Love/Hate Mail, Dec. 13, 2012 

Mi casa es su casa

Regarding "International House" (Dec. 6): ¡Que orgullo! Casa Azafrán is a beautiful building that honors the diversity of Nashville and celebrates our immigrant community. Thank you Conexión Americas!

Gini Pupo-Walker
Director of Family and Community Partnerships
Metro Nashville Public Schools

For whom Bell tolls

In "Bell Is a Bastion" (Dec. 6), Steve Haruch writes: "Bell says people often ask him why there are no prominent conservative comedians out there." I guess his "intelligent" audience has never heard of Dennis Miller, former liberal. And two-for-one ticket deals for different races? I hope his show is as successful as Air America is ... oh, wait!

Bob Cole

{Pub}licity agent

I ate at {Pub}licity last week and the food was good (except I had the same experience with my burger), service was a little slow and prices reasonable ("Read All About It," Dec. 6). As a pub, it's a great offering and in a location that could use some alternatives to fast food.

Chris Barton

Secede, my ass

The great Bible-banging state of the Monkey Trial, Tennessee, wants to secede from the Union ("Secession Players," Nov. 22)! Even though we got our asses royally pulverized the last time we tried it, we'd like to "give it another try." In Jesus' (who morphed into a blue-eyed white guy) name, of course!

Ed "T-bone" Caruthers

A night at the opera

Thank you for this inventive, beautiful piece of art, contemporary opera at its finest ("Southern Gothic," Nov. 8)! We were transported into the pre-Civil War period and the emotional intensity of the time. Huge accolades to the incredible imagination and brilliant execution by John Hoomes, David Lang and the entire ensemble. Eye-opening and riveting metaphors which left us pondering many refrains, including "We are building a nation," "More than a mere disappearance," "Wonder who I am," etc. Please continue to introduce these thought-provoking contemporary operas to the great city of Nashville!

Jessica Files Liff

Power to the people

Like many of you, my interest in voting was kindled by tagging along with my mom as she cast her vote. My parents made it clear voting was important, and they always made time to exercise their civic duty. Of course, I thought "pulling the lever" was pretty cool, too. So my young son was excited when I told him he could "help" me vote and even help push the buttons. Imagine my surprise when on election day he came downstairs in his newest and nicest "church clothes." For him to dress up told me he knew what we were doing was important.

Here in Tennessee, just short of 2.5 million people voted in the presidential election. Across the country, almost 122 million people voted. Compared to the same election four years ago, though, there were 11 million fewer votes cast. This is in spite of nearly two years of constant media attention and nearly $2 billion spent on the presidential campaigns. However, one pattern was clear. Voter turnout was high in large urban and metropolitan areas. Voter turnout in rural and suburban areas fell behind.

That is a troubling conclusion when you consider other important facts. Population in America's largest cities is growing faster than that of small cities and towns. Also, the recently completed census resulted in reapportionment that concentrated more legislative representation in urban areas.

That, my friends, is a triple whammy. More people, more representation, and greater turnout will result in urban centers getting the first shot when big decisions are made in Washington, D.C., and Nashville. Think of it this way: In a basketball game between big cities and small towns, Team Big City has more players on the team, a bigger gym and more fans. Who do you think the oddsmakers will favor?

Why is this important? Many of the pressing issues of our time impact Americans differently based upon where they live. The future of how we consume energy is paramount among them. Whether you use electricity, natural gas, propane, diesel or gasoline, America's energy policy affects you in powerful ways.

Further, how will rural areas successfully compete for jobs in the 21st century economy? Access to key infrastructure like roads and bridges has always been important. But in a changing world, what is the new infrastructure? Access to high-speed broadband is vitally important for the future of rural America. Government has tremendous influence over broadband, and energy providers will increasingly be relied upon to serve the most remote among us.

Your local power company is working hard to ensure government does not forget about those beyond the city limits. Go to to learn more about those efforts.

You see, our civic duties don't end at the ballot box; that is where they begin. Now that our elected representatives must govern, they must hear from you. And those who speak the most clearly, with purpose and vision and in the greatest numbers, will be successful.

Mike Knotts
Director of Government Affairs
Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association

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