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Letters: Kingsport destroying community

Letter To The Editor • Updated Oct 8, 2015 at 2:16 PM

Sidewalks needed near Wal-Mart

I would like to see our city officials construct sidewalks along the dangerous, narrow roads leading to the new Wal-Mart store in Lynn Garden.

I’m sure that Wal-Mart realizes that many potential customers will walk to and from the new store. They cannot help to have noticed how dangerous Tranbarger and Virgil Avenue are for vehicles and pedestrians. Heck, they can sit on my front porch and get all the proof they need.

One can’t help but read about the tax incentives available for new construction of buildings and infrastructure. That elected officials and the country’s largest retail chain have the opportunity to do something really needed and good for a long forgotten part of the city is a no-brainer.

Mike Conover, Lynn Garden

Kingsport destroying community

Here we go again, folks, the next phase by the City of Kingsport to destroy what once was a peaceful community. Their latest project is to destroy more of the Sullivan County school structure. They plan to close Sullivan North High School. Move the students to where, Gate City, Church Hill or Sullivan South. Who knows?

In Colonial Heights we are already blessed with the Dodgem driving project, where when I leave Fort Henry Drive I now have the pleasure of trying to dodge some 20 protruding manholes that stick up out of the road two inches, and are strategically placed where the wheels normally run, not in the center of a lane but where the wheels run.

But at night I have some of the 30 added streetlights I can see from my yard to illuminate that roadway. I only hope we have a 2015 winter warm enough I can keep my heat running.

Remembering a very cold Monday in February 2014 when my electricity was off six times, then the city started the very Thursday of the same week some 400 streetlights in areas where there isn’t room to walk? Just this week they awarded me a contempt summons for their eminent domain encroachment where I am resisting their 15-foot-wide sewer ditch in three sides of my yard. They offered me $1.41 per square foot for my property where, in 1995, sold for $4.40 per foot, so now I must hire a lawyer at $600/ hour to protect where I have lived for the last 50 years.

Jerry Sharrett, Kingsport

Build Tudor style townhouses

Regarding the plan to build apartments on supermarket row, I recall a photograph of some Johnson City apartments that could be in the plan for similar construction. These apartments appeared to be rows of banal dwellings lacking architectural interest — no aesthetic appeal whatsoever.

I propose that city developers purchase the charming mock Tudor style houses along Sullivan Street and remodel them for resale. Meanwhile, use the supermarket row property across the street to repeat the Tudor design for the proposed high-end dwellings. Mock Tudors were inspired by cottages built in England during the reign of the Tudor Dynasty.

Create harmony by laying out the new timber framed Tudor style townhouses like an English village wrapped around a park thereby creating an idyllic pastoral landscape. Incorporate our own native plants in this English garden. The Tudor townhouses landscape would include lush grass, stately trees, sweeping informal flower beds, arbors, climbing vines and roses as well as winding graveled walks.

In keeping with the Kingsport spirit, let us strive for excellence by revitalizing supermarket row to reflect those days when Kingsport was famous nationally for its beauty and its uniqueness as a city.

Arlene Payne, Kingsport

Fix the causes of mental illness

We have witnessed another tragedy where a gunman killed 10 students and wounded seven at an Oregon college.

The popular assumption is that the gunman suffered from mental illness and the immediate reaction from President Obama was to call for improved mental health screening and additional gun control.

Logical thinking leads to the conclusion that neither is likely to prevent further shootings. Treating the symptoms of a disease does not cure the disease itself, and in this situation, the actions of the gunman are merely the symptoms of a deeper, underlying disease.

That is not to say that the gunman was not mentally ill, but that one should look for the causes of the illness.

Firearms have been commonly owned for at least 100 years, and undeniably, mental illness also existed, yet these mass shootings are a fairly new occurrence. Why now, and not in the 1940s?

Often, those who knew the gunman express disbelief he could commit multiple murders, indicating that in a classic sense, they did not exhibit a diagnosable mental illness.

So what is happening? Perhaps rather than focus on a diagnosis of mental illness, we would better spend our time and money fixing the causes of the disease.

My short list of those causes includes a poor economic situation perhaps caused by lack of education leading to no job opportunities, lack of self-esteem resulting from bullying, obsession with racial and/or religious differences, feelings of inferiority, and a perceived need for recognition.

In a strong economy where jobs are plentiful, wages are good and people are generally appreciated and happy, there is less mental illness.

The solution to this problem is not more gun control nor to have everyone examined for mental illness, but to focus on what makes individuals happy and satisfied with their life.

Dean Finney, Fall Branch

Aristotle never spoke that word

There was a recently published letter to the editor that contained a quote about tolerance attributed to Aristotle. The etymology of the word “tolerance” shows it didn’t exist until the 15th century, and its current definition dates to the mid-19th century.

Unless Aristotle magically reappeared during those centuries, it is highly unlikely he ever wrote or spoke the word.

Jim Welch, Kingsport

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