Letters to the Editor

More Than Mud

To the Editor:

After reading your cover story ("Mudslide Island," August 22nd issue), I just had to go look and see what all the fuss was about. I went to the bridge and didn't see much to be concerned about, just a careless mistake by someone untrained in earth-moving. But when I looked from the north side of the bridge, I saw many things to be concerned about.

In the story, mention was made of the possible existence of toxic waste buried under the island. What I saw was an ongoing excavation site that had exposed what appeared to be a line of very dark material. I wonder if anyone who has knowledge of toxic waste has looked at this site? Also, as I walked farther up the bridge, I noticed a corrugated pipe that appeared to be a runoff or storm-drain outlet. Just south of the pipe, I noticed where groundwater runoff had dug a small trench and caused a shift in the riverbank. I wondered, If this small amount of water could cause movement, just how stable is the bank?

I hope that the city intends to send some knowledgeable people to look at these things.

Robert J. Evans


Big Ugly Letters

To the Editor:

In response to "Tear Down the Big Uglies" by John Branston (August 15th issue), I have a few suggestions: Yes, I agree, tear them all down! Heck, why renovate anything? No one should have renovated The Peabody, for example, as ugly an eyesore as this city has ever seen. The lobby gives me the creeps. It's so old! Someone could have put up a nice Holiday Inn in its place. And why on earth did we ever try to save the train station? No one takes the train; normal people drive SUVs. The historic Evergreen district should be bulldozed for Interstate 40 so I can drive to the new Wal-Mart that could be built where the old Sears Crosstown now stands. Forget the previous article in the Flyer about how to attract creative people who can enrich a city ("Talent Magnet," August 1st issue).

Okay, so maybe my tongue is planted a little too deeply in my cheek. I suggest a middle ground. Instead of imploding buildings, maybe the city could pass a "use it or lose it" law. Give developers a grace period, and if work doesn't progress, then the city takes possession.

Bill Stegall


To the Editor:

In regard to John Branston's recent column about Memphis needing a few good implosions: As much as it hurts me as a native Memphian to say this, he's right, and it's time. It's past time. The old Baptist Memorial Hospital property downtown should be quickly and mercifully cleared. I was born in that building. My father, an aunt, and I worked there, so there's history there for me that you could not imagine.

Yet, I say, let's move on and redevelop the grand old hospital's site for today's urgent needs, with a plaque somewhere to commemorate all that the former hospital means to us all. It's not coming back as we knew it ever again.

James B. Flatter



To the Editor:

As Molly Ivins indicated in her article ("Out Of Touch," August 15th issue), working-class and middle-class people in the United States are working harder and earning less. While Ivins says issues such as eroding wages and a woefully inadequate private-pension system are "populist" issues, they are also faith issues.

This Labor Day weekend, speakers will be addressing the sacred link between faith and justice for workers in a dozen Mid-South congregations through the Labor in the Pulpits program, coordinated by the Mid-South Interfaith Network for Economic Justice and the Memphis Labor Council. The national problems pointed to by Ivins are vividly illustrated in Memphis. According to the Economic Policy Institute, Tennessee has the sixth-highest income inequality between the richest and poorest families of any state.

This Labor Day weekend, we must put our faith to work for justice.

Rev. Rebekah Jordan

Mid-South Interfaith Network for Economic Justice


White Republicans?

To the Editor:

I enjoyed the recent article about the Talent Magnet project. However, one of the recently published letters commenting on this project gave me pause (Letters, August 8th issue). The writer expressed dissatisfaction with Memphis, because it is a city only for "white Republican men." Has this joker read any census reports lately? The writer then pulls at our heartstrings by telling how he was made fun of in a local high school (horrors!) for dying his hair and wearing bellbottoms! Surely such a thing could only happen in Memphis!

If you don't like where you live, by all means, move. Memphis is a great city that would be much better off without such "creative class" whiners.

Tom Holland


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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