Grizzlies Perspectives

To the Editor:

I am a season-ticket holder and a huge fan of the Grizzlies. I had the pleasure of hanging out with the players and coaches this past Sunday at their fan-appreciation day that was held at Jillian's and cannot say enough good things about the team. I wish our entire city could have seen Shane Battier playing video games with a young fan or Pau Gasol playing pool with an 8-year-old boy who could barely hold the pool cue. Shane and Pau and the rest of the team expressed sincere appreciation to all of us who attended the event, and they deserve our support. The team has remained positive despite a losing season, and I am confident that we will be a playoff team in the next three years.

Nashville showed the Titans that they were ready to be a major-league city and they were rewarded with a Super Bowl appearance. Nashville has erupted with economic growth since the Titans and Predators arrived, and, while their growth may not be solely because of these major-league teams, their presence certainly hasn't hurt the city. "If you build it, they will come" is not just a famous line from a movie. If we act like a major-league city, we will become a major-league city in more ways than just basketball.

Jeffrey S. Rosenblum


To the Editor:

The Memphis fire and police departments are negotiating for a well-deserved pay raise, but the city can't seem to find the money. What's the problem? They didn't have any trouble locating $250 million-plus for a new basketball arena that we don't need -- for an out-of-town millionaire. The public would have voted against the arena, but the city fought hard to keep us from voting.

So what and where are the "priorities" for these charlatans? Do they want to see the citizens go up in flames and get mugged or just play ball?

Joe Mercer


Another Train Of Thought

To the Editor:

It seems to me that the people who are opposing light rail (Letters, March 21st issue) are being short-sighted. I doubt anyone is going to get rid of their cars in favor of a train. However, light rail does provide additional transportation options. There are enough people who live in Germantown and the area between that do work or attend events downtown. It will be useful for those who would rather spend their time productively (reading, catching up on work, etc.) rather than fighting Memphis traffic or trying to find a parking space. It also gives MATA the option of reducing the number of east/west buses and creating north/south feeder routes into the train system so they can serve a greater area than they do now.

The arguments against light rail in Memphis are not much different from the arguments I read a few years ago in the Salt Lake City newspapers against Trax. "It's too expensive, people won't give up cars, rider estimates are too high," etc. were common complaints there too. After only being in use for two or three years, the number of riders has exceeded even the most optimistic estimates. St. Louis reportedly has had similar success with its system, so why can't we duplicate those efforts here?

The concerns that the system needs to be high-quality and efficient, not some costly political white elephant, are valid. Much of this is probably due to lack of faith in local politicians, which isn't surprising. But with any public project, citizens in the community need to hold the politicians' feet to the fire to make sure it's done right. The only ones who should really be against this are the downtown parking-lot owners.

Keith Sheffield


To the Editor:

As a Christian and a frequent reader of the Flyer, I felt compelled to respond to Jim Osburn's letter to the editor (Letters, March 28th issue). To paraphrase Osburn's comments: He said that the U.S. was well on its way to becoming like the Afghan Taliban because the "religious right" is trying to get the Ten Commandments into schools and public buildings. Well, guess what, Mr. Osburn: Christianity was the foundation upon which the U.S. government was built. Do the words "In God We Trust" ring a bell? And for Osburn to quote Edmund Burke saying, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing" when discussing the campaign to get the Ten Commandments into schools and public buildings is confirmation that members of the agnostic and atheistic communities simply don't want to obey anyone's laws or commandments. The way I see it, either you're with God or you're against him.

Mark McKee


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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