Letters To The Editor

Tuesday, April 22, 2003 at 1:00am

Sounds downtown would help retail


The letter writer who thinks a downtown baseball stadium is a waste of money (April 8, "Thermal site not best for stadium") has never seen AutoZone Park in downtown Memphis. That beautiful stadium is the best thing to happen to Memphis since Graceland.

An average of 12,000 people attend a Memphis Redbirds game - and not because the team is so good. It's an event for the entire family at reasonable prices in a beautiful setting.

Assuming one-third the crowd shops at the new Peabody Center or visits nearby Beale Street district before or after the game, that comes to about 4,000 people shopping downtown. Multiply that by 75 games.

As we try to improve Nashville's downtown, imagine what an influx of 300,000 fans between April and August (fitting perfectly between the Predators and Titans seasons) would do for the shops, restaurants and attractions downtown. Add a marina to the picture, and you'd get a perfect setting. The East Nashville neighborhood would benefit, too, with the short walk across the Shelby Avenue Bridge.

We need a first-class baseball stadium on the river in downtown Nashville - an overdue new home for the Nashville Sounds. Just like Fan Fair, the Sounds belong downtown - now, more than ever.



Nutritionist: Give good food options


As a nutritionist who works with kids who struggle with food and weight issues every day, and their parents who also struggle with these issues, this is my response to your editorial opposing the bill limiting the sale of foods that have little nutrition value (April 18, "Parents, not state, should regulate kids' diets).

We must at least provide healthful options that reflect the nutrition education message that we are trying to teach. Currently we are not even providing healthful options in the vending machines. In light of the severe health problems that Tennessee is experiencing and the poor lifestyle choices we make, it is even more imperative that the school food environment support and encourage healthy eating habits.

Schools are not allowed to sell pornography, tobacco or alcohol because we as a society feel that it is inappropriate and not healthy to promote and make money off of these items in schools. Parents and kids can use their money to buy these items when off school campuses or after school hours.

Tennessee has the nation's third-highest rate of obesity and one of the highest rates of Type 2 diabetes among school-age children. Studies show that the intake of sugar-sweetened drinks by children and the increase of body fat are related and that children who consume soft drinks take in an average of 200 more calories per day than those who do not consume soft drinks. A child consuming 200 extra calories per day would gain 2 pounds of fat weight per month.

Sugar-sweetened soft drinks can cause cavities, and the acid can erode teeth. The phosphoric acid can reduce calcium absorption and contribute to osteoporosis.

Children cannot practice what they learn if offered only high-fat, high-sodium foods between meals at school. Models of successful school nutrition interventions emphasize environmental and behavioral factors. Future comprehensive school-based nutrition programs and services must go beyond classroom nutrition education.

A healthy school environment should not be dependent on revenue from low-nutrient, high-sugar, high-fat foods to support school programs. The schools can still make money off of healthful foods. It is being done successfully in Monroe County Schools now and is also successful in several California schools.



Sharing Daschle's stance on abortion


Sen. Tom Daschle, the Senate minority leader, is in receipt of a letter from the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls, S.D. - Sen. Daschle's home diocese - informing him that he may no longer refer to himself as a Catholic because of his publicly stated position on abortion.

I share Sen. Daschle's viewpoint on abortion. Furthermore, I also support artificial birth control, cloning research on humans, female Catholic priests, and recognition of a gay lifestyle as a moral fact of life. I still consider myself to be, and call myself, a Roman Catholic. I still take communion.

I guess the Catholic Church won't like that. Sue me.



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Filed under: City Voices