Don't Change Memorial; We Need to RememberIn today's faux world of Botox and breast implants it is no surprise that the thought of removing the word "colored" from a Byrd Park Monument which honors soldiers that fought and died for us in WWI would come up ("Dividing Line," Back Page, Sept. 13).
Maybe while those words are being smoothed over, the cobblestones of Shockoe Bottom could be removed and replaced with asphalt so we can forget that progress has been made. The photography left behind showing segregation of water fountains, lunch counters and buses could be airbrushed so that it looks as if we have always lived in a politically correct world.
These documentations are history lessons for us and all future generations to learn from. In no way do we want our children and grandchildren to take for granted the road that their forefathers have paved for them. Let's not rewrite history so it is prettier.
The name of the organization which has fought hardest to ensure social justice through the voices of African-Americans has become recognized mostly by its acronym NAACP. This organization was founded in 1909 and was originally named the National Negro Committee, but later it is those same people who changed its name to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Is it time to change the name again to replace the words Colored People to African-American? Or maybe, so no one notices skin color, it should just be National Association for the Advancement of People. After all, that's what we all are, right?
Cold-Case Resolution Will Bring ClosureI was so very happy to read your story about Alex Glanz ("A Final Ending?" Cover Story, Sept. 20), and the fact that this case had been solved. It is just a shame that this went on for so many years unsolved.
God bless that child. I know his family and all the suffering that the family was going through. You just do not ever get over the loss of a child. This was a very special little boy, and I do wonder why, why does this sort of thing still go on?
Please all parents, take heed, have someone to be there for your child at times that you cannot be with him or her.
Dorothy Zapantis Meads
Despite Claims,Red Cross Helped
On behalf of the 70 American Red Cross workers and the donors who made their good work during the Battery Park flooding possible, I must share with you a few details that your reporter obviously was not aware of when she wrote the story "Washed Out" (News & Features, Sept. 13).
Assisting the city of Richmond in the management of a shelter at the Arthur Ashe Center, we housed 76 people who sought refuge. Through our partnership with the Central Virginia Food Bank, healthy meals and snacks were provided for two days.
After the shelter closed, the American Red Cross helped 60 Battery Park families (168 people) who were displaced due to the flooding. We provided 33 hotel rooms with the average stay being four days. Other assistance included debit cards for clothing, food and medications. Red Cross workers served over 1,700 meals and snacks to residents and emergency workers. Hundreds of cleanup and comfort kits were also distributed.
And probably the most precious gift that our volunteers gave was a feeling of hope to people whose lives had been tragically affected through no fault of their own. This is what the Red Cross does every day.
ice President, Public Relations
American Red Cross,
Greater Richmond Chapter
Drugs Don't Curb Sexual CompulsionsI am writing in response to the article "Pantless Encounters: Harmless Nuisance or Gateway Crime?" (Street Talk, Sept. 20). My reason for writing is to clear up some misconceptions in the article about antidepressants being "helpful" in any way for curbing sexual compulsions.
To the contrary, after acting as an expert witness in criminal cases involving these drugs for the past 14 years, I can state emphatically that, rather than curbing those compulsions, they cause sexual compulsions. All one has to do is read a package insert for one of these drugs to find "increased libido" listed as a side effect.
In longer-term use, patients reach burnout as they do with any stimulant and can then have decreased libido. But remember that generally something goes up before it comes down. We need to remember that an anti-depressant (the opposite of a depressant) is a stimulant, and stimulants rev up the whole body.
As for these drugs curbing erections, it has instead been common practice, although unapproved by the FDA, for doctors to give these drugs to maintain erections longer due to the unpleasant side effect of inability to reach orgasm or delayed orgasm.
When I ask heads of sex abuse therapy programs the percentage of offenders coming to them already on these Prozac-like medications at the time of their crime, I am being given an approximate figure of around 80 percent.
If we do not educate ourselves before medicating ourselves we are going to end up with more sex crimes than we could ever imagine. I think our society is now seeing that as reality. I have yet to see one of these cases of a female schoolteacher arrested for seducing a young male student who was not on an antidepressant.
(Warning: Rapid withdrawal from antidepressants is extremely dangerous! The FDA warns that any abrupt change in dose, be it up or down, can produce suicide, psychosis, hostility, etc.)
Ann Blake Tracy, Ph.D.
International Coalition for Drug Awareness
Forget Veggie Man; "Poll" Means LittleThanks for the hatchet job. In your Oct. 4 issue, you serve to vilify Mark Pounders in the name of "news reporting."
Page 7 contains the tired and trite story of the Veggie Man (who incidentally does not even live in the city of Richmond) and how he has some personal animus with Pounders ("Veggie Man Pummels Pounders in Council Race," Street Talk). Who cares?
You then run a "news story" on page 11 ("'Stop Goldman,'" News & Features) discussing a poll which places Pounders well behind the other candidates. All of this "science" is then carefully wrapped together by a reference to an unnamed "some" who believe that Pounders' poor showing in the poll relates directly back to the Veggie Man fable.
I am a Pounders supporter not because of his "Draconian" stance on the Veggie Man, but because he is the only candidate who has any vested interest in the city's schools. I also live in the neighborhood where the Veggie Man chooses to sell his wares and am a resident who called the police to report the traffic hazard the Veggie Man's street-vending business was creating.
The poll reported by Style is about as unscientific as they get. One hundred and sixty-six of the 15,000 1st District voters are represented by the "poll" a tad more than 1 percent. Hardly telling, is it?
News should be news and not editorial masked under the guise of news. Do a better job next time.
Pastor Not Affiliated With Allen GroupIn your Oct. 4 edition, you printed an article entitled "Local Black Clergy Plan Monthly Jaunts to Help Sen. Allen" (Street Talk). The article stated that I had agreed to serve on a committee of African-American clergy persons to advise Sen. George Allen on issues regarding race relations.
I vehemently repudiate and deny agreeing to be involved in any such group. I was not once contacted by the Rev. Joe Ellison to get my endorsement of the group or the printing of the article. Also, I was never contacted by reporters from Style Weekly to verify the information prior to going to print.
Therefore, I am asking that Style Weekly publicly retract all inferences that I am or will be involved with this committee.
Bishop Gerald O. GlennNew Deliverance Evangelistic Church