The article on Libertyland (March 2nd issue) was great, but I felt like I was being slapped in the face. First, Eugene Smith says he does not know whether he is actually president of the board and has no knowledge of any outside investors. Later, he acknowledges both the offer and his presidency. Then a board member said she never heard anything about the offer made to Smith!
Finally, Smith said, "We've got to move. We've got assets tied up [in Libertyland] and we need the revenue. We have plans to use that land for the Mid-South Fair."
Unless someone knows something different, the fair will be gone from this site after this year, so why do they need the land for the fair? It sounds like he's saying we spent money to create Libertyland and now we will destroy it to get the money back, forgetting that there was a park long before Libertyland. The Mid-South Fair and the city of Memphis need to give straight answers with no runaround.
A couple of recent Flyer articles may have left readers with the misconception that Memphians are paying more than our Nashville neighbors when it comes to natural gas costs. This is simply not true. In fact, this winter and during all of 2005, MLGW customers have actually paid less than customers of Nashville Gas.
A comparison of the average residential customer bills showed MLGW customers paid 14 percent less for the natural gas they used in 2005 when compared to Nashville Gas customers. When you look at the current winter season (November 2005 to February 2006), the average MLGW customer is paying 8 percent less than those in Nashville, even with their much publicized rate decreases.
MLGW is working to ensure that its customers are protected from the volatility of the wholesale natural gas market. Though customers across the country are paying more for natural gas this winter than in previous years, MLGW's purchasing strategy ensures our customers enjoy safe and reliable natural gas supplies at the best prices possible. MLGW's solid purchasing strategy, along with our customers' willingness to conserve, has helped Memphis and Shelby County weather this winter a little better than our Nashville neighbors.
Manager of Economic Development
Memphis Light, Gas and Water
Editor's note: Using the statistics provided by Bullock, Memphis customers appeared to have paid less than customers of Nashville Gas for the period cited above. But, as the Flyer reported, Nashville Gas recently lowered its rates and in February provided gas to its customers at a lower cost than MLGW's.
You only have half the story on the MLGW gas prices. MLGW is "estimating" usage at an incredibly high rate, no doubt to generate some cash flow. My last bill was $800 -- one person who works, eats out a lot, and has a modest-sized home with a programmable thermostat. I called, and MLGW came to check it out. Two weeks after the original bill was generated, the corrected bill was sent. It was $300.
While it's always nice to see such a glowing review of our fair city, I think that Gary Smith (Letters, February 23rd issue) must not have visited Whitehaven. Every morning on my walk, I see streets filled with fast-food sacks, cups, beer cans and bottles, CDs, and lottery tickets. Increased fines are not the answer. I favor a system of strategically placed snipers. If someone throws their trash from a moving car, the driver gets a bullet. But, hey, that's just me.
I have seen the increasing publicity over the use and abuse of the 911 service for nonemergency calls. As a frequent attempted user of the Memphis nonemergency number (545-2677), there is apparently a capacity problem there as well.
Fortunately, I keep this number on speed-dial on the mobile phone, as it seems the appropriate avenue when observing road hazards. Unfortunately, I am often forwarded to 911.
Maybe along with 911 reform, Memphis should investigate adding a real 311 service for police nonemergencies to help keep the phone lines free for 911.