The Tennessean from Nashville, Tennessee on May 27, 1996 · Page 11
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The Tennessean from Nashville, Tennessee · Page 11

Nashville, Tennessee
Issue Date:
Monday, May 27, 1996
Page 11
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2 A M r. Mf X7I HW TMC TtHHtSSEAN EDITORIALS The TENNESSEAN hi r v Craig Moon Publisher and President Frank Sutherland Vice PresidentNow and Editor WEttUOPINS John Seigenthaler Chairman Emeritus la CHINASEBIHE GOPrRIGHT AND SIEN5 THE IDEA! Sandra Roberts, Managing EditorOpinion David Green, Managing EditorDays Ted Power, Managing EditorNights Catherine May hew. Assist Managing Ed .News D'Anna Sharon, Art Director Neal Scarbrough, Assist. Managing EdilorSports Cindy Smith, Assist. Managing EditorPlanning Joanne Momenta, Assist. Managing EdTFcaturcs Ed. Casskty, Marketing Director Mike Garimboli, Special ProjectsPlanning Director Leslie GiaDombardo, Advertising Director Patti Crecelius Gibbons, Customer InfoProgram Dir. Rick Koelz, Systems Director Ron KrengeL Production Director Sharon Lewis, Human Resources Director Lawrence M. St Cyr, Finance Director I A GAN.NE1T NEW SPAPER I inMin rnrvrii ABA evaluations help judge selection process IN order for the nation's system of justice to be strong, it must enjoy the support and confidence of the American public. For the last 43 years, the American Bar Association has helped build that confidence through its role of rating judicial nominees. The ABA's role in the nominating process, however, is now under attack. The Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings last week that focused on whether the ABA should continue its role of screening judicial nominees. In 1953, President Dwight Eisenhower, who wanted to avoid using judicial nominations as a patronage tool, asked the ABA to screen his judicial nominees. Since that time, the White House has sent the names of its judicial nominees to a 15-member ABA committee for review. The nominees are rated well-qualified, qualified or not qualified. For some time, however, conservatives have charged that the ABA is too liberal and that its political slant is apparent in its rating of judicial nominees. Suspicion about the process reached a peak in 1987 when the ABA committee gave Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork a mixed review. Four of the 15 committee members voted Bork not qualified. Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, the apparent GOP presidential nominee, says he would remove the ABA from its current role in the judicial selection process. During last week's hearing, some lawmakers questioned a continuation of the ABA's role, particularly since the organization has begun taking positions on controversial topics, such as abortion. ABA leaders explained, however, that the judicial screening committee is totally separate from the ABA's House of Delegates, which determines the organization's positions on current issues. They Independent screenings hold down patronage also pointed out that the ABA is non-partisan and that it does not endorse candidates. Although the attacks on the ABA's role come almost entirely from Republicans, the ABA leaders pointed out that since 1980, the committee had deemed just 26 nominees unqualified 23 of whom were nominated by Democrats while 3 were nominated by Republicans. Most American citizens have little way of evaluating the qualifications of people nominated to federal judgeships. Yet it is those judges on the Supreme Court, the appeals courts and district courts all over the country who will, in large part, settle the issues of the day. (In fact, the courts now settle far too many issues, due to the passage by Congress of numerous vague, overreaching laws. That, however, is a topic for another day.) The harsh tone of last week's hearing seems to be yet another indication that federal judges will be fodder in this year's presidential race. If Dole wants to pick a fight about Mr. Clinton's nominees, he's free to do so. But if he intends to select federal judges without the help of an outside evaluation process, he should at least tell the American public what his process would entail. If anything, the judicial selection process could benefit by having more independent evaluations from organizations in addition to the ABA. But some independent screening process is crucial to judicial selection. And no organization is better situated to provide that screening than the ABA. Grassmere's sad chapter THE Friends of Grassmere gave it their best. They did all they could to save the city's unique wildlife preservation center. But in the end, the organization ran into the same predicament the park's previous overseer, Cumberland Science Museum, did. It simply couldn't sustain the financial viability of the park. Officials with Friends of Grassmere gave the disappointing news to Nashville Mayor Phil Bredesen last week. Metro bought the land for $1 last year and shopped for someone to run it as a wildlife center. The Friends of Grass-mere stepped forward. But revenues would cover only about 2096-40 of the expenses. The park needs major corporate sponsorship to survive, with a $1.1 million budget. Despite earnest efforts at special events and fund-raisers this year, Friends of Grassmere just couldn't pull it off. Bredesen says the city basically has two options. One would be to let the Nashville Zoo, currently in Cheatham County, operate the Grassmere site on Nolensville Road, an intriguing possibility. Such a move could involve Metro funds to help the zoo move. The other option is