Letters to the editor: anti “Editorial Public Enemies”

October 3, 2018

Editor’s note: In response to our recent editorial page, I have received several letters expressing opinion of a piece written by Nu Yang entitled “Editorial Public Enemies,” which was originally published in the September 11, 2018 issue of Editor & Publisher. Two of such letters to the editor are printed below. I would like to thank their authors for reading The Tomahawk, as well as making use of the media, which allow many to be heard and personal opinions to be expressed.
Thank you,

‘Editorial Public Enemies’

Dear Editor,

The Tomahawk continues to disappoint with their “Editorial” selections.
Another laughable waste of ink and space regarding the danger to the media and democracy – right up there with the recent tome like discussion of “man made climate change” by a political science major.

When journalist return to journalism instead of the current trend to make up stories, slant information and right out create propaganda that supports their personal beliefs maybe they will regain their stature as being an essential part of democracy.

But as they continue to try to manipulate public opinion rather than report facts they will remain an enemy of a true free society. The fact that we have a President that calls them out on their lies is the biggest boost this country has had to true democracy in a decade.

As to their safety, another laughable premise, until they start slanting their reporting to propagandize for conservative philosophies they are safe and sound as has been proven time and again – it is the left that resorts to actual violence. Holding Acosta up as a role model of journalism in this piece is the funniest part of all as any derision pointed at him is well earned.

Deborah Roush

Dear Editor,

In response to the “editorial public “ enemies” I offer the following.

There should be no friendly media or unfriendly media but only a media that reports the facts and not give opinions detrimental to the facts. All forms of media should not be one that is biased to the media’s representatives be they media owners and/or editors.

Fake, disgusting, failing, the enemy, these are a few words that the left wing liberal media are guilty of today. They support a socialism to bring America down to their level.

I suggest the mass media start addressing the meaningful, relevant, issues and not attack those that are attempting to solve the problems. The media should focus on the problems of illegal aliens, health care, employment for those on welfare by providing concrete solutions that are not biased. Housing and food should be basics with solutions not relying on social programs that only enable the individuals of these programs to fall further into socialism and more dependent upon the socialistic programs. They need jobs not social programs.

You freely use the words “a commitment to free speech and a free press” but only what meets what standards that suit your personal views. You state “the press is not the enemy” I contend the press/media is the enemy because I believe they are self serving and not in the best interest of the American people.

The media needs to start addressing why our representatives and senators fail to address the issues without political party affiliation differences. Common sense is totally lacking in our representatives. They focus on political party agendas, period. Where is the media to report on this problem without choosing sides themselves.

A pew research center poll found liberals outnumber conservatives by some five to one. When you are a liberal and everyone else around you is as well it is easy to fall into group thinking on what stories are important, what sources are legitimate and what the narrative of the day will be.

The liberal media should start taking personal as well as professional responsibility. Still wonder who wrote the article without leaving their name as required by the Tomahawk.

George A. Spreyne
The value of the example

Letters to the editor- St. Anthony’s

Dear Editor,

St. Anthony Bread Food Pantry would like to thank Harbin Hill farms and Richard Calkins for sponsoring a fundraising concert to benefit our food pantry. We are appreciative not only for the monies that were raised but also for the opportunity to debut the ecumenical choir made up of members of several churches under the direction of Marie-Jo Thum.

The choir entertained and led the attendees in a community sing of old favorite gospel music. Thanks to the Privette Family Musicians and Johnson County Children’s Community Chorus who also performed at the event.

Leni Smith,

Letters to the editor: kudos from the pregnancy center

Thank you to everyone who came out in support of the Pregnancy Support Center of Johnson County.The first Annual BBQ Cook Off was VERY successful! We couldn’t have done this without our volunteers, those who donated food and time, or SSG Christopher Pierce at the National Guard Armory. Thanks again! David Watson won our BBQ Cook Off with his Chicken BBQ and homemade sauce.

The Board of JSCJC

Letters to the Editor: story kudos

I just wanted to thank you so much for the wonderful story Jin has done for the Sr. Heating Fund. Donations are coming in a little along the way… The story was great.. I will write to the Editor at the end of this month, to let all those who have donated know how much we raised and to thank the Tomahawk and those who contributed for their help. You are good to do these things for our county.

May God Bless,
Gwen Bell

Letter to the editor: What is a welcome center?

What is a “Welcome Center”?

