Letters To The Editor

Thursday, June 19, 2003 at 1:00am

Drivers, not roads, cause the accidents


Last week more lives were lost on Briley Parkway. It was reported on television and in the paper that the problem is in the road surface design. Although this is a problem, the biggest cause of wrecks and death is that no one pays a bit of attention to the speed limit or traffic instructions, and those laws are not being enforced.

In the construction areas the speed limit is posted at 45 miles per hour. This is meant to be adhered to 24 hours a day, not just when road crews are working. I have been passed by private-, state-, and city-owned cars and trucks - including police cars - doing up to 80 mph in a construction zone.

Trucks are cautioned to use only the center lane, but they don't. I have been sandwiched in between two trucks doing over 45 mph with no clearance on either side because of the concrete barriers. That sure will scare a person, especially when one sees a gas tanker close enough to touch at 60-plus mph.

If our high-profile vehicles don't observe the law, why should the average citizen? Example and enforcement are two ways to stop the high death toll our roads are exacting.



Don't let Adams make money off city


Last week we read in The City Paper and heard on WTN radio that Titans owner Bud Adams wants to place an Arena Football team in Nashville. He and his staff publicly claim that the reason for the delay is that they have not been able to find a place to play, and they require a more favorable lease than what the previous Kats had.

On Adams' wish list are funds from parking and concession revenues. Surely he is aware that unlike at his football stadium across the river, neither the Gaylord Entertainment Center nor the Nashville Predators control any of the parking around the facility.

On the other hand, the game-day concession revenues are split between the concessionaire, Metro and the leasee, so Adams is free to negotiate the best possible deal. Adams states that he has not been offered a lease deal that doesn't cause him to lose money. Before Powers Management and the Sports Authority enter into a lease, Adams should show the appropriate people his pro forma. What are his budget projections? What did the former Kats attract in paid attendance? What is the projected attendance for the new Kats? What are the ticket prices? And what are the major expenses?

It's reported that the Predators have a favorable lease in the arena - a lease that was determined by our Metro Council before the Predators ever came to town, which any pro team could have signed. Yet, it's also reported that the Predators have lost significant amounts of money the last couple years. It appears that even a "favorable" lease does not guarantee financial success.

It's clear Adams will not take on a money-losing venture, nor should he. He has a golden touch - it's reported the Titans have an operating profit of over $30 million. It's no surprise. His organization claims ticket prices are in the bottom quadrant of the National Football League, yet when the $250 club seats are included, the Titans leap to near the top in pricing, despite being in one of the smaller markets. And Adams has a lucrative stadium lease.

Let's not take Adams' comments at face value. If he wants to bring Arena Football back to Nashville, great. But let's not let him do it at a further cost to Metro, to the arena or to the Predators.



Watson, his caddy: great role models


The events of the last few days have served to remind me that professional athletes and role models are not mutually exclusive groups. Specifically, I'm speaking of Tom Watson.

The United States Golf Association had the good sense to invite Watson to this year's U.S. Open. Watson, 53, did not qualify, but as one of golf's all-time greats, it invited him anyway. With his invitation, Watson simply went out and blistered the course to hold the first-round lead. Strangely, it is what came next that makes this story interesting.

Does Watson go on and on about how he deserved to be invited or how well he is playing? No! He immediately takes the stage to line up support for his longtime friend and caddy of 30 years, Bruce Edwards. Edwards has recently been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease and is surely dying. His speech is already badly slurred, and he is visibly struggling to perform his duties as Watson's caddy. Watson used his time in front of the cameras this week to drum up support for Lou Gehrig's disease foundations and to offer public support for his longtime friend.

Filed under: City Voices