Letters for July 16, 2008


Gangsta love

Jordan, just wanted to say I really enjoyed the Cornell article [“Gang leader’s social-justice vision belied by criminal associations’; July 9, 2008; by Jordan Green]. For a while now, I’ve read about gangs in the more “mainstream” Greensboro paper but they seem to focus only on numbers of police officers or scary statistics. I’m usually left feeling concerned but confused. And because I’m fortunate to live in an area of town that is (for now) free of gang activity, it all seems a bit unreal and remote. However, your profile of Cornell was an intriguing look inside the reality of what’s going on. I came away with a better understanding of what police deal with and basic yet important details like what the gangs are called and their own unique perspective. For the first time, I also felt hopeful about the situation. If Cornell is sincere in his desire for peace, that’s certainly good for the community at large. Thanks to you and YES! Weekly for digging a bit deeper to better inform us as residents.

Wes Isley


Band gives a hand

Hey Jordan, how was the rest of your weekend? I just wanted to say a big thank you on behalf of myself and the rest of the band for the incredibly good article you wrote about us in YES! Weekly [“Goodnight Man, hello apocalypse”; July 9, 2008; by Jordan Green]. Austin and I were waiting all night for you on Friday to ask us what our musical influences were, but as it turns out you didn’t need any help in that area; you completely and utterly nailed it with the sentence about

Hendrix and the Who being channeled through the blueprint of Coldplay and Radiohead; we couldn’t have put it better ourselves, you obviously have good ears. We loved every part of the article, thanks so much for painting such an accurate (or at least, we think so) and positive portrait of us, we really appreciate you taking the time and effort to come and hang out with us. On a purely personal level, we loved talking with you, so don’t be a stranger, hopefully we’ll see you again sometime soon, whether it’s at dinner or a show or whatever.

Philip Pledger


The right to wake and bake

Well, that pretty much works for me, the entire time I have spent in the military has been in support of people doing what they need to to stay healthy, and if smoking weed is your thing then go for it [“Guilford County lawmaker proposes joint study”; July 9, 2008; by Amy Kingsley]. I cannot, but I have in my early years hit a bong or two, but I have moved on in my life, and as a resident of Greensboro, I support the people’s use of whatever it takes to keep them out of a high tower with a high-powered rifle, as long as it does no serious harm to them or others. I think that most of the people in North Carolina feel the same way too – what you do on your own time is yours; just leave me and mine out of it. Thank you for the time and place to voice my opinion.

Fred Cook


Mall as therapy

[Dempsey] Benton’s predecessor, Secretary of DHHS [Carmen] Hooker Odom, insisted, beginning April 2007, that [community support services] were not to be used to “take the kids to the pool” [“CenterPoint loses $1.1 million in funds”; July 9, 2008; by Amy Kingsley].

Well guess what, Gov. Mike Easley (who supported her all the way): CSS was about real world Exposure Therapy for people like this child, who fear going into the public.

There is nothing fancy about it other than a well-formulated plan utilizing a CSS worker going with the person into places that they fear. A continuum of “least scary” to “most scary” items are created until they learn to overcome their fear. Add “coaching” to the mix and you will be able to rid someone of a difficulty that will impact them their entire life.

But that would have been “taking the kid to the mall.”

CSS was supposed to be about real world therapy.

Marsha V. Hammond


Marsha Hammond blogs at fan


I enjoyed your essay re: your dad’s love for newspapers.

As a child growing up in Newark and Maplewood, NJ, I have vivid memories of the now defunct Newark Evening News, Newark Star Ledger (one of the great sports pages), New York Times, New York Daily News and New York Post. On Saturday nights we would get the early editions, and then on Sunday one of my dad’s pals at the corner shop slipped him the late edition sport pages so that we could get all the scores.

I lived in Boston for eight years and fell in love with the Boston Globe (in my family going to the store to get the paper was known as “globalizing”). To this day when I’m in an airport I typically scour the waiting area for the local papers. I could go on and on….

I, too, worry about the fall of the “physical” newspaper for all the reasons that your essay notes and that I’m guessing your dad would appreciate.

In any event, thanks for the good piece.


Bob Malekof