Seeds of Discontent
The persecution of Adam Guerrero is wrongheaded, misinformed, and malicious ("Seeds of Discontent," September 15th issue). The idea that a home should be an energy-sucking ornament instead of a productive, ecologically responsible contributor to the welfare of the residents, their neighborhood, and community is dead wrong. Home-as-ornament is a relic of the post-WWII oil bonanza and is no more relevant now than it was for millennia of civilized human existence.
Judge Larry Potter isn't fit, judging by this ruling, and should be reassigned to more useful pursuits, such as vegetable gardening.
Elkins, West Virginia
I hope our elected officials in city and county government can do something about the ruling against Adam Guerrero in Judge Potter's court. If for some reason this garden, used to teach young urban kids about growing food and all that it involves, is against a local law or ordinance, perhaps it should be changed. Failing that, perhaps a grant to erect a fence around Guerrero's lot could be used. You would think with all the bad-mouthing of teachers in this county and state, this teacher should be given an award.
Schnucks opened a full-service grocery in downtown St. Louis in August 2009. This grocery is stunning: 21,000 square feet on the ground floor, with an additional 6,000 square feet for lunch seating on the mezzanine. It's jammed and is open seven days a week. I travel to St. Louis frequently, and rumors circulated that the company planned to open a similar store here. Unfortunately, Schnucks discovered that Memphians are not cosmopolitan shoppers and refuse to pay for specialty items. Salad dressings from such St. Louis restaurants as Tony's, Charlie Gitto's, and Zia's sat on the shelf in Memphis. They learned too late that this is a city of Walmart, Aldi, and Superlo shoppers. Low price, not quality, is the sole consideration.
Harry J. Jaffe
Memphis, you are doing just fine. Forget what Forbes magazine says. Let's define ourselves and not permit people elsewhere to do it for us. We have beautiful trees, the best barbecue, wonderful music, and great weather (most of the time). When the elements converge, there is no better place on earth. I know because I've lived up and down the Eastern Seaboard and in London. Eudora Welty described the South as a nation of storytellers. Here is one: I was out walking the other day and stopped to talk with a stranger. As it happens, I was friends with her sister many years ago. I described to her the Great Blizzard of 1962(?), when I was snowbound at her sister's house. She remembered that blizzard (all 12 inches of it) and told me she was snowbound at her boyfriend's house. They were eventually married. Ah, Memphis.
There are also many wonderful people and groups that provide care and protection for our animals. They do this day in, day out for little or no compensation, because they love what they do. Alas, the spotlamp is mysteriously compelled toward the difficulties we are experiencing with regard to animal care rather than toward those who are emblematic of the kind and generous Memphis spirit. I propose that we instead illuminate these outstanding people who contribute so very much to this City of Good Abode.
Rick Perry has thankfully shot himself in the foot with regard to winning the presidency. He might have squeaked by with his desire to eliminate the constitutional separation of church and state and make Christianity the state religion. He might even have survived criminalizing homosexuality. What he won't survive is his desire to do away with Medicare and Social Security. Although our country grows more greedy, selfish, and heartless with each passing day, we are still a long way from embracing the Tea Party mantra of "Let them die" with regard to our poor and elderly. There is still enough heart left in even the most jaded Republican to refute that draconian vision. Even wealthy Republicans have elderly relatives.
One misguided Texas governor has done enough damage to last us for decades (if not centuries). Let's not make the same sad mistake again.