What a shock to see my out-of-the-way, "you have to go there to pass through there" hometown in Humbug Square (News & Views, "Ask not for whom the car tolls," July 14). Being a landscape architect on the "new urbanist" planning front lines, it was satisfying to see James Howard Kunstler's latest doom and gloom treatise noted in the same article as little old Cedartown. I can remember when there was a Winn-Dixie, and Grant's, which turned into Big K and then Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart took a lease at its current location, which was a case of developers taking advantage of towns with no tree and parking ordinances, leaving the town with an abandoned asphalt eyesore once Wal-Mart set up across the highway. (At least Kroger redid the old Grant's/Big K/Wal-Mart spot, preventing sprawl, but still, no trees!)
While many of my old friends left Cedartown, never to speak its name again, I've kept a soft spot for its improvement. Come back in about one-and-a-half years to check out the progress!
Cedartown will make its slow march back, if not with a strong industry, then at least as a place to build a small-town life away from it all.
Brad Jones, Decatur
You were kind to him
The only way to explain a person who can be so charming on one hand and so evil, destructive, manipulative and angry on the other hand, is to discount the conscience. When you have a conscience, you understand when you've made mistakes, hurt people, lost decorum, over-reached in advocacy, abused your power. You feel shame. You become humble. You try to make right.
But I wonder whether Vernon Jones knows what it means to have a conscience ("Tyrannosaurus Jones," July 7). He continues to blame everyone else for his shortcomings. He refuses to take responsibility. He sits and stews. When he gets scared, he visits [Bishop] Eddie Long at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. There's nothing like having Long tell you that God is on your side.
Then, he plots revenge. He manipulates, threatens, manipulates again and then he manipulates some more. And the pathetic sheep following the herd will slide along the lowest common denominator. Fear of becoming unpopular, disliked and outcast is powerful. But with Long's help, he has no fear. He can ignore the other ways he abuses his power. Because now he is the victim. Strong. Self-righteous. Empowered.
Vernon Jones is a savvy politician. But sooner or later, the truth comes out; it always does. It's all a matter of time.
Thank you for the article. You were mighty kind to Vernon Jones. But thank you, nonetheless.
Antje Kingma, Atlanta
It's about penguins!
Who cares if a celeb is the narrator, or that March of the Penguins does not mention global warming this is a movie about penguins, not global warming (Flicks, "Born to be wild," July 7). Would not the appreciation of nature and its beauty be required before people can understand and sympathize with the effects of global warming and feel compelled to make a difference? This movie is a great example of how that appreciation can be developed. I am not so sure [children] would have been cramming to get in the theater had the trailer mentioned sea-level rises that will gradually inundate coastal areas, changes in precipitation patterns, increased risk of droughts and floods, threats to biodiversity, and a number of potential challenges for public health. That kind of movie does not come with a cute poster of a Papa Penguin and his baby or a stuffed animal.
"... Luc Jacquet's pedestrian March of the Penguins, billed as no less than 'a story about love.' 'Love' that lasts one season, that is." Are you jaded about penguin love for some reason? I do not think they choose new partners because they don't like their penguin girlfriend's day job. The emperor penguin cradles his egg for more than two months between his feet and his belly, keeping it warm while the mother returns to the sea for food. He endures below-freezing weather, harsh winds of over 100 mph, without sustenance, and all this with bated breath that his baby will survive. What a deadbeat.
Some things are not political or all about Paris Hilton. The movie is just about penguins and that is what makes it great.
Lindsay Douglas Flowers Jr., Athens
Cliff Bostock: I lived in Atlanta for 12 years and followed your columns faithfully. I lived in the Emory area and always went on your recommendations for the latest and greatest places to try (Food & Drink, Grazing). Sadly, I made a tragic error and moved away from Atlanta to a place with little to no "food life": Cleveland, Ohio.
The only recommendation for the city is the West Side Farmer's Market; the rest I was sadly disappointed in. I hadn't realized how you had spoiled me and had taken the difficult search aspects out of finding good restaurants!
I am now back in the South, in Charlotte. I just read and loved your article on Scott Peacock (Food & Drink, "Great Scott," June 16). I've met him and have wondered where he was and what he was doing. (I loved the Horseradish Grill, when he was there, of course.) It's great to be able to read your column again and realize I can actually try some of the places you have written about and avoid the rest!
This is a thank-you note for writing wonderful stories and maintaining your blunt and creative style! I finally feel like I'm back in the South!
Jennifer McGowan, Huntersville, N.C.
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