And what about Creative Loafing itself, which, according to the ad I saw in the Birmingham News in 1999, requires applicants for entry-level clerical positions to submit to urine testing?
People in the USA now seem convinced that society would fall apart without drug testing. Yet even sensitive hospital and government workplaces here in Canada have been doing just fine without it. Canada has addicts, too, but they are seldom found in places of employment -- for obvious reasons.
As a former resident of Atlanta, I was horrified to learn that even at Creative Loafing, preserving (or restoring) civil liberties in the Land of the Free is now seen as less important than protecting the world from stoned receptionists. Some "alternative press"! Shame!
-- Geneva Hagen, Victoria, BC, Canada
Editor's note: That was then. We don't require our applicants to pee in a bottle anymore. Ain't we crazy, now?
Give me a C
I've never responded to a column before, but I felt that I needed to respond to your lack of knowledge on your cheerleading story (Talk of the Town, "We have nothing to cheer," Jan. 22). As a cheerleader in high school and college as well as a coach for four years, I consider myself pretty knowledgeable in the sport. Yes, I used the word sport. It is a sport, and competitive cheerleaders are better athletes than most of the football and basketball players I know. They are more than one-dimensional, and that's what makes the sport so great. It's all of the different elements combined that make it so difficult.
I realize that it is part of your column to add your own personal opinions, and I respect that. However, I challenge you to attend a practice at Georgia Tech with their cheerleaders. Or better yet, take the time to go to a cheer gym and spend a day training. They have them here in Atlanta. You may just learn something about this sport. Better yet, you may just enjoy it.
-- K. Jones, Atlanta
Feeling less lonely
I wanted to thank Tina Trent for having the courage and initiative to write her rant "None of your business" (News & Views, Jan. 22). I frequently find myself lacking the appropriate words to adequately express my views on this emotional and personal subject -- particularly on the idiocy and ignorance of labeling abortion as an "opportunity to make a choice." I also wondered whether I was the only person who felt that the words of the "squeaky clean" protesters inspire hate as much as the malicious actions (with their tragic consequences) of the radical protesters. Ms. Trent logically and eloquently captured and expressed feelings similar to mine regarding this subject, and I wish I had the abilities to thank her in a comparably articulate manner.
Though nothing can make abortion less of an "alone thing," it is my hope that the words of Ms. Trent succeeded in making women feel less lonely, as her piece did for me.
-- Melinda Mackereth, Atlanta
Tort reform a joke
John Sugg: Thank you for your article on tort reform, aka "payback for insurance contributions" (Fishwrapper, "Let's reform tarts, not torts," Jan. 22). It is quite interesting that you always hear that the only way insurers will survive is through tort reform. Are they willing to cap premiums in exchange for caps of damages? If there is a "high" can the plaintiff be guaranteed a "low"? And why is 250K always the magic number? Why not 750K? And why are juries able to return a verdict for the death penalty or life without parole but that same jury is not competent to give a fair verdict regarding money? It is too bad that most politicians swallow this crap hook, line and sinker. Runaway verdicts are rare. They are as rare as intelligent and truthful politicians and industry lobbyists. Good work.
-- Hector R. Cora
Speckhals & Cora, P.C., Atlanta
Abortion cover biased
(In response to "Abortion's battle lines," Jan. 15): I could write a 15-page paper on what is physically, emotionally, mentally and morally wrong with abortion.
This is about your irresponsibility to print such one-sided columns on something so controversial. The statements made in your pieces are highly debatable and they are representative of only one side of this complicated puzzle. Yes, there is a lot of misinformation out there, but I don't think you should be so quick to think that all of this propaganda is on the pro-life side. (And please don't call pro-lifers "anti-choice." That is just as bad and misrepresentative as me calling you "pro-death." People on both sides need to be more mature with their choice of words.)
You tried so hard in your articles to portray pro-lifers as bad, irrational, overly religious people. I am none of those things yet, I am pro-life, partly because of my conscience, but also because I feel that the unborn child has a right to a voice and I think that women (myself included) should have the responsibility of knowing exactly what they're choosing and what the consequences of their actions will be.
Both sides are at fault for providing misleading information, but I think you'd be more surprised at the inaccuracies of the NARAL if you really took the time to research the matter. The negative things that the NARAL says about these crisis pregnancy centers can just as easily be turned around on the half-truths provided by Planned Parenthood. Oh, and by the way, I speak from experience.
-- Heather Phillips, Atlanta
Abortion coverage presumptuous
You pulled out all stops to ridicule those of us who believe that every human life is a precious gift from God, worthy of protection even in its formative stages ("Abortion's battle lines," Jan. 15). No doubt you expected your readers to share your conviction that our personal desires should invariably trump our responsibilities toward others. The prevalence of that rationalization for killing the defenseless reveals more about abortion in America today than all the stale industry propaganda your cover stories rehashed.
-- Ron Chandonia, Peachtree City
The argument for more obscenity in headlines
A major skeptic of government and all the behind-the-scenes workings, I usually turn a disgusted, apathetic and blind eye to articles such as this (Fishwrapper, "A new ethical state government? My ass," Jan. 15). Your title just wouldn't let me this time and I'm glad! This is an excellent article and it made me thankful and a little more hopeful the public might actually get a glimpse of the truth.
-- M. Keeler, Atlanta
I just read your article on Lancelot Jones (Fishwrapper, "Memories of Sir Lancelot," Jan. 8). Thank you so much. I was a park ranger on Elliot Key in the early '80s, I had the great honor of meeting both Lance and Virginia Tannehill, who lived on Elliot Key.
You should know that in addition to the many friends he made, he was also a great friend to the park rangers that came to work and live on those islands. Many of us recognized how special he was and cherished the stories he would tell. He was a very special friend to us and was a part of most gatherings the park staff held.
Your article was passed on from former Biscayne employees, I continue with the Park Service and still cherish the memories of my days at Biscayne National Park, and the historic gems we were fortunate to meet.
-- Yvette Ruan, Rohnert Park, Calif.
Now is the time
(In response to News & Views, "Watch out!" Jan. 1): Last month's police sting accomplished more than "one thing." It raised awareness of a serious problem we have in Virginia-Highland -- vehicles grossly exceeding the speed limit in a walking neighborhood. The time to address this problem is now, not after a tragic accident. I've seen numerous pedestrians nearly hit by vehicles and I applaud the police effort to try and prevent a tragedy.
Finally, it would be hypocritical to suggest that pedestrians share no blame for this problem, namely joggers. Jogging in the street, many times against the flow of traffic, when sidewalks are available, is an invitation for an accident (and illegal). Maybe the next police sting will target this part of the problem.
-- Jim Augustyn, Atlanta
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