Fresh Air, Dead Air
The WKNO story ("Fresh Air, Dead Air," February 1st issue) was exceptionally well done, as is usually the case with the Flyer, but a few tangential issues would have been worth mentioning:
WKNO has used the technological needs of the stations it's now abandoning as a fund-raising lever. I recall being approached and, indeed, made a donation on the basis that the Senatobia station (which I was able to receive in my car) needed a new transmitter.
The sale decision will reverberate. I immediately activated the previously unused XM satellite radio in my car and now have PBS, BBC, and (best of all) Bob Edwards readily accessible. And I've every intention of reducing prospective support for WKNO by the amount involved.
Department of Journalism
University of Memphis
The recent press conference at Libertyland was a real eye-opener due to reasons both visible and invisible. For instance, the media got a first-hand look at the ongoing "vandalism" when a truck carrying trees and shrubs was held up at the gate and the driver questioned. We learned that the landscaping was indeed sold by the Mid-South Fair -- after their lease had expired.
What the media was not allowed to see was the extensive damage caused during the last week of January, when the Mid-South Fair excavated the 50-foot Ozark-stone waterfall on Tom Sawyer Island. Tons of Ozark stone were sold to a cotton farmer in Arkansas -- also after the Mid-South Fair's lease expiration date.
The huge crater left behind in the center of the park looks like a bomb blast. The Mid-South Fair's security guard has replaced the city's security guard, and Memphians are shut out of their own city park. Nobody can continue to hide behind vague claims of "vandalism," as the real vandals have been revealed: the Mid-South Fair.
Co-founder, Save Libertyland!
The Fairgrounds has been allowed to go to waste. The governing powers have shown no interest and it has been vandalized, neglected, and a potential buyer of Libertyland has backed out. They have let the Coliseum close, and the only thing left is the Liberty Bowl, and Mayor Herenton wants to demolish it.
Eventually, someone will come along and do Memphis a big "favor" and buy the Fairgrounds acreage for a paltry price. And with this valuable property in their pocket, I wonder who the local politicians are who will be waiting for their payoff?
Someone needs to stay on top of this, but with so many of our elected officials in jail and awaiting trial, how many honest ones can you name?
I listened with rapt interest to President Bush telling Wall Streeters and CEOs last week that pay should be connected to performance. While I agree with the president, his speech once again illustrated just how far out of touch with reality he is.
It appears that he has forgotten that the Republican Congress doubled his pay after the 2000 election. Since then, our deficit has skyrocketed and some of those same Republicans are starting to question his war policies. Another failed policy is our trade with China. It is at a record deficit, and the Chinese are using our trade dollars to build a huge military force. We are also importing oil from nations that are becoming more of a threat to us. All this adds up to poor performance.
The president received applause when he spoke of tax cuts and less government regulation. Of course, those in his audience have received most of the tax cuts. So, Mr. President, please walk the talk and lead by example. That means you take a 100 percent pay cut and consider how to pay back some of the billions your failed policies have wasted. After all, the board of directors spoke very clearly in November.
Dear Pop: Your Iraq policy is a failure. Sorry. Love,
Barney aka Rita Mae Bartlett