The Atlanta Constitution from Atlanta, Georgia on October 20, 2001 · 15
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The Atlanta Constitution from Atlanta, Georgia · 15

Atlanta, Georgia
Issue Date:
Saturday, October 20, 2001
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Saturday Talk Every Saturday, this space is reserved for readers. Write or e-mail us with letters and columns on issues that concern you. Letters submitted to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution may be published in print, electronic or other formats. . The Atlanta Constitution Editorial Page Editor Cynthia Tucker ( Editorial Board Members: Jay Bookman ( Maureen Downey ( Martha Ezzard ( Joe Geshwiler (jgeshwilerajccon)) David Goldberg ( Susan Wells ( EkjUlanta journal Editorial Page Editor: Jim Wooten ( Editorial Board Members: Susan Uccetti Meyers ( Richard Matthews Benita M. Dodd ( Thomas Oliver ( FAX 404-526-5610 OR 404-526-5611. MAIL LETTERS TO LETTERS TO THE EDITOR, ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, P.O. BOX 4689, ATLANTA, GA 30302. SEND E-MAIL LETTERS TO or CITY CONTRACTS Israelis, Palestinians can learn from council Lots of things keep me up at night. Keeping me awake tonight is the airport runway issue and the PalestinianJewish homeland clash. I realized they both involve dirt In Atlanta, the City Council is battling over the costs of dirt needed to build a fifth runway. Dirt. The council members yell, insult each other over whether the contract for the dirt was legal and whether the mayor was inappropriately involved. But still, it's about dirt. Across the ocean, Hebrews and Palestinians fight over what each considers sacred land. Dirt. In Israel, they kill, maim and injure each other over land that it is thought Moses walked on and Muhammad sat upon while they talked with God. Yet again, it's about dirt. One assumes that the Atlanta City Council will resolve this issue with words. One can only hope that instead of Uzis and car bombs the Palestinians and Jews would resolve their differences with words. I just cannot imagine God caring where Moses or Muhammad walked. I just don't see God saying, "Stand here, for in a few hundred years people will worship the ground you walk upon." Dirt. In the end, it's just about dirt. ANN FLOYD Norcross Dirty dealings were easy to detect On Thursday, Mayor Bill Campbell agrees that the dirt decision should be postponed until later. On Friday, we finally learn that the city's consultants gave the dirt deal "low marks." On Saturday, we hear the dirt salesman was charged (on Friday) and will plead guilty. Last, Campbell's attorney says the mayor was not involved. I remember the names of those who advised that the deal needed to be approved immediately. Do they really think we are that stupid? BOB RITTLE Alpharetta Mayor is honest man Doing business with Atlanta city government ought to be about race relations even-handed race relations. Political power cannot be taken out of any interaction between two or more people. Financial capabilities are a must for anyone bidding on andor providing services or products to this great city. Bill Campbell is a dedicated, honest man who is engaged in the politics of being mayor of Atlanta. I have full confidence in him. Any person can make allegations. Politicians are obvious targets. The FBI, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the CIA all have enforcement agencies that can investigate you, me or anyone they desire. RILEY MORTON JR. Atlanta GOOD NEIGHBORS The Journal-Constitution reserves this space each week to give readers an opportunity to say thank you for kind deeds they have recently seen or experienced. Astros outfielder defies stereotypes As a Braves fan, I am hoping for games continuing into November, but this letter is not to gloat. I was at the Oct. 12 game with the Astros and witnessed a generous and gracious act by the talented left fielder of the Astros, Lance Berkman. Prior to the bottom of an inning, Berkman was warming up by tossing the ball with an Atlanta ball boy. The young man's throwing form was lacking, and because he wasn't extending his throwing arm, his throws lacked accuracy and velocity. Berkman could have completed his tosses without comment, but instead, he gave an impromptu tutorial on throwing to the ball boy. I don't know if the young man's throwing will improve, but the important lesson was for those who criticize and characterize ball players as selfish and egocentric: Stereotypes and generalizations often mask reality. Berk-man's gesture was small on the world stage, but large in terms of generosity and character. It reflected favorably rt . ' If I , "f i- ... ..... . ' . . I ; DAVID PHILLIP Associated Press Lance Berkman tutored a ball boy on his throwing style at a recent game. on both Berkman and his team. The Braves won the game and the series, but Berkman won the admiration of those who watched his coaching lesson. JAY BENDER Columbia, S.C. Russian