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Letters to the Editor

I Like Kids, But...

Having read Katie Granju's recent voyage into modern parenthood [Loco Parentis, March 8 Metro Pulse], I am amazed by the cry of victimization and downright narcissism of the author.

First, population growth is an issue. Period. Just because Ms. Granju is on the "have" side of the "have" vs. "have not" dichotomy that exists in America, she may not be aware of the problems that many large families experience, which extend beyond finding a new minivan to fit the family. (I have found myself riding in the back of the standard SUV and I think there is more than enough room for a "passel of kids.")

At current growth rates, scientists predict that by the year 2021 there will be eight billion people living on the planet. Eight billion people who need to be fed, housed, cared for medically, educated, loved and defended, which on top of requiring natural resources, costs money. What about water pollution, waste production, habitat destruction, air pollution, farmland degradation, over-fishing, soil erosion, etc.? All of these problems can be linked to one major underlying cause—overpopulation. It is called exponential growth rate and there is a real concern about resource availability and management. Secondly, our tax structure DOES favor those with children, and those without end up footing the bill. I like kids just fine, and I am not ever going to be the person to argue for mandated family size, and I do not necessarily even see having three children as a large family. But spare us the "choice" rhetoric. Who would have thought that in 2001 a person's fertility would be a badge of honor?

Helen A. Morrow

Defense de Knoxville

What a sad little world Mr. Robert Ward [Incoming, March 29] must live in if he believes his negativities are shared by so many Knoxvillians. I'm not a native of Knoxville, but I came here by choice and remain here by choice after living in Atlanta for most of my life.

I once shared his condescending attitude that Knoxville is full of wanna-bes. Then I left for a while and realized that the greatest part of this town is the people. How many places in the world can you pull up at a traffic light between a brand new Land Rover and an '82 Cutlass chocked full of hillbillies?

One brief, judgmental glance at this town might reveal a backdrop of ordinary people with nothing to do. But a careful observation will reveal that in a place so seemingly mundane, people involved in making a positive influence stand out like great shining jewels.

In Knoxville I've discovered a rich fabric of beautiful individuals to call my friends, and a town so engrossed in political and social strife that every occurrence has meaning.

The article by Scott McNutt [Snarls, March 15] speaks not of negativity, Mr. Ward, but of social journalism tinged with sarcasm—a classic form of activism a la Metro Pulse. The negativity you experience is your own.

Mark Spencer
Washburn, Tenn.

Headed Home At Last

I just read with some amusement a recent letter you printed. The writer seemed to feel that there is nothing to do in Knoxville. However, the writer also mentioned that he was born and raised in Knoxville.

I would just like to suggest that the writer look for the brighter side of life in K-Town, or better yet, live here in upstate New York for a while.

True, after you've lived in Knoxville for some time, you seem to have done it all. But, stop and look around you. Flowers and trees are in bloom! I moved [to New York] two years ago where I was told that there was plenty to do and the seasons were wonderful. Well, there is absolutely nothing to do and I haven't seen anything green since the leaves changed in early October. It's almost April and we're lucky to see highs in the 30s. I've seen more snow than I care to for the rest of my life, and I'm still expected to be at work on time.

If I ask people for things to do on the weekend, I'm sent on at least a two hour drive outside town. Want to see true backwards American rednecks? Visit northern Pennsylvania. I'm convinced that inbreeding is a pastime with some people living there.

I am happy to say I will be moving back to my home town in a few weeks, where the sun shines, and I can raise my daughter in a place where people still say "Please," "Thank You" and best of all "Excuse Me." She will grow up in a place where, for better or worse, the local university plays a role in the community. And best of all, spring comes at the appropriate time of year instead of beginning in June after eight months of wearing your heaviest winter coat!

Karen Slater
Binghamton, NY