Hard work is noted
For the gentleman who has been working to improve the triangles at Hobbs Street and U.S. 31, this is for you: Your efforts have not gone unnoticed!
You have been observed working many hours and days in the hot weather to beautify this area. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
From a past chairman of the Athens-Limestone Beautification Board, I have “also been there and done that.”
Charlotte K. Lyle
Athens Garden Club
Thanks from Kiddie Carnival
The Athens Lions Club had a very successful 2011 Kiddie Carnival and we would like to thank all the kids, parents and grandparents who came out and supported it. Even with the extreme heat we had several record crowds.
We would not be able to put on the Kiddie Carnival without all the volunteers that help Lions Club members operate the rides, take tickets, do bingo and operate our concessions. In addition to individual volunteers we received help from the Leo Club and Sub Debs. Our thanks to all these groups and volunteers who helped make another great Kiddie Carnival season possible.
We appreciate The News Courier providing publicity regarding the Kiddie Carnival and helping to keep your readers informed about it. Also a special thanks to Athens Police Department for their assistance.
The Athens Lions Club members are proud to be able to operate the Kiddie Carnival for the enjoyment of kids and the community. We greatly appreciate all the support by Athens and surrounding communities.
Lee Watkins, president
Athens Lions Club
Maybe writer should move
I’m confused by Kelly Range’s letter to the editor. He/she seems to be criticizing the idea of lower taxes, less government spending and more personal freedom. What about motherhood and apple pie? Against those also?
It is a fact that our federal government is spending too much money and has done so for generations. The problem has now gotten so out of hand that it threatens our children and grandchildren. The Founding Fathers formed our republic because they wanted to severely limit the things the federal government could get involved in. The intent was to have the states control almost everything. Exceptions would be national defense, treaties with foreign governments and commerce between the states. Everything else was the responsibility of the states.
Every president since FDR has tried to take more and more power. Medicare and Social Security should never have been started, but we are now dependant on them. We are like sheep that depend on the shepherd. These programs (and thousands of others) can’t be eliminated overnight, but we must start backing them down or we will be bankrupt, like Europe.
People in the tea party champion many causes, but the main theme is lower taxes, smaller federal government and personal freedom/responsibility. How could anyone in their right mind be against these principles? If you don’t want these things for your country, maybe you should move to Europe where the governments control everything.
Utility prices too high
The following July letter to Athens Utilities management has gone yet unanswered. Perhaps the citizens of Athens may benefit from knowing just how high utility rates have been hiked in only one year's time. Perhaps Athens Utilities will see fit to respond to all of us.
"I am asking for a good explanation about your extraordinary utility rate increases. It is my observation that Athens Utilities operates a service and price monopoly, because there is no other utility provider to provide us service and create market-driven pricing. I think your price hikes also reflect the monopoly assertion. Your home consumer utility prices have increased at rates much higher than food, gasoline, or inflation. To support my understanding, in March 2010, you charged $0.0764 per KWH. In July 2011, you charge $0.0965 per KWH. That is a whopping 26% price increase in little more than one year. I ask you to reduce your prices. These price hoists appear to me to be monopolistic price gouging. As a concerned customer, taxpayer, citizen, I request your explanation and accountability. Thank you."
A salute to farmers
I want people everywhere to love and appreciate the farmers who work so hard to produce crops. Limestone County has some of the best in the country. So whether a farmer is a poultry farmer, a cattleman, or raises cotton, soybeans or corn, I deeply admire you all.
Some rise and shine at 4 a.m. and work in heat that would be difficult for most people to tolerate. But living on a farm also offers a lifetime of rewards like no other. Maybe that’s what sets them apart from others because they all seem to love what they’re doing.
The gentleman who works our family farm is worthy of every compliment I could bestow upon him. His name is Mike Barron.
One day I rode up Martin Lime Road and noticed some “jack rabbit” (that’s what I call folks who litter) had dumped six piles of roofing shingles on our road. That really aggravates me to no end.
