I read William Dean Hinton’s “Wheeling and Back-Room Dealing” (April 20) last week and thought that I must be reading “The Fabricator.” He lead his readers to believe that Council members Buck Dozier and John Summers were trading votes, all without a single piece of supporting evidence.
Hinton suggests that Sylvan Park overlay opponents were convinced that the two were in cahoots, all based on circumstantial evidence. What makes all of this so hard to believe is that Dozier is an ally of the overlay opponents. He is a believer in an ordinary citizen’s property rights, and less government regulation whenever possible.
After interviewing eight council members, Hinton suggests that at least one member (not identified) could believe that vote swapping occurred. Is this speculation enough to make such a baseless charge? Let alone enough to fill two print pages? To slime an honorable public servant like Buck Dozier without a single fact is irresponsible journalism. When Scene writers rely on nothing but speculation to build a story, it does nothing but call into question their judgment as journalists.
Slandering community leaders who sacrifice to serve only convinces good people not to enter the realm of public service. Nashville deserves better from its alternative news source. Doug Reynolds email@example.com
The Buck (bashing) stops here
Buck Dozier never had any “deal” to trade votes with John Summers (“Wheeling and Back-Room Dealing,” April 20), though I think it’s generally accepted that Summers engages in the practice. By Jan. 17, Summers had been crowing for months that he “had the votes” and that his Sylvan Park overlay was a “done deal.” However, Dozier’s vote was never for sale. Well before Jan. 17 (and writer Dean Hinton’s allegation), Dozier had already stated publicly that he would continue to vote against the bill, as he had done at second reading.
While Hinton got it mostly right last week, he failed to interview the key player in the Sylvan Park overlay’s defeat: Lisa Ferris. It was Ferris and her group of 600-plus Sylvan Park residents, Sylvan Park Neighbors, who stopped Summers’ proposed overlay. Due to the efforts of Ferris’ group, many Council members who had once supported the Summers bill began to recognize its faults. Summers, lacking the votes at the third reading on Jan. 17, made a last-ditch attempt to salvage his bill: he deferred it and agreed to a Metro-administered survey of all property owners in the affected area. The results of this survey show that 66 percent actually oppose the overlay (rather than the 66 percent that Summers had previously claimed supported it) and directly contradict Councilman Summers’ many cavalier claims. Mark Lambert firstname.lastname@example.org
If a blogger falls in the woods...
Hit-Man Spragens insisted on his 15 minutes of fame and received his reward, getting slammed by the blogosphere (“Blogged to Death,” April 20). Some said he was anti-free speech, some object to his politics and resent his plans, some understand the dilemma we face regarding Islamism, and some had to say something
about it lest their spots become irrelevant. (Become?) What I take out of this whole debate is that a lot of bloggers are nasty, ignorant know-it-alls who write as though the world revolves around them—when in actuality they are about the only readers of each other’s stuff.
has been blinded by the whole thing, like a suddenly famous blogger who gets a call from Howard Dean or Karl Rove. Ole Bill’s primary error was the sophomoric—no, idiotic...no, imbecilic...no, idiotic is about right—idiotic way he expressed what is a deep fear in Nashville and by proxy in the good old US of A: that Islam is an implacable enemy of any kind of pluralism or tolerance, and that radical Islam is the
primary threat to our freedom and democracy existing in the world today. Ole Bill’s attempt to offend (or whatever that was) was just wasted cyberspace. It does the real issue no service to act the ignorant ranting fool in this debate.
Mr. Hobbs’ 15 minutes of fame would have passed with hardly a regret but for Mike Kopp and Hit-Man setting their sights. As if any of this is news, because it isn’t. But it is characteristic of the Scene
to ding fellow scribes with a smile and I say more power to ya! Peter Davis email@example.com
Round mounds of red tape
Regarding “Mounds for the Trees” (April 13), it confounds me that Tennessee politicians would let a stalemate between the Forestry Division and conservationists facilitate the degradation of a precious historical site of worldwide significance instead of preserving it like Ohio has done with their Great Serpent Mound.
The present rationale for expanding tree plantings at Pinson Mounds makes no sense because: 1) Plowing breaks not just ground, but any artifacts in the top 14 inches of the soil. 2) Doing a preliminary excavation to see if there is “evidence of Ancient Indians” is like the dinosaur not knowing where it’s tail is; of course there’s evidence—but it might be two feet to the right of the excavation hole! 3) A second opinion is needed on whether these trees’ roots go deeper at maturity than the four feet forestry quotes (causing greater damage), but why do so, since it covers up the mounds, unless it’s to harvest them later, inviting more problems? Please, Governor Bredesen, do the right thing: let Conservation manage and protect an irreplaceable treasure. Edine Davis 3685 Maple Ave. #8 (Oakland, Calif.)