They have since been replaced, only to disappear again. Once again, the sheriff's office said that they would replace them. Not once did the sheriff's office accuse Mr. Woody's supporters of taking the signs. In a city so laced with crime, doesn't it make sense that vandals would take these signs to add to their collection of other unnecessary items to steal? Why blame it on the other candidate and fall into the same bad politics that bring out the negatives of what the opponent does, versus the positives of what you can do?

Mr. Woody needs to get over it and accept the possibility that his sign has probably been turned inside out and now reads "Laid off, please help" and is in the hands of a homeless person standing on a street corner downtown. If I am wrong, let's see a copy of the memo he has and let the public decide for themselves. If I am right, please give money to the homeless person who obviously needs it.

Cindy Anderson

In Defense of City Living

I enjoyed reading "At Home With" (Home Style, September). It's clear that the couple is very satisfied about their move [beyond city limits]. However, I would love for Style to do a similar piece on a couple, like my wife and me, who consciously have decided to settle in the city (Museum District) — not because we wanted to make a political statement, but because we are attracted to the amenities that our neighborhood offers. We have a 5-year-old daughter and have chosen to send her to John B. Cary Elementary, a great school.

So often I hear people say that they left the city because of the bad schools and higher taxes. Clearly, the Richmond school system has much to accomplish in terms of overall performance in the region, but Mary Munford, Fox and John B. Cary all have similar if not better SOL scores than many of the county schools.

As far as the higher property taxes are concerned, city living provides an environment where economies of scale are often overlooked when calculating household budgets, e.g., there exists a much higher transportation cost to people who live in the suburbs and must drive to every single destination, especially as gas prices continue to rise. Conversely, my wife and I are able to walk to three grocery stores, two dry cleaners, three pharmacies, three different bakeries, two seafood stores, and a variety of restaurants and other services. For two years we have been walking our daughter to day care, right across the street!

When the wife declared [in the story], "What's better for the baby for a couple of years … then school districts. We've got to think about adult stuff now," she insinuated that those of us that send our children to Richmond schools are not thinking like an adult. I understand that everyone has personal preferences about the type of neighborhood in which they choose to live; I would just like to see a follow-up story about a family that has chosen to move or stay in the city.

When people choose to leave Richmond solely because of a misconception about the school system, our whole region suffers.

Jonathan Brown

Executive Director

The Partnership for Workforce Homes

One Little Word, One Big Meaning

[The article "Mental Health Group Sued for Defamation" (Street Talk, Sept. 14) referenced the Virginia affiliate of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill.]

Personally, I do not believe any group can be labeled a "the" without defaming them. That is the entire purpose of the metaphor, "the" Jews? "The" Blacks?

In Ireland people who degrade "the" Protestants meet them with violence, and people who degrade "the" Catholics meet them with violence.

Check the effect of the metaphor yourself: Picture "the" mentally ill. Do you see a Nobel winner, a Pulitzer winner, a professor, writer, scientist — or a stereotype? A suburban housewife with four children and an SUV? An editor? Legislator?

NAMI national has already altered it name in response to the implications of that small word "the." Has Virginia not? Have Virginia's NAMI affiliates not?

Harold A. Maio

Advocate and Former Consulting Editor

Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal

Editor's Note: At its national convention in June, NAMI voted to change its name to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, says Nancy Beebe, president of the Virginia NAMI affiliate's board of directors, "because it separates the illness from the person." The name-changing process is under way locally.


In "Sinking In" (Cover Story, Sept. 14), we wrote that the Truman Presidential Museum and Library is located in Independence, Miss. Rather, it is located in Independence, Mo. Style regrets the error.



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