Wheel Taxed

To the Editor:

For the second time in two years our county taxes are being increased (Politics, August 16th issue). The wheel tax, created a few years ago, was supposed to be temporary and go to the school system. Not only was it not temporary but it is being doubled and the schools never received anything. So why should we believe they will now?

Our illustrious county commissioners are having a problem finding public funds for the schools, but they didn't have any problem finding public funds for a new arena! There's something wrong here, but I'll bet one of those morning sports-radio talk-show jocks could explain it.

Anyhow, we the people put these commissioners in office and that means just one thing: Boy, are we stupid!

Joe Mercer


Children's Crusade

To the Editor:

August 13th Shelby County citizens were carrying signs around the county courthouse which read, "Chancellor Alissandratos Abuses Children." These persons represent something that was missing from The Memphis Flyer story "Divorce Prose" (August 2nd issue): the point of view of those reforming the system.

Few people know how deep the problems in family law are. The legal community has been waging a misinformation campaign that their system is getting better, but for the most part this is untrue. The system is still designed to place the mother as the child's only caregiver and transfer as much wealth as possible from vulnerable families to legal professionals.

The public knows a child needs to be raised by both parents. This is not the belief of most inside our courthouses, as shown by the fact that many children are forcibly separated from their fit parents for months and even years. Usually this happens to the dad but now to moms too, and the result is heavy psychological injuries inflicted on children. After legal practitioners have funded their latest house upgrade or island vacation, the child is then left in the detrimental situation of only being allowed narrow slices of time with one parent.

This happens every week in Shelby County. Everyone interviewed in "Divorce Prose" knows it and none said a word about it. These practices are unconstitutional, and Tennessee appellate courts, by allowing it to continue, are saying we are not ruled by law but rather by whatever can be slipped by the public.

Daniel Lee

President, Child's Best Interest


More ER Response

To the Editor:

I just read Rebekah Gleaves' column ("No Room At the ER," August 9th issue) and, as a senior vice president for Methodist Healthcare, I want to apologize for the long wait she experienced at our Methodist Central Emergency Room. Her description of the difficulty patients and providers are experiencing in the medical center was poignant. What I particularly appreciate is that through that lengthy unpleasant visit she recognized the great work the staff of our emergency rooms are doing. It is grueling and often unforgiving work. To maintain a sense of calm and professionalism 24/7 is a challenge. But I am not surprised to read that they rose to the challenge. Our associates continue to be what makes Methodist and its commitment to all Memphians a reality.

Donna Abney

Senior Vice President

Methodist Healthcare

To the Editor:

I have been a practicing nurse for over 17 years. The recent article barely scratched the surface regarding the provision of health-care services in Memphis. Unfortunately, it is a multi-faceted problem that can't be solved without completely overhauling the entire health-care system. And you know what that involves: the government.

Not to be pessimistic, but I don't see any reprieves taking place anytime soon. We are all suffering (on both sides of the fence) and the price we are paying is tremendous. The Balanced Budget Act of 1997, TennCare, nursing shortages, Medicare cuts, and Medicare fraud are but a few examples of things that have contributed to this crisis.

It is for these reasons that institutions such as Baptist Central have had no alternative but to close doors and cut services. In a valiant effort, Methodist has attempted to pick up the slack, but there simply aren't adequate resources to effectively do the job. Bottom line: You can't run a giant hospital without sufficient reimbursement. You can't deliver services to every person (indigent or not) in this city and its surrounding areas without proper financial assistance. Sad as it may seem, neither Baptist nor Methodist can continue as they have in decades past.

Until the tide turns, we just all have to pray that we don't get sick.

Leesa Toepp


The Memphis Flyer encourages reader response. Send mail to: Letters to the Editor, POB 1738, Memphis, TN 38101. Or call Back Talk at 575-9405. Or send us e-mail at All responses must include name, address, and daytime phone number. Letters should be no longer than 250 words.


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