To the Editor:
I finally agree in principle with one of your editorials! For quite awhile, readers of the Flyer were treated to editorial after editorial about the need for an income tax. Opponents who would point out that it was government spending that was out of control and that the state could probably spend current tax revenues better were routinely labeled as people who didn't care about anyone but themselves.
Little more than a month after the state of Tennessee decided to celebrate the 4th of July with a hike in the sales tax (which ended up paying for pay raises for government employees while school budgets were being cut before school even started), The Memphis Flyer seems to have seen the light with the quite logical statement "With 86 percent of the city schools' proposed 2003 budget going to salaries for the system's 16,300 employees, the board felt, quite reasonably it seems to us, that cutting personnel rather than cutting programs was a more logical path to follow" (Editorial, August 22nd issue).
Spending other people's money is easy. Critics of the proposed state income tax were often told that the budget had been gone over with a fine-tooth comb and that there was no excess spending. Now the Flyer seems to be in agreement with those who have had concerns with the bureaucracy all along.
To the Editor:
I was beginning to think it was an Alice In Wonderland world, at least in the media, where things mean what they mean when I say what they mean because I said it and I mean it. Congratulations to John Branston, a logical man who opens his eyes and asks logical questions (City Beat, August 22nd issue).
I suspect no one in this mess concerning Albert Means is as pure as Alice, including Logan Young, but the media's performance as skeptical and objective reporters of the facts has been exasperatingly disappointing. Until now.
To the Editor:
Thank you for your article on the Albert Means/Logan Young saga. As far as I know, Branston is the only journalist who has ever raised the many obvious questions about this "open and shut" case.
Who knows what the "true" story is? It's clear to me, though, that there are enough peculiarities, inconsistencies, and bizarre circumstances to, at minimum, allow for alternative conclusions. That no one has delved more deeply into these other ripe story angles is as amazing to me as the sensational allegation made by Milton Kirk, who I do not think is a pillar of credibility.
As a University of Alabama fan who has a persecution complex, I'm also surprised no journalist has followed up on the allegation that Kirk offered money to David Paine (another U of A prospect from Memphis) to fabricate incriminating stories about the U of A.
Anyway, thanks for a provocative column. It's gratifying to know that there's at least one journalist in the world willing to break out of the media pack and point out the many questions surrounding this issue.
Bill Rice Jr.
To the Editor:
I read with much interest your story about the "unfortunate" traffic stop on Nonconnah Parkway (City Reporter, August 22nd issue). Once again, we (MPD) are portrayed as the bad guys. Your subject of the story admitted she was doing 70 mph in a 55 mph zone, as I remember. This does classify her as a criminal; she broke the law. Although, I will admit, the officer's style was a bit different, I wonder how many of your readers' jobs are open to public inspection of disciplinary processes and records. Your writer stated that the officer had discipline records dating back to 1984-85, 18 years ago, and has been on the force, serving the citizens of Memphis, since 1974.
The officer's procedural conduct was correct, for if a motorist refuses to sign a traffic citation, they are subject to physical arrest. They are, in fact, subject to this arrest on any traffic stop, but officers' discretion usually doesn't follow that scenario in probably 90 percent of the traffic stops. It never fails, when I stop someone, that I am asked, "Why are you harassing good, fine citizens instead of finding the real criminals?" or "Why are you singling me out?" The fact is they were caught breaking the law, usually are embarrassed by that fact, and rather than be apologetic, take an aggressive tack, thinking that it will intimidate the officer into not writing a citation.
On the one-year anniversary of September 11th, try to thank those of us who selflessly serve rather than crucify us for doing what you pay us to do.
Officer R.J. Tutko
Memphis Police Department
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