Letters To The Editor

Tuesday, June 3, 2003 at 1:00am

Tax-exempt group should act like one


Even though I am a smoker, I normally have no problem with the American Cancer Society and its tax-exempt status. In fact, I do hope it discourages people from starting an addictive habit. I also don't deny it the right to lobby for legislation it believes in. However, in its latest foray I believe it has crossed the line.

Instead of going to the state legislature, the American Cancer Society is going to local governments enlisting them to pass resolutions to forward to the state legislature to create the illusion that this is a popular grassroots effort. This effort in Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga and other cities takes time, effort and money away from the purpose of their tax exemption and diverts it to social engineering.

I don't think it is unreasonable to expect an organization that is tax exempt to behave in an honest, straightforward way and not try to subvert the system with questionable tactics. Donors have a right to expect their money to be used for care, education and research - not to support a political machine.



Reader sees holes in leaky home story


I am writing in response to an article written by Colleen Creamer that appeared in the May 29 edition of The City Paper ("Residents irate over leaky homes," p. 1). I have been a resident of the Williams Grove subdivision for the last two years, and I am in complete disagreement with the article.

It is my opinion that Ms. Creamer has made generalizations based on biased interviews with one resident, his attorney and a home inspector, who was also retained by that resident. In my opinion the article is irresponsible and unprofessional. Where is the reporter's objectivity? Did the writer attempt to contact Pulte Homes or other residents?

Although the article states that attorney Jean Harrison represents 15 homeowners, it does not indicate if their complains are exactly the same. Not all homes in Williams Grove have leaks, problems with weep holes or flashing. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Many of our residents, including myself, are satisfied with our homes and resent melodramatic reporting and disgruntled homeowners who cannot resolve their problems without resorting to the use of exaggerated statements.

Creamer's article provides no service to the community your paper seeks to serve. Quite the opposite is true; it may accomplish one purpose: to impact negatively the market value of homes in our subdivision - homes owned by the same people who may read your paper or even buy advertising in it.



EDITOR'S NOTE: The City Paper did not suggest that all Williams Grove homes are leaky, and it did contact Pulte Homes, to no response. Also, the inspector was retained by many of the residents.

Middle schools need own license


It was reported last week that Tennessee education officials want to do away with a teaching license that spans kindergarten to eighth grade. The argument for doing this is that a K-8 license is centered on teaching young children and doesn't require middle school teachers to have enough expertise in the subjects they teach.

Even though a change in state licensure is indeed needed, the stated reasons for a change is short-sighted. Yes, middle school teachers need to be experts in the subject areas they teach. However, just as a K-8 license for middle school teachers focuses too heavily on teaching young children, a 6-12 license would focus too heavily on content and not enough on the unique needs of early adolescents.

What is needed is a license that specifically addresses the proficiencies needed for teaching successfully in the middle grades. Although many schools call themselves middle schools, too many are not. True, middle schools design everything they do around the unique characteristics and needs of early adolescents. Schools that truly practice a middle school philosophy understand the importance of having a faculty that is not only academically grounded but is also trained to be developmentally responsive to their students.



Mayor should earn current salary first


I recently read an article that concerned a person I have come to know. Since I came to Nashville - because of a dead-end job up north - I have discovered what it is like to be homeless. Mayor Bill Purcell is the head of a coalition of mayors working to help the homeless. My experience of his help, in the months that I've been here, is that he has kicked the displaced people of this town to the oppressive mission or to the municipal auditorium - and even that has been threatened recently.

To go to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting for help one would have to walk 40 blocks roundtrip - sun, rain or cold. I have only seen an increase of hostility from his police with the understanding that lawyers are not within our means.

The best raise I ever got was 10 percent after doing excellent work, and yet The City Paper wants to give this man a 100 percent raise (May 29 editorial, "Mayor deserves something extra in his paycheck"). I guess the rich just keep getting richer.



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Filed under: City Voices