A Serious MATA
Finally! As a regular customer of Memphis' extremely flawed public transportation system, I was thrilled to read that MATA is undertaking a complete do-over of its routes and will begin utilizing GPS ("What's the MATA?," November 17th issue). Welcome to the 21st century, people!
But the most important quote in the article was from MATA's Tom Fox, who said, "Drivers will be held accountable if they are early or late." It's about time, literally. I'm so tired of finding out I've "missed" a bus that came by 10 minutes early.
Mike Carpenter (Viewpoint, November 10th issue) is giving out the information that a lot of public school teachers have heard so much of over the last several years. It is true that effective teachers make a difference in the classroom. The fact is that the Memphis City Schools are full of many really effective teachers. They are making a difference in their schools. If they were not effective, the achievement of the students attending Memphis City Schools would be a whole lot lower than it is right now.
Our teachers are making a difference in the classroom. Let's support our teachers, our students, and our parents to help them make better lives for themselves as they prepare for the journey of their lives.
Again and again, large banks flouted banking regulations while paying only small fines for playing high-stakes poker with our money. Nothing has changed. They are still doing it!
What the banks are doing is often illegal and almost always morally wrong. We can send them a message. Cancel your credit card. Move your money to a local credit union. Keep those dollars in Memphis. One small act of defiance against the powerful, when repeated a million times, will create the world we all want to live in.
Send in the Clowns
That a significant portion of the American people would give even passing consideration to the current field of Republican presidential candidates is as severe an indictment of our education system as could possibly exist.
Apparently, the GOP took Stephen Sondheim literally and, in fact, sent in the clowns! Too bad they can't "pray away" the wacky!
In response to Louis Goggans' article ("Broken Promise," November 10th issue), I feel that what the city of Memphis is doing to the former wrecker service employees is very unfair, because only some of the workers were relocated to other jobs while the rest were forgotten.
The city promised all of the workers would be relocated to other jobs within the city, but they failed to make good on their promise. Because of that, their families are going hungry and suffering in tough economic times. Some might even risk losing their homes and other assets. The city claims to want to promote new jobs, but obviously they cannot even relocate a small amount of their own workers within the public sector. "A City in Motion" won't go very far on broken promises.
A review of Tennessee state and city symbols will reveal that we honor mockingbirds, irises, and the tulip poplar, among many others. Can consideration be given to making the pit bull the symbol for Memphis?
It's an animal with a questionable reputation that many believe to be unwarranted. It offers a friendly disposition to those who know the breed — a no-fuss dog with the tenacity to do well in often difficult situations. And it's dearly loved by its owner. Sounds like Memphis to me.
I want to thank Bianca Phillips for the article "Tricycle Travel" (November 3rd issue). As a Memphian, I was unaware that there was now an alternative method to enjoy getting around downtown — and without increasing pollution.
Memphis needs more entrepreneurs who are willing to risk their capital to make a better city and help the environment. This idea — brought from bigger cities — will also help create job opportunities.