Letters to the Editor 

The NSA, The "Divorce" Column, Amerigo, and Hollins vs. Pastner


Anyone who ever attempted to stay awake while reading his column already knew that Tim Sampson’s life was boring (The Rant, June 13th issue). He didn’t have write about it.

Unlike Sampson, some people actually do have interesting lives, and many normal activities, while not unlawful, are sensitive and not meant for public broadcasting. The issues in question might be a personal crisis, illness, a work conflict, a lawsuit, perhaps financial maters, or even communications about one’s sexual behavior.

A well-behaved government would indeed find these communications unworthy of attention. Unfortunately, the current administration operates above the Constitution and uses personal information for political gain. This is where the outrage and distrust lies. Like Obama, Sampson is fine with violating civil rights as long as the victims are those he doesn’t like.

Tommy Volinchak

The “Divorce” Column

As an avid Memphis Flyer reader, I am writing for the first time. I read so many relevant articles in the Flyer; I’m a huge fan!

Bruce VanWyngarden always has a great eye for what is relevant, but I thought he totally hit the ball out of the park with his analogy of the “divorce” between Memphis and Shelby county (Editor’s Note, June 13th issue). As a lifelong Memphian who has lived everywhere from old East Memphis to the river, and whose many friends and siblings raised families in Germantown and Collierville, how many times have I been in similar situations and had the very same conversation? Too many!

I loved it — and couldn’t agree more!

Lynn Hammond

I’ve worked at Amerigo off and on since 2003, and I have to take issue with Bruce VanWyngarden’s lumping the restaurant in with Bahama Breeze, Dogwood Mist Drive, and the other suburban ideals he wrote about in his column.

We have been a part of this community for 15 years and have been locally owned in part since 2009. We support the Memphis Farmers Market by selling locally produced food and wearing market T-shirts every Friday. We have locations in Memphis, Nashville, and Jackson, Mississippi — where the company started. This is roughly the same amount of expansion as Boscos (a place I love and frequented when I lived in Midtown, by the way).

It’s true, most of our patrons can’t walk to our restaurant, but I doubt any restaurant, bar, or theater in Overton Square, Cooper-Young, or downtown could survive with only a walking-distance customer base. This isn’t Manhattan; this is Memphis. We grit. We grind. We don’t walk.

Whether intended or not, the implied negative connotation of Amerigo in your article needed addressing. Hop on a MATA bus and join us for a Ghost River Golden Ale sometime.

Ross Williams

click to enlarge 05092013_lionel_hollins.jpg

Hollins vs. Pastner

I am sure I am not the only Memphian who sees the irony in all the efforts to make certain Josh Pastner did not leave the University of Memphis, while Lionel Hollins was given the boot by the new owners of the Grizzlies.

Pastner was praised and given a $1 million raise that makes his salary package $2.68 million. At the end of his first four years, he has brought Memphis one NCAA tournament win. Aside from that single victory over St. Mary’s, he has never beaten a top 25 team.

Hollins, on the other hand, took over a Grizzlies team in disarray and not loaded with the talent found on elite NBA teams. In four years, he made the Grizzlies competitive with those teams and led the team to its first playoff success. This year, even with the trade of the team’s leading scorer, he led them to a 56-win season, two playoff series wins, and into the Western Conference finals.

Pastner is a good man who has done much for the Memphis community, but his worth is based on his potential. Hollins is also a good man who has done much for the Memphis community, and he has made the Grizzlies, against the odds, a consistent winner and an NBA power.

Pastner will get the chance to become Memphis’ best coach ever. Hollins already is the Grizzlies’ best coach ever, but was not retained. I find this incomprehensible.

Philip Williams

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