incoming (2005-42)


Vols’ Curse Lifted by Jacob

No Veggie Section?

Bugged by the Bird

The Sin of Orange-Mission

‘Golden Buckshot’

A Call to Gardens


Since the author seemed to be caught up in a question of educational credentials, let me say I have a Bachelor of Engineering from one school and a Master of Engineering from another.

Further, the author had some need to explain why he/she despaired that we were making any progress as a civilization because some acquaintance thought it was OK for Cherokee Country Club to be all white. The author stated, “There are never good reasons to form clubs for an ethnic majority.” That is the height of both ignorance and arrogance. One good reason comes to my mind immediately: they want to. And for any number of other associated reasons such as right of free assembly, or right to choose those with whom they wish to socialize, or it really is not anyone else’s business that they choose to form some club for whatever purpose they deem appropriate.

Not every action by an ethnic group is aimed at repressing a minority, nor is every action by the majority racially motivated. So maybe if the author and any others of the same ignorant frame of mind would devote their attention to solving the problem and quit pointing at the majority as the source of all evil, we might make some of the vaunted progress as a civilization.

Being a minority is not something to be worn as a chip on one’s shoulder, rather it should be motivation for one to take responsibility for one’s own fate and do what is necessary to improve one’s own lot in life.

James Murdock


Vols’ Curse Lifted by Jacob

Back in 1993, we picked a Sept. 18 wedding, respectfully realizing that the day was an away Florida game, and the church was available. Success, we thought. We also respectfully scheduled the wedding early enough so that guests could make it home to their TVs.

However, a relative since blamed us for the ensuing loss to Florida. And for the losses to Florida in 1994, 1995, 1996, and 1997. All because of our wedding, he said.

It took the birth of our son on the same day in 1998 to redeem us in the eyes of this family member. We were scheduled to deliver on Monday, Sept. 21, 1998. We had tickets to the Florida game. Great relaxing weekend, we thought. Go to the game, have a baby on Monday. Nope. Jacob was born Friday, Sept. 18, 1998, our fifth anniversary. An ominous sign for the game? Not again. Please God, I’ll be the biggest Vol fan ever if you can just bring this baby out safely... and let the Vols win tomorrow!

As I stood by my wife’s side during a C-section, I offered Dr. Periclis Roussis our tickets. He had a nurse call his wife during the delivery on Friday to let her know they were going to the game!

The Vols beat the Gators 20-17. Thank you, Jacob. You will go far in life, grasshopper.

Doug McDaniel


No Veggie Section?

Although I have no accurate statistics, I am fairly confident that many Knoxville vegetarians read Metro Pulse and also enjoy dining in town. The number of vegetarian restaurants in Knoxville I am sad to say is minimal, but more plentiful than the number of seafood restaurants (which was headed in the September restaurant guide).

The irony is that frequently vegetarians have the most difficult time finding restaurants that coincide with their personal dietary guidelines.

I hope that once this comment has been brought into your awareness you will strongly consider including the vegetarian heading in your future dining suggestions. The vegetarian community, myself included, will certainly be grateful for your consideration. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Ashley Wade


Bugged by the Bird

It took me a while to sort it out, but it caught my attention because I’ve been interested in and concerned about bird flu (avian flu, H5N1) and its dire consequences, which are deemed not only possible but probable.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the NIH (National Institutes of Health), discussed the possibility of an avian flu pandemic on a recent PBS Wide Angle special. The entire transcript is at: .

Americans need to know that (avian flu) is a real threat. “It is a pandemic flu, a kind of flu to which the American public or the global population has not been exposed to before,” it says.

Yet, given that, the letter writer asks “What’s happened to us?” as though it is irrational to be concerned about an avian flu pandemic, because it has (as yet) “killed no Americans.”  So much for “an ounce of prevention.” 

The writer further asks whether a vaccine could “breed a national super virus?” I’m out of my depth here, though, so I must defer to the experts as to whether that could happen. My understanding is that a previous mutation of avian flu enabled it to “jump the species barrier” and achieve bird-to-human transmission, and its real danger lies in its likelihood of mutating further and achieving human-to-human transmission. Thus it’s already a potential “super virus.”

Meningitis is bacterial; flu is viral. Both are infectious, but the principles are different. As such, although again I’m out of my depth, meningitis seems an inappropriate epidemiological comparison.

