Chattanooga Choo Choo Reprise

Monday, January 6, 2014

Let's make passenger trains part of our future as well as part of our past. 

The excellent current series in Chattanoogan.com reminds us of our incredibly rich railroad legacy. It also brought back personal memories for me. My father rode the train when he was a student at Emory University in Atlanta. My high school class trip to Washington, DC in the mid-1960s departed from Terminal Station. 

When I lived in Oregon, I was a big fan of Amtrak Cascades, a passenger train route from Eugene through Portland and Seattle to Vancouver, British Columbia. They have recently added two new Talgo trains with features like fast wi-fi, large windows and a bistro car for meals. The Oregon and Washington state DOTs are two major funding partners, recognizing how the almost one million riders per year relieve the congestion on Interstate 5.  

Why can't we figure out a way to have a passenger train from Chattanooga through Atlanta to Orlando (so we can ask Disney to be one of our funding partners)?  As in the Northwest, we would work out an agreement with the freight lines to use their existing tracks. Of course, this arrangement would also make it easier for folks from the south to visit the wonderful city that Chattanooga has become.  

Unlikely, yes. Impossible, no. Who would have thought 10 years ago that Chattanooga would have the fastest internet speed in the western hemisphere? 

Helen Burns Sharp

Proper English

According to a news report, the University of Pittsburgh is now telling students what is and is not proper English. This "suggestion" has nothing to do with a desire to create a more expressive, imaginative, or beautiful world of language. "Proper" is that which is "gender-inclusive" and "non-sexist." Use of improper language in classrooms and elsewhere on campus will be considered ... (click for more)

Find A Pathway For Citizenship

When I served as sheriff of Bradley County, we partnered with Immigration and Customs Enforcement in a Criminal Alien Program to help ensure illegal aliens from any nation who committed other crimes in Bradley County were deported when they finished their sentence.   At one point, I recall seeing that we had turned over about 250 criminal illegal aliens to ICE for deportation, ... (click for more)

Darrel Eric Chapman, 49, Dies In Red Bank Home Destroyed By Fire; Case Ruled Arson/Suicide

Darrel Eric Chapman, 49,  died in a house fire in Red Bank early Friday morning after the homeowner said he was awakened by popping sounds. Red Bank Police Chief Tim Christol said the case is being considered an arson/suicide. He said, " At approximately 12:30 a.m., the Red Bank Fire and Police departments responded to a residential fire at 604 Bitsy Lane where they discovered ... (click for more)

Attorney Gets Misdemeanor Plea In 2nd Case Involving Sexually Harassing Waitress

A Chattanooga attorney who was charged for the second time with sexually harassing a waitress has pleaded guilty in General Sessions Court to a reduced charge. In the latest case, Charles D. Lawson had been charged with aggravated sexual battery after an incident at a local restaurant involving a waitress. Prosecutor Jason Demastus said Lawson pleaded guilty to the B misdemeanor ... (click for more)

UTC Craine Named Top-10 FCS Ball Carriers By Athlon Sports

  University of Tennessee at Chattanooga running back Derrick Craine is among the top-10 ball carriers in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) according to an article from Athlon Sports earlier this week.  Craine, a senior from McDonough, Ga., is No. 9 on Athlon's preseason list of running backs.  He is coming off a school-record 1,251 yards in 2015. ... (click for more)

Prep Football Jamboree is Aug 12-13 at Finley Stadium

Highlighted by a match-up of state semifinalists in Baylor and Notre Dame, the 57th annual Prep Football Jamboree is set for Aug. 12-13 at Finley Stadium with five games each night. Baylor (10-3) reached the D-II AA semis before losing to eventual state champ Brentwood Academy, while Notre Dame (10-4) reached the D-I 3A semis before losing to eventual state champion Alcoa. ... (click for more)