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Ballpark Aria

Week of April 17, 2002


Ballpark Aria
Ghosts of money past: Not hard to see that everyone jumping on the proposed Ballpark Village has an opinion, but how enlightening to see someone has an opinion with facts [Eddie Silva, "Phantom of the Opera House," March 27]! To see what could happen to us as taxpayers supporting a new stadium, one needs to look no further that the current state of affairs of the Kiel Opera House. Terms like "disrepair," "faded grandeur" and "ghosts of boondoggles past" could easily be the conversation of baseball's fickle crowd, too!
Calvin Britt

Test of Faith
The total toll of a priestly scandal: While I do not always agree with your paper, I find that you are often willing to say what others do not. Thank you, RFT, for your article on the Rev. [Michael] Campbell's parish and his good works [Jeannette Batz, "Agony of Sorrows," March 27]. While all other papers seem to be willing to revel in the unforgivable mistakes of a few, you alone had the courage to point out that not all priests are bad. I have grown up in the company of hundreds of wonderful, selfless and pious men who were priests. When in trouble, even if far from home, I knew that in them and the church, I could always find refuge. The danger of only writing about a few priests who have gone wrong and never about the 99.999 percent who never will is that a false image is created. That image, while hurtful to the position, ultimately is most hurtful to those most in need of help. The wrongs should be acknowledged, but in a thoughtful manner, as you have done, so that in reporting, no greater harm is done. Thank you, Riverfront Times, for daring to do the right thing. When all other papers were like sharks in a feeding frenzy, you alone had the courage to say, "Hey, what about the good that is being done?"
Nathaniel Mulcahy
St. Louis

Jughead Judgment
Mean, wicked and nasty -- and that's the best we can say: I am writing as a graduating senior of Roosevelt High School, one of the few selected St. Louis Public Schools you singled out to ridicule [Jeannette Batz, "Judgment at Hookyville," March 27]. I want to express my feelings of discontentment and disappointment aroused by the manner in which Jeannette Batz portrayed my school. It's bad enough that the vast majority of St. Louis newspaper readers are aware of our recently established "academically deficient" status. It's another thing to be subjected to public criticism by a widely read city publication. I am also a journalist familiar with the term "muckraking." In the words of journalists Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenthal, in their recently published book The Elements of Journalism, "Journalists have an obligation to personal conscience ... in the end, journalism is an act of character." Although Batz did well to differentiate between the lives and actions of the average juvenile delinquent and that of a struggling inner-city student, her approach was wrong. I and many other victims of her article (i.e., SLPS students and teachers) feel that her approach to the topic was both malicious and scandalous and that the article was irresponsibly written. Furthermore, I will testify that our third-floor classrooms are neither overheated nor "smelly."
Candace Winfrey
St. Louis

The Republic of Ray
Kid Rock for veep? Responding to the letter of Mark Sparr-Erickson [April 3], intimating that for 50 years the residents of St. Louis have been screwed by the Democrats: Well, perhaps we like it like that, evidenced by our actions at the ballot box. If the Republicans fucked us, they would not use grease! Staying in power in a democracy for 50 years shows a stroke of genius. The difference between Democratic genius and Republican stupidity is that the former has limits and the latter knows no bounds! P.S. I would vote for Ray Hartmann for president!
R.G. Bright
St. Louis

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