Going Postal 

Siemens like CL made a wee mistake
I couldn't read your great article on Ga. 400 in this week's Loaf without a sense of nostalgia and longing for the recent past ("Out of Control: Traffic on 400 Is Hellish and Certain to Get Worse," March 28).
I should tell you though, that Siemens Energy & Automation followed AT&T to Alpharetta at about roughly the same time in the 1980s. We shouldn't be grouped with the "Johnny-come-latelies" of the past five years.

-- Marc Marton Manager,

Public Relations Siemens Corporation

Grateful for Gillespie
Hello, Hollis; Just a note to tell you how much I enjoy your [Mood Swings] columns in Creative Loafing. You have that unique ability to inject humor, colorful language and self anyazation to any subject. It brings to mind Grizzard, Bagly and very few others, and is a rare gift. Keep up the good work!

-- Reid Stiles, Hiawassee, Ga.

See Jane make me laugh
I haven't laughed myself to crying over something I've read in a long time. Well, at least not since "Driving Me Crazy" (Jane Says, Feb. 10) and your "Ashes" (Jane Says, Feb. 28) story with your dog blinking at you through the smoke.

I'm a freelance writer who spends many mornings under the lump, not especially wanting to jump up and participate in the day, so I especially loved "A Good Threshing" (Jane Says, March 7).

Actually, I read it in bed and it made me get up. Thanks.

-- Kimberley E. Freeman, Atlanta

Tom Houck, have you no shame?
Tom Houck's hatchet job on Sally Yates (Think Tank, "Justice -- or Revenge?" March 28) shows that Houck is nothing more than a dupe in Bill Campbell's ongoing smear campaign against the public servants who have uncovered his corruption.

Houck accuses Yates of a political vendetta, and subtly charges her with racism. Houck says that Yates wants "payback" because "Blacks supported McKinney over her husband." Yates is therefore making life "hellish" for grand jury witnesses who (Houck dramatically points out) are "nearly all African-Americans."

What is Houck's evidence that Yates is motivated by politics and race? Does he have documents? Secret tapes? Credible sources? Anything?

Actually, he has zilch. Not a shred of supporting evidence. His column, which so casually tries to destroy Yates' reputation, offers no quotes, no specific events, and no witnesses to support his serious accusations. His column is a disgraceful mess of innuendo.

Instead of facts, Houck relies entirely on the convoluted accusations of unnamed sources within the Campbell defense team. But then again, why bother with the facts? Why bother with unbiased sources? These things will just get in the way when your goal is to smear Sally Yates. So Houck and Campbell have given it their best shot: they've accused Sally Yates of the crime of marrying Comer Yates.

Yes, this is the same Comer Yates who runs a school for children with disabilities. This is the same Comer Yates who devotes his talents to nonprofit organizations like Hands On Atlanta, who organizes programs at Therrell High School so that inner-city students can learn about the legal system, and who is involved in innumerable community-building activities. Not exactly a man consumed with political vengeance.

For those interested in the facts, Sally and Comer Yates have both devoted their lives to public service. They have spent decades building an untarnished reputation in the Atlanta community. There have never been any serious accusations of wrongdoing lodged against either of them. Among those of us who know Sally and Comer Yates, the very notion is absurd.

Yet when public officials like Bill Campbell are accused of wrongdoing, their tried-and-true response is to attack the reputations of their accusers -- and to enlist their willing accomplices in the press. Tom Houck, why are you party to smear campaigns and race baiting? Have you no shame?

-- Bob Cunha, Atlanta

Not a pariah in India
Jane, I can't even begin to tell you how your article made me contemplate and laugh all in a couple of minutes ("A Good Threshing" March 7)! It's so true how we try to rationalize our existence by saying to ourselves how well we have it. I have the same feelings, especially when I feel down (going through a divorce sucks) but I keep saying "I'm so lucky, I don't live in the caste system of India, etc." But most times we can't seem to find solitude with that reasoning.

I found that giving back to the community has been a salvation for my so called insecurities. I just started the Hands on Atlanta/Meals on Wheels project. Funny how I was a little nervous about driving through the inner city. What a revelation! When I passed through the projects people waved, said hello, and even asked to help. I was dumfounded. Most people have such stereotypes about the poor. Such a mistake for a culture who only cares about what type of SUV they can afford. Made my outlook on life much brighter! If they are so sweet, I can celebrate how lucky I am.

Keep on making me laugh.

-- Michael DePalma, Atlanta

Private partying
As I find myself sitting here wallowing in my own crapulence, I just watched a very interesting story on Fox 5 News. It seems that Fox I-Team reporter Randy Travis in an act of investigative reporting that would make Woodward and Bernstein proud, busted wide open a scandal that will rock this city. Not the murder of a sheriff-elect, not any high-level political corruption, but 24-hour clubs. And now CL has tackled the same issue. Sort of. (Flip Side "Are 24-hour Alcohol Sales in Private Clubs a Problem for This City?" March 28). My God, you mean that when I was sleeping people where actually out having fun! I couldn't believe it! Shocking! I found myself thanking the Lord that we have someone like Randy Travis to save ourselves from the evil terror that is having a good time. Like the old neighbor constantly banging on our door, calling the cops and peering through his window at us, Mr. Travis has taken off his belt, spanked us red and tightened our chastity belts so that we may learn our lesson (whatever that is). I wonder if he has those same funky spots on his back like my old neighbor.

I propose that the first night that people find themselves out late with nowhere to go in this city except Home Depot, that they should go to Randy Travis' or Tina Trent's house to drink. Or better yet that anyone who still likes to have fun, or at least doesn't feel self-righteous enough to stop others from it should boycott Fox 5 News, or even better stop watching Fox 5 altogether. But alas, they have "The Simpsons," and anyone who likes fun likes "The Simpsons." At least we can all take solace in that if Randy Travis was a good reporter he'd have been working at CNN by now. -- Jim "The Captain" Lucas, Atlanta

Mandate prostate
CL had a pro/con article "Should Insurers Be Able to "Opt Out" of Mandated Tests and Treatments? (Flip Side, March 14). This question has arisen out of our State House insurance committee recently proposing House Bill 434.

The Georgia Prostate Cancer Coalition supports the defeat of HB434 eliminating health insurance mandates for employees of small businesses and for individual policy holders. This bill would make it more difficult and more expensive for our citizens to obtain potential life saving screenings for terrible diseases such as prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is diagnosed every two-and-a-half minutes, approximately 200,000 new cases each year. It is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among men.

Approximately 30,000 men will die this year from this disease.

African-American men have the highest prostate cancer incidence and mortality in the world. The incidence rate is 35-50 percent higher and the mortality rate is double that of Caucasians.

We do not know what causes prostate cancer and we do not have a cure.

The only way to have a chance to win the war against this disease is early detection and the implementation of available treatments that could potentially cure the disease.

Research has proven that men typically do not go to the doctor regularly nor do they like to talk about health issues -- until it is to late. In addition the less educated, the less sophisticated, and less financially able men in our state are even more unlikely to obtain the simple screening that could save or prolong their lives.

We want our state government to do everything in its power to make it easier for our fellow men to take care of their health -- not harder. -- Alan Granath, President GPCC


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