Letters to the editor 

Ad in question, the Beltline and more

WHO PAID FOR ATTACK AD?

Creative Loafing is lacking in journalistic fortitude! You accepted money from an advertiser to lambast an elected official, yet did not name the advertiser (Oct. 4, p. 15).

Certainly your standards should demand that the "name on the check" be listed. Not some generic listing of "private citizens ... business owners ... employees" etc. They could have easily listed "the editorial staff of Creative Loafing." Would you have allowed that?

In fairness to [DeKalb County Commissioner] Jeff Rader, your readers and the citizens of DeKalb County, Creative Loafing should publish the name, address and affiliation of the advertiser. Then, we'll deal with their "playing the race card" in a color-neutral issue.

–­­ Jay Brower, Atlanta

From Editor Ken Edelstein: CL Publisher Dave Schmall and I agree that the advertisement in question should have identified the accuser more clearly. According to Schmall, club DJ Jay Nice purchased the ad with the financial help of others whose livelihoods might be affected by the legislation. The ad has prompted us to review our policy regarding fairness in ads about public issues. Readers may judge for themselves whether it accurately reflected the debate over DeKalb nightclub hours; as a paid ad, it doesn't reflect the editorial position of the newspaper nor were any of Creative Loafing's journalists aware of it beforehand.

HOW THE OTHER HALF FUNDS THE BELTLINE

Thomas Wheatley's recent article, "Southwest residents fear being cut out of the Beltline," (Fallout, Oct. 4) is a thorough exploration of the negative side-effects rapid development can have on blue-collar, intown communities.

However, the article states that "... the Atlanta Regional Commission, faced with a transportation funding shortfall, removed the western portion of the proposed transit loop from its list of recommended projects."

In reality, the ARC board approved a regional transportation plan on Sept. 26 that does indeed list the Beltline, all portions of it, as a recommended project.

The new plan reserves $838 million in current-year dollars for the transit portion of the project.

The majority of federal dollars for transit construction are directed toward the eastern portion, which is perhaps what Wheatley meant to say.

But

Creative Loafing readers should know that the ARC is wholly committed to doing what we can to make the Beltline a reality. In fact, there's a $75 million line item in the new plan for right of way acquisition and construction of the path component of the entire Beltline, western and eastern sides.

Four other line items, totaling $838 million, are directed toward the light rail transit component of the Beltline. Of that $838 million, $241.5 million is federal funding directed toward the eastern portion. The rest is local funding, including $355 million for the transit component on the western side.

The truth is that federal funding is drying up and until we devise a way to overcome that problem, projects that clearly deserve funding won't be able to get it. Incredibly difficult choices have to be made about which projects will get funding and which won't.

The ARC realizes that, just as we realize that metro Atlanta needs and deserves a substantial expansion of transportation funding sources.

As a region, we need to pick up the slack and get these projects built. The city of Atlanta has stepped up to the plate, and should be commended for creating the Tax Allocation District that will help fund the Beltline.

– Jane D. Hayse, chief, Transportation Planning Division

From Ken Edelstein: Actually, what Wheatley meant to say was that ARC removed the western portion of the transit component of the Beltline from its list of projects currently recommended for federal funding. Transit in the eastern portion is recommended for federal funding. Due to an editor's error, the article didn't make it clear that both the western and eastern halves may receive local money, mainly from property taxes in the Beltline area.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR ANECDOTE

I wanted just to thank you for your excellent piece on shyness and social phobia (

Headcase, "Are you shy?" Oct. 4). Your column was especially pleasing to me because I lived in Atlanta for three years and in fact taught at Emory during that time. I'm stunned to hear about your meeting with the psychiatrist there, but am so grateful that your anecdote is now in the public domain. Since my piece in the NY Times appeared, I've received a lot of comparable e-mail testifying to similar experiences, but you've made your experience public and I commend you for it. I think it will help others a lot.

– Christopher Lane, Pearce Miller research professor, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill.

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