Dear Editor,

We have Welcome Centers along the interstate to welcome us to that particular state or locality.  We also have them in practically every town or city. They are a place where we can gather information about what is happening in that state or town, usually a great source of maps, brochures, flyers, or whatever materials needed to advertise and entice travelers, or even residents to participate or patronize the local events or businesses.

This is true even of our local Welcome Center here in Mountain City, TN. It is a beautiful facility filled with local artifacts, books, brochures, and wealth of information to help travelers as well as locals, find what they are looking for. If they don’t have the info you want handy, they can usually get it either through the Internet or a couple of phone calls, which they are glad to do.

So, my point here is with all this willingness to get out the info to everyone about everything going on in Johnson County, why are they being ignored when it comes to some local events, for instance, “The Long Journey Home” music event coming up this week? They advertise for it, they give out maps and brochures for it, but are not part of the tour. You would think that is where it should start. You would go there, pick up your tour map, some local info and then start the tour. Nope, not here.

They are not recognized as any part of the event.  So, as to attempt to gain some recognition for the Welcome Center this year, we are promoting it with local music and still giving out all the info for the county events. So, come by on September 1, and hear local bluegrass gospel band The Privette Family and tour our beautiful welcome center and find info about local events and what’s happening in Johnson County.
Thank you for visiting our Welcome Center.
Tommy Privette

Letters to the editor: Put a stop to brake trouble before school starts

Dear Editor,

When it comes to vehicle safety, the brake system is at the top of the list. Brake Safety Awareness Month is the ideal time for drivers to stop and make sure their brakes are working properly before the new school year and colder temperatures arrive. Motorists can put a stop to any potential brake problems by recognizing the signs and symptoms that their brake system may need maintenance or repair.

Typical warning signs include the car pulling to the left or right, noises when applying the brakes, an illuminated brake warning light, brake grabbing, low pedal feel, vibration, hard pedal feel and squealing.  Several factors that affect brake wear include driving habits, vehicle type, operating conditions and the quality of the brake lining material.

For routine maintenance, drivers should check their vehicle’s braking system at least once a year.
A thorough inspection should include brake lining wear, brake fluid level, rotor thickness, condition of hoses and brake lines, brake and dash warning lights, as well as taking the car for a test drive to detect other potential brake system problems.

Drivers should never put off routine brake inspections or many needed repair, such as letting the brakes get to the “metal-to-metal” point, which can be potentially dangerous and lead to a more costly repair bill.

Rich White
Executive Director
Car Care Council

Letters to the Editor: Kudos

From the Trade VFD

The Trade Volunteer Fire Department would like to thank everyone who came out and supported the fire department at the benefit on Sunday July 29, at the Trade Community center. There was good food and good gospel music and a good time for all. We would like to thank all the workers and all the singers for giving their time and talents to benefit the fire department.

Thank you.

Letters to the Editor: Active shooter drill

Dear Editor,

I would like to thank you and the Tomahawk again for coming out and giving everyone involved in the recent active shooter school safety drill an avenue to get the word out to our community.
We are taking every opportunity to ensure that our schools are safe and that we are all prepared to handle the situations we do not want to happen.

Thank you,

Special Response Team commander Sgt. Jeff Norman

Letters to the Editor: Welcome back

Dear Editor,

My mom is Judy Snyder and she quit subscribing to the Tomahawk because it had gotten so boring but she told me today that it was getting more interesting again and the pictures are so nice.  She asked me to email and let you know that she is going to subscribe again! My son plays basketball so I always get the paper during ball season but I may also subscribe if you keep up the good work!  Love reading about our little town! Keep up the good work!

Amy Thompson

Letter to the Editor: Kudos

Thank you for the article in the Tomahawk this week on Imagination Library! I also loved the picture  of Jessica reading to her  little boy. Marlana, you did an excellent job of covering the facts of this program and the importance of parents reading to their children. Tamas, I appreciate your ongoing support of our program and literacy. Thank you for making a positive difference in the lives of our children.


A Letter from the Editor: Shame on you

To start with, the staff at the Tomahawk Newspaper would like to express the opening phrase of just three simple words to the person(s) responsible for stealing several flowerpots, which had been beautifying the little garden leading up to the back entrance of the newsroom. A little secret, here at the Tomahawk that we enjoy during each spring and summer is that our Publisher, Bill Thomas, willingly puts his gardening talent to good use by means of creating a visibly tasteful, flower bed and garden, coupled with a variety of color-filled flowerpots, that are skillfully arranged by the back door and around the garden.