youngsters flown out of jam Several families in east Cobb had the pleasure of hosting a team of young baseball players and their coaches from Moscow. They arrived in Atlanta on Swiss Air. Unfortunately, Swiss Air filed for bankruptcy and discontinued service out of Atlanta during their visit They provided some service out of Miami. Since the boys had limited resources, it was impossible to buy plane tickets to Miami. Through the kind help of Rob Stearns and the staff at radio station Star 94 and AirTran, the boys were provided tickets to Miami, so they could make a connecting flight to Moscow. In these most tiying times, it is nice to know people are considerate of the needs of others. These boys will have lasting memories of Atlanta's generosity. NANCY PICKARD Marietta Hitching a kind, free ride at the fair On Oct. 12 my daughter, son-in-law and three grandchildren from Roswell came out to Cumming where I live to go the county fair. We went and had a great time. When we got back to their car, though, the battery was dead. Doug and Joyce Chapman walked through the parking lot and offered to go get their car, which was parked in a different lot a couple of blocks away. They came back and tried to jump the car for about 30 minutes, to no avail. They offered to take me to my house to pick up a car. I found out they live on the other side of town from where I live. They wouldn't allow me to call a taxi; they insisted on taking me all the way home to pick up another car. My three grandchildren are 5, 3 and 5 weeks old, so we were really in a predicament until the Chapmans came along. It must have cost them an hour and a half of their time to help us. Just shows there are still friendly, good people around that want to help others. Thanks again Doug and Joyce! MARTY COMSTOCK Cumming Send your stories of good neighbors and good deeds to the Journal-Constitution via e-mail to or; via fax to 404-526-5610 or 404-526-5611; or by regular mail to P.O. Box 4689, Atlanta, GA 30302. Letters submitted to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution may be published in print, electronic or other formats. THE WAR ON TERRORISM Don't ignore threats from the homefront Trying to locate the culprit of the anthrax threat, we should not overlook our own terrorists in this country. Think of it. Why would an international terrorist send all those envelopes to media people? And why, if their intent is to cause terror, would they aim at specific individuals rather than crowds? Logic dictates that what is happening may well be the deed of groups in this country who are openly against our system, whether it is regarding environmental issues or global economics and who are after as much publicity as they can muster by hitting the media. The past activities of the organizations involved in anti-war, environmental and anti-globalization demonstrations clearly showed that they are capable of terrorist activities. Let us hope that authorities are watching these groups as well as Osama bin Laden's followers. ILHAN ERMUTLU Alpharetta 5v''.:;. BARBARA CUMMINGS Los Angeles Times Syndicate Voting is part of patriotism It's easy to hang a flag from our house and sing heartily at sporting events, but much more is required to fulfill our civic responsibilities. Another way to put this energized patriotism into positive action is to greatly increase voter turnout on future election days. Voting should be considered a sacred right and responsibility for all citizens of free nations, but many in this country fail to make the effort. Our country was attacked on Sept. 11 by twisted, manipulated men who didn't have a clue about the freedom for which our country stands. Exercise your freedom as a United States citizen and vote. KIP HOWARD Marietta Take measures to protect Atlanta's tallest buildings I feel uneasy because my daughter works in the tallest building in Atlanta. If, by chance, a commercial airliner flying out of the Atlanta airport is hijacked, it might well be aimed at her building. It occurred to me, having served for four years as a naval officer aboard ships in the Pacific during World War II, that it might be a good idea to have a few 20mm guns placed on the roofs of the Atlanta skyscrapers. I grew to have confidence in those anti-aircraft guns during World War II. If there are better ones today, employ those. I have read that it has been decided that if commercial airliners are headed for buildings, they will be shot down by fighter planes. I recommend that at least two fighter planes patrol over Atlanta during the daylight hours. Despite having added on a few years since World War II, I promise to fight if there is an attempt to take over a plane on which I'm a passenger. I am confident that many Americans would join me in this pledge. I want that tall building in Atlanta to be inviolate. K.H.HECHT Fort Lauderdale, Fla. America united, unlike in the past In an instant, the atrocities of Sept. 11 changed America forever. Many of my