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ABC hypocritical; Turn tax refund into arts donation 

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ABC hypocritical

Today I happened upon your article depicting the ABC's fight to clear our city of drugs (news&features, May 8 and May 1). Am I the only person struck by the irony of this battle? I found the statistics about the number of individuals treated at MCV for the various drug-related illnesses to be missing one significant piece of data. How many people were treated at MCV in that same time period for illnesses and injuries associated with the use of alcohol?

For the ABC to take such a headline grabbing, self-righteous stance is somewhat hypocritical. While not illegal, the use of alcohol is responsible for many societal problems. Instead of seeking to prosecute a handful of nightclub owners (who were probably unaware of the drug transactions in the first place), couldn't the ABC focus on ways of addressing the wider problem of drug and alcohol abuse in general?

"Operation Ex-Clubs" sounds like yet another huge waste of manpower and tax dollars. If individuals choose to buy or sell drugs, they will do so, be it in a club or out in the streets. While I in no way support the use of drugs, frankly, I would rather hear that individuals who choose drugs are conducting their business in nightclubs rather than in my neighborhood. At least then I can choose not to be exposed to that element.

James Bryant



Turn tax refund into arts donation

How we take the arts for granted! Arts are part of the infrastructure of our society, no less than the more tangible physical infrastructure. Your article featured the bold use of the arts by Brookfield to help troubled young women get on track with their lives (cover story, May 8). Another recent Style article discussed the role of the arts in bringing life back to our city (cover story, May 1). We applaud the visits to our schools by actors and musicians and free concerts given in our parks.

Arts exhibitions bring thousands of visitors to our museums. All this contributes to a healthy region and a healthy economy.

But the arts are created, organized and presented by professionals who have decided to do this for a living. I am concerned that Richmond may be facing a potential arts crisis.

Some of the large corporate sponsors are gone. An economic slowdown is making some reconsider their purchase of season tickets. The state budget process has resulted in a major loss of arts funding.

We all need to step up to the plate. My property tax bill just arrived for my 1990 Miata. It shows a deduction of $93.87 for "car tax relief." I would like to donate my car tax relief to an arts organization. Maybe others would like to do the same thing.

Doug Steele
President
NetCon Systems
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