As soon as the weather breaks each year, Bill goes to work, wasting no time to get his garden ready for the season, all to ensure that work each morning starts with a visually satisfying and enjoyable fruit of his green-thumbed labor of love. And, it is indeed beautiful. The garden is always balanced and is growing, often prompting Bill to share some of the plants and flowers with the staff.

To some, this incident may not be such a big deal and, perhaps monetarily, it really is not. But to us here at the newsroom and most importantly to Bill, our pretty little garden’s creator it means more than a few words from this editor can express.

By the way, we do have surveillance cameras in place just in case you all wondering. So, to the shameless thief of our flowerpots—aside from our
utmost disappointment of finding our garden robbed of some of its beauty—we close with another three-word phrase, “Please enjoy it.”

Letters to the Editor: Kudos

Dear Editor,
Just wanted to say good job on the part of John Robinson for his 7/5/18 letter “Tough decisions have to be made by all.”
I can’t vouch for the truth or accuracy of anything he wrote, but I do praise him for raising actual issues instead of recycling the typical drivel about how long the candidates have lived in Johnson County, how much they love Johnson County, who their parents and grandparents are, which church they attend, etc.

Terry Wintroub

Letters to the Editor: Thank you

Dear Editor,
We moved to East Tennessee two years ago from the ‘flatlands’ near Raleigh NC. The natural beauty and cooler temperatures of the Johnson County area were a big draw for us, as I believe they are for many newcomers.
The beautiful mountain trails, cool, clean creeks, wildflowers and abundant wildlife are irreplaceable resources that should not be taken for granted by anyone, ever, not native locals or recent residents. And while we came here to be closer to family and have a better view, we have since discovered another natural resource that’s equally valuable; the people of Johnson County, TN.

You are welcoming, hospitable and your kindness has meant a lot to us. Thank you for making this place feel like home. One resident, in particular, has been especially helpful, Mayor Larry Potter. When we realized we’d need help with our litter pick-up efforts, I made many phone calls to any and every local authority I could think of and ended up on the phone with Mayor Potter. He was helpful and frank about the littering problem here and made us feel less hopeless about the issue. Since that phone call, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Mayor Potter in person at a variety of events from fund-raising spaghetti suppers to small business owner meetings. He was there, listening, lending his support and basically doing his job.

I meant to call him again recently to say thank you for all of the litter clean-up efforts we have seen in our neck of the woods. It didn’t seem right to call and complain and then not call back when things got better, but I reckon “Larry” is used to that. Remember to vote.

Jeana Taylor

Letters to the editor: Tough decisions response

In response to John Robinson’s “Tough decisions have to be made by all”

I offer the following.
First, I addressed the same issues Mr. Robinson addressed in his letter several years ago, but to no avail. We still have as many commissioners, as years past, which is five too many. I guess the $100.00 + dollars they make each month for so little work justify their membership in the good ‘ol boy network.I have met my commissioner, Bill Adams, once about five years (we have lived in beautiful mountain city for ten years now) when he was running for office and have not heard or seen him since.

We need less taxes such as the wheel tax, property tax increases and more, if more is required, then either a general sales tax for a limited time, i.e. two years. Vote to allow beer and wine sales in the city and county. Those that do drink beer and wine must spend the money out of town thereby mountain city losing valuable tax dollars.
Without more good restaurants being able to offer wine and/or beer to their customers with a good meal mountain city will be known as the fast food capital of Johnson County. We need to move out of the 19th century and into the 21st century.

There is as definite lack of communication between the commissioners and their constituents. Perhaps they could obtain e-mail addresses or simple a newsletter when they could then offer their constituents what will be voted upon and receive feedback and then vote how the constituents feel they should and not on their personal agenda. Results could then be printed in The Tomahawk for everyone to see and constituents could then contact the commissioner of their concerns. Additionally, there should be term limitations to commissioner’s office which will allow for fresh ideas from new members of the community and not those set in their ways. I suggest two – three terms with one third of the commissioners being replaced at a time.

I realize there is a commissioners meeting monthly and constituents could voice their concerns however, there is a time limitation on speaking and how many constituents can you fit in the hearing room and listen to their concerns for all the commissioners? Concluding I predict that nothing will change and our taxes will continue to go up without looking for alternative options.