I called Mike and he was so sympathetic to my concerns. He said, “Yeah, Judy, I’m going over there tomorrow and pick that up. Yeah boy, I’ll get right to it.” This is just one example of what I’m talking about and, trust me, there are many others I could mention.
He’s very dependable and whatever he tells me, I know I can take it to the bank. It means a lot to know that he’s always looking out for what’s in our best interests. Whether it’s getting the Ph in the soil just right for certain crops or only allowing good, honorable folks like Horace Haney’s son to hunt deer on our land, I know I can depend on Mike.
So, thank you, Mike, for taking care of business. I just hope the price of cotton goes back up so you will be rewarded for a job well done.
Judy Sanderson Page
Representatives should represent us
I can’t believe the audacity of the “honorable” representatives that are supposed to represent all of the American citizens, and not just themselves.
I also believe they and all of the government employees should be on Social Security and Medicare and not on taxpayer funded retirement and health care. If this were done it would be a tremendous boost to the economy and at the same time stop the coming genocide to the seniors that are now on Medicare. According to my information, the overburdened middle class taxpayers pay for their lucrative retirement and terrific health care benefits while they try to destroy ours.
They won’t tell the truth about Social Security while spreading propaganda about the system. The fact is we put our money into Social Security for our retirement and they would take out the excess at the end of every year leaving an IOU, which they never intended to pay back. So now instead of paying back, they want to punish the retired people that paid all of their working life for security.
They are doing the same to Medicare; the more we pay into it the less treatment we get. They get you out of the hospital as soon as possible. It’s not the doctors or nurses, it’s Medicare. They are now putting out propaganda that they can teach you to go home and heal yourself. Maybe someday they might be able to practice this on themselves.
Another way to save billions would be to get rid of all except two Congress seats in each state. One thing we all should think about is, whether Republican or Democrat, the only way a bill can be passed is for both parties to agree no matter what damage it does to anyone.
Please remember the primaries, they’ll say anything to get elected!
F.E. “Jack” Morgan
Is city headed down same road?
Excessive spending and high debt problems are not unique to our nation’s capitol. We are seeing many States and local governments experiencing the same problems.
Unfortunately, our fair city may be headed down that road, if not turned around.
This pessimistic outlook is based on analysis of the financial activities of the city for fiscal years 2008 through 2010, and annual accounting reports by the accounting firm of Johnson, Feigley, Newton and Brand which reveals several measures of the city's financial health, or position over time, such as increases or decreases in the city's net assets are an indicator of weather its financial health is improving or deteriorating, respectively.
The following indicates that the city's net assets have declined as follows over the past three years: FY: 2008-$21,499,666, FY: 2009-$18,512,819 and FY: 2010-$15,642,059.
Long-term debt serviced by revenues from general fund activities comprises $45,920,973 of this amount general obligation School warrants and bonds serviced by sales and ad volume tax pledged to Board of Education make up $23,585,003.
On June 6, 2008, the city entered into a security agreement with First National Bank of Pulaski, Tenn., for a credit line in the amount of $2,044,465. At the end of FY 2009, advances on the credit line were $1,986,445. Interest on payments at 5 percent per annum. Full amount is due June 10, 2013. If the city does in fact have reserve funds, why would we go out to borrow more money and pay the interest on it?
The revenues for general fund for FY 2009 was in the amount of: $26,286,939 and the expenses was: $29,273,786.
The net amount is $2,870,760, which corresponds with net asset losses above.
The revenues for general fund for FY 2010 was in the amount of $24,866,310 and the expenses were: $27,737,070.
The net amount is $2,986,747, which corresponds with net asset losses above.
In discussions with some of our city leaders, I get the impression that they do not feel that we have any significant problems as it relates to spending and debt. Their recent actions to authorize three additional personnel be added to the size of our city government seems to bear this out.
Jerry W. Hill
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 email@example.com.