parents' generation liken this horrific unifying event to that of Pearl Harbor 60 years ago. But unlike the America of 1941, divided by black and white, today we see only one America. Today we are all full partners in grief, sorrow and resolve. Today we stand together shoulder to shoulder black with white, and it feels good, it feels very good. Could it be that collectively we have been moved to a higher level of appreciation for one another? Could it be that each one of us now truly understands that which they tried to take from us? Could it be that each one of us now truly understands what it means to be an American? PATHOBAN Atlanta Georgia's politicians demonstrate that they all have their price Even as the bodies were being pulled out of the still-smoldering rubble of the twin towers, Georgia good oP boys and politicians were gathering in secret meetings to map out piecemeal political maps to suit their good oP "American" hearts and favor their party needs. Bottom-feeders! Cynthia McKinney makes apologies to a "prince" of a man who just insulted her own country by implying that the Sept. 11 tragedy was partly our fault. She then begs him to give her the $10 million, and she in turn will give it to all the African-Americans who have been mistreated far worse in her opinion than the victims of Sept. 11. Bottom-feeders! They all know their price. For some, in the darkness of a meeting, it's a well-drawn line on a map, and for some it's 30 pieces of silver. The bottom-feeders all know their price. For the sake of America may we once and for all in the next election send all these bottom-feeders who feed at the public pig trough of the American taxpayers back home! DONALD MUSGRAVE Canton AjCs 'town hall' is set up for lively debates It is rare that a newspaper has the opportunity and the occasion to completely reassess its connection with readers and the way it serves them. Now that the decision has been made to blend the weekday morning Atlanta Constitution and the afternoon Atlanta Journal into one title, such an opportunity is at hand. ; After 1982, when the news staffs of the two newspapers were combined, the only difference between the morning and afternoon papers became a few comics and the opinion pages. Now, as we become The Atlanta Journal-Constitution seven days a week, our chal- . i I ! '.j J CYNTHIA TUCKER lenge and our opportunity is to produce opinion pages with wider and more varied perspectives than in either paper in the past. When these editorials stir strong controversy, we will move quickly to publish opposing views the same or next day. Our mission is to become a virtual town hall for democra cy, where a broad range of Georgians can be heard, liberal or conservative, moderate, older and younger, black, white and brown. Differences will be debated sharply and pointedly on these pages, but always respectfully. A new editorial board, which produces the editorials that speak for the newspaper, is being constituted with members from both the Journal and the Constitution. I will be at the board's helm, with Jim Wooten close at hand as associate editor. Jim and I will continue to write our columns. You will see us face off in debate whgn we differ strongly. We will expand to three opinion pages Monday through Friday more, we think, than in any other American newspaper. The lineup will include more letters, a page of local voices, including Jim Wooten, Mike Luckovich and me, and a wide array of nationally syndicated voices such as George Will, William Safire, Thomas Friedman, Leonard Pitts, Molly Ivins, Mona Charen and many others. The space offered to readers whose views differ from ours will be expanded. A Reader Outreach Team will actively solicit commentary from t across the political, religious, business and philosophical spectrum. Jim Wooten and I will play an active role in recruiting those varied voices. We will underline our political independence by endorsing candidates based on record, accomplishments and plat- , form, not on party affiliation. Our focus will be on ideas, not ideology. Editorials will focus strongly on local, state and regional issues. We intend to tackle suburban issues more often. Editorial board members will report from and write on important local issues and those with metrowide impact. We will revamp our opinion. Web site on with new features and more interaction between editorial writers, columnists, newsmakers and readers. In the outpouring after Sept. 11, thousands of you have turned to your newspaper as the natural place to express your feelings and share your thoughts. Our . expanded opinion space can become a permanent place for that ongoing conversation. We invite you to stay with us and participate in our new "town hall." Cynthia Tucker presently Is the Editorial Page Editor for The Atlanta Constitution and will head the new editorial board when the Constitution and Journal editorial boards are combined. ,

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