Letters to the Editor 

George Klein

I'm looking forward to reading George Klein's new book, Elvis: My Best Man ("The King and I," January 7th issue). I know it will be an insightful and fascinating look at the special relationship that Klein had with Elvis.

In Leonard Gill's interview with Klein, Gill mentions Klein's many accomplishments and that many people are going to be as interested in Klein as they are in Elvis. I wholeheartedly agree.

For those of us who grew up in Memphis in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, Klein is our own Dick Clark or Murray the K. Klein knew music and what young people wanted to hear. Every week, on his television show, Talent Party, Klein would present young, local musicians to his large audience, giving many musicians a chance to advance their careers. Klein would also have popular touring musicians on his Saturday-afternoon show.

And Klein's annual Christmas parties were a Memphis tradition for decades, bringing local and nationally known musicians together to raise money for local charities.

Klein has had, and continues to have, a positive, lasting influence on Memphis and the legacy of Memphis music.

Randy Norwood


Residency Requirement

The Memphis residency requirement for employment by city government has been controversial on the City Council, particularly in the areas of hiring new policemen and the dismissal of several longtime part-time employees who do not live in the city.

I wonder how many of the council members who favor the requirement realize that it will disappear if city-county government consolidation is approved. Since the new government would be countywide, the smallest area to which a residency requirement could be applied would be the county as a whole.

Among things that would not change under a merger would be the fact that people living within what is now Memphis would continue to pay higher property taxes than property owners elsewhere in the county.

Under Tennessee's metropolitan government pattern, what is now Memphis would become the county's urban services district, which would continue to have a higher level of services and a higher tax rate than the rest of the county. The rest of the county would be in the general services district, which would have a lower tax rate and lower level of services than the urban services district. 

Jimmie Covington


Activist Judges

The right-wingers are always complaining about activist judges. The latest decision by the far-right members of the Supreme Court has turned American democracy upside down.

What do they think the Founding Fathers had in mind when they formed a government "of the people, by the people, for the people"? When Lincoln gave his Gettysburg address he said "all men are created equal." There was nothing about paper entities or corporations being equal.

Will those in Congress who support this decision admit that America is now the "Corporate States of America" and that multinational companies have unlimited power to finance candidates who vote their interests? We have seen what interests the Wall Street bankers and their allies serve. When they chose between their greed and the economic well-being of America, greed won out.

This decision should cause all those concerned with the freedom of the people over corporations and their narrow, profit-centric thinking to act. We will see what side our elected leaders choose.

Jack Bishop


Memphis: More than Midtown

Regarding Christian Walker's letter to the editor (January 21st issue): I am always blown away by the negative comments about other neighborhoods beyond Midtown. Do we all have to live in a 100-year-old house to be a part of a neighborhood? I hear and read that "Midtown is Memphis," but so are Hickory Hill, Cordova, Whitehaven, and Binghamton.

If folks look beyond the curtain of strip malls and Wolfchase Mall, you will see locally owned businesses, diverse neighborhoods, green space, and engaged citizens. There are lots of families that make their home in Cordova and Hickory Hill. These communities have their issues, but so does Midtown.

Readers should try venturing beyond the I-240 loop to see that there are neighborhoods that people love throughout Memphis. Architectural design is important, but more important are the individuals who bring life to those buildings. Neither Cordova nor Hickory Hill falls short on that aspect.

Olliette Murry-Drobot


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