In reference to your editorial Nov. 20, “Consolidated schools not in our future any time soon,” in the distant future this begs the question because consolidation has merit. Why not do something now to reap cost savings and provide equality to all county students and teachers? We should not settle for a plan that provides no incentive to ever do the right thing. A viable alternative is the creation of special school districts. Since this is such a giant leap for our school systems and such a tremendous financial commitment, and since our community is so vitally concerned, surely it would be imperative to consider other ideas such as special school districts, a relatively simple process.
Sullivan County seems ideally configured to establish an east and west school district that would surely prove economical in providing needed space, and use of currently wasted space. Perhaps the money saved would even be equivalent to bringing Sullivan County salaries up to par with the cities. I hope our leaders will not accept the perception that we cannot provide equality in our school systems. The county commission has the power to simply delay issuing bonds until the most satisfactory arrangement for providing public education is determined. My hope is the commission will delay any decision until every avenue has been exhausted to bring equality in education satisfactory to the interests of all of the county.
Baxter Hood, Kingsport
Tax cigarettes to fund cleanup
Not all, but a lot of smokers are careless, dirty, messy and selfish. Yes I know this is a harsh statement, but if you do not believe me just look at the filter tips that are so carelessly tossed on our roadsides, parking lots, sidewalks and entrances to many buildings. Why do so many smokers believe they have the right to throw their trash wherever it is easy for them with the result of a real blight to our communities that need not be? Since we are unlikely to change the habits of these self-centered, thoughtless people, I have a proposal.
Let’s add two cents to the cost of a pack of cigarettes. I do not know the exact figures for this, but I suspect it would be enough to hire people who need work in our towns and cities across our country to pick up cigarette butts as well as the fast food trash also so carelessly tossed. It would provide employment and certainly would provide job security because it would be an ongoing job. It would take someone smarter than I to figure out the details, but I do believe it could and should be done. This would certainly help to make our world a more attractive place. The better solution of course is to have the thoughtless smokers and fast food junkies who do trash our environment to simply put their trash in a trash can. But then it would take some thought and effort, which they do not seem to be willing to make.
Wendell Skinner, Kingsport
The president should be watching out for us
The dictator in the highchair in Washington will not tell you that the people fear that ISIS will invade this country. He tells you to have no fear, that they have thrown all their eggs into one basket in Paris and have failed to overtake that country. The troublemakers are all dead. The percentage of the population killed in France is very small. There is no need for us to worry about it. We can now relax and move on and forget about them wanting to take over the world. Our people should now be willing to take care of the immigrants that we invited from Syria and provide them with whatever they need including Obamacare, jobs and whatever else they need to become citizens. We can use the funds we will save by reducing the size of our military and closing Gitmo. Since we are now safer, there is no need to have the best military on the planet. We must leave our borders open. Closing them will only slow our growth.
He forgets that his job is watching out for us. He expects the people to forgive and forget what happened in Paris and have no fear for he is here to help us. He can talk his way in or out of any situation. This he has proven with his talks with Iran. He wants you to believe that if God abandons you, he is here to save you. Dedicated Americans and Christians must never let these things come true. Most of us have worked hard all of our lives, taking care of our families and helping others move up the ladder. We should never forget, God looks out for those who follow the Bible and the Constitution. Remember, in God we trust.
Ralph Struck, Kingsport
We need affordable Internet
Why hasn’t Kingsport provided us with an affordable Internet service like Bristol? They are always spending on everything else, such as art pieces. Mayor Clark, help us have a Kingsport Internet service under $40. Bristol has one for $35. I’m tired of paying $60 to $70.
Pat Clark, Kingsport
Stop political correctness and do what’s right for America
“Politically correct” is a term primarily used to describe language, policies or measures which are intended not to offend or disadvantage any particular group of people. The PC police keep a close eye on just about everything that goes on in this country. There is some good things that come out of this, but it’s to a point now it’s starting to get ridiculous.
The media uses PC to get stories. They don’t care who they hurt as long as it’s news. Colleges encourage students to bring charges of harassment against those whose opinions or expressions offend them.
PC is big in science, evolution, secondhand smoke (tobacco), AIDS, global warming, race, etc. We as a society need to do things the right way, but we also need to quit being so sensitive about what everyone is saying or doing. We can’t let a small group of people take our country down.
Most Americans know if you get yourself a good education and work hard, good things will happen for you. But then we have small percent of the minority who now think they can use PC to get what they want.
Our leaders are scared to death to speak their mind on anything for fear it will offend someone or group. We need this to stop immediately and call out the people or groups who are causing problems.
I’ve noticed a few of the “outsiders” in the Republican primary — Trump, Carson, Fiorina — say whatever is on their mind, but career or insiders are really careful what they say and how they say it. People are tired of this. That’s why Trump and Carson are leading in most of the polls. They are not scared to address the real issues and call out people or groups. This is what most Americans want. We all want our country to be great again.
Look at issues that have impacted our country just this year. Our leaders from president down won’t speak up and say enough is enough. Police, gays and lesbians, Islam, Muslims, death penalty, immigration, ISIS, Iran, trade, Common Core. I could go on and on. Stop political correctness. Do what’s right for America and its citizens.
Leon Jackson, Kingsport
Remember our history
Recent events in many parts of the world have led to differing opinions about allowing immigrants into the U.S. Many of our representatives have vowed to stop allowing certain ethnicities to seek refuge in this country. While I understand the concerns that are causing such controversy, such as the threat of terrorism, the need to better care for the citizens that already live here and have so many unmet needs, and the increasing population in our country that our leaders struggle to provide for, from our country’s inception we have accepted people who were displaced seeking refuge within our borders.
Controversy and fear of immigrants is not a new concept. The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 also sought to restrict immigration and placed greater control over the people that already sought refuge. One of the reasons for this legislation was the fear by some leaders of the government that war would break out with the French, and this was a way to place greater control over them. This did not come to pass, and the United States and France became allies. Throughout our history, allowing immigrants into our country has sparked controversy and fear, but this is a country made strong by the many different ethnicities, and the positive effects it has ultimately had on our great country.
Jordan Cox, Johnson City