The University of Tennessee Health Science Center has no excuse for declining the invitation for the HIV/AIDS symposium ("No More Aid," April 4th issue). And there is no reason that a sexual-health meeting should be canceled at a large university like UT-Knoxville. Young people need to know about HIV, AIDS, and other diseases. If things like these diseases were to spread, then UT would have a bigger problem than "state funds used toward the 'inappropriate' sex education event."
Is this the proper time for the UT system to undergo a revision of policy and procedure regarding usage of campus facilities? Is this the proper time to withdraw funds from certain events? If I were a campus official, I would not be reevaluating my funds and policies during the end of my second semester. This needs to be done in the summer or when students are not in classes.
The state could go to every university in Tennessee and find "state funds used toward the 'inappropriate' sex education event." What is inappropriate? Is teaching kids about sexual health inappropriate? Is HIV/AIDS awareness inappropriate? UT needs to assess its definition of "inappropriate."
Maybe UT was under heavy pressure from the state. That does not mean they need to cancel the entire event. UT does not need to hurt their students' knowledge and risk their safety because they misused funds. Action needed be taken, but this was an "inappropriate" action.
I was pleased by the recent great work done by MLGW, the city of Memphis, and MIFA to raise money through the program Plus-1-Telethon. The program adds one dollar to a participant's monthly utility bill to help those in need. This great program brought to our attention the gas utility problem incurred by the poor in Memphis. I am adding a dollar to my utility bill to help someone in need, and I hope the rest of the Memphis community will do the same, especially now that spring storms are heading our way. It's estimated that the drive will assist at least 20,000 people throughout the city who need help with utility bills. Let us join hands and help our community.
After reading the article "Animal Fighting Enforcement Act Fails" by Bianca Phillips (memphisflyer.com, April 9th), I was horrified to learn that only three representatives from Shelby County government voted against banning cockfighting. The bill is not just about cockfighting but any innocent animals being bred to participate in horrible fights that lead to a disfigured life and torturous death.
Memphians routinely, especially in the summer, hear about the mistreatment of animals via fighting. I'm sure the citizens of Shelby County want a stiffer punishment for these individuals who clearly have no regard for the life of animals. This activity is deplorably brutal.
I have been under the impression that the citizens of Memphis elect representatives who represented their voice in government. I guess not.
Now that we've been attacked on our own soil (Editor's Note, April 18th issue), we will find out whether America is still the land of the free and the brave. Will we listen to the fear-mongers and hunker down in hidey-holes, or will we keep on keepin' on?
News of the Weird
Everyone I know would like to know what happened to "News of the Weird." We are upset, and most of us are seniors.
Editor's note: The Flyer has stopped running "News of the Weird." We've decided to focus on staff-created local news and entertainment content, since syndicated columns such as "News of the Weird" are readily available online.