Publication:Johnson City Press; Date:Mar 12, 2008; Section:Opinion; Page Number:6A

Annexing will cost money, green space, habitat

    Examine a city map. See how the corporate limits seem to wander without rhyme or reason? Take The Ridges subdivision, for instance. It is miles from Johnson City’s core or city boundary. Yet, it is incorporated. What do you do with all the hundreds of acres and miles of unincorporated land between it and the city?

    Should all of it not be also incorporated, since this non-subdivided land comes between the city and the subdivision? Subdivisions such as this one are urban sprawl. Do you really believe incorporating our small farm and the others will cure the urban sprawl? That is your real issue.

    You say by incorporating us, and the few others, the city would be able to better deliver basic services — implying all the city area — without placing a greater burden on city taxpayers. This is not true, however, considering there are so few of us in this specific doughnut hole. The city estimate of $2.4 million to upgrade waterlines for us would mean the current city taxpayers will have to assume the great majority of that expense. How would that not be placing a greater burden on city taxpayers? In fact, the additional taxes placed upon us would probably be the determining factor for our being forced to sell out to developers, and our green space would be gone forever, and you will have even more pavement and loss of habitat.

    I suggest innovative thinking. Maybe changing annexing rules to annex only new subdivisions that will be adjacent to existing boundaries or annex only those doughnut hole owners who ask for annexation. I feel sure there are other solutions. JOHN HUMPHREYS Johnson City

Obama to clean up mess

    The recent letter praising the Republican Party as the “party of ideas” failed to mention some of this Republican administration’s big ideas: weapons of mass destruction, Medicare privatization, $8.8 trillion federal debt, wiretapping Americans without warrants, waterboarding, underfunding Walter Reed Hospital, billions in no-bid contracts to Haliburton and Blackwater’s mercenary army, $368 billion Iraq war costs, Guantanamo, reduced inspection of Chinese imports, extraordinary rendition, outing one’s own CIA agents and the list goes on and on.

    I support Sen. Barack Obama because he repudiates these ideas and has plans to clean up the mess. He had the guts and insight to speak out against the rush Iraq war, and he owes nothing to the Big Oil, drug companies, weapon manufacturers and other special interests that the so-called “party of ideas” has put in charge of our beloved country.



Loss of good comics

    This is a response to Emerson Smith’s letter about the current state of comics.

    I think there are a few reasons why the “Golden Age of Comics” has passed away.

    One is that most children (as well as adults) get their entertainment from television these days, and don’t have the patience to stick with a daily comic that unfolds a longer story like “Dick Tracy” or “Terry and the Pirates.”

    Another reason is commercial constraints: Newspapers have shrunk down the comic section to make room for advertisements, and so the largescale, beautifully rendered cartoons like “Krazy Kat” and “Little Nemo” are things of the past.

    The last really great comics to appear in the Johnson City Press (besides “Peanuts”) were “Calvin & Hobbes” and “The Far Side” but, sadly, both artists retired about a decade ago.

    “Doonesbury” was a mainstay on the Sunday pages for a while, but because of the artist’s critical stance on the Iraq War, the editors axed it and shoved it into the daily classifieds section — an attempt to placate angry pro-war readers while dodging allegations of censorship, resulting in an absurd compromise: a dangling “Doonesbury” amidst ads for tractors and puppies.

    Personally, I can’t stand “The Born Loser,” “Close to Home,” “Blondie” and “Garfield,” to name a few, but I guess that’s a matter of taste.

    My suggestion to the Press would be to pick up “Mutts” by Patrick McDonnell — a comic strip that is both artful and gently humorous, sure to please the young kids and the old kids alike.

    See you in the funny pages. BRADLEY SMITH Johnson City

Science of creationism

    I am writing in response to Amy Wilson’s letter in the Feb. 29 issue of the Johnson City Press.

    I believe the creation position is that God created man in his present form at one time within the last 10,000 years.

    Scientists who understand the amazing complexity inside a living human cell know it could never have evolved; it had to be created.

    Maybe Wilson would like to tell your readers where the first cell came from. It would need to be a membrane-encased, self-reproducing, metabolizing, living cell. And if she can do that maybe she will take Dr. Walt Brown up on his offer for a written, publishable debate on the creation-evolution issue, as described on pages 296-298 in his book “In the Beginning,” compelling evidence for creation and the flood.

    However, the debate must be restricted to science and avoid religion. The offer is also found on his Web site: MARTIN LAWS Limestone