TennCare Fines Litterers







Let's hope this sets a precedent that grants exposure to true civil servants!






Fine Litterers Large!

In reference to the [April 14] "Dogwood Time, and the Litter is Sleazy" editorial, people would think twice before tossing their empty beverage containers out the car window if Tennessee imposed a five-cent deposit on the containers. Most people don't think a thing about the environment when they toss out their litter. They just don't want to have to worry with cleaning their trash out of their cars.

If the state would enforce laws and require payment of steeper fines against those who litter, it would also help the situation. Even people who only throw out a single cigarette butt should be fined. I pass signs every day that warn people about the fines for those who litter, but I have never seen or heard of anyone getting fined for littering.

If all the people would just pitch in and do their part, this would be a no-lose situation. The people who don't want to pay a deposit could get it back as long as they turn in their containers. It would help keep the environment clean. The containers could be recycled into new containers. 

The unclaimed money could go to the state to be put to good use.


Give 'W' Credit

I appreciate Metro Pulse 's Incoming Mail, and I've noticed a pleasant reduction in the anti-Bush rhetoric, finally.  

I do feel compelled however to wonder whatever became of those "Human Shields" who wanted to protect Saddam. I guess what I would like to see is some anti-war, Michael Moore-type have the courage to say: "Man, was I wrong."

Look at the evidence. Kids can fly kites and go to school in Afghanistan, women are being considered valued as human beings and not cattle, citizens in Iraq face death but choose to vote anyway, Libya has decided to throw in the towel, our economy is growing, and jobs are plentiful if you're looking in progressive industries. On the whole, it's only decent to admit that this president has done a pretty fair job so far. I suppose if you want to be a Nattering Nabob of Negativism, you can always find something to bitch about. But not too many people would listen to you.  


Looking Back in Gratitude

I am a Knoxville native and UT student studying abroad. While I have been gone the past four months, I have been checking up on good ol' Knox Vegas via online media sources. I, too, just wanted to send my thanks out to Knox Heritage and Regal Entertainment Group for working together [to establish a downtown cinema while preserving Gay Street buildings].

I have been keeping track of the story over the months, and I have to admit, I was all ready to send in an angry e-mail. I took pictures of Roman buildings that integrated architecture of a time gone by (given that 2,000 years is different from 100, but still), photos of apartment buildings with ancient walls running straight through them and ruins of theaters integrated with store fronts and restaurants. But when I returned from my travels to my British university, there was no need. Knoxville had pulled it off. So thanks.

After stopping to allow my jaw to drop at architecture in Paris and Rome, I believe it will not only make the cinema a more interesting theater, but it will keep the lovely flow of Gay Street facades. Knoxville is slowly but surely moving away from its love affair with concrete and asphalt by adding green spaces and some "outside the box" thinking when it comes to new building projects.

And don't worry about attendance. I cannot guarantee an amazing turn out every day of the week, but as a college student I can say we appreciate any place that we can take the trolley to (therefore not losing our precious UT parking space and saving gas) and have an evening of dinner, movie, and then drinks all within walking distance.  


A True Civil Servant

As a member of the United Campus Workers and a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Tennessee, I am writing to applaud Metro Pulse for the inclusion of my colleague and UCW president Elizabeth Gentry [in Street Talk, April 21].

Ms. Gentry is committed to her efforts both as educator and union member. Her life outside the classroom provides a stirring example of what many local civic leaders should strive to resemble!

While I understand that Metro Pulse profiles many small business owners in an attempt to spur the local economy, it is refreshing to see page space devoted to a public intellectual of Ms. Gentry's caliber.

Let's hope this sets a precedent that grants exposure to true civil servants!


Stop the TennCare Slash

We are writing in response to the many news stories about the future of TennCare. As students in the Master of Social Work program at the University of Tennessee, we are closely following the issues related to TennCare.

Our classes this semester have provided us with the opportunity to volunteer with Knoxville's Disability Resource Center. The experience has shown us the great number of obstacles individuals with disabilities face in our society. Inadequate accessibility, lack of job opportunities, and discrimination are large enough issues on their own without having to worry about doctor visits and medication costs.

Many individuals, who will be losing their TennCare benefits, have spoken out against cuts because they think they will not be affected. But more men, women, and children will be affected than the 323,000 who are dropped from the program. There will be businesses chronically short-staffed because employees cannot afford proper medical care. Teachers' stress will increase when students are absent or increasingly disruptive in the classroom because the parents cannot care for their children properly with medications.

It is time for every Tennessean to speak out against TennCare cuts regardless of his own financial or medical situation.

© 2005 MetroPulse. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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