Love-Hate Mail 

Letters from our readers.

Hacked offA great and timely piece by Liz Garrigan on the Tennessee Lottery (“Ping-Pong Please,” Oct. 18). I had just recently written to a friend who does the lottery column for the New York Daily News concerning the automation of Lotto 5 here. I said that computerized drawings are too easy for the states to rig or manipulate and coincidentally he had this response: “You can call your state Senator [Jim] Kyle and demand an end to computer drawings before the lottery hearings begin. I agree with you, there is no good—for players or the state—that can come from electronic drawings.”

The news of this potential fix has spread far and wide. By the way, I did check in with Sen. Kyle’s office, and the lady who answered took down my name and comment (I guess).NAPHTALI (Nashville)

Balls and ballotsIn your “Ping-Pong Please” editorial, lottery spokesman Kym Gerlock’s statement that “lottery officials made the switch to computerized drawings in the interest of ‘millions in savings’ ” was particularly disturbing (Oct. 18). There are only two ways that statement could be true. Either the lottery paid the Ping-Pong tumbler operator “millions” (in which case, sign me up for that job) or the lottery uses the computer to purposely select winning numbers that no one had played for a particular drawing (something a computerized and linked system could easily accomplish).

Thank heaven we don’t run our elections here the way we do our lottery, using non-verifiable computers operated by private companies with secret software to tell us who won. Oh wait, we do run our elections that way. Maybe that’s why Tennessee is now one of the eight most insecure states for election integrity in our nation. When it comes to lotteries and elections, we need to be able to trust and verify. If we can’t, there’s no reason to participate in either.

Let’s get non-verifiable computers out of our lottery and our voting booths. Ping-Pong balls and paper ballots—now that’s the ticket.BERNIE (Santa Fe, Tenn.)

Bunker busterOnce again, the governor’s wife, Andrea Conte, shows herself to be an elitist (“Bredesen’s Bunker,” Oct. 18). Perhaps the city could rent the Sommet Center to the state for parties after the Predators leave. Are any zoning laws being violated? Just how much of the $4 million of this neighborhood desecration is “mostly privately financed”? How much are the taxpayers being forced to pay?TRISTRAM (Antioch)

Know the scoreMr. Barry, surely you have not taken time to do much research in your studies of sports in America (“Pred Herring,” Oct. 11). While the Predators do have a sweetheart deal, it is by no means unto itself in this day and age. We can start right here and look at the deal the city gave Bud Adams to move the Houston Oilers to our lovely city. We pretty much gave him the keys to the city when he abandoned Houston because they wouldn’t come up with a new stadium, taxpayers be damned.

All the Predators are asking for is more money that is generated by them being downtown, just like in many other cities. (See Phoenix, for example.)

As far as businesses closing, well, let’s not say it would be on the sky-is-falling scale that Preds fans would have you believe. But you should search out the businesses that did close downtown when the NHL went on strike a few years back. I’m sure they could direct you to their spot in bankruptcy court.

When I started touring years ago and came to Nashville, my first sense was, this is Music City? Downtown was horrible, and there wasn’t anything to do but listen to dime-a-dozen honky-tonk bands and get drunk. Nothing very family-oriented there. Since the opening of the arena and having the Predators there, downtown seems a little more vibrant—better restaurants and so forth. The Sommet Center and its tenants have revitalized downtown as a place to go. You can build all the convention centers you want, all the condos you want, but if people perceive Nashville to be a behind-the-times city with not much to do, they won’t come here. Then you can have an empty arena and convention center that taxpayers will be paying for.

The Predators will, in time, figure out they need to hire a better marketing strategist (e.g., what Mark Cuban did for the Mavericks). They will show that even if hockey isn’t considered a Southern sport, it is a lot of fun and the last great team sport that polices its own. No Terrell Owens here.

Do the people of the South really think football, baseball and basketball were developed south of the Mason-Dixon Line? What sport besides NASCAR was?MICHAEL P. (Antioch)

Poll positionRhea and I were so happy to hear about the response to the poll that was taken by your readers (“Best of Nashville,” Readers’ Poll No. 2 Best Auto Service Center, Oct. 4). We would never have gotten this recognition if we did not have a wonderful clientele. We have the best customers in the whole world.

Making this kind of small business achievement possible is a team of employees who are very qualified, honest and dedicated to their jobs.

We thank you for having this poll. This recognition means so much to us.RHEA AND JUDY LITTLE9042 E. Church St.Brentwood, TN 37027


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