn’t be paid for by Athens taxpayers.

The proposed library is going to be 400 percent the size of our current one. Yet, they want us to believe it will only cost 19 percent more to operate. It is admitted the cost will be even greater in time. Taxpayers beware.

Funding allocations will be an issue in this year’s elections. Citizens/taxpayers stop the bleeding.


Quentin D. Anderson Sr.


Two mothers remembered

Dear Editor:

I wanted to thank the city of Athens Chamber of Commerce and the RSVP for the opportunity we had to remember our loved ones through the “benches on the Square program.”

We struggled for some time with the loss of our mother, Moira Patterson, and our sister, Lorenda Stolaski Smith, not knowing exactly how to honor them. We were happy to hear about this program and purchase a bench in their memory because both of them enjoyed being residents of Athens and visiting the Square regularly.

This Mother’s Day weekend, my brothers Griffin and Grady Park from South Carolina and Florida respectively; Lorenda’s son, Thomas Solaski, and her husband, Stan Smith; my sister, Glenys Robertson, an Athens resident; and myself, Janice Park Garrett of Wisconsin, will gather our families to dedicate the bench in some way and celebrate our mama, a mom and grandma and Lorenda, a sister, mom and wife.

We will celebrate with great love and appreciation for these two very special mothers on this special Mother’s Day weekend and remember the love they shared with each of us.


Janice Garrett

Brown Deer, Wis.

Beware the unbelievable rich

Dear Editor:

Has anyone been paying attention to the terrible rhetoric that the “leaders” of Congress have been spewing out, with the help of a senator from Kentucky? Never have I heard such mendacity coming from the mouths of someone that seems intent on destroying a class of people.

To me, they are making fools of themselves on TV trying to convince voters that the garbage coming out of their mouths will only help the rich even more, while destroying the less fortunate. There is nothing wrong with being rich, it’s being unbelievable rich is where most of the problem seems to be — when you just can’t get enough money and want more, regardless of how it affects the citizens trying to make a living with starvation wages.

Now, most of these “representatives” claim to be Christians, although if they have a Bible they must not read it. According to my information one clown that claims to be a Christian is conferring with a female atheist while trying to pass a bill that will destroy Medicaid and Medicare (what a Christian). Most of the Christians I know read their Bible daily and try their best to follow God’s wonderful instructions.

Now hold on to your seats for the latest news from the wonderful FDA, which is comprised, I believe, by half of pharmaceutical members. They want to have the pharmacists to prescribe your medications in order circumvent the doctors, which would cause the price to increase, and more profit for the companies, also more misery and expense for the cash strapped citizens.

My Bible says, “woe be unto the people that love money and the ones that oppress the poor.” To the best of my knowledge, hell is a very hot place, and eternity is a long, long time. God loves them, but not their motives.


Capt. F.E. “Jack” Morgan, retired