Good Sports?

To the Editor:

Mayor Herenton told Duncan Ragsdale to "get the hell out" of his office. And being the professional that he is, Ragsdale obliged the mayor. But not before taking Willie's free NBA-arena luxury suite with him! LOL!!

Joe Mercer, Memphis

To the Editor:

This is a message from a six-year season ticket owner to Michael Heisley, the owner of the Memphis Grizzlies: You are the weakest link! Goodbye!

Jess Ketchum, Vancouver

To the Editor:

The recent NBA arena court ruling proves that we are a nation of laws, not of men. The "men" are our elected officials and the ownership group. Rather than having the arena rammed down our throats it appears that our democracy will allow us to decide if we want this additional arena.

The Redbirds stadium was not built with public funds. The private owners assumed the risk and that is how it should be with professional basketball. If the NBA and the ownership group feel they cannot assume the risk, they should learn to live with The Pyramid or find some other community to dupe.

Ned Smith, Memphis

Ethnic Pandering

To the Editor:

In his article, "Ethnic Pandering," (Viewpoint, July 12th issue), Charlie Cook wrote of "the Puerto Rican vote," "the Catholic vote," and others. We speak casually of the labor vote, the farm vote, the Jewish vote, and others. Why can't we just speak of the American vote?

To identify the political preferences of certain groups may give a misleading picture of voting behavior. Such distinctions fail to take into account the impact of national and international developments and the personality of the individual voter.

Arthur Prince, Memphis

Blind Fools

To the Editor:

"There are none so blind as those who will not see." Those words express the characteristics of the Legislature of Tennessee, which has for the second time sacrificed common sense in fear of the mob. The fools in Nashville may enjoy the confidence of some of the people, but the world treats them with contempt and reduces the state's credit rating, exacerbating the difficulties they must eventually confront.

I do not expect the electorate to rise up and replace these legislators, because the electorate is satisfied with them. Indeed, when the possibility of a lottery is presented in November 2002, I expect the electorate to supinely follow the advice of the Mississippi casinos and the hardshell religious leaders in Tennessee and reject the lottery, so that Tennessee money can continue its headlong flight from our state into our neighbors' treasuries.

Martyn Finch, Memphis

No Fast Track?

To the Editor:

On June 13th Representative Phillip Crane (R-Ill.) introduced "fast track" legislation in the House of Representatives which would give "trade protection authority" to the president, including authority to negotiate trade treaties for the next six years.

The Mid-South Peace and Justice Center is very concerned about the president getting such authority, because fast track allows legislative bodies to give only a yes or no vote, keeping Congress from having input on specific trade agreements. Proponents of fast track say it will expedite the implementation of trade agreements. However, the current proposal in the House includes no standards for labor and environmental concerns.

The Mid-South Peace and Justice Center urges Flyer readers to contact Congressman Ford and let him know that when you're on the wrong track, fast track is a bad idea.

Julie Rogers, Executive Director

Mid-South Peace and Justice Center, Memphis

Memorial Alert

To the Editor:

West Stone Works has been selected to build the World War II memorial at Overton Park for residents of Shelby County who died in the war. There are over 800 names that will be placed on the monument, and in order to make sure no one is missed we have placed all of the names on our Web site.

We'd like to tell all Flyer readers that if they want to make sure their loved one is on the list, they have until the first week of August to check the site and give us any names that may have been missed.

Our Web address is

Paul West, West Stone Works, Germantown

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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