Please support TN HB1303 / SB1134

This is a letter I wrote to my Tennessee state Congressman and state Senator last week that I wanted to make open.

Representative Gravitt and Senator Gardenhire,

My name is David White, and I live in your district. I’m the Founder of Develop CENTS , an IT consulting company that works with nonprofits and small businesses. We’re a member of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce. Thank you for your service in the State Legislature.

I’m asking for your support of TN HB1303 / SB1134: “AN ACT to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 7, Chapter 52, relative to additional authorization to provide broadband and Internet services.”

As you know, Chattanooga is becoming a world leader in technology services and technology infrastructure. The job growth and economic success our city sees is a direct result of EPB’s investment in high-speed internet.

Huge internet service providers like Comcast provide low-quality services, and their customer support isn’t any better. Without competition coming from organizations such as EPB, these services won’t improve for everyone.

This improvement is hindered as a direct result of Tennessee law that currently blocks EPB’s broadband expansion.

As an IT consultant, I work with several nonprofit organizations, and I see first hand how beneficial a reliable broadband connection can be. Businesses, nonprofit organizations, and individuals deserve a choice, and often times there are only subpar choices available.

EPB’s expansion would improve these choices, increase market competition, and increase the overall quality of internet for thousands of Tennesseans.

I urge you to support the bill in your respective Chamber.

Sincerely,
David White

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Help Me Find My Late Grandparents’ Missing Post-WWII Wedding Photographs

Published on 10/1/2014

If you’re looking to help solve a great mystery, this is one for the ages! I’m reaching out to the public for help, and am hoping to crowd-source some missing photographs.

Maurice Langhorn Martin, image courtesy of http://wwiiflighttraining.org/cadets/Class1942/1942k.php

Maurice Langhorn Martin Image courtesy of http://wwiiflighttraining.org/cadets/Class1942/1942k.php

I’m the grandson of the late Col. Maurice L. Martin (USMA Class of 1943, pictured right), who was a fighter pilot in 3 wars including WWII. “Colonel” had quite a career in the US Air Force. After graduating from West Point, he went to Germany at the end of WWII, and was a commander by 1947.

Later, he went on to become the third Athletic Director for the Air Force Academy from 1960 – 1963, and oversaw the building of the Falcon’s stadium!

In November, 1946, my grandfather got married in Germany. But this is where the story really gets interesting!

Because of his rank and influence, many of the higher-ranking fighter pilots who were in Germany at the time attended his wedding.

Little did anyone know that the hired photographer was there to spy on the wedding guests, and was going to try to pass the wedding photos over to the Russians! The wedding photographer was later captured (with the photos) after trying to enter a Russian zone. The photos were classified, we think under the photographer’s name (which we do not have).

After several family members have spent years researching where these photographs might have turned up, and after I’ve spent months writing emails to various museums, the National Archives, and various Air Force historical associations, as well as countless hours on Google, I’ve decide to reach out to the public for crowd-sourced help in finding any photographs of my grandfather – but especially for help in finding any possible wedding photographs!

My grandfather, Maurice Martin, is pictured 3rd from the right in this photo.

My grandfather is pictured 3rd from the right.

Here’s a snippet of Col. Martin’s career around the time that he got married:

  • 2 October 1944 (Captain): 390 Fighter Squadron
  • 1945 (Major): 9th Air Force
  • November 23rd, 1946 – Got Married
  • February 1947 (Col): Commander, 86th Fighter Group

The wedding was at St. Peter’s Church in Fritzlar, Germany, and the reception was at the Fürstenhof Hotel, in Bad Wildungen.

This is an interesting account from one of my aunts before my grandmother passed away several years ago:

Mom had found out from one of their friends at the Pentagon (while dancing with him at some affair) that he had seen their photos in Classified documents that at that time were still classified. He told mom that he had seen her wedding photos. She replied that their weren’t any because of bad developments and he told her that they had been sold to the Russians. When I searched, with help from a member of the Armed Services Committee in Congress, I was told that the documents were no longer classified but that they were filed under the name of the Russian spy who had them when captured, so we needed his name to find them.

No additional information is known about the photographer. At one time, I believe someone in my extended family contacted St. Peter’s Church to ask if they have any records from that time period, and learned that they do not. However, I have not directly corresponded with the church (nor do I speak or understand German).

If you, or someone you know, might be able to help me locate these wedding photographs, please leave a comment below, or contact me. Thank you in advance!