George Spreyne

Letters to the editor: Liberal “clap trap”

Dear Editor,
More liberal clap trap on the opinion pages of the Tomahawk in the “Institutionalized Cruelty” article. No one is separating “immigrant” families. Rather criminals are being separated from their children just like they are every day as folks are taken to jail for breaking the law.

These people choose to come here illegally and break our immigration laws and need to be held accountable. Liberals want you to believe this sprang up after Trump was elected – wrong the practice has been in place for a decade.
Just like civil war memorials which have been around for 100 plus years liberals have awoken to suddenly be offended.
It is time for our country’s laws to be vigorously enforced. Try entering Mexico illegally and see what happens – you won’t get housing, education, medical care and food stamps – you will be imprisoned. Enough with the propaganda!

Deborah Roush

Letters to the editor: Thank you

Dear editor,
I wanted to write you and say thank you. I have been a long time lover of our local paper, but over the last few years I could notice it was going “down hill” per say.

However, over the past few months the stories and topics have been outstanding and exactly what a local paper should incorporate. I’ve debated about even mentioning this but you can take it or leave it and I’ll understand. The past few articles about people in our community really began to make me appreciate our town, the people in it and the impacts they are leaving in it.

But after all this individual has done for this entire community I feel that it shouldn’t go unnoticed, and readers that already know this man would be intrigued to see everything he is apart of Mr. Chase McGlamery graduated from JCHS this last May, but with in his four years there he completed over 1,600 community service hours in our county alone. He served as the student School member, continues to serve as a Heritage Hall board member, community theatre board member. He somehow found time to do all of that and balance working at high school sporting events, volunteering regularly at his church and keeping straight A’s.

There are so many people in this county this young man has touched by his willingness to assist in anyway possible. While this young man may not be the star player on a sports team, he is a star in our community who is respected for his golden heart to serve his community. There are so many people who love to hear about the amazing good their neighbors are doing without anything in return. It’s people like Mr. McGlamery that makes Johnson County a great place to live. Thank you for your time and dedication to our community.

Joan W.

Budget woes a voter’s concern

Dear Editor and Johnson County Voters

As the current President of The Republican Women Of Johnson County I have been asked repeatedly about the local elections, whom should folks vote for this office or that office.
I, of course, cannot tell anyone whom to vote for as it is against our by-laws.
But one race (Sheriff’s race) in particular has gotten a lot of attention. I do have opinions on the job as Sheriff. I have heard the candidates and for the most part they are sincere about wanting to improve the Johnson County Sheriff’s office.
I have talked to Mike Reece and others about the problems he experiences every day keeping this County safe. He has a budget that only allows a certain amount of dollars for each department.
People complain to me about the drug problem in the County, and I now understand the reason why his budget only allows the Sheriff to have one officer for a drug task force. We need at least two. But there is no money available for more.
Another very serious issue is school safety. Are the voters aware that we have only one full time resource officer for all of the schools except the high school? The School Board pays for the high school officer, if my information is correct. The budget again has no money for additional officers.
I can go department by department and explain why we have shortfalls. It all boils down to how much money is granted for the Sheriff’s work.
The simple truth is, they need more funds to do the job, we as taxpayers and citizens expect our city to be safe, our schools to be safe, but are you wiling to pay a little more in taxes for it?
The fact is that our Sheriff’ is protecting the county on a shoestring budget. We as taxpayers need to ask our county commissioners how they feel about raising taxes or finding other creative ways to grant the Sheriff more funds to do the job.
Now, one other question I have been asked is “How do you feel about the Court House Security?
Well this is just my opinion but I would rather see Judges, Lawyers, office staff, and elected officials carrying a gun to work than an elementary school teacher carrying a gun to class.
Fact: There have been 30 school gun related incidents in 2018 alone in the US; I do not have data on courthouse incidents.
So to sum it up I vote for the candidate of choice but know that whoever is elected he will need the proper tools to work with and the funds necessary to do a good job.
These are just my thoughts and I hope that this letter helps you to make the best choice for our beloved county.

Gwen Bell

“Tough decisions have to be made by all.”

