Letters to the Editor 

Art Teachers

Thanks for Mary Cashiola's excellent cover story ("The Art of Teaching," March 12th issue). We always hear about the problems in Memphis' public schools. It was great to read a positive story, especially one that highlighted an area of study — art — that for so long has gotten the short end of the stick.

Louise Atkinson


We're Excellent

I wanted to let you know that I thought this week's Flyer (March 12th issue) was just absolutely excellent. I very much enjoyed reading Mary Cashiola's cover story and was happy to see Chris Herrington's "What's New and Worthwhile on DVD."

Having read the "Hotties Issue," I share Charlie Boydstun's feelings (The Rant) about the answers that were given. What the heck, why is everybody's favorite color blue? I actually also thought what if I were asked to answer these questions? Well, at least I could have named pink as my favorite color.

Thanks for making my weekend.

Simone Wilson


Insurance: Not for Sissies

J.D. Reager's profile of Nancy Apple ("Troubador's Haven," March 5th issue) would have been a lot easier to read if Reager had skipped over Apple's comment "... insurance is for sissies, anyway." 

As a registered nurse and longtime advocate for many Memphis musicians struggling with health-care issues, I am dismayed by such a careless statement. Right now, in this city, some of our most revered musicians are struggling with very serious medical conditions and have limited access to health care, their conditions made far worse by having to wait for charity or free care.

Health insurance is not for sissies. It is for those fortunate enough to have not been laid off and have a job with benefits. It is for those brave enough and with the means to make exorbitant payments to the insurance industry every month for very little in return.

The Memphis musicians who left us with such an incredible legacy of music should not be punished for having followed their dreams and given Memphis so much to be proud of. We are all grateful for the Church Health Center, Christ Community Clinic, and the Med for the care they so generously give our musicians without health insurance. It is not enough. We need a guaranteed single-payer system where everyone is in and no one is out — including musicians and sissies.

Kathy McGregor, RN


The Commercial Appeal

Bruce VanWyngarden, in his editor's column (March 5th issue), blamed the recent layoffs at The Commercial Appeal and the decline of the newspaper business in general on "untrammeled corporatization." Whatever that is. Perhaps, VanWyngarden will, in a future column, explain "untrammeled corporatization" and who is responsible for it. I look forward to being so enlightened.

However, in the real world, businesses (and a newspaper is just another business) fail because they do not create a product that enough people value more than the price charged, so that the total revenue generated exceeds the total cost of producing that product, including satisfactory compensation to its owners who could have productively invested their money elsewhere. Consequently, the burden is on the owners, managers, editors, and staff to out-compete the newspaper's rivals for customers. And, at least for now, The Commercial Appeal has simply not been effective in competing for the scarce dollars of consumers of news services in the Memphis area.

The Commercial Appeal has made certain fundamental errors. First, they have adopted a leftist bias, when a majority of potential paying customers in and around Memphis are conservative. Second, the CA's editorial staff insults paying customers who disagree with them politically (e.g., posting information about those with a permit to carry a concealed gun in Tennessee will cause them to cancel subscriptions).

I am not sure if The Commercial Appeal will survive. I hope it does, but, to do so, its owners and editors will need to start checking their egos and emotions at the door and develop and implement a plan to effectively rebuild its subscription base.

Greg Webb



Comcast's big-time screw-up — putting the wrong game feed on during the Tigers' last home game, Seniors Day — gave Memphians another good reason to change to a satellite dish system. Or, in other words, "Comcastaway."

Joe Mercer


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