Letters to the Editor

Cross Guards?

To the Editor:

Your editorial, "Driving Home a Point" (November 21st issue), struck a note with me. I've watched with some amusement as private schools and myriad Memphis churches have hired security guards entrusted with traffic control on our public streets. PDS security personnel (many of whom look to be parents) on Poplar and Central often hold the citizenry at bay while SUVs make the run into the parking lot. CUMC at Poplar and Grove Park has security guards stopping traffic while church goers amble across seven lanes to and from church. Yet there are two sets of traffic signals within 50 yards of the crossing -- one at Grove Park and one at the corner of Oak Court Mall and Poplar.

I've always wondered what laws allow this infringement on my personal Sunday morning driving liberty? And I marvel at the waste of church and school dollars on traffic control for public streets when we seem to have adequate controls already in place.

Bill Butler


Offensive Landmarks

To the Editor:

For once I agree with Naomi Van Tol: Why should we expend energy on destroying some monuments in our city when we have plenty of opportunities to build up others?

Leave the Confederate-named parks alone and go save more churches from falling in. Or salvage some cemeteries. Zion Christian Cemetery on South Parkway is arguably the oldest and most historic black cemetery in the city, and it is for all practical purposes abandoned. It can use all the money and volunteer labor that can be rounded up. Martin Luther King Riverside Park has a beautiful river view, a terrific pavilion, great playground equipment, a boat ramp, a golf course ... and more trash, chop-shop car parts, and quart beer bottles than you can count in a week. Community policing and trash pick up is the only hope.

If Commissioner Walter Bailey has so much spare time -- and, heaven knows, circumventing the Sunshine laws and those accompanying pesky media questions would free up quite a bit -- let him focus on some existing "monumental" opportunities.

Ken Hall


The Future

To the Editor:

Harold Ford Jr. is the future of the Democratic Party (Politics, November 21st issue) ... and he always will be.

Michael B. Conway



To the Editor:

As a veteran journalist, I appreciate a free and vigorous press, but such unfettered press must act responsibly. Your November 14th cover story ("End of the Honeymoon") about Tom Jones' alleged misuse of government credit cards and related accounts was certainly vigorous, but it crossed into the realm of the irresponsible when it identified Jones' daughter and son-in-law by name.

Unless I've missed something, Jones is the public figure in this matter, not his daughter and son-in-law or any other member of his family. Friends, associates, auditors, and other investigators might have known, or needed to know, the couple's names but the public did not. No matter how much they or anyone else may have benefited unknowingly from Jones' alleged actions, they are still private citizens who, unless implicated in some verifiable way, should not have been cast into the public light in such a manner. In the future, I hope you'll refrain from making such identification when it is not necessary.

Curt Guenther


Time to Heal

To the Editor:

Being a victim of crime is not easy. The pain of losing our loved one is often hard to bear. I thank God that I have him to call on when the unbearable times occur. The pain is beyond words when movies, books, and support groups are created for those convicted of the crime ("Untangling Devil's Knot," November 7th issue). To others, it may seem like news, but it only serves to remind me of the pain I have gone through.

When will I be allowed to rest from the public humiliation that books such as Devil's Knot bring? My life is not on trial and I would like to live it in private. What gives anyone the right to write a book giving details of my life that serve no meaning as opposed to the fact that there has been a conviction in the murder of my son?

Pam Hobbs


Note: Pam Hobbs is the mother of West Memphis murder victim Stevie Branch.

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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