Dear Editor,

I would like to share my thoughts and opinion on the upcoming election.
Ask the candidates how they voted previously.
Most commissioners voted against Sunday beer sales but quickly supported raising the wheel tax and property tax to increase revenue.
Vote to raise the sales tax-everyone needs to share the burden; the reduction of taxes on groceries sounded good but meant fewer dollars in our budget.
The school board also needs to tighten their belt. Ask them how they can justify keeping Shady Valley Elementary School open, or adding air-conditioning; they cannot do it by dollars and cents.
Tough decisions have to be made by all. Fewer commissioners with better qualifications and accountability are a start.
How about more coverage on who and how they voted on an issue, or better yet, broadcast it on the radio or on the internet as other counties do.
Thank you for listening and allow sharing my thoughts.

John Robinson

This Is How Net Neutrality Ends

Dear Editor,

On June 11, net neutrality protections ceased to exist. This means your internet service provider is now able to engage in content based discrimination. Internet content it likes — for political or financial reasons — can be delivered at top speeds, while content it disfavors can be slowed or even blocked.
But did that start happening on day one? No, because the big telecoms that fought so hard to kill net neutrality are smarter than that.
Internet service providers spent millions of dollars lobbying the Federal Communications Commission to end net neutrality, and they are certainly going to expect a healthy return on that investment. While the ISPs are clearly focused on increasing their profits, here the ISPs are likely to be patient. Their wisest course of action will be to eliminate net neutrality like a slow drip over time in the hope that consumers won’t notice and will stop caring.
The big telecoms know that bipartisan legislation to reject the FCC’s abandonment of net neutrality is pending before the House, after being approved by the Senate last month. They know that 86 percent of all Americans favor restoring the FCC’s net neutrality rules. And they know that three state legislatures and six state governors have already adopted [5] pro-net neutrality measures and that many more are considering joining their ranks.
Given this environment, the ISPs are unlikely to engage in visible, net neutrality violating behavior right away.
Shortly after casting his vote in favor of the Senate bill to preserve net neutrality, Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) said, “If you trust your cable company, you’re not going to like
my vote today. If you don’t trust your cable company, you will.”
Kennedy’s analysis is certainly correct, but his comments also hint at what likely is the next step in the ISPs’ net neutrality playbook: When June 11 came and went, we expected that the ISPs would do little to nothing in response.
After some time has passed, we expect them to point to their inaction as proof
we were wrong to distrust them and their promises not to violate net neutrality in the absence of a federal mandate. And guess what
will happen next? Drip. Drip. Drip. And before we know it, a flood will have washed away the free and open internet we all rely on.
So yes, net neutrality ended on June 11. When we will first feel the impact of that loss is unknown, but what is known is that the fight is far from over.
To bring net neutrality protections back, call your member of Congress and insist they vote to join the Senate’s
effort under the Congressional Review Act to save net neutrality. For extra effect, when you talk to your member of
Congress, be certain to mention that net neutrality will be on your mind when you go to the polls in November.
Although we may have lost net neutrality in the
short run, if the 82 percent of Republicans, 90 percent of Democrats, and 85 percent of independents who favor net
neutrality make their voices heard, there is no doubt
we will win in the end.

Chad Marlow, Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU

A “thank you” to those supporting Good Neighbor Award recipients

Dear Editor

On behalf of Delta Kappa Gamma International Dear Editor:
On behalf of Delta Kappa Gamma International and its Johnson County chapter, Gamma Mu, I wish to thank those who generously donated to the contents of the “Goodie Bags” that were presented to the recipients of The Good Neighbor Award at a reception in their honor May 1, 2018.
Gift cards were donated by Bizzies, Little Caesar’s, McDonald’s, Burger King and Hardees. Elizabethton Federal, Farmer’s State Bank, Johnson County Bank and Mountain Electric also contributed.
To all of these generous business establishments, THANK YOU for helping us recognize and affirm the five Middle School students who were named Good Neighbors for consistently demonstrating the qualities we want in our neighbors: compassion, kindness, and generosity.
In addition to local support, the students were especially honored by Rep. Timothy Hill, who presented each one with a Proclamation which had been read on the floor of the Tennessee House of Representatives in their honor, and Sen. Jon Lundberg sent to each student a flag that had been flown on the Capitol Building in Nashville in their honor. Dr. Phil Roe, our representative in the United States House of Representative, sent a personal note
of congratulations to each Good Neighbor as well. Their support of our students means a great deal!

Sheila Cruse
Chair, Educational Excellence Committee
DKG/Gamma Mu