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I would like to apologize to the YES! Weekly community for my previous letter. When I read the issue it appeared in I realized I had made a serious error of judgment. You see, my letter appeared in the same issue as “Ed Taylor’s boy,” the saga of Greg Taylor’s 17 years of wrongful imprisonment due to SBI malfeasance. “Ed Taylor’s boy” shamed me; it is a serious, important story, well told, and repercussions from Greg Taylor’s experience will reverberate through the legislature and courts of North Carolina for years to come. His situation is far more significant than Mark’s Chinese language abilities, McDowell’s letter or whatever Shertzer is doing these days.


For me, this article put things into perspective; we live in serious times. We must acknowledge that our nation is confronted with important challenges: Unemployment remains high, food prices are rising, energy costs are rising, homelessness is rising, foreclosure remains a threat to the dreams of many. And America’s role as a leader among nations may be in jeopardy. Will we be able to balance our trade deficit? Our wars abroad continue and we face the threat of terrorism at home.

Christmas is a time of joyous celebration; it can also be a time of pensive introspection. I suggest we as individuals, and as citizens of our communities, the USA and the world set aside time this holiday season to reflect on the present, thoughtfully consider our future and ask ourselves what can we do to leave our campsite better than we found it, as my scoutmaster used to say.

As for myself, this holiday I am volunteering at a crisis hotline for porn stars. Many a young woman in porn finds herself over her head and at her wits’ end. Sometimes a distressed young woman throws up her arms after another afternoon of axillism and calls us. We try to calm her.

We listen, evaluate her situation and try to offer her options. The most important thing, really, is just listening. Sometimes, if appropriate, we remind her that, in a strange way, her fans adore her and, let us assume a worst-case scenario, that if she were to do away with herself, she would be leaving the people that love her behind. We also counsel them to use protection, as people who don’t use protection often get a nasty surprise.

Like the parents of Ian McDowell. Seasons greetings, Bill Bloxham, Winston-Salem



I just wanted you to know that I really liked your article in YES! Weekly about the federal money being spent to research criminal activities conducted by gang members [“Federal money and research model yield underwhelming data on Guilford gangs”; Dec. 15, 2010; by Jordan Green].


I find it very interesting how low the numbers are, thought it would be much higher. Jorge Cornell is a very interesting subject in your article and wouldn’t mind hearing more about him.

I’m glad to see that the government is taking actions to suppress gang violence and crimes. But I hope That the government will uphold the law on their side as well.

Keep up the great work! Joe Cornelius, Winston-Salem



Gays serving in the military should not cause any detrimental affects on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. If you really think about it, there are gays working in every field throughout our society. There are gays working in the educational field teaching our children, there are gays working in the health field, there are even gay ministers and there are gay doctors. I bet if you painted every gay person purple for one day and you found out how many of your friends and family, or fellow co-workers are actually gay, it would blow your mind. As long as you do not know it, it does not really bother you or affect your relationship with that particular fellow employee, or family member. It is when the gay community try to enact all of these laws pertaining to gays’ rights, like they are something special, that the thought of working with someone who is gay starts to bother you. There is no need for this Don’t Ask Don’t Tell bill to be repealed as it will definitely cause fellow soldiers to look at their fellow soldiers differently. Hopefully, this new bill will be defeated and if it is passed, the president will veto it because there truly is no need for this bill.


Steven M. Shelton, Greensboro