Letters To The Editor

Tuesday, March 11, 2003 at 1:00am

Therapy through yellow labrador


As a resident of Bordeaux Long Term Care, I read with interest your Feb. 18 story about pet therapy through the SMILE program ("The best therapy is sharing your pet with others in need," p. 26). We are fortunate to have volunteer Kitty Holbrook bring her yellow lab Baker for pet therapy visits twice a month. For many of us, Baker's visits are the highlight of our month. For the last four years he has entertained us with his tricks, brought us a ball so he can play catch, and especially loves sharing our ice cream.

Having witnessed the powerful benefits of pet therapy, I would strongly encourage anyone who is interested in training his or her dog to please do so. Any effort a volunteer puts into the training of these special dogs will be returned through the smiles and delight of all of us who benefit from this loving form of therapy.

Baker and Kitty are both dedicated and generous, and we can't thank this therapy team enough for the joy they bring.



Move cautiously concerning lottery


I hate to admit it, but look at us. What a bunch of hillbillies!

What a terrible example we set for our children when they witness our legislators fighting over the lottery proceeds before we've sold the first ticket. Talk about counting your Powerballs before they hatch.

If someone doesn't stop that bunch of yahoos at the capitol, what's starting out as scholarships for students will turn into a huge entitlement sucking cash from the state coffers faster than Steve Cohen on meth.

Wouldn't it more prudent to hold all lottery proceeds for a couple of years to let the "new" wear off and to get a feel for what the thing actually will bring in? Of course, that starts with the assumption that someone is actually thinking down there at the General Assembly.

What if between now and next year there is some sort of huge scandal involving the Georgia state lottery - a scandal so broad that it taints all lotteries? Those expected millions of dollars may trickle down to a small precious few, while the list of those demanding scholarships continues to climb. It'll take more than Steve McNair to pull Tennessee out of that mess.

In the words of Dana Carvey, "wouldn't be prudent."



Reviewer slipped up and away


I'm quite disappointed in Leo Sochocki's treatment of Chaps at Chaffin's Barn (March 6, "Chaffin's 'Chaps' tends to chafe Backstage"). How could he have submitted a review for this show? He left before the second act started!

In the future, I hope The City Paper will find a critic who actually views the shows being reviewed.



Texas death row case is example


I read with interest the case of Tennessee death row inmate Abu-Ali Abdur'Rahman in the story "Inmate seeks release" (March 3, p. 7). While I don't have sufficient evidence to make judgment in his case of his guilt or innocence, I would like to offer this bit of perspective in a similar case.

"In December, Texas murder defendant Leonard Rojas' time for appeals ran out, and he was executed. Sixty-eight days later, three members of the state's highest court for criminal cases explicitly concluded that Rojas' appointed lawyer was woefully incompetent and that the court's majority had ignored that incompetence while Rojas was still alive" (March 6, Nashville Scene, p. 67).

There seemed to be a similarity between what happened to Rojas in Texas and what can potentially happen here in Tennessee with the case of Abdur'Rahman. It would damage the character of justice if that were to happen, and the courts were to find out months later that Abdur'Rahman was innocent of murder in this particular case.



Freedom of press: two-edged sword


I'm amazed why Bill O'Reilly in his article "Using race card hinders our freedom of press" (March 7, p. 2) is so shocked at being demonized as a racist by all the different groups he has demonized. If his specialty is finding the faults of all Americans and setting the ideals for all Americans to live by through his freedom of press, then why shouldn't they in turn identify his faults and shortcomings and explain or display their alternatives and choices through the media?

Life, experiences, opportunities and challenges for Americans are different just like many Americans are different. No Americans want to be demonized through the press or otherwise. It makes no difference who they are. They want to be seen as tax-paying, working, fun-loving, money-making, free citizens. If O'Reilly wants to put a label on these everyday people through his freedom of press in America, then maybe he deserves an everyday label on him from their freedom of press. We reap what we sow.

Maybe O'Reilly should find something good to do for these groups of people or speak something good to them.



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