It's immensely satisfying to see some real facts, numbers, and common sense applied to the question of making Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium ADA-compliant ("Taking Liberty," December 6th issue). John Branston has done what all of the other reporters in town — or their editors/producers — should be embarrassed they didn't do. Considering that this issue is one that comes up in nearly every obfuscatory stadium-related comment that Mayor Herenton or his Fairgrounds czar Robert Lipscomb have uttered on the subject, it's one that has cried out for investigation ever since city architect Mel Scheuerman said last May that the ADA work "would mean the loss of 10,000 to 15,000 seats."
When the city-commissioned SSR Ellers report came out last June, why were the various options these consultants laid out not looked into closely by anyone in the media? The most The Commercial Appeal revealed was that the report "outlined 12 options that would add varying amounts of wheelchair and companion spaces. The options carry price tags ranging from about $800,000 to $4.8 million."
The Mid-South Coliseum's ADA-compliance problem has likewise been one of the pretexts used for demolishing it. Over the past two years, figures from $3 million to $15 million to make it ADA-compliant have been issued from City Hall or the Parks Division. City Councilman Scott McCormick was quoted in January 2007 as saying he had heard it would only "cost $150,000 to bring the coliseum into compliance." It would be nice to have some light shed on that topic, too, before the wreckers show up. Is the coliseum in the way of someone's condos in the planned redevelopment?
Also to the point, is the city aware that demolishing the coliseum, a registered national landmark, could imperil the use of federal funds to realize the developers' plans?
John T. Dulaney Memphis
The Farm Redux
Thanks to Bianca Phillips for her article about the Farm ("The Old Age of Aquarius," November 22nd issue). I just want to add that for those Flyer readers interested in eating local and/or organic food, both the Fresh Market in Memphis and the Fresh Market in Germantown have refrigerated FarmSoy Organic Tofu for sale in their produce sections. It is available in firm, extra firm, and soft styles.
Thanks to editor Bruce VanWyngarden for expressing so beautifully the feelings many of us had for Buddy McEwen (Editor's Column, December 6th issue). He was a true gentleman who brought kindness and inspiration to so many people in all walks of life. And I think the idea of renaming the Links at Davy Crockett for Buddy is an absolutely perfect tribute to the man who gave so much to the game — and to Memphis.
Let's make it happen.
The "Lady of Liberation" Statue
I have viewed this thing once too often! I refer to the hideous "Lady of Liberation" statue on Winchester. I object to this odious misrepresentation of the Statue of Liberty and all it stands for, solely on the grounds of patriotism.
This statue is a discourtesy to our Founding Fathers, an insult to our country, and an eyesore in Memphis. I cannot believe that any true patriot, unless totally ignorant of this country's history, could support this monstrosity.
There are volumes of supporting evidence to debunk this statue, but I'll quote only one fact which should be absolutely clear to even the most historically ill-educated. It's from the Fifth Congress of the United States in 1797 and signed by John Adams: "As the government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion. ... "
The very concept of the statue is flawed. There is no liberty under religion. Our constitution was a world-shattering document because it was the first with no religious connection. Have we not learned the lessons of Europe? Must we take up arms against these fanatics who distort the truth and attempt to despoil the constitution of the greatest nation on earth?
Demolish it, destroy it, burn it. Give us our freedom back!