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Over the next several years we Richmonders can become excited at all the new projects. From the new downtown convention center, new proposed arts complex, renovated Marriott, another hotel, Broad Street improvements, Brown's Island retail project, Main Street train station, to a statue of Abraham Lincoln at Tredegar.

These are truly great ideas and a breath of fresh air — seeds which will make Richmond grow. We Richmonders should thank Mr. Bates, Richmond City Council and city leaders for a job well done.

M. Paul Hopkins

Mookie's Defense

As the next door neighbor of Mr. Badgett and Ms. Aracri, I want to assure everyone that there is no reason to feel sorry for Mookie (Letters, Dec. 25).

I know firsthand that Mookie is well taken care of. Mookie is lucky in that he is allowed the freedom, unlike many other cats, to go outside. He had his own routine and visited many of us who were always glad to see him; in fact, some neighbors even keep food bowls out for him. He also was very aware of traffic and was careful crossing the street as are many other cats in our neighborhood.

His returning to our neighborhood was not seen so much as being funny as being amazing. How did he know where to find his old home? I know that his owners have tried to get Mookie used to his new home, and that they have tried to keep him in the new house and yard until he became accustomed to it. Mookie however, is a clever cat, as his returning to his old friends shows, and can get out of the house in a flash. I believe Mookie would feel like he had been sentenced to prison if he were to be kept indoors all the time.

Mookie is one lucky cat and has owners who will always do what is best for him, and the story in Style shows us just how amazing animals can be.

Jenny Ballard

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