What They Said (October 8, 2014) … 

Letters and comments from Flyer readers — Best of Memphis, Banned Books Week, plastic bags, and Amendment 1.

click to enlarge GREG CRAVENS
  • Greg Cravens

About the Best of Memphis 2014 ...

Whole heartedly agree about the Best "New" Public Space. Tom Lee Park and Beale Street Landing make one long, beautiful riverside park full of fun things to do with a gorgeous view to boot! The Grizzlies' RiverFit trail is wonderful and is used by all ages, races, and sexes. If you haven't been to Tom Lee Park recently, you need to go soon!


If I may loosen the lederhosen and get serious for a moment. Where is the best bar to get laid after 1 a.m.? This is not a worthwhile category?


Ernie, liebchen, in your case, depending on the lunar cycles, I'd say the zoo.

Mia S. Kite

About the Flyer's editorial on Amendment 1 ...

Amendment 1 is dangerous. Read it carefully: "Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of abortion. The people retain the right through their elected state representatives and state senators to enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion, including but not limited to, circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother."

First, it is an attack on our personal privacy. The language of the amendment is intentionally vague, but it clearly gives politicians the power to enact, amend, or repeal any laws they deem necessary to the point of restricting abortion even if it is required to save the life of the mother.

Secondly, a Constitutional Amendment is permanent or at least hard to undo. Because it is a theology driven initiative, politicians will be imposing their own religious beliefs on us, which may be quite different from yours. This violates our First Amendment rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

Our representatives will be able to "enact, amend, or repeal" whatever statutes they deem necessary, because you willingly gave up your voice.

We don't all agree about abortion, but we can agree that we should not turn to politicians for spiritual or medical advice. Private medical decisions should be made by a woman based on her faith, in consultation with her family and her doctor.

Vote no on Amendment 1.

Meryl Rice


About Bruce VanWyngarden's Letter from the Editor ...

Thanks for bringing attention to Banned Books Week and explaining what it is and how books come to be banned, i.e. "removed from an American library somewhere, because they offended someone, somehow."

At the Memphis Central Library, our Second Editions bookstore currently has a display of over 100 banned books for sale, including the classics mentioned in the editor's column, as well as other familiar titles: The Bible1984Tuesdays With Morrie, The Cat in the Hat, most of Shakespeare's plays, and many others. And, of course, my personal favorite, The Velveteen Rabbit.

Sherman Dixon

Friends of the Memphis Library

About banning plastic bags ...

Hooray! The governor of California, Jerry Brown, has signed a bill banning the single-use plastic bags that we get at the grocery store.

This is a remarkable act, and I am thankful for it. I am appalled every time I go to Kroger or Fresh Market and watch the checkers mindlessly put three or four items into a bag. I watch as people sometimes leave with 20 plastic bags half full or less, and I think about that one person putting possibly 1,000 or more bags into a land-fill each year, just from their grocery store. It makes me want to scream.

I take recyclable bags to the grocery store. And I love taking my recyclable bags back to my car for the next time I need them. I love knowing I am doing one small thing to help preserve the environment for future generations.

I ask the citizens of Memphis and Tennessee to begin using recyclable bags. I promise you will feel better about yourself. And the environment and your children and grandchildren will be better off.

Judith Johnstone


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