for the city just to turn the site into a nature park, without animals. A search for yet another outside opera- City has few options for wildlife preserve tor would be fruitless. If neither the Cumberland Museum nor Friends of Grass-mere could make a go of it, it's hard to see how anyone else could. And the friends organization, though it fell short of its goal, brought to its challenge an abundance of commitment that is not likely to be equaled by any other operator. As a wildlife preserve, the park is home to more than 300 animals encompassing about 80 species, all of which are native to Tennessee. The friends group is still exploring other options that would allow the animals to remain in place. Any ideas are welcome, but it order to continue in any form, Grassmere would need more public support than it has enjoyed in the past. The community still owes a debt of gratitude to the Croft sisters, who stipulated in their estate that the park keep its natural setting, free of urban development. Their wish should be paramount in the discussions. Meanwhile, the city should be grateful to the Friends of Grassmere for doing what it could for a very worthy cause. A special Memorial Day TENNESSEANS will look back on a lot of memories this week, none more special than today on Memorial Day in remembering its military men and women who gave their lives for their country. Millions of Americans will pause today in honor of their fallen heroes. A once more common description of the holiday was Decoration Day, a time to decorate the graves of soldiers killed in battle. There are no more 50th anniversary commemorations of World War II events to honor this year. But by chance, this Memorial Day in Tennessee coincides with the upcoming Bicentennial celebration later this week. Some Tennesseans are likely to have their minds trained on this coming weekend when the state celebrates its 200th birthday with fireworks, speeches and music. But all citizens of this state should take a moment today to remember the sacri- i fices of its military men and women this holiday. This state's earliest settlers fought in the Revolutionary War. President Andrew Jackson first made his name beating the British in New Orleans in which other Tennesseans bravely gave their lives. The heroics of Alvin York in World War I may be more widely known, but it was also a war in which Tennesseans sacrificed some of their bravest young men. Hundreds more Tennesseans sacrificed their lives in World War II, in Korea and in Vietnam. Tennesseans participated in Desert Storm, and more recently, in the peacekeeping effort in Bosnia. Tennesseans should be especially proud this Memorial Day to note those fellow citizens who enriched this state and gave the ultimate price for their country. Today, we can give something back in remembrance. Million men, women due honor on this day To the Editor Memorial Day...Monday, May 27. On this day we honor a very special group of Americans men and women who served our country and gave their lives in service. In honoring them, we recognize their dedication, courage and sacrifice, and the freedom they gave us. From the Revolutionary War and all wars since, over one million Americans have died in defense of our liberty and freedom. They were men and women of all races and ethnic groups. They were of every creed and belief. They were of every physical description. They were our neighbors, our friends and kin. These people were much the same as we are. They had the same dreams, hopes and ambitions. But when called upon, they put aside their personal interests and answered a higher calling. Such was the character of the people we honor Memorial Day. In dying for our country they passed on to us a legacy of liberty and freedom. They also passed on a commitment to preserve what they had died for. It's a commitment that each of us must take part in fulfilling.. commitment to America. When we the living fulfill our commitments as citizens of this great nation, we make America a living memorial to their dedication, courage and sacrifice. Barbara Myatt 4000 Glenrose, Columbia 38401 Whites not concerned at black church fires? To the Editor Are Christians missing another classic opportunity to improve their lagging credibility? Where is our moral outrage over the fires in black churches of the South? It needs to be proclaimed from the pulpits! If the fires are not the work of a few conspirators (as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has claimed), then we should be even more incensed; for it can only be the result of continued racism in the heart of the Bible Belt Are these not our Christian brothers and sisters? Practically the whole New Testament is devoted to how Christians stood together against ridicule and persecution. Today, we seem more interested in our denomination and other differences than in loving each other let alone expressing our love to a spiritually starving world. I am anxious to see if this issue was on the agenda of the recent Atlanta Promise-Keepers meeting or March for Jesus. Attention to this issue would say much about the credibility of these movements. Where is the church's conscience? Howard D. Meek 521 Galesburg Court 37217 Teen sees a reason adults won't admit To the Editor Upon reading the article "The effects of zero tolerance" in the May 21 Tennessean, I was shocked to hear all those people, especially adults, question the rise of teen-age drug use. Adults and parents alike ask why, but the reasons are so obvious they can't see them. , I am a student at Hume-Fogg, and I see several reasons for the increase