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Celebrate South continues glorious tradition...Praise for "20 Things"...Oliver a worthy Richmonder of the Year

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Celebrate South continues glorious tradition As a long-time volunteer for the Museum of the Confederacy, Richmond's oldest museum, I cannot let your piece on the Celebrate the South weekend of events pass without comment (Street Talk, Dec. 7). The fact that your reporter found it necessary to discuss an irrelevant three-year-old story, and in so doing, insert inflammatory language, indicates to me that you required more material to flesh out the article. Such reporting says more about your bias than your article says about the event. Celebrate South is an extremely significant annual event in downtown Richmond. We work in coordination with hotels and merchants who are the vital core of our business community. This is a hugely successful event. The diversity of talent includes local church choirs, guest college bands, local and out-of-state professionals and entertainers. Benefits of the event accrue to The Museum of the Confederacy's downtown neighborhood, the City of Richmond and Virginia tourism in general. Many of our guests return for longer visits throughout the calendar year, coming from as far away as California, Texas and London, England. Pat Hendy The Score not the whole story The Score, as sports fans know, doesn't always tell much about the game (The Score, Dec. 21). The Score for the West Grace Street diverter was listed as a minus 1. To read it one would think residents won and the businesses lost. But as the game played out many residents felt they also "lost." The residents supporting the diverter were local but they clearly did not represent the majority view of the stakeholders. Some points to ponder: The traffic engineer's report advised against the diverter. The Planning Commission advised against the diverter by a 6-1 vote. Taxpayers finance the maintenance of West Grace Street and have every right to use it. The traffic survey was not comprehensive and avoided a comparison that would establish whether West Grace Street actually had an inordinate amount of traffic. Back to The Score item. The diverter issue to date might be described as: Special Interest Group: 1 Nearby Neighbors And The Rest Of The City: 0 I suggest you lower the score for the diverter to a minus 10. Turk Sties Praise for "20 Things" I want to congratulate you on your original, refreshing way of "Sorting the Century" (Cover story, Dec. 21) by choosing 20 things to leave behind in the 20th century and 20 things to carry with us into the 21st century. Better than trying to select the greatest people or events, you chose to put us all in a moving mode, a time to sort out our personal and emotional belongings. A time to decide what to take with us to our new home (the new millennium) and what to give to Goodwill. Your article and choices really caused me to take a break from my breakneck schedule and think about what is really important in my life and the lives of those around me. And while I am certain your choices will be hotly debated, it is the idea, the thought that counts. The main reason I write, however, is to praise Mayor Timothy Kaine's choice of what to leave behind: racism. You would think that by now our society would be far beyond that, but unfortunately we are still bogged down in all kinds of destructive, hurtful prejudices. Mayor Tim Kaine practices what he preaches. If he can help Richmond become a national leader in the improvement of race relations, then Richmond, Va. could truly leave the Civil War in the history books where it belongs and make an incredible comeback as a vital city contributing to the betterment of our state, nation and world. I believe that every child and adult should read Mayor Kaine's article on racism. Let us make racism a "thing" Richmond and the world finally left behind in the 20th century, along with all other prejudices. Randy Strawderman Amen to your list of the 20 things to leave in the 20th century . I agree with just about all of them, especially Col. Jerry Oliver's essay on handguns. I knew we were in trouble when I watched a small child sitting in the waiting area of a local family restaurant recently, make a handgun out of the Legos there for the kids to play with. Ellen DuPue Thanks, but we'll just use our ammo for paperweights To all who wrote and/or worked on the Apocalypse Survival Guide (Dec. 21): You earned your entire year's salary here, perhaps the funniest thing I have read in a long time. What can I say: "Read you in the next year?" Better dust off the letterpress machines in storage, then. I'll be the big balding guy who keeps the Bon Air Hotel residents from starving, tells a decent story and leads The People. Look for my drawings at the gate after the millennium and bring me more ammo. Just kidding, I got plenty. What is the next target? Valentine's Day needs a reality check, how 'bout that? Looking forward to more from your crew. Craig Luce Craig — We don't know what you're talking about, but we love you, man! After we put the issue to bed we went out and blew our entire year's salary on a case of Ho Hos and a fistful of Slim Jims. Then we climbed into the Style bunker and waited with the silent stillness of those apes in "2001." But lo and behold, at the turn of the millennium, nothing happened. Hmmm ... we weren't at all prepared for that. Love,
The Crew
Oliver a worthy Richmonder of the Year Bravo! The Style Weekly article on Jerry Oliver has given me hope (Cover story, Jan 4). Before reading the article I thought all local officials had an attitude of indifference or intolerance toward ex-offenders. People with negative and close-minded attitudes are the same people who repeatedly ask, "Why is the recidivism rate so high? What's wrong with those people? When will they ever learn?" They will learn when we teach them! Embracing those that we, as a community, have failed is the answer. I have always known this fact, but have been afraid to voice my opinion due to the overwhelming majorities of fools who still say things like, " Lock 'em up and throw away the key!" I once had a Department of Corrections worker tell me that incarceration in Virginia is not rehabilitation, it is about separation, period. I can fully understand separation from society to protect that society. However, I can also see how beneficial it would be to use that separation time as a time of learning and growth to prepare for new ways of coping in our society. The person who is incarcerated will be predisposed to failure when released if our system is simply warehousing inmates and releasing them with no solid and stable plans of continuing assistance in their transition back into our society. Project Embrace is the best idea I have heard in quite a while. I applaud Mr. Oliver for his Project Embrace! Thanks, Jerry. Kay Stewart Response to "Bring Disappointment Back" I would just like to write and say BRAVO!!! BRAVO!!!! to the article that Mariane Matera wrote, "Bring Disappointment Back!" (Back Page, Jan. 4). What an insightful commentary. The last paragraph sums up today's children and some adults I know quite efficiently. I thoroughly enjoyed reading her article. This one is a keeper for my files. Melody Goins

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