Letters to the Editor 

Drill, Baby, Drill

Last week's Editorial (June 3rd issue) wrongfully places the blame of the oil spill in the Gulf as the fault of "drill, baby, drill" Republicans. The fault can also be laid at the feet of environmentalists. If more easily accessible sites could be opened for oil exploration, oil companies would not have to limit themselves to "deep water" oil wells. The Arctic wasteland comes to mind, but that is off-limits. Oil could be gathered from closer to shore, where it would be much easier to contain a spill, but nobody wants an oil rig visible from their beach house.

As with most left-leaning newspapers, the editorial closed by pointing out what the great John F. Kennedy did when facing a fight with the evil corporate steel barons. This praise for the same president whose greatest military accomplishment was losing a PT boat, who, along with his brother/adviser (a lawyer who had never practiced law) came as close as the world has ever come to all-out nuclear war, is really laughable. LBJ is the president who bulldogged all of the historic welfare legislation through Congress that the Kennedy lovers so cherish.

The world is a complicated place. It would help if we could govern from the middle. A new political party is needed that is socially moderate yet fiscally conservative — without the howling from the left and the right. Oil will be replaced by an alternative energy source when it becomes economically viable to do so. Till then, somewhere — someplace — we will still be "drill, baby, drilling." Grit your teeth and back up.

Chris Bigham

Olive Branch, Mississippi

Nowhere to Turn?

Regarding the letter "Nowhere to Turn?" in the June 3rd Flyer, I'd like Ms. Lewis to know that she likely need not feel guilty about not having any cash, and I don't think those churches ever saw the young woman who approached her.

I feel confident that this "beaten" woman is the same one I have met about a dozen times at various locations around Memphis. Her story was quite compelling when I first heard it years ago: Her boyfriend in north Mississippi abused her, and she needed to get back to her home state to see her children. She had every detail worked out, and my friend and I couldn't help but empathize, even though my friend had worked at a local women's shelter/hotline and wasn't sure her story added up. We gave her what cash we could spare.

A month or so later, I ran into her elsewhere, and though she didn't remember my face, I knew hers. I stopped her before she wasted her time with the same old song and dance.

She was a very well-prepared con artist with a gift for fiction, and after wearing out her welcome in other parts of the metro area, I guess it was time to find a new feeding ground.

Amy Barnette


Budget Thoughts

John Branston's perusal of proposed city budget cutting (City Beat, May 27th issue) yields a healthy perspective on many aspects of this difficult, complicated subject. On the golf courses and branch libraries, I agree heartily. As a neighbor to the Highland branch, we at St. Luke's Church see keeping it open as a good thing. We would also welcome creativity, especially if a "win-win-win" solution can emerge. With a public-private partnership, the community could help shape a library uniquely fitting neighborhood needs. Small but proportional budget savings for the city are possible, and an appropriate, functional building can remain in use.

I believe Mayor Wharton and the City Council will welcome collaborative efforts toward this sustainable outcome.

Mark Matheny


Big Birds

I have recently seen several large birds in my Stonewall neighborhood that are not usually thought of as urban species.

This summer, there are a pair of Cooper's hawks living in the area. This pair seems to have developed a predilection for dining on Midtown mourning doves.

If you take walks in Overton Park, you may have heard the eight-hoot call of the barred owl. Driving to work on Sam Cooper Boulevard, I often see a pair of red-tailed hawks perched on the interstate light poles around the Chickasaw Country Club golf course.

Crow-sized Mississippi kites soar above tall oaks and are not to be confused with the smaller nighthawks. Finally, keep your eyes peeled for the infrequent fly-over of a Great Blue Heron. Isn't it a blessing to have the trees and green areas that keep life interesting in our city?

Ray M. Allen Jr.


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