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Tara and the Homeland
Once again, Tara Servatius has exposed something ("Homeland Security Boondoggle," Sept. 8) that the Charlotte Disturber (Observer) has piggybacked on in Sunday's issue. Congratulations are in order to the real journalist who got to the bottom of this story.

-- TSgt. David C. Oliver, Charlotte

Stinging Remarks
In response to "He's Come Unstung" (By Timothy C. Davis and John Schacht, Sept. 1): Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach. Or in this case, write.

It's ironic that the reviewers/historians credits are listed on the cover, rather than on the article. I guess when you don't actually create anything worthwhile that will stand up to scrutiny or the test of time, you steal the spotlight whenever you can.

As a former musician, I feel I can speak for most that share a respect and admiration for Sting's music, solo or with The Police. Even if it wasn't your cup of tea, the talent was undeniable. Sting got older, lost some edge, urgency, zip, whatever. Everyone does. To expect them not to is naive, and to comment on the obvious is a waste of time. Better to burn out than fade away?

Are we better off without Randy Rhodes? Are we better off without Dale Earnhardt? Not every new Jack Nicholson film is great, but some are still damn good. If we had the choice, we would keep them all. So before you write off Sting, check out the show and be grateful you still can.

-- John Pahl, Charlotte

Chemical Warfare at Home
Considering all those hazardous chemicals lying underground, you wonder what the heck these chemicals have to do with defending our country ("What Lies Beneath," by Barry Yeoman, August 25).

No doubt, they were made and stockpiled for use in war overseas. If that's the case, then the Defense Department needs to be renamed the Aggression Department.

-- Stephen V. Gilmore, Charlotte

Gunning for Trouble
Regarding Timothy Davis's eviction from the gun show ("Scene & Herd," Aug. 4): Lots of people take pictures at the gun show without getting evicted for it. The problem was he attempted to use his photography to intimidate someone into giving him a refund. Everyone at a gun show is expected to behave in a cautious manner at all times. It would be foolish not to evict someone who attempts to provoke a confrontation.

Perhaps it was unethical for the dealer to sell out-of-date pepper spray. However, if Mr. Davis was qualified to purchase a chemical weapon, he not only would have known to check the expiration date first, he would also know pepper spray is potentially lethal which makes it unsuitable for non-lethal defense.

Mr. Davis, for your safety and ours, please dispose of your pepper spray and your camera until you learn to use them responsibly.

-- Tom Knight, Charlotte

Timothy Davis responds:
I'm not sure which gun show Mr. Knight attended - if it was the same one I attended, he should fire his private eye. Not only did I not attempt to "intimidate" anyone into giving me a refund -- at a gun show? I'm not that crazy -- I didn't even speak to anyone on my way out of the venue, much less provoke a confrontation. I simply attempted to take a few pictures of people selling guns, and was told to stop immediately. Eyeing the impressive arsenal around me, I complied. Mr. Knight's suggestion otherwise is wrong. Knight's comment about "chemical weapons" also misses the mark. If an item is being sold, you have a right to expect that the item works as advertised, even if you never intend to use it.

Keep It Up
As a progressive radio talk show host, I try to keep an eye on alternative news sources throughout the country. I have to say that Creative Loafing is one of the best. Not only do you do an outstanding job covering your local news, reporting on subjects probably not found anywhere else, but your national news and views are always on the mark. Keep up the great work!

-- Dickey Green, Host of the Liberal Power Hour

Where's Quinn?
Where has Quinn Cotton gone? Hers is my favorite column. In originality and variety of topics she has no equal. Please bring Quinn back!

--Joan B. Pierce, Blowing Rock, NC

Editor's Reply:
Quinn Cotton's In High Cotton column is on hiatus.

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