Moving right alongCongratulations to Nashville for electing yet another carpetbagger as mayor—this time, a Kennedy democrat from Massachusetts (“Nice Guy Finishes First,” Sept. 13). After 16 years of progressive leadership, the city is flooded with illegal immigrants, the school system is in shambles and the undermanned police force is experiencing division among the rank and file. They did build the stadium and get a pro football team (hockey does not count), close the whorehouses and essentially shut down the strip clubs. Now that’s what I call progress. Those of you who voted for Bob Clement need to do what I did: move. Remove the tax base. With A.A. Birch advising Karl Dean, you do not stand a chance of representation.LLOYD WILLIAMSwilliams976699@bellsouth.net (Murfreesboro)
NicetiesI am writing to you regarding your article about our recent mayoral race outcome (“Nice Guy Finishes First,” Sept. 13). The title would imply that Bob Clement is not a nice guy, but surely that is not what you intended to say. It would seem, though, that you believe his worst fault is his “hillbilly drawl.” Could it be that your Yankee heritage is showing? A Nashville native with a Southern accent? How very strange!REESIE TOMLINSONreesie_t2000@yahoo.com (Antioch)
No clemency toward ClementI wasn’t interested in the mayor’s race, but I was interested in the “Love/Hate Mail” published in the recent edition of the Scene (Sept. 13). After reading “Nice Guy Finishes First,” I came to the conclusion that the criticism of one-sided, mean-spirited nastiness coming from the Scene’s reporting on Bob Clement was totally accurate. The Scene did a hatchet job on Bob Clement: absolutely no objectivity, no fairness, no attempt at reconciliation for the 48 percent of voters who preferred Clement to Dean. Do the editors of the Scene think that Nashville can become the beacon for a progressive city by alienating half of the voters? The Scene owes Clement and Nashville’s residents an apology for its shoddy and cheap op-ed pieces slamming Clement and his Southern drawl. Who cares about that?RHIO HIRSCHtalkingzen@gmail.com (Nashville)
Stereo-typesetWhat’s with all the joking references to gay men in “The Fall Issue” (Sept. 13)? In the introduction, it says to grab the gay guys for “fantastic cultural offerings,” because straight guys would rather go to the sports bar. Hey, gays like sports, too, and a lot of straight guys in town couldn’t care less about the Titans. Later, of course, there’s a “queer eye” reference in a style article and a wink-wink reference to looking at a guy’s underwear ad in a fashion magazine. If you were to go to Tribe, you’d see that gay and straight men essentially dress the same in Nashville. In bigger cities, it may be different, but not here. Finally, the advice columnist in that section writes about the Sen. Craig scandal, which has nothing at all to do with the theme of autumn. The Scene has long been supportive of the gay community, and it’s very much appreciated, but in the future, please think twice before using us as a punch line or a wacky sidekick.CRAIG SHELBURNEcshelburne@msn.com (Nashville)
What the puck?Why was Elizabeth Ulrich’s byline on “The Big Score” (Sept. 13) and the follow-up blog post when both should have been credited to Metro finance director David Manning? Clearly, the points raised in this article and blog post are David Manning’s. What happened to fact checking, even when it is a government representative doing the talking?
Suggesting that Metro is “doling out about $13 million a year to keep the downtown arena—and the Preds—in business” is, quite simply, misleading and unfair. The Predators have not and do not receive one penny of the $13 million referenced. That funding is to pay off the debt service of the building and cover the building’s operating costs—both costs that would be in place whether the Predators were in Nashville or not. Apparently, Ms. Ulrich needs a history lesson to remind her that the building was committed to and built long before the Predators arrived.
With that as the basis, it is then grossly unfair and misleading to suggest that a new deal “could cost taxpayers an additional $5 million each year—bringing the annual total to a whopping $18 million....” Again, the first $13 million referenced does not come to or benefit the Predators in any way.
In fact, it should be pointed out that the Predators’ presence and games generate some of the very funds used to pay down the debt service. For every Predator ticket sold, between 12 and 13 percent of the ticket price—one of the highest percentages in pro sports—goes to sales tax and seat user fee. Guess Ms. Ulrich and Mr. Manning didn’t feel compelled to point out how much money is generated from those sales.
She later writes, “The thing is, the Predators have never sold 14,000 tickets.” Had Ms. Ulrich only checked with the Sports Authority, she would have learned that the Predators average paid attendance was 14,662 in 1998-99, 15,364 in 1999-2000 and 14,163 in 2000-01.
And while we have not been privy to the new ownership group’s proposal, it seems curious that Ms. Ulrich would write that a proposal would “keep all of the arena revenues, even concessions and parking...” when, in fact, there are no arena parking revenues since all of the parking around the Sommet Center is privately owned.
There is no question that there are costs associated with the Sommet Center. But Ms. Ulrich and others need to remember that those costs were committed on the day the decision was made to build the Sommet Center, which was built without the Predators being here. So we will have those costs in future years whether the Predators are here or not. So are we better served paying those bills without the benefit of 42 to 45 Predators games a year and receiving sales tax, seat user fees and other economic benefits, or are we better off paying those bills minus the Predators’ games?GERRY HELPERghelper@nashvillepredators.com (Nashville)
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