We don't follow 

I have followed your articles and editorials on the process and progress of the Metro Council's budget efforts. While debate on public finances can, and often does, generate negative emotions and responses—and even those sitting on the sidelines sometimes get into the fray—it is my belief that reason and common courtesy should prevail. In the case of the Scene, that has proven to be an unrealistic assumption.

Since your writer interviewed me for approximately 20 minutes and failed to include just one quote from me ("Good, Bad, Ugly, July 1), I feel compelled to respond to your recent articles. The choice of language—exaggerated, mean spirited, condescending and downright insulting seem to flow from the pens of Scene writers. You recently characterized the Metro Council as the "worst ever" (Cover Story, June 24), and meetings of the budget committee have consistently been characterized as "secret," as though some master plots were under way.

But the height of audacity and insult was aimed at me, chairman of the council budget committee. The Tennessean indicated I was an effective and efficient leader and commended the council and the mayor for agreeing on the priorities of the city. The Metro Council vote was 37 to 1 in favor of the substitute budget. The City Paper wrote that I "did a masterful job of guiding the committee" and was "an able leader and consensus builder."

But for my efforts, the Scene gave ink to a new and insulting phrase. You wrote that my "white colleagues...have coined a rather tasteless term" for my initiatives: "black pork." If the Scene thought the term was so "tasteless," then why did the newspaper include it? Is the newspaper now differentiating allocations of funds by a color code? Oh, the horrors of being gauche and a boor.

The loose use of language by Scene writers continues to characterize the editorial policy of your "alternative" paper as mean spirited, condescending and, yes, bordering on racist and sexist. Having trouble with women with the ability to deal with a municipal budget? And a black woman? No wonder Tennessee ranks near the bottom in national surveys of the status of women.

I suppose the Scene can claim a right to exist and to report items that have news value. But it is sure hard to co-exist with individuals and institutions that so blatantly lack good taste, respect for others—and just plain common sense. Thank you for the opportunity to respond.

Brenda Gilmore, District 1 Metro Council

Brenda.Gilmore@comcast.net (Nashville)

I am the public affairs officer for the National Weather Service Southern Region, based in Fort Worth, Texas. Having just read your July 8 cover story ("Twister!"), I feel compelled to compliment the Scene and Michael Sims for a fine piece of journalism. Obviously, Mr. Sims did his homework, has an excellent grasp of the subject matter and managed to tell his story in a fresh, lively and entertaining manner. I suspect most of your readers were quickly captured and stayed with it to the end. This is also the kind of story that helps educate the public in a way that may someday save a life. Great job! Thank you and please pass this on to Mr. Sims.

Ron Trumbla

ron.trumbla@noaa.gov (Fort Worth, Texas)

This troubling news coming out of the Davidson County Election Commission is, unfortunately, Tennessee politics as usual ("Election Dysfunction," July 8). Ms. Deshotels should be fired immediately, and anyone standing in the way of her firing should be arrested and charged with obstruction of justice. If the city attorneys or state attorney general won't see fit to remove her, then they should be arrested and charged with obstruction of justice. Get this woman out of there and fix the problems before the November election.

Robert Younts

bob@bobbyroberts.com (Nashville)

This is in regards to your editorial "The Edwards Pick" (July 8). Specifically, your statement that read, "George Bush presents a pretty good target—his poll numbers are falling, the war has been going badly, the deficit is mushrooming, the economy still sputtering." My question is this: Are you really that ignorant or gullible? Maybe both? Where do you get your information? The New York Times? Maybe you should try real journalism for a change instead of just spouting off the Democrats' talking points. The truth will probably shock you.

Bush's poll numbers actually keep rising every day. And this is with the onslaughts that liberals keep throwing at him. The Iraqi people are free. In case you haven't heard, they're even being governed by their own people now and on their way to a democracy (which liberals have been trying to derail ever since the war started). The economy keeps improving every day thanks, in part, to Bush's tax cuts. The "sputtering" you mentioned was due to the ridiculous economic decisions made by the Clinton administration.

Do us all a favor and hire some real journalists who actually think for themselves instead of regurgitating the same liberal nonsense we're confronted with every day in the rest of the media.

Paul Durham

zionred@yahoo.com (Nashville)

Nashville, pick up your poop! Have none of you ever been to New York's Central Park? Your dog poops, then you scoop, put it in a plastic bag, and dogs are not an issue at all. Shame on you, Nashville. Grow up. It simply and truly makes me laugh. Pick up your poop.

Jeff Baehl

albemarle63@hotmail.com (Nashville)


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