Leave Sullivan North alone

Letter To The Editor • Oct 2, 2015 at 11:00 AM

Leave Sullivan North alone

It looks like the North community is about to take another hit as plans indicate closing its high school and losing its middle school. So-called experts say the main reason is the enrollment of North. This problem rests solely with the City of Kingsport as its aggressive annexation has taken over half of the original North school zone. Now some board members and others want to reward the city by letting it have the best facility in the county school system for a mere $20 million. To purchase the amount of land and to build a building like North I am sure would approach the $100 million figure. Also remember the residents of Kingsport did not pay a penny toward the construction of North. What a crime.

Our now departed ex-director, after spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to put the middle school at North, told the North staff and community, “We have now taken care of North for the next 20 years.” Just one of many non-truths the community has endured. In spite of all the uncertainties and rumors over the years, the test scores at North have been some of the best in the system, and ACT scores continue to improve. It’s time to stop treating the North community as a second-rate community and leave a good school and community as it is.

J. Richard Carroll, Kingsport

Last virtue of a dying society

Your editorial page on Sept. 21 featured a large cartoon and a commentary on the virtue of tolerance. Aristotle concluded that tolerance is the last virtue of a dying society. Our society is so tolerant that it is nearly devoid of moral values. Tolerance abounds unless it conflicts with our supreme value of political correctness.

Joe Milam, Blountville

Insure Tennessee needed

As a retired physician I am frequently told by wage earning workers that they cannot afford medical insurance. The insurance deductibles are too high and their earnings (actually very low in this day and time) are above the limits to qualify for TennCare or Healthcare.gov coverage. The families with children, people with severe disabilities, or women who are pregnant or have cervical or breast cancers do have access to some basic health care. However, the low-income single person who earns over $12,000, but not enough to afford high-deductible insurance, does not qualify for coverage. The income limit goes up with married folks, up to $24,000 for a family with four children.

That said, it still leaves about 280,000 people including 24,000 veterans who say they can’t get medical care. This is the so-called coverage gap group of people. Friends in Need organization here in Kingsport has been of help for these uninsured with modest charges that are adjusted for their specific income. This has been a successful means of help for some but not all.

Gov. Haslam developed a two-year pilot plan designed for these coverage gap workers. My understanding is that the federal government funds $1.4 billion per year and that this program will not be a new taxation or cost to the people of Tennessee. Over a hundred organizations in the state endorse it, and our health care facilities have accepted responsibilities to assist paying for the program as costs increase. The legislators did not pass this two-year program suggesting that following the next election something might be done. That means further delay. Insure Tennessee has been approved by hospitals, organizations across the state and a majority of registered voters.

It seems to me that this coverage of 280,000 people with health insurance, a program that can keep hospitals afloat, and one that has the potential of keeping workers of our state healthy, as well as improving the state economy, is something the legislators should take action on now. Insure Tennessee.

Robert H. Jernigan, M.D., Kingsport

Sinning against God’s word

Re. “Davis bigot of the worst kind,” the real issue here is sin. Homosexuality is one of many sins in God’s eyes. What the writer needs to understand is that Mrs. Davis would be sinning against God if she disobeyed God’s convictions on her or worse, disregarding “His” word.

Our forefathers were godly men who prayed for guidance. The men who wrote our laws based them on the Bible. The oldest history book known to man or as the writer put it, “archaic,” is not open for interpretation. It has its place in all branches of government for it is the very foundation of our judicial system.

Over time, liberals have used loopholes to destroy the laws as they were originally intended. As to homosexual rights, if this immoral behavior is permitted, what’s next — bestiality? The basic human right of marriage is an institution designed by God.

The Supreme Court has again overstepped their bounds when it comes to affairs of the states. It is not their jobs to make laws. In 2006, Tennessee voted on the issue of same-sex marriage and the people voted overwhelmingly against it. As a proponent of the law is the writer saying the voices and votes of these majority voters do not matter?

Bob J. Phelps Jr., Blountville

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