Going Postal 

CL bright spot

Thank you for your recent article on Neon ("Follow the Light," Dec. 2). I am Kimberly Fong. I curated the Art of Neon exhibit at the International Museum and also own Eclectic Electric Gallery. I have long been a fan of neon (obviously) and worked with the Neon Company for 7 years prior to opening Eclectic Electric, so I am always thrilled when neon gets attention. All the artists in the exhibit have shown with the gallery at various times over the past seven years, and slowly we have developed a following and more fans of neon. Articles like yours help us spread the word! Thank you again!

-- Kimberly Fong, Atlanta

High praise for Vertical review

I'm not in the habit of writing to anyone about anything I read in newspapers, but I had to write and tell you that your review of the movie Vertical Limit ("Downhill Slide," Dec. 9) has to be one of the wittiest (and funniest) I've ever read. You gave me a much needed laugh after a hard day.

-- Oni Holley, Atlanta

Powell to the people

I'm so glad Bryan Powell's did a two-part series on jazz in the city -- "Jazz for Beginners," ("Take Five," Dec. 2 and Nov. 4). I love jazz -- played a lot in school and still dabble in it occasionally -- and I've been so frustrated in trying to find out where there was in town to listen to some good music.

I think I finally called Clark Atlanta's radio station a couple of years ago and only through them found out about Churchill [Grounds]. I was hoping Mr. Powell would let me in on some other secret spots in the city in which to hear jazz, so I'm a little disappointed to find out that my suspicions were true and that Churchill [Grounds] is basically it (I'm used to the wealth of places in Kansas City), but on the other hand I'm happy to know that I was right about Churchill [Grounds]. Please tell Mr. Powell to keep up the good work.

-- Pamela Bee-Lindgren, Decatur

Mind-Boggs-ling

When writing about government programs that seek to aid poor people and African-Americans, Luke Boggs preaches ceaselessly that government spending never, ever helps its intended beneficiaries. But when discussing highway policy, Boggs worships at the altar of tax-and-spend politics, asserting that if government hijacks taxpayers for more road widening money, it "might get the dozers moving and, eventually, the traffic," ("Should the Federal Ban on Metro Road Construction Be Lifted?" Dec. 2).

Boggs has a double standard: Big Government spending is wonderfully efficient if it is intended to make it more convenient for white drivers to move their families, businesses and jobs to Alpharetta and other suburbs, but a waste of money if it is intended to help carless, mostly African-American, poor people reach the same jobs.

Boggs is probably oblivious to such inconsistencies rather than an outright racist -- but either way, his assumption that roads reduce traffic is factually incorrect. Atlanta's highway mileage increased by 76 percent over the past 20 years, yet delay per driver increased by 325 percent according to the Texas Transportation Institute (mobility .tamu.edu). Charlotte, N.C., increased highway mileage by 113 percent, yet delay per driver increased by 356 percent. In fact, all of America's 40 largest metro areas widened roads while experiencing increased traffic congestion. What went wrong? When government widened the roads (e.g. by building 400 in Roswell and Alpharetta) people flocked to the suburbs served by the new roads, thus making those suburbs congested. And if we keep widening the roads, we'll have even more suburban sprawl and even more congestion. -- Michael Lewyn, Atlanta

pointing fingers

I don't think Janice Carlisle [who wrote the letter "Taxing My Nerves, Too" regarding "Boom Means Bust for Low-income Families," Nov. 25] hates to be cold-hearted. I think she uses her narrow views to be condescending and opinionated.

She doesn't know Kandi Thomas personally and neither do I. I'm not judging her as a person or her situation.

Most Americans would love to be completely self-sufficient, but it's not always that easy. I am also a single mother with only on child, though, and the idea of getting a secondary education is thrilling, but people make mistakes that can indefinitely postpone their dreams. Supporting my family while attending school is financially impossible and would require me to neglect my child.

I bet if you spent an ounce of the energy you use to judge someone on helping those who may not have had the tools to also be successful, you wouldn't have nearly so much to bitch about. The ones who suffer the most -- the children -- aren't even considered by your cut-throat opinion. They can't choose their parents, and without a nurturing and safe environment, they'll be growing up into more people you'll bitch about. So stop wasting your energy and my time and change what you don't like.

Only unproductive hands are free to point fingers. -- Chanda Briggs, Atlanta

Low-down attack on

low-income housing

(In reference to CL letter writer, Janice Carlisle's response to "Boom Means Bust for Low-income Families," Nov. 25) Ms. Carlisle's attack on the article's subject, Kandi Thomas, was uncalled for as was her statement that "Low-income housing needs to go." First of all, most of us who are seeking or have sought affordable housing are working. Second, birth-control is not 100 percent effective (be it user error or what have you), but there would not be a need for Roe v. Wade if it were. Third, an unmarried woman with children does not mean she was never married.

There are many divorced mothers (and fathers) who are seeking affordable housing who do not use Section 8. Fourth, granted Ms. Thomas could take some computer courses but it's tough competition with those of us with degrees and experience.

Low-income housing and affordable housing are necessary for many people, including the elderly, students and those with disabilities. There is a misconception about the amount of tax dollars actually spent on social service programs in comparison to corporate tax breaks and other tax expenditures. I would much rather my tax dollars go to house a child.

-- Shawnne McMillion, East Point

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