A Misleading Quote?
The quote in "The Fly-by" from county commissioner Wyatt Bunker was a tad misleading (February 8th issue). It can be read as saying that state DHS official Mike Adams testified to the commission that only caseworkers were needed at Juvenile Court, but the commission instead added another judgeship. This is incorrect.
First, commissioners indicated repeatedly that they favored adding caseworkers as well as a second judgeship.
Second, Adams testified that he was neutral on the question of adding a second judgeship.
Finally, immediately after making the statement quoted in the Flyer, Adams told another commissioner that adding caseworkers would itself increase the demand for another judge or for more referees. I know this because I was the commissioner to whom Adams said this.
The Flyer has commendably seen through the partisan bickering and looked at the merits on this issue, editorializing in favor of the second judgeship. But it should make sure that its other coverage of the issue doesn't mislead its readers.
Shelby County Commission
Providing Tests to Recruiters
Do parents of Memphis City Schools students want a military-provided aptitude test (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery -- ASVAB) to be taken by their children, with the results provided to recruiters so they can tailor a presentation to entice them into military service (City Reporter, January 25th issue)?
Military recruiting is everywhere. Is it necessary to allow this access to our schoolchildren to meet their goals? Parents should contact MCS board members, since they are currently considering a proposal to adopt Option 8, which would not allow these test results and other private information to the military unless you choose for them to have that information.
The military presence at the school board meeting last week made it clear that recruiters want continued access to children's private information. I am a Vietnam-era veteran. I understand that those troops attending the school board meeting could have been ordered there and by refusing a direct order could be court-martialed and imprisoned.
The United States is engaged in a war and the occupation of Iraq. Over 60 percent of the public is opposed to this war and wants our troops home. If you wear the uniform and express this opposition you can be placed in prison. During adolescence, you can't comprehend consequences of this nature. This is precisely why the military is so desperate to have the students' private test information at this vulnerable age. Protect your children: Call your school board and ask them vote to select Option 8.
Mike Hearington, Veterans for Peace
Thanks to Bruce VanWyngarden for his public carping about his bank (Editor's letter, February 15th issue). Recently, our "First Biggie Bank" sent us a year-end statement for our savings account. There was a fee tacked onto it called a "dormant service charge" of $60. What this means is that the bank charged us money because they didn't have to do anything with our account for the year. This is the same FBB where we have both our checking accounts and our business accounts.
So I took the statement to the bank and closed the savings account and explained why. The nice woman there asked if I wanted to talk to her supervisor. I said no, I didn't. I knew he or she would offer "as a one-time courtesy" to remove the charge. I imagine they calculate that a percentage of their customers are simply not going to think it's worth it to bitch. Hell, they must think, it's worth a shot, let's see who doesn't complain.
So, like Bruce, we are moving our accounts to a smaller, neighborhood bank. It doesn't matter in the big picture -- the FBB will continue to flourish and continue to fleece the unfortunate -- but it feels good to do it.
I've just returned from a visit to Memphis and was so disappointed that Arthur Lee -- who died there last year -- doesn't seem to be commemorated in any way in his birthplace city, not even a token mention in the Rock 'n' Soul museum.
Arthur and his band Love were always more highly regarded in Europe than in the U.S.A. even though the seminal Forever Changes always rates highly in "best album" polls. As a son of Memphis, Lee's musical legacy of 30 years and its ongoing influence on other musicians is surely worthy of a permanent memorial in the city.
Hebden Bridge, England