Going Postal 

Fight the Arc Creative Loafing is to be commended for your excellent cover article on the proposed Northern Arc ("Raiders of the Northern Arc," June 26). CL's coverage raises three important points I would like to expand upon.

First, a powerful new coalition between environmentalists, intowners and suburbanites is coalescing to fight the Northern Arc. This effort includes groups like The Georgia Conservancy and leaders like Sen. Vincent Fort. Also on the front lines are the multi-county coalition of homeowners opposed to the Northern Arc known as the Northern Arc Task Force (www.NATF.com) and the Georgia chapter of the Sierra Club.

Second, the stakes have never been higher, and decisions made today regarding the Northern Arc will surely impact the region for generations to come. The Northern Arc raises fundamental questions of what is best for the region as a whole and brings us face to face with inefficient land uses, traffic congestion, water pollution and other evils plaguing the metro region. How we as a community answer those questions will determine what kind of community we will have in the future.

Third, I firmly believe that, together, we can stop the Northern Arc. Write your ARC board members, City Council members and Mayor Franklin and make sure that they understand that the Northern Arc is an issue that impacts you, your quality of life and the continued viability of our region as a whole.

-- John Sibley, president of

The Georgia Conservancy

The other gender
Scott Henry: I just finished reading your article "A stranger in my pants" (June 19). Nice headline. Great piece. There was one comment you made in the article that really caught my attention (well, two, if you count the paragraphs where you so vividly described the transformation surgeries). "In Georgia, as in most states, there are no laws on the books that define what it legally means to be male or female." Well, here's one definition that I believe would end any speculation or doubt: People, if you were born with a womb, you are a WO-man. No womb, you are a man. Regardless of how many drugs you take, how much cutting or sewing you endure or how many voices you hear in your head telling you differently, this is the one constant that medicine cannot tweak.

It's not that difficult to cipher. I believe these "tweeners" are obviously confused, but also very selfish. Sounds like a lost homosexual who wants his cake and eat it, too (no pun intended). What's next, your doctor meeting you in the waiting room and yelling, "Congratulations, Mr. Henry! You are now the proud father of a beautiful baby other."

-- Kenny Johnson, Ellenwood

Aggressive, but not violent
Just as I was beginning to think that the Creative Loafing was getting palatable, Luke Boggs comes out with this reactionary article slamming the activist organization Ruckus Society (News & Views, "The price of anarchy," June 19). Patagonia, Ben & Jerry's and our homeboy Ted Turner are known to donate money to many progressive organizations. However, his claim that the Ruckus Society "spearheaded the most violent protests in recent U.S. history" is ridiculous.

While I did not attend the 2000 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia, I know several Atlantans who did. Perhaps, Creative Loafing would be interested in their perspective on the so-called "most violent protests in U.S. history." True, there was violence, but it was almost entirely perpetrated by the police. Was it more violent than the Vietnam War protest at Kent State where four protestors were killed by the National Guard?

For certain, protest tactics have changed a lot since the days of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Today, many younger protestors have turned to direct action because they believe the traditional non-violent tactics used in the 1960s will not be effective for the anti-globalization movement. Whether these new tactics such as "police confrontation strategies," "street blockades" and "urban climbing" will be effective remains to be seen, but regardless of how he may feel about anti-globalization issues, Boggs is unfair to refer to direct action as violent. I think what Boggs calls violence is more accurately called aggressiveness.

I'm not saying that all activists are non-violent all the time. Whenever a large crowd is put in a tense situation, violence is always a possibility -- when you add police provocation, the potential increases. The Ruckus Society is not to blame for the behavior of every individual protestor just because it helped organize the protest.

-- Beth Lavoie, Atlanta Honesty is best policy

Curt Holman: Thank you very much for your review of Two Gentleman of Verona (Arts, "Two gentlemen of soprano," June 26). I never expect that a reviewer will love every production we do, but I always hope that they will think and write intelligently about them. Your thoughtful review of Two Gents is one of the best pieces of theater writing I've had the pleasure of reading in quite a while. The script is, indeed, loaded with flaws, quirks, contradictions, etc., and so is this particular production of it. I think you very perceptively and honestly bring that out for both. And at the same time, you do a very nice job connecting the attempts in the production with the challenges in the play and thereby setting up a clear context for your comments.

It's more than refreshing to know that the thoughtfulness that the production received from the director, designers and actors is matched by a similar thoughtfulness on your part. Yes, it's a difficult script to tackle and I'm sure it was a difficult production to write about. Thank you for taking the time and effort to do so with such integrity. I'm sure our box office would prefer a rave review, but I'll gladly take an intelligent and honest one any day. I truly feel this is an instance where you genuinely engaged your reading audience and the production in a serious dialogue which is demeaning to neither. Thank you.

-- Richard Garner, producing artistic director, Georgia Shakespeare Festival

Award-winning awareness
I really enjoyed the "Season's best" column by Keely Brown (Vibes, June 12). Brown's awareness of the status of the arts scene in Atlanta is quite keen. I especially liked the "Worst Managerial Decision" award to the Atlanta media for not covering the International Piano Competition. I question Brown's call on "Most Over-the-Top, Irresistible Patriotic Moment." Lang Lang's performance of Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever" was great, but there were at least a dozen greater ones in the American Red Cross Benefit Concert given by the ASO and ASO Chorus.

-- J. Champion, Mariett


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