Going Postal 

More soup
I thought [Greg Land's] article ("Soup's Not On," June 13) was very good and the topic was both timely and interesting. I am also a writer so I do not give out praise with ease! I loved the story, and I think you should do a follow-up story explaining how people can donate or help these people who are in need of food. There should be more active participation by people my age who have good jobs and discretionary income.

-- Christine Dodd, Atlanta

Hungry for info
Just wanted to commend you on your article on feeding children from low income families ("Soup's Not On," June 13). As someone who has done a fair amount of volunteer work for the homeless, I really appreciate articles like this keeping the issue of feeding the less fortunate in the public eye. I do, however, have one suggestion. Would it be possible for you to put contact numbers at the end of articles like this? For people like me, it's not a problem to look up the number of the Atlanta Community Food Bank or the Atlanta Children's Shelter, but most people won't make the effort unless it's right in front of their face. Articles like this do help raise awareness, but most people will simply think "Oh, how sad," and then flip on to the entertainment section. Unfortunately I especially see this kind of apathy here in Atlanta where so many people are making so much money, but few are willing to part with it, even in the interest of a good cause. I'm from Atlanta myself and it's disheartening to see this kind of schism between the haves and have-nots. The easier you make it for people to do something, the less excuse anyone has to do nothing. Atlanta Community Food Bank: 970 Jefferson St. NW, Atlanta, GA 30318. 404-892-9822.

-- Kristopher Monroe, Atlanta

Two times the fun
"Should the Bush twins' behavior be an issue for the media?" (Flip Side, June 13) YES! I read both sides of the issue, and Jeff Berry is right on the mark. It is clear that the Bushwackers will continue on their destructive path. How sad that the 99 percent of us have to put up with this illegitimate President -- while the 1 percent who put the Bushwacker in, laugh their asses off all the way to the bank -- and with the biggest tax break! It is time that we truly educate and inform our young people about a myth called "democracy." Every child prior to graduating from high school should be required to read Noam Chomsky's "What Uncle Sam Really Wants."

-- Richard Sachs, Atlanta

Define 'smart'
Acceptance of Smart Growth by government, residents and developers is hindered by a lack of understanding and misuse of the term for particular agendas. I had hoped your recent article ("South Fulton's Growing Pains," June 6) on development in South Fulton would enlighten that discussion, not contribute to the war of words.

Your newspaper does a disservice to well-meaning developers and Smart Growth advocates such as Bryan Hager of the Sierra Club and myself when you frame the vision of Smart Growth in South Fulton as a battle between developers and environmentalists. In fact, several South Fulton developers, including Steve Macauley, are working with Green South Fulton and other conservation organizations to produce more environmentally friendly projects.

The reporter assured me the article would present a fair assessment of the Cedar Grove Lakes project. I explicitly detailed how the site plan meets many standards of Smart Growth design, such as pedestrian-friendly narrow tree-lined streets and sidewalks, protection of major streams, and diverse housing choices.

Yes, the location of the Cedar Grove Lakes project is certainly leapfrog development, and the premature extension of sewer at taxpayer expense is not Smart Growth. But the responsibility for making those tough decisions rests with the local government, not developers.

Smart Growth in South Fulton and throughout the developing areas of Metro Atlanta will depend on:

1. Detailed land use plans and development policies, developed with broad citizen input, that direct growth to the appropriate areas with adequate infrastructure

2. Zoning ordinances that provide for mixed use pedestrian-friendly design

3. Government officials that are committed to Smart Growth, in the face of the development pressure to continue the conventional sprawl pattern.

Smart Growth is a paradigm shift that will require the collaboration of educated government officials, empowered citizens, responsible developers and environmentalists. I hope this newspaper and others reporting on growth issues will be part of the solution. Fair and accurate reporting on development and Smart Growth will help.

-- Abby Jordan

Director, Green South Fulton

Simmering sister
Woody Allen? I never thought that you thought I was THAT neurotic ... wow (Jane Says, "Father, Go Figure," June 13). And it was CLINIQUE, not Estee Lauder. WHY did you decide to get me involved in your Father's Day tribute? I'm gonna write you one of those nasty wittle letters, but then you might not reply back.

-- Karen Catoe, Durham, N.C.

Theater of death
I read your article on capital punishment (Paradigms, "Lovely to look at," May 23). I thought it was eloquently written. Your conclusion that "every act of public violence ... is a story that says something about the people watching it" is exactly right and is a basic tenet of theatrical philosophy. When I studied theater theory in college, I was amazed at how much of the ideas behind theatrical performances related directly to our daily actions.

Executions, done by anyone, are all theatrical performances. We cannot possibly participate fully and live to tell the tale. We are merely observers -- the audience. And I will never understand anyone who derives pleasure from it. Thank you for your article. It put my own thoughts and beliefs into order.

-- Denise Benshoof, Tullahoma, Tenn.

168 vs. millions
The way Timothy McVeigh expressed his opinions about the government was indeed ignorant and deplorable. He killed 168 Americans. Does that justify a government exercising the power to commit official murder sanctioned by an unjust system, mob rule mentality and an unfair trial? These are not the actions of a civilized society.

Out of anger and confusion, people damn McVeigh as "evil," trying to convince themselves that he was not a man, nothing like them. The thing is, how many men, women and children suffer and die around the world for American corporate profits (especially, but not exclusively, oil -- Gulf War anyone?) disguised as foreign policy? The U.S. government commits murder daily so that Americans can "make a living." I think the tally is more than 168.

Apparently, murder is wrong only if it is not in our own interests. Those who judge and condemn others so easily should take a closer look at the motives and conduct of their own elected government, their own corporate warlords, and maybe even themselves. Self-righteous indignation from such a hypocritical society, though typical, is disgusting.

-- Robert Hafken, Atlanta


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