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Letter to the editor: June 3

Posted 6/3/23

Dear Editor:

Mrs. Zoe Watkins is right on with her insightful editorial in Tuesday's T-G Gazette concerning the importance of local news and the media presenting it.  So many times, folks …

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Letter to the editor: June 3


Dear Editor:

Mrs. Zoe Watkins is right on with her insightful editorial in Tuesday's T-G Gazette concerning the importance of local news and the media presenting it.  So many times, folks are caught up in the so-called 'Big Picture' and forget that what affects local folks is of course local news. This is not to disparage general National and foreign news but to be more aware of the news directly affecting us here in Bedford County as concerns economics and local government issues. To be frank I am more concerned about the condition of our rural roads and bridges, viable law and order, and a myriad of other local issues than I am with national news media reporting about the plight of a man in Big Piney, Wyoming who reported a UFO landing in his pasture scaring his cattle or any of the other sensation grocery-store type tabloids without substance in their senseless news reporting spewed out 7-24; a majority of which is fabricated along political lines and for the most part will not stand up under close scrutiny by any average intelligent American.  I for one hope the T-G Gazette can prosper and continue to offer up the news primarily of a local flavor. I prefer to read my own news, digest it and reach my own conclusions over the intent and meaning; not listen to some solemn-faced idiot spewing forth on issues he/she is entirely factual ignorant of and covering their ignorance with asinine statements and angry countenances.

Mrs. Watkins’s take on the documentary concerning the TVA certainly brought home an issue that did affect a large portion of Tennesseans in the 1930s, particularly those residents of East Tennessee. The TVA was established by President Roosevelt in 1933 to alleviate the terrible floods devastating the states in its domain and to improve the lot of the poor yeomen farmers eking out a hardscrabble living in the farms of mostly east Tennessee. Yes, it was definitely a culture shock to those residents displaced by the TVA building several dams to control the Tennessee River and its tributaries. Thousands of families were forced to move from their homes that had been in their families for many generations and in many instances the TVA was in fact extremely lax in assisting those distraught families forced to relocate. However, the TVA did immeasurable good for the states in its domain, and many jobs were provided to the local citizens during the latter days of the Great Depression and the courage and acts of President Roosevelt in standing firm against all who were against the TVA including many members of congress- both democrat and republican- who for the most part claimed the TVA was, in fact, a socialist move by the federal government using taxpayer money for its existence. One of the major critics was a politician and lawyer Wendell Willkie who ran as the Republican nominee against Roosevelt in 1940 and was overwhelmingly defeated.  Numerous electric power companies fought the TVA constantly in its early years but in January 1939 the United States Supreme Court ruled that the TVA was legally constitutional and dismissed all the pending cases. Yes, the narrow road traveled by the TVA in acquiring the land for the dams necessarily for flood control and the generation of electric power was indeed harsh at times, but in the end, Tennessee and her citizens came out winners. 

Charles David Sliger



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