Letters To The Editor

Thursday, July 17, 2003 at 1:00am

Give Hamby a hand

TO THE EDITOR:

I would like to compliment you on the fine article written by Chris Hamby about my sons, Craig and Michael Gilliam (July 9, "Swimmin' for a livin'," p. 31).

There have been many articles written about our family and our swimming accomplishments over the years, but Hamby has done a much better job of getting the details correct and creating an interesting storyline than all of the seasoned reporters in the past. I want to sing his praises, as he is a well-deserving young man. He seems to have a real natural talent for journalism.

STEVE GILLIAM

37215

Shumaker hubbub shows state's lack

TO THE EDITOR:

Thank you for the recent editorial concerning University of Tennessee President John Shumaker and basically stating that the furor over the use of the school plane is more or less poppycock (July 14, "Folks should ease up on Shumaker hullabaloo," p. 3). Shumaker is a man of great character and integrity and would not take advantage of such a situation in any manner whatsoever.

Not only did The City Paper make some valid points concerning the ghost of Wade Gilley, but it also has raised the bar of the general media to take the time to connect the dots. Recently, Shumaker declined his eligible bonus of over $100,000 due to the budget situation in the state of Tennessee and in particular at the University of Tennessee. Does this sound like a man who would use the school's airplane to fly down to pick up his "girlfriend" at the University of Alabama-Birmingham?

That is the conclusion that the Knoxville News Sentinel wishes the reader to make and definitely drives home the point of Gilley-itis so judiciously promulgated on the editorial page at The City Paper.

Suffice to say that the true problem is not the use of the plane but rather the condition of the plane and the underlying condition of the university. The plane is a 25-year-old turbo-prop. Many professors will relate how the obsolescence at the university is about eight years for personal computers, 20 years for microscopes, and general replacement of research hardware is way beyond the useful life of such items. When will the legislature and the taxpayers wake up and realize that our university, the University of Tennessee, is falling behind, way behind our sister states, such as the university systems of Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, etc.?

Why can we not clearly see the decline in our flagship institution of higher learning? Does this state aspire to be 50th in the nation in higher education? Is it any wonder that no major industry has relocated to our state in the past five years with over 100 high-tech jobs not associated with shipping and/or telemarketing?

Why, oh why does our media concentrate on the use of a 25-year-old turbo-prop by a president who clearly puts the University of Tennessee first in all of his actions? Thanks to The City Paper for standing up to the mainstream media in this state of mediocrity - journalism most notable.

MARK OLDHAM

37210

Poor pay their share of taxes

TO THE EDITOR:

In the July 14 issue of The City Paper, James Payne wrote in a letter that those who pay taxes should get the child tax cuts because it is those who are paying the taxes that need the child credit. This is very narrow thinking on Payne's part.

Has Payne forgotten that even those who do not pay income taxes still pay sales taxes, Social Security taxes, gas taxes, property taxes, ad valorem taxes, excise taxes, etc.? And let's not forget that there are many large corporations out there who make millions of dollars in profits yet pay little to no taxes because of the various tax loopholes they have been able to secure from the federal, state and local governments.

So, I respectfully suggest that we who are not poor be thankful for our good fortune and that we not begrudge the poor among us who need these child credits.

BERNIE TUCKER

37205

Require receipts from our Council

TO THE EDITOR:

It was stated in one of the July 15 daily newspaper issues that several Metro Council members fail to document expenses they turn in every month. Then why are they reimbursed?

Each Council member is required to provide receipts and documentation that said expenses are indeed Council related. Why in the world are they allowed to cheat the taxpayers by not providing proper receipts for reimbursement?

It's been said that one Council member routinely charges meals he eats alone without turning in receipts because they are under the $25 limit. If they are under the limit and he has no receipts, then why is he reimbursed? This is ridiculous! This is just one of the numerous violations by Council members pointed out in this particular publication.

Can somebody not get a handle on this bunch of cheapskates we call the Metro Council? Rules are rules, and they should be followed - especially when it comes to squandering our tax dollars

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