Wednesday, September 28, 2005
I very much enjoyed the recent cover article, "The Place to Be," and beautiful accompanying artwork (although lacking the key Standard Life building in its layout) about the growth of downtown Jackson (Sept 22 - 28, 2005). I am very interested in seeing our downtown reinvigorated and was encouraged to hear that things are happening to see this take shape.
This summer I lived near the city of Asheville, N.C. which seems like a model of what Jackson could be since it too has an artistically driven compact downtown area. Coming back home and walking around our deserted downtown on a Saturday afternoon was an awakening experience. I believe there is so much potential since the areas around Pearl, Amite, Capitol, and surrounding locations are quite beautiful but only find traffic during business hours, Monday-Friday.
I love city life, having great restaurants, coffee shops, bookstores and bars, where you see diverse groups of people enjoying all of the beautiful things a great downtown has to offer. More events like "Jazz, Art, and Friends" at the Museum of Art, where you can enjoy music, community, art, looking out over the beautiful urban landscape, would be amazing. I appreciate the Fondren growth, but you don't get the feel that you're in a big city—the wonderful sense of place. Many cite crime as a problem to development. I believe this problem would fix itself because any common sense tells you not to walk around a city in the dark where there are no people around, but if there were people around the problem would be largely solved. Ultimately it's a shame because these streets seem prime and waiting for people to fill them with life and activity other than just business office traffic. Your recent article is helpful in showing that there are others out there looking for that to happen. I applaud the JFP and downtown businesses who have been committed in the early stages of this development.
— Matt Kilgore, Jackson
What Price Profit?
Don't let the sexy photo of Paris Hilton on the cover of Vanity Fair's October issue distract or deter reading Carl Bernstein's extended article, "Watergate's Last Chapter." His chronology of the tragic event is interesting, but the first half of his pages are dedicated to the press and other media. Here are very important issues of the free press presented. Today's news gatherers, presenters, etc., bring chills as we note news is moving towards entertainment and losing objectivity. Profit and stockholders are the motivators. These pages of Bernstein's are a must read for all curious, culturally minded and caring citizens and yes, patriotic persons. USA! It is good to read the JFP and the publisher's note. Y'all are on target! You're making my week every Thursday.
— Deb Royce Boyer, Jackson
Failure of Accountability
I'm sure it has become clear to all those watching the travesty of human misery at the Superdome and Convention Center in New Orleans that an inordinate number of the elderly were deposited there. They were the lucky ones, though some of them died in their wheelchairs or lying on the floor due to lack of medical attention. State regulatory agencies in Louisiana and Mississippi must investigate the actions of those facility managers responsible for the care of their charges, whether nursing homes, personal care homes, orphanages, or mental health residential facilities. If evacuation regulations exist, they were not followed in many cases.
It is the responsibility of those regulatory agencies to see that their regulations are followed, to ensure that local operators are accountable for their residents, and move them in a timely manner out of harm's way. As we saw, waiting to test the wind is not an option, even if the potential lessens. This was a total failure of local accountability and state oversight.
— Pat Gregory, Jackson