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Letters to the Editor

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False Alarm?
Regarding Louis Goggans' article "False Alarm" (July 11th issue): Are you kidding me? How is it possible that city council members will not sit down and do the math? Councilmen Ed Ford and Myron Lowery, who are sponsoring this bill, need to look at the numbers and focus their time and energy on more important issues.

Ford states that "we are probably losing millions of dollars in dealing with false alarms." Really? If all 48,000 false alarms were fined at the $25 rate, that would amount to $1.2 million. However, as stated, the law only would charge you after the first two false alarms, which leaves you with 16,000 billable false alarms, which at $25 will yield $400,000 in revenue.

This is if you could collect 100 percent of the fines, which I highly doubt. All of this effort and time being spent by the city council on such minor issues continues to cloud the big picture. When do we the taxpayers start looking at the actual numbers, instead of the headlines?

Mark Downing
Memphis

Nineteenth Century Facts
In last week's Flyer (July 11th issue), Barclay Frazier begins his letter with: "Let me see if I have the facts right."  He does not.

Here are some facts. The Nineteenth Century Club may very well have been out of compliance with its 501(c)3 status for quite some time, which may have an impact on the sale of the property. Judge Potter believes this to be a viable argument, which is why he allowed more time to study it.

Another fact is that nobody "lied" about Chick-fil-A tearing down a church. We all knew the use of the building. We just didn't want another fine example of architecture to go the way of the wrecking ball. Chick-fil-A stepped up to the plate and became a wonderful corporate neighbor at great financial expense to them.

Here are some more facts.  This is not a "broken-down building." The Rowland J. Darnell House is well over 100 years old. The club has owned it since 1926. They have deferred maintenance for years, maintenance that at one time was being performed for free. This building, like every other structure on the planet, needs to be taken care of. In 2009, a study was done to completely renovate the property and a capital campaign was suggested to raise the funds. The majority of the membership of the club voted not to pursue this avenue.

Any city, be it Memphis, New York, or Los Angeles, is made up of neighborhoods. People do in fact want to shop close to home. I too love "Asian spices, foods, and other products," but take a drive down Union Avenue one day and you'll see that we have a wealth of vacant storefronts and places to sell spices.

The mission of Memphis Heritage is "to educate and coordinate individuals and groups to save, improve, reuse, and maintain architecturally and historically significant buildings, neighborhoods, parks, and cultural artifacts of Shelby County, Tennessee." Does Frazier really think this is unnecessary? If your idea of utopia is asphalt paving and strip centers, more power to you. Mine contains the beautiful relics of our past, so that future generations may learn from them.

Joey Hagan, AIA
President, Memphis Heritage

Zimmerman Verdict
The George Zimmerman acquittal in the Trayvon Martin case is another instance of injustice that shames us as a country. Most African-Americans believe that there are two justice systems, with justice not equally dispensed.

Is the Zimmerman case not proof that they are right?

A 16-year-old young man goes to buy candy at a store and is walking home to his father's house. A man who was told by the police not to follow the young man does so anyway, and the result is that the innocent young man is killed. Zimmerman was the cause of any altercation that occurred by being where he was not supposed to be.

He kills an innocent young man and there are no consequences? If Zimmerman had been black and the young man white, would he have been acquitted? He would probably have been found guilty of murder.

Apparently, the way the law is written, Zimmerman was the victim who had to defend himself, even though he was the cause of the fight that resulted in Martin being killed. This makes no sense at all.

I have lost respect for our legal system, with sleazy lawyers advertising their services. The aim of our legal system should be justice, not the enrichment of lawyers. We should have laws that make sense and as much as possible ensure that justice is done for all Americans.

Phillip Williams
Memphis

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