The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

May 12, 2013

Letters to editor 5/12/13

Athens FLUP – a success or FLOP?

Dear editor:

The Athens City Planning Department recently went through an extensive set of activities and exercises in support of a Future Land Use and Development Plan (FLUP). 

The activities included a survey, focus group and a series of workshops, which lead to a vision. The entire effort was undertaken to support planning and the management of future growth over the next 10 years. 

As presented to the Athens Planning Commission on April 16, the results of these efforts reflect that a very heavy emphasis should be placed on the downtown area commonly known as the Square, and not much elsewhere.  So in response to these findings, let’s keep Athens small and minimize conflicts, eliminate most growth, reduce the potential for increases in city revenue and not support the creation of any real new opportunities.

By taking the following actions we can greatly simplify and reduce the cost to Athens for the implementation and management of the FLUP process:

• Tie the vision as developed directly to the FLUP and place the entire emphasis on developing and cleaning up the Square area of downtown (which generates very little tax revenue in comparison to other Athens business locations).

• Manage all growth from the core area of Athens outward, and only incur the cost of land management when it is required.

• Do an excellent job of continuing to beautify and maintain the downtown infrastructure. 

• Don’t expand any city services outside of what exists to promote any meaningful growth. 

• Don’t promote the growth of residential housetops with their resulting benefits.

• Don’t incur the expense of bringing big box or any other retail to Athens, and take advantage of what Huntsville, Madison and Decatur’s growth will bring from the East and South side.

• Support the city and Limestone County in buying up taxable downtown infrastructure.

• Finally, do not coordinate with other governmental entities regarding North Central Alabama’s opportunities for growth.

In closing, don’t worry about a vision for Athens and its future growth. Be happy knowing the Athens City Council, the mayor, his administration and the powers that be will do an excellent job and take care of it for you, and by implementing the above actions the average citizen won’t even have to become involved at all. 


Ralph Diggins


Corporate greed is sin

Dear editor:

Let's see what my dictionary says about greed. Greed, excessive desire for getting or having; desire for getting more than one needs or deserves; avaricious; cupidity; avaricious stresses greed for money or riches and often connotes miserliness; grasping suggests an unscrupulous eagerness for gain that manifests itself in seizing upon every opportunity to get what one desires; covetous implies greed for something that another person rightfully possesses.

Yes, greed is a terrible sin that causes so much misery in a once great and compassionate country. According the news media, so many people, private business’s, corporations, oil companies, gas stations and others just seem to want more and more money, (regardless of who suffers, as long as it isn’t them) also very expensive material things, in order to show off just how important they are.

Now, according to the news media and my opinion, the super greed started the destruction of our economy. I believe it was when corporations started “out-sourcing” the jobs to China, Bangladesh, also other countries, including building factories to produce their products. The workers in these countries are reported to be the worst overworked, underpaid, and considered the worst kind of slave labor. They take their profits and deposit them in what’s called offshore banks in order to avoid paying taxes.

Some stores lay off permanent employees and replace them with fewer part-time people. Many CEOs and others receive an obscene amount of money for some manufactured reason or other. However they never think or care about the many underpaid workers that they are inflicting so many hardships and pain on by denying a decent living wage.

It is so very sad that someone trying to raise a family is only able to receive a miserly $7 or $8 an hour no matter how hard they have to work. They are looked down on and referred as the 47 percent.

Wouldn’t it be fitting if all of these people would be required to change places for about a year in order for them to see what they call low class has to endure? Maybe then they would do what is the right thing for very deserving and hard working people, instead of stacking up billions that that they could never spend.

Let's bring the jobs to this country, stop short changing people and give them what they pay for. Please read Isaiah 56:11.


Capt. F.E. “Jack” Morgan (retired)



Support event sponsors

Dear editor,

Although the forecast was against us, we had 200 registered participants at Cars on the Square showing their vehicles.

The vehicles on display were driven to the Square, and I can't say enough how much I appreciate their participation knowing their vehicles were going to get wet.

The good news, it was overcast most of the morning with only one downpour that lasted a short time. The spectators were out and about, which was great to see. 

I want to thank our sponsors, who I'm listing below.  It is long, but you need to understand that these businesses and groups are the folks that make it the event it is today. Please support them and let them know how much you appreciate the behind the scenes support they provide.

Cut this list out and carry it with you. When you go shopping or out to eat, give the list a look. This can be your way to thank them personally.

Snap-On Tools, Redstone Federal Credit Union, Naylor Transmission, Jimmy Smith GMC/Buick/Infinity, J & G Variety – U.S. 72, West Flannagan Lumber, Minor Tire — Decatur, Federal Mogul Allen Brown Heating & Air U.G. White Mercantile Pimentos Pep Boys Trinity, Tri-Green — John Deere, Pepsi, Casa Blanca, Jerry's Auto Sales — U.S. 72 West, Stovall Battery, G & S Fabrication, Gene’s Auto And Machine, Thumpers,

Athens Auto Detail, Dixie Auto, O’Reilly’s, Stateline Sports — Steve Hall, Matco,

Clanton Muffler — Madison, Clayton Machine Works — Madison, Fastenol — U.S. 72 West, Craig's Battery and Advanced Auto.

Special thanks to:

• Athens Police and emergency crews

• Limestone County Tourism’s website, Facebook page, posters and bookkeeping

• Holly Hollman — media

• Team Hammer — Geico Racing Team, Keith Perry, crew chief

• McCormack Kart Racing Team — Mack McCormack and boys

• Lou Santiago — host of “Car Fix”

• David Sharp — announcer

• Bryan Fuller — Fuller Hot Rods for bringing “Thundertaker” for all to see

• Mayor Ronnie Marks and the City Council

• Limestone County commissioners

I can’t tell you how much our small group of volunteers and I appreciate their support. Thank you very, very much.

Please frequent their business listed above. Their support of events like ours makes Athens what it is today — “A great place to live.”


Tom Schuman, coordinator

Cars & Bikes on the Square

Relay a success

Dear editor:

I would like to thank the community of Limestone County and Athens for their support of the 2013 Relay For Life of Limestone County. Together, they have raised over $89,000 to fight back against cancer. It is amazing to witness first hand a community that comes together for a cause; to see a community band together to change the lives of people they do not know.

Thank you to the volunteers, team captains, committee members, donors, supporters, and sponsors for the countless hours they have put into this event. This year was a tremendous success. We appreciate those who joined us in celebrating our survivors, remembering those who we have lost, and fighting back by raising funds for research.

We cannot thank the community enough for a great event. The world is a better place because of volunteers like those in Limestone County.  This community is Saving the World, One Cure at a Time! Thank you!


Beth Haynes

Community representative, Midsouth division

American Cancer Society Inc.

Thanks for the support

Dear editor:

Our family would like to thank everyone that was involved with the Color Fun Run for meningitis awareness and the vaccine clinic in memory of Jessica.

We had a great turnout and this would not be possible without all the volunteers, sponsors and community support that we get. We are truly blessed to live in this great community of caring people who are always willing to go the extra mile to help us no matter how large or small the request.

Each vaccine that we are able to give is one family that hopefully will not have to experience this horrible disease and what we deal with each day. Our plan is to make this an annual event with a 5k added next year. 

Jessica would be amazed at what continues to be done in her memory and for our family. Again, we say “Thank you.”


Talbot, Michelle, Emilee and Michael Elkins