Finally, the writer cites ineptitude on the part of the administration, while claiming that avian flu is a matter into “which our president has invested his full energy.” That’s a peculiar juxtaposition of premises. A growing number of Americans seem to agree with the allegation of ineptitude. However, the writer does not offer any proof of the “full energy” claim.

In April 2004, Stewart Simonson was named assistant secretary for Public Health Emergency Preparedness (ASPHEP), serving as the secretary’s principal advisor on matters related to, among other things, bioterrorism and other public health emergencies (e.g., a flu pandemic). Perhaps Mr. Simonson is a fine attorney, but the administration has not demonstrated that he has emergency preparedness credentials. That has a disturbingly familiar ring to it.

Brian Sward


The Sin of Orange-Mission

Before I retired a few years ago, I sarcastically told some acquaintances at work that I could make a mint if I could just invent a pill that would turn a Vol fan’s feces orange to complete his obsession. One of them looked at me with guileless eyes and said that it wouldn’t sell. He—as with all true fans—had an orange toilet and would not know when to flush it. Oh, well.

This same guy was lunching with us one day when the local fish wrapper had an article about Emeril Lagasse coming to town to sign his latest book. He looked across the table and said, “I never heard of him. Who does he play for?”

I think these people actually believe that if you are not wearing orange on the day of Jesus’ second coming, you’re going to be in a lot of trouble.

One last thought, though. Orange you afraid that you have alienated a large number of the Metro Pulse subscriber base with your blasphemy?

Say a dozen “Hail Fulmers,” go and sin no more.

Ken Redmond


‘Golden Buckshot’

Contrary to the slant of those questions, I believe the answers to both will be a resounding “yes” in just a matter of a few years. It will take a grassroots effort of positive men and women who don’t concern themselves with missing “major anchors” and “silver bullets”—several hundred citizens who should take the wealth of taxpayer and tourist attractions we now have in place, market new opportunities well to those who can create even more appeal, creatively connect those areas to our neighborhoods, greenways, and parks, and then funnel traffic of all types to and from an even more vibrant downtown.

Knoxville is far more beautiful and progressive than we have ever been in decades past. Keeping that momentum going, even past any given political tenure, is critical. I, for one, intend to do my part, forsaking any silver bullets, political naysayer, and hand-wringers, to work with key individuals and groups who represent what I believe is Knox County’s “golden buckshot.” All we need is the right group of folks to pull the trigger often and hit our target more times than not. Stay tuned.... 

Brad Hill


A Call to Gardens

No doubt it would have been felicitous to have in our history in the Tennessee Valley even a single of the fabulously wealthy families such as the DuPonts who founded and endowed so many estate gardens that later became the great American botanical gardens of the Delaware Valley.

Our group is an independent 501(c)(3) that promotes and raises funds for the University of Tennessee Gardens from the Knoxville community. Due to the visionary leadership of several UT professors and of the late Dr. Don Williams in particular, the free and open to the public gardens at the Knoxville Experiment Station on the Ag Campus off Neyland Drive have grown steadily and now attract 50,000 visitors annually. They are, in fact, a public park for the campus, the city and the county, as well as a botanical garden and arboretum. Tragically, Dr. Williams’ life in retirement—and his role as standard-bearer for the gardens in both the university and the community—was cut prematurely short.

The UT Gardens are particularly valuable to the community because they incorporate research trials that test and display plants specifically for our location. Nearly 800 woody plants are under long-term observation, and over 1,500 varieties are evaluated annually on site. The gardens also serve as a laboratory for students in the public gardens/horticulture/landscape design concentrations at both undergraduate and graduate levels in the Institute of Agriculture. Additionally, students have the opportunity to work with the public they will someday professionally serve in botanical gardens. 

The matter of a significant campaign for capital investment in facilities for a major botanical garden in Knoxville has frequently been the subject of discussion among those who love gardens and horticulture in this area and who realize Knoxville is seriously wanting in that respect. There is no reason that the UT Gardens, the excellent park system, and other outstanding horticultural/environmental institutions in our area could not join forces in the effort to establish a major public garden in this stunningly beautiful area of the country. This would appear to be an ideal time to attract leadership of the caliber to lead many interested parties into a broad and collaborative framework for a botanical garden. We welcome Dr. Anderson’s suggestion, and we will be delighted to join him and others in this endeavor.

Theresa Pepin

Guidelines for Incoming Mail

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