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Servatius gets an "F"

Re: The "Thanks Dan McCorkle" Article: A number of things amuse me about Ms. Servatius using what I thought was a private e-mail between her and I as the basis for her article called "Stump A Politician" (December 4) in which thin-skinned Tara calls me a "schlep." I find it extremely amusing that the admitted former Republican campaign worker Ms. Servatius is shocked that politics plays a part in redistricting. I wish she had the same outrage at the Republican judge from Eastern North Carolina that brazenly drew, with the help of the State Republican Party, State legislative districts that favor, you guessed it, Republicans! Ms. Servatius failed again to dig deeper into the 2001 City Council redistricting. If she would note that the first plan submitted to the City Council was drawn up by GOP consultant Ted Arrington and his sparkling plan of course favored...the Republicans! In the deliberations that followed, the Democrats presented a more unified front and thus the Republicans quickly retreated and their main objective became the adding of the Silk Stocking, Myers Park precincts into District Six to make it more favorable to replace conservative Republican Mike Castano with "developer friendly" and "country club" Republican John Tabor. Once again Ms. Servatius gets an "F" on research and something lower in professionalism!

--Dan McCorkle, Charlotte

Editor's Response: Mr. McCorkle's protestations of bias are curious, as Ms. Servatius made it very clear in her column that gerrymandering is something practiced by Democrats and Republicans alike. In fact, it was one of the points of the column. We stand behind Ms. Servatius' research for this column 100 percent. As for using information from "a private e-mail," this is simply not true. There was no indication in Ms. Servatius' e-mail to Mr. McCorkle that the message was private or off the record. Surely Mr. McCorkle has been involved in politics long enough to know that when you're asked a question by a reporter, it's for publication unless specified otherwise at the time.

Rights for everyone

Thank you for listing Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood in your top "100 things we love about the USA" (November 27). With the 30th anniversary of Roe v. Wade coming up on January 22, 2003, this soul-healing list and remembrance that the USA truly belongs to all of us is a timely recognition for such a historical and important event for all individuals.

Thirty years later, Planned Parenthood remains committed to providing comprehensive reproductive and complementary health care services in settings that preserve and protect the essential privacy and rights of each individual. Planned Parenthood advocates policies that guarantee these rights and ensure access to such services, and provides educational programs which enhance understanding of individual and societal implications of human sexuality.

--Linda Breen, Director of Development, Planned Parenthood Charlotte

Who's the Terrorist?

Reading "Kissinger's Back" (December 4) royally ticked me off. I think it is the least intelligent thing Bush has done thus far. It was brought to my attention that there are two sides to every story and that I may be irritated without reason, but I say piss on that. To put someone of such "questionable" nature and past in charge of the independent commission to investigate 9/11 is decidedly wrong, insulting to those directly involved in this tragedy, and equally embarrassing to the rest of America. I have done missions work overseas and know firsthand how embarrassing it is to try to answer for the lack of sound judgment sometimes shown by our government.

What, pray tell, is the difference between the secret bombing campaign in Cambodia and what happened to us on 9/11? Maybe we should ask those who knew the hundreds of thousands of civilians who were killed? Kissinger may very well be an expert on terrorism, but his expertise would appear to be the product of practice makes perfect. I, for one, am disgusted and embarrassed.

--Larissa Molles, Concord

Art does matter

In response to Linda Luise Brown's question "Does art matter?" (December 4) I say, "Hell, yeah, just as much as reading, writing and "rithmetic!" I agree that dialogue between artists and the public is vital: once people stop viewing art as something to be neatly displayed, dissected and eventually purchased and accept it for the untamed beast that it is, we'll get some dialogue all right! Artists are ready, willing and able to create culturally relevant work, but we need a climate of financial support and cultural open-mindedness in order to flourish. There are several interesting local public art projects in the works, funded by the Arts and Science Council, so the landscape may be improving on that front, if blandness and censorship can be averted. It's my personal opinion that "wall art" is dead, unless we're talking about the wall of a skyscraper and some Jenny Holzer text projections, or Maya Lin's famous Wall. Art is actually alive and well, all over the world. It just doesn't come in sofa sizes anymore.

--Little Shiva, publisher & editrix, QZ, Charlotte

The art experience

Regarding Linda Brown's column "Does Art Matter?" -- my response would be yes, it does, for those willing to experience it. Unfortunately fewer and fewer get opportunities or encouragement to experience art. Tight school budgets always seem to squeeze out art literacy as a first move and major media has indeed marginalized art coverage as entertainment.

I found Anne Midgette's remark about a "new reality demanding that art respond literally, directly and rapidly to crisis" to be a great formula for creating shallow work without lasting or meaningful impact. Who created this "new reality"? The very major media folks who have marginalized art coverage to focus only on "name" artists and art movements that the highest number of their readers would recognize. I thought Linda Brown's reaction to the artist offended by a recent critique to be incisive. I suspect there are forums for artist support and interaction in Charlotte, just don't expect to find such listed in the media. The overwhelming response to the Art Talks series co-sponsored by the Mint and the McColl Center for Visual Art and the growing audiences coming to the museum's Artist Forum is testament for the need for such outlets and an indication that, yes, art does matter.

It's a shame that the independent press in Charlotte is alone in keeping the flames of critical review alive. But life tends to be cyclical. Just as the mainstream press may wake up soon to their foresaken role of investigating and critically examining President Bush's policies curtailing individual rights and what's really behind the maneuvers in the Middle East, maybe the value of art criticism will again be realized for its role in engaging audiences in critical thinking and emotional experience.

--Phil Busher, Charlotte

Always an explanation

Elizabeth Chapel's column on the Psycho Ex ("The Bitter End") in the November 27 issue of Creative Loafing reminded me of an old joke about two guys in a bar.

Guy 1: How's your girlfriend?
Guy 2: Oh, we broke up.
Guy 1: What happened?
Guy 2: I don't know, she went nuts.
Guy 1: Come on, it had to be something?
Guy 2: Nah, she just went nuts.
Guy 1: You must have done something.
Guy 2: I'll telling you, she just went nuts.
Guy 1: There had to be something.
Guy 2: She caught me sleeping with her sister.
--John Cox, Charlotte

Show some respect

Thanks for a great piece on Bill Fehr and company in this week's Loaf ("The Two-Wheeled Path" by Sam Boykin, Dec. 11). It's my hope that your readers learned something and will show some respect for these hard working guys. They're just as dedicated to their calling as any cubicle dweller I know (including myself).

I met these fellows back last spring when I joined the Uptown Bicycle Commuters e-mail group. A couple of times a month we all (commuters and those that make their actual living on their bikes) get together for breakfast at Reid's or after work beer at Brixx.

I commute five days a week from NoDa to work uptown regardless of the weather and can generally be found out riding again for a long ride on Saturday. Bill and his friends are my bike heroes. I can't believe how well conditioned they are. I share their love of bicycles and human power. Anything that you and other writers at the Loaf can do to promote cycling and cyclist awareness would be an extremely good deed to the city. If more people used their own muscles instead of gasoline to provide daily transportation, we wouldn't be contemplating a war to seize the oil in Iraq.

--David Witherspoon, Charlotte

Bike On!

Just wanted to drop a quick note to commend Sam Boykin on the great article re: Bill and the rest of the uptown bike couriers. You put a very interesting spin to it and made it exciting to read. It was ironic to read the stories and the perceptions towards the biking industry. It wasn't all too long ago that I used to be a bicycle freestyler (like the xgames) up in Boston and we were always getting looks from others and chased out of parking decks.

--Jason A. Ryan, Charlotte

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