Give Credit Where It's Due; Get Your Beatles Facts Right; Article Didn't Represent Me; A Matter of Taste; Creative Thinking Could Help Center 


Give Credit Where It's Due

Re "Minority-Owned Firm to Build Stony Point Mall" (Street Talk, Jan. 8): We are pleased that Style Weekly has taken an interest in minority business activities. However, we are disappointed that the reporter did not contact our agency, nor did she acknowledge the lead role the Virginia Department of Minority Business Enterprise has taken in regards to the Stony Point Fashion Mall.

The briefing mentioned by Stacy Burr of the city of Richmond Office of Minority Business Enterprise and scheduled for Jan. 14 and 15 was a product of our agency's Outreach and Marketing Department, and was hosted by the Virginia Department of Minority Business Enterprise. The article gave the impression that this event is being put on by the city of Richmond's Office of Minority Business Enterprise, and that is simply not the case.

The Virginia Department of Minority Business Enterprise has close working relationships with the city of Richmond's Office of Minority Business Enterprise as well as the Virginia Regional Minority Supplier Development Council and the Metropolitan Business League. We rely on them to help us disseminate information about special briefings, receptions and notices to our respective clients, as we proved the same service in return.

Allegra F. McCullough

Director, Virginia Office of Minority Business Enterprise

Get Your Beatles Facts Right

What was Eric Futterman thinking when he wrote the Beatles had a song titled "She Was Just Seventeen" ("All Things Must Pass," Arts & Leisure, Dec. 11)? This is a line from their hit "I Saw Her Standing There," not a song. He also makes a couple of sloppy mathematical errors. Futterman says the Beatles had a "14-year run." Not quite. The nucleus of the group — John, Paul and George — started in 1958 and they disbanded in 1969 (the formal announcement was 1970), which means they were together 12 years. With Ringo, they were together a much shorter period of time than that.

Lastly, there isn't anything remotely "breathtaking" about Andrew Salt's "documentary" on John Lennon's "Imagine." Perhaps if it had been directed by documentary filmmakers such as D.A. Pennebaker or the Maples brothers, and not by a hack like Salt, it would have been.

Jim McNamara

Article Didn't Represent Me

I am writing to express my frustration about your portrayal of my children, our story and me ("Thanksgiving Day," News & Features, Nov. 27). Most importantly, I want you and everyone else to understand: I am not a victim; I am a survivor!

Since arriving at Flagler Home in April 2000, I have paid off $3,000 in fines to reinstate my license, purchased two cars and saved over $1,300. I have completed a certified nursing assistant course, along with several prerequisite courses towards my RN degree. I am enrolled in Beta Tech in the medical assistant program as well as working part-time. Additionally, I serve as a resident council member for Flagler Home. I represent the Resident Council as the chairperson on the St. Joseph's Villa Board of Directors.

You spoke of [my daughter] Amber and said "she won't go to bed if the blanket is wrinkled." With OCD, she can't go to bed until her anxiety level is relieved.

When you spoke of my many different "homes," the one you mentioned with the verbal abuse was not the last one, though it was one of the worst. Furthermore, speaking of Amber's father, he did not last year, or at any time, ask me move with him.

Finally, and most critically, I cannot believe you put the information about Amber threatening to kill herself in this article without including any of the pertinent information. When I spoke of Amber's threat, I discussed how miserable she was and that she had expressed many times how much she hated where we were living. The threat was her way to ask for help. That devastating moment gave me the courage to pick my family up and move us into a shelter. I believe that threat was our saving moment, and this article simply portrayed Amber as a seriously disturbed little girl.

My purpose in doing this article was to bring new awareness to homelessness, to the immense benefits of the Flagler Home and to be an inspiration to other mothers out there in what seems as a hopeless situation, not to be constantly reminded of my past and have others feel sorry for me. This article was an injustice to my success, my life and especially Amber.


I regret that Lisa thought the article cast a negative light on her life and her children. That was never my intention — rather, in interviewing her I was awed by all her successes. I sought to tell her story accurately and with respect, and I think she has indeed made readers more aware of homelessness.

— Melissa Scott Sinclair

A Matter of Taste

In the Nov. 13 "Street Talk," Melissa Scott Sinclair alluded to the "issue of taste" concerning the signage of Shockoe Bottom's Club Velvet. Apparently Ms. Sinclair is not familiar with the advertising of her own employer. In the back of every Style Weekly there are several pages of phone-sex hotline ads accompanied with half-naked men and women that make the Club Velvet signs pale in comparison. In typical Richmond fashion, Style and Ms. Sinclair exude pretentiousness and hypocrisy.

Sam Moore

Editor's note: In January, Style changed its advertising policy to ban ads that include pictures of sexually suggestive poses, unclothed models, or models wearing underwear.

Creative Thinking Could Help Center

I read with interest "A Promising Beginning" (Architecture, Dec. 18) about the new Richmond Convention Center. Edwin Slipek wrote about the center's restraint of design. Why the restraint? Yes, it's a comfortable conservative design, but this is a new century. Where is the vision of an exciting design? However, it does complement the turn-of-the-century amusement-park design of the 6th Street Market Bridge.

Our town is still stuck in the past. Several years ago, I sent a packet to the Richmond Planning Commission about what other cities are doing with their large centers. My thoughts to the Richmond planners were to utilize the acreage on top of the Richmond center by putting tennis courts and jogging trails on that wasted space. I included photos of buildings in Brazil — one hotel had a park with sod and potted trees on part of the rooftop. A visitors' center and coffee shop would be very nice.

A little creative thinking would close Broad Street from Fourth to Seventh to create a plaza. Reverse traffic flow on Grace and Marshall from Belvidere, creating a loop.

Earle P. Taylor


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