in drug use. One of the reasons is because more of our teen-age generation come from broken homes than v in previous generations. If you take a look at the increase in the divorce rate starting 10, 12 or even 15 years ago and add about a 10-year delay for the children to mature, there is an obvious correlation with the rise of teen-age drug use. This is only scratching the surface. The effects of divorce are a loss of parental guidance and a loss of family values. These were lost to each of the divorced parents who work one, two or even three jobs, leaving no time for their children. This generation is a latch-key generation, who often go home from middle school to an empty house and plenty of trouble to get into. One way to deal with feelings of rejection by the parents is to cover up the feelings by the euphoria of drugs. For some kids, this is the only way they know to deal with their feelings. This is sad, but true. People should look further back into the history of our generation to discover the reasons and motives for our generation's drug problems. Bradley Dreifuss 505 Harpeth Oaks Court 37221 Some soldiers now fighting worst war To the Editor Memorial Day the day set aside to honor those who died fighting America's wars. Yet sadly, most of us will forget to honor those brave men and women who gave their lives fighting America's saddest war. These protectors are men and women like Paul Scurry, who donned their police uniforms and left their homes to put their lives on the line for the rest of us. Surely, they served as honorably as any soldier. Surely, we must never forget them. They fought on the battlefield of a tarnished America where crime rears its ugly head and touches each of us. Not since the Civil War has America known so much violence in its own streets, and not since Vietnam have such brave soldiers been so utterly unappreciated. Officer Francis Paul Scurry, today I give thanks for you and the thousands like you. I salute you, and I remember. I will always remember. Deidra Renee Duncan 93 Deerfield Circle Manchester 37355 Quality and passion lost with Grassmere To the Editor So, Friends of Grassmere could not make ends meet in running a $1 million-a-year sanctuary. Let's examine a few facts that led to this unfortunate announcement Friends was awarded the contract to operate the park in the middle of December, the most difficult time to solicit for funding. Friends was awarded a contract that offered zero assistance from Metro, even though Grassmere is a Metro park. Friends inherited all of the negative feelings about Grassmere left behind by the Cumberland Science Museum. Friends took on the challenge of running a zoological park in accordance with the high standards (and costs) associated with accreditation by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, something only the Memphis Zoo, Knoxville Zoo and the Chattanooga Aquarium have succeeded in doing. Friends was forced to meet a $200,000 letter of credit with Metro just to be allowed to open the gates. Friends was forced to compete with the corporate support drive to bring the Oilers to Tennessee. Friends was a grass roots effort to preserve a passion and loyalty to -quality, nature and a legacy that may now be ignored. There is no doubt the quality of life for our community and these invaluable animals just took a huge nose dive. Thank you, Bob and Judy Allen and all of the Friends of Grass-mere you succeeded. It is our1 community leaders who have failed; G. Dobrogosz 504 Spring Garden Court Antioch 37013 Media largely to blame for death To the Editor The events leading up to the death by suicide of naval officer Admiral Boorda are not only tragic, but reprehensible. The apparent use of McCarthy-like tactics, innuendo and overall mean-, spiritedness employed by the powers-, that-be in Washington and the news media are yet another example of the degree of criticism and abuse our service members are subjected to. I think both those in Washington and in the news media share equally; in the complicity of Adm. Boorda's' death by trivializing his years of ser-' vice and loyalty to our country. Furthermore, the constant derision seen all too often on Capitol Hill not only divides this nation, but places us in danger of losing the strength of our military and the integrity of our people as a whole. Joyce E. Carter 2104-D Beacon Hills Clarksville 37043 Brad better writing straight news stories To the Editor What is the point of the fatuous "Brad About You" column? If The Tennessean would like someone to peruse People, Entertainment Week-" ly and wire reports more efficiently and cheaply, I suggest a high school intern. Brad's local celebrity reporting is usually about the same 10 people. In addition, he has begun making annoying appearances on local TV and radio stations and apparently styles himself as some sort of bon vivant All this from a pieced-together column of pointless gossip about people famous for being famous. The Tennessean is promoting the worst kind of journalism with this waste of space: the reporter as personality. Didn't Brad used to write news stories or something? Amy Brown 3609A Mayflower Place 37204 Letters should be addressed: "Letters to the Editor," The Tennessean, 1100 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203. Letters may be faxed to (615) 726-8928 or sent through the e-mail address: An award of $4 may be made for a well-written letter, designated by three stars, and does not necessarily indicate agreement or disagreement with the writer's views.

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