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Be Realistic
To The Editors:

Re: "Pop Goes The Cherry" (by Cintra Wilson, January 30), all that the media which are targeted at teenage and pre-teen girls feature are messages about looks and music. This gives these girls the false message that somehow they, too, can be a teenage sex symbol like Britney Spears. Yet the typical teenage girl has about as much likelihood of being the next Britney Spears as I do of being the next Michael Jordan.

If these teen mags want to do something useful for these girls, why don't they focus their message on realistic goals, such as being teachers, health care workers, entrepreneurs, lawyers, etc. instead of sex symbols? Yeah, I know, it's not as glamorous as being in the limelight like a pop star. However, it's a more realistic goal, and one that will be the basis for a career that will last a lifetime, rather than simply being an overnight sensation today,and the subject of trivia challenges tomorrow.

Stephen V. Gilmore

Charlotte

Cover Is Sick
To The Editors:

The "Pop Goes the Cherry" cover of Creative Loafing's January 30 issue, complete with the suggestive image of a pierced red cherry, is the most tasteless cover I've ever seen on a newspaper, and belongs wrapped and behind the store counter with the porn. Pushing the envelope of sexual suggestiveness is one thing, but doing so by conjuring images of teenaged girls losing their virginity is just plain sick. Yes, I have two daughters and might be more sensitive than some to the cover. But I'd be just as repulsed if I had no children. Are you trying to be provocative, pornographic or pedophilic?

John Deem

Huntersville

Give Me Real Sports Teams
To The Editors:

Re: "Hotbed of Apathy" by Susan Shackelford (CL, January 23), I'm ashamed. Shackelford mentions the stinking Hornets, Panthers, and Sting, but where is there any mention of Charlotte's true "best sports value" teams -- the Charlotte Checkers minor league hockey team and the Charlotte Knights, a triple-A baseball team? These two teams personify what sports should be all about -- paying your dues, playing hard, entertaining your fans, and (usually) being paid for performance, not because the athlete thinks that's what he should be paid! The fan apathy is not an isolated problem in Charlotte. People everywhere are sick and tired of paying $30-50 per ticket, $5 to park, $20 for a hotdog and soft drink, and $70 for a replica jersey, just to see grown men play a game that they don't care about. We should not be held ransom by any pro sports team that is threatening to leave, just because the city and its residents will not fork over $100 million for a new arena, when they can't even fill the one they have. Here's a solution: (1) Pay players strictly on performance + a "small" base salary, say 50k a year. If a Jamal Mashburn averages 25 points a game for the year, give him 200K. If he pulls an abdominal muscle and sits out most of the year, he doesn't make as much money. (2) Drop ticket prices to an acceptable level for the majority of us, say $10 for courtside, $5 for lower level, and $2 for the upper "nose bleed" seats and let scalpers sort out the rest. Then, a family of four can afford to go to a Hornets game. Don't let the Hornets hold us for ransom, lower the athletes' salaries, stop charging so much for tickets, and the fans will return. . .period. Finally, give the Checkers and the Knights the proper credit and recognition they deserve.

Alex Dunn

Charlotte

Up The Creek

To The Editors:

Thanks for the article about the Sugar Creek Greenway project ("The Little Creek That Could" by Sam Boykin, January 16). By and far, it was the most informative and accurate article that has appeared to date. Thanks again for the great article.

Thomas E. Norman

President, Norcom Properties

Charlotte

CL Critic Down

To The Editors:

I read Matt Brunson's review of the movie Black Hawk Down ("Under Fire," January 23). I'm sorry it didn't pass his muster, but this is my old unit and it passed mine. For those who understand, we don't need much in the way of understanding the political undertones, as soldiers execute their mission from a tactical viewpoint. This is not about who was cast, or cinematic creativity. Obviously, Brunson doesn't get it.

Ray Tinkler

Charlotte

Uncoordinated Money
To The Editors:

Great article on the challenges of small business and entrepreneurs in Charlotte! ("Somebody Stop Him" by Tara Servatius, January 30). It is not always easy, but you do have one incorrect fact. Angel money or traditional capital is available in NC and Charlotte in the $500K to $3MM range. In fact, that is the standard for a well-proven plan or idea. So, while I agree it is tough, sources are available, but the competition for it is very high and they (angel or VC) do few deals.

I support Servatius' argument that the network or economic resources for small business development is not well coordinated between the various sectors (local and state government, financial centers, and trade organizations). They do exist, but you need to have "tough" skin and be resilient with your networking and pitch.

My question is, you've identified the problem or issue so what is your solution? Raising the issue without suggestion or having a solution is a waste of time. First rule of business! I truly hope this guy in your article does not leave...we need leaders such as this in our community.

William J. Taylor

Huntersville

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