OK, your Jan. 24 cover story suckered me in. What could constitute Deana’s “worst year,” as she sat beautiful and beaming on your cover? Seems “worst year” is relative. No doubt the title of this piece of celeb-fluff was the Scene’s ideanot Deana’s. I’m sure her statements to you were honest and heartfelt. This is the stuff of tabloids; a trivialization of, and insult to those who really had, like so many, a horrible 2001. I thought better of the Scene.
Right story, wrong venue
Deana Carter is certainly one of the most refreshing and appealing artists to come out of the Nashville music scene in the last 10 years. But to portray her in last week’s cover story as the victim of Garth Brooks’ megalomania and lack of label support is ludicrous. While those political factors may have played a part in Carter’s slide, her career problems are the result of bad decisions.
If playing pool with Charlize Theron, hanging with Billy Bob and Matt, acting in sitcoms and movies, and renting a private limo for the CMAs constitutes the worst year of her life, I’m not crying for Deana. Sure, divorce is excruciating. At least half of us adults have been through it at least once. But then nobody writes cover stories about us. On the subject of cover stories, I love reading articles like thisin People, and Entertainment Weekly. But show-biz sob stories don’t quite rise to the level of journalism that I’m accustomed to in your fine publication.
Correcting an error
We at Vanderbilt University Medical Center appreciate the Scene taking an interest in the quality of care delivered by Nashville’s hospitals (“Diagnosing the Hospitals,” Jan. 24). VUMC is proud of our results in the Leapfrog Group survey. When it comes to overall patient safety, Vanderbilt is one of a small number of hospitals in the country Leapfrong rates favorably.
I would like to point out one error in the article. The story incorrectly states that VUMC met only three of six measures for patient volume. According to Leapfrog, we actually met the volume criteria for four of the six types of patients tracked in the survey. Five of the volume measures track the total number of times a particular surgical procedure is performed. We met three of the five volume measures for surgeries. The sixth measure is the average daily census of a hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit. We exceeded that volume threshold as well. I would also like to point out that these volume measures do not include the many surgeries VUMC surgeons perform at the VA Hospital each year.
News & Public Affairs,
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
I’m appalled by your anti-lottery screed (“Why the Baptists Are Right,” Jan. 24). In the first place, didn’t you run an editorial a few months back calling for a variety of tax reforms, including a lottery? In the second place, your use of manipulative, emotionally charged language (cracks about Georgia’s “so-called” Hope Scholarship and Tennessee’s proposed “knockoff”) is blatantly unfairthe kind of thing you don’t do when crafting a solid, reasonable argument. In the third place, why would you withhold financial assistance to Tennessee’s college students? As a college professor, I see students every day who haven’t completed their assignments because they worked late the night before to pay for their classes. Maybe if they had a guaranteed way to pay for school, these students would work less and study more. Finally, your claim that lotteries victimize poor people is arrogant and patriarchal. You’re essentially saying that poor people are too stupid and greedy to make their own decisions about how they spend their money. No rational person claims that a lottery would solve all of our state’s financial ills, but quite a few people believe that a lottery is one step in a series that will improve life for all Tennesseans.
In regard to Margaret Renkl’s article about Andrea Yates (“Sick to Death,” Jan. 24), I read the article and tried to keep an open mind about other people’s ideas about this woman. But the sentence that got me the most was the very last one: “We’ve had the chance to see evil up close. It looks nothing like Andrea Yates.” OK, Ms. Renkl, if you had the chance now, ask those children what evil they saw that morning. This was someone they trusted to take care of them. She failed them. And the father failed them. He’s also to blame. Now he has to live with that for the rest of his life.
Read it again, for the first time
I’m writing to let you know I love the new design of the Scene. I just moved to Nashville four months ago and watched it go from what it was, to what it is. Very hip, very cool. Kudos.
A peer letter
I know y’all are really excited about that super-sized bucket full of fonts that you got for Christmas, but please kids, let’s not use them all on every single page. The new design-by-hyperactive-4-year-olds look makes it really tough for my office mates to play our weekly game of “Find the Tennessean Whine” without experiencing ocular hemorrhages.
I wish to address a few of the misrepresentations and pertinent omissions in Mr. Pulle’s article about me (“Monkey Business,” Jan. 17). In my classes, I presented plenty of information about evolution from the textbook, PBS videos and human evolution lab. I covered the fossil record and radioactive dating, as well. I did not teach religion. Mr. Pulle failed to mention the Web site, icr.org/creationscientist .html, which lists more than 100 intelligent creation scientists (of the estimated thousands) from all over the world. I personally know many professionals who don’t accept macroevolution as scientific fact. Everyone agrees that microevolution (gene pool shifts in populations, as in bacterial antibiotic resistance) does occur. But macroevolution (molecules becoming man over eons by chance and random mutations) is different from most scientific theories because it proposes a unique, nonreproducible, nontestable, never-observed process. Many scientists admit that the numerous, inexplicable intricacies of nature strongly point to an intelligent design. So, neither major theory of origins, macroevolution or creationism (a subset of intelligent design) can be provenand are instead based on belief systems. I always encouraged classroom discussion, and any student could have brought up his/her questions and comments during or after class without fear of ridicule.
Dr. Laura Connor
It's about time he was arrested.
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