The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Letters to the Editor

August 5, 2012

Letters to the Editor 8/5/12

— Letters policy

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

Closing Chick-fil-A hurts workers

Dear Editor:

I am so angry about the Chick-fil-A thing I don’t know where to start. A small group of students at UAH, who claim to want tolerance and understanding, have decided they can shut down a private business. This business is owned by local people. It employs local people who will lose their jobs.

Is this an act of “tolerance”? What sin did this company commit? The CEO of the parent company is a Christian and believes marriage is one man and one woman. Is it still legal in this country to be a Christian? Is it still legal to express the same opinion as Obama did as recently as six months ago? Do we still have the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of speech and religion? Do we still have hate groups like the one at UAH that want to punish those who disagree with them? Yes, to all.

How dare this small group think they can force the majority to go along? If they don’t like the opinion of the CEO, don’t eat there. Otherwise, leave them alone. Practice what you preach. Be tolerant. (Can I say “preach”? Sounds too Christian to me).

I think it is time for the silent majority to get a backbone and say “we are not going to be pushed around anymore.”


Bruce Wilson


Don’t mix politics and funding

Dear Editor:

We are fortunate to have two new, highly qualified individuals running for City Council seats. They are District 5’s retired Police Chief Wayne Harper and District 1’s retired businessman and former superintendent of schools Dr. Wayne Reynolds. 

Chief Harper and Dr. Reynolds are both military veterans. Carefully consider the consequences of your vote upon your district. A candidate’s previous conduct on the City Council should have been beyond reproach.

Athens has a superior police department with outstanding personnel that have kept us protected and safe during Athens growth and tough economic times. The mayor meeting privately with the NAACP and Department of Justice, regarding the conduct of our police officers, is a slap in the face to our fine officers. The City Council president and council members should also have been involved in these discussions.

The library has now requested a $100,000 increased allocation for its operating budget.  What other surprises are coming?

The legislative body representing our citizens, the City Council, should have all funding allocation action deferred until after the election.  We don’t need politics mixed with funding. 

Why hasn’t AGL oil distillery submitted a site plan to the planning commission in almost four months?  Is it having trouble getting financing because it can’t make a planned profit? It has no business history. Will some residents and landlords sue the city if the plant is built? Why did the mayor rush this project for approval?

There aren’t any CNG public fill pumps within 100 miles of Athens. Why has the mayor authorized spending $500,000 for one?

The mayor has a highly qualified opponent in Bradley “Brad” Horner. Maybe Brad can get the mayor to clarify why he hasn’t submitted a comprehensive three-year financial and capital expenditure plan. He claims it’s easy. If so, where is it?  In my extensive profit and loss responsibility, with NYSE corporations, it was never easy to develop comprehensive three and five year proposed plans, if you really did your homework.

Huntsville and Madison’s city administrations are reviewing how they can improve sales in their retail centers, which are encroaching closer and closer upon Athens. What plans has our mayor made to abet any loss in sales tax revenues?  Using the city’s reserves, more borrowing, or more taxes, is not the answer. Where’s our retail plan?

Remember, the mayor was appointed, for the first time in decades, and must now run for election.

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