Overall, the story ("Here Comes the Neighborhood," by Alex Pickett, April 18-24) was a solid depiction of the neighborhood. There is a sort of tectonic shift going on in Bartlett Park, and I believe it has more to do with economics than race. I work in the Lealman area (50th and 28th Street), and I see more African-American families moving into that neighborhood each month — where formerly there were very few. The newcomers in both communities are largely looking for the best combination of safety, affordability, investment and location. ... Just like every other homebuyer and renter in Pinellas.
While I didn't agree with everything in your article, I agree that it is interesting that one neighborhood could have so many views. I've had some residents ask me, "Why would you want to live here? It's a horrible neighborhood!" and others insist that it's made out to be much worse than it actually is. Who, I wonder, makes it out to be anything? The "mainstream" media has neglected this area; your article, I thought, made it sound rosier than it is. So who's making it out to be so bad? For the record, I don't think this is the worst part of the city. I just have so little faith in our leadership that I can't wager my safety and peace of mind on their promises when I see such disproportionate commitment: the Scott Swifts and Tom Titos of BP are committed, but the politicians seem more interested in Sweetbay stores.
Class War Continues
It is wonderful that a person who can't afford a house gets to pay more sales tax, which is a regressive tax ("Sales vs. Property," Political Whore, by Wayne Garcia, April 18-24). It is like the military and wars here and in my case the Vietnam War, where those with money stayed out, and some even made profits off of the war. I can't expect those who make their living off of human necessities to care about anyone but themselves, but be aware that those with nothing have nothing to lose.
More Chicks That Rock
You had a chance to do the right thing and you blew it — that is, include one of Sandy Denny's albums in your "Music Issue'07: Chicks Rock" (April 11-17). I am going to go out on a very big strong limb and say she has the best singing voice of any human in all of time. She is the best singer-songwriter England ever produced. You mentioned Judy Collins' version of Sandy's "Who Knows Where the Time Goes," but not the songwriter or Sandy with the vastly better voice. It is said that guys do not hold grudges and I will not, although I will never forget this. You hurt me, man (or woman).
Erwin Robert Miller
Maybe because I'm a guy — but I wouldn't consider at least 50 percent of the women you chose for your top 100. I'd add Joan Armatrading, Nanci Griffith, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Sara Hickman, Joan Osborne... no room to list my Jazz Vocal must-haves. No wonder I never turn on the radio. Do you work for Clear Channel, too? Even satellite is starting to suck.
Y'all missed a few of the MUST must-haves in chick albums. For example, the incomparable queen of punk funk, Nina Hagen's Nina Hagen in Ekstase, featuring an absolute blistering (if only you can imagine) rendition of Paul Anka's "My Way." In German. Stoppit!!! I'm killin' myself!!! Then there's the mind-blowing Plumb. My gawd, she rocks! Don't be skeered on acount-a she's a "Christian" artist, though. If all Christians were as honest and passionate as our dear Plumb, nee Tiffany, the world WOULD be a better place.
The Adopted Son (aka Ira Numan)