incoming (2006-41)

Several years ago, in New Orleans (something of Knoxville’s sister city), I was in Jackson Square one night and was stopped by some cops while giving a meal (complete with no money ) to some homeless men I’d met named JJ and Richard. The police sat with their lights on us for several minutes and one of my companions and I finally went over to speak with them. I reiterated a few times that nothing illegal was taking place. The men hadn’t asked us for anything. We had met them, offered them some bag lunches we had, and they had accepted.

The officer’s final response was to dismiss me with, “It’s illegal to give anything away.” (This was after referring me to the city ordinance against solicitation at certain times of night.)...

However, given the recent history of the panhandling rise, the Can Man, and the sax player, I feel that Knoxvillians (wealthy or not) are entitled to be free from overzealous or hasty decisions by officers of the KPD, as well as from harassment when asking for a quarter while standing by the parking meter. Is that panhandling as well?

My point is not legalistic per se; I feel that there needs to be a measure of understanding in every individual officer who deals with each case first-hand. I’m wary of an ironclad legal maxim. And I reiterate: How do you define “poor?”

Adam Whipple

The Needle and the Damage Done

Brooke Everett’s well-done examination of its resurgence as an acceptable feminist pastime [Oct. 5 gamut, “She’s Crafty”]raises a few questions about the conflict between postmodern feminism and a woman’s inclination to develop domestic talents like sewing. Or maybe it isn’t a conflict. Maybe it’s more like a chasm between what we’ve been taught qualifies us as feminist progressives and what it is many of us really want to do—which is to do the things we like to do without feeling like we have to reassure everybody that we really are feminists. We may want to sew, cook, stay home with the baby, maybe even can green beans without a pressure cooker.

The chasm would be that dark, dangerous thing we have to jump over called the truth. We have to get from how we like to perceive ourselves (as feminists, of course), to what we want to do (girly stuff) by pretending it is, in fact, girly stuff of global relevance that will some day save the world....  But the truth—what really motivates us to sew and cook and schlep the baby—is that it is what we want to do because we like doing it. The thing in and of itself makes us relevant as individuals whether we’re shearing our own Alpacas or buying the yarn at Hancock’s. We can dream of creating a brave new world full of diversity and empowerment while crocheting our own rainbow flags, but as long as we’re doing what we want, we don’t have to go to the rally to qualify as feminists. We don’t even have to think of ourselves as subversives. We can be out feminist knitters with no agenda beyond getting the stockings done in time for Christmas. Perhaps one day, when feminism is no longer relevant because we have nothing left to prove, we can bridge the divide with the realistic idea that often the simplest of motivations make us strong. Whether we’re “empowered” will always be up to rhetoric (a known alias of bullshit).

I’m Julie Auer, and I don’t do needlework. (Deep breath.) I bake. There, I said it.

Julie Auer

Putting a Cork in Corker

Justin Green

Brief and to the Point

Cissy Pirkle

Bollocks at the Bijou

The Bijou rocks because you can see and hear everything from everywhere. But the Bijou (no wait, the rude and drunken people at the Bijou) suck(s) because you can see and hear everything from everywhere.

Knoxville, you have a killer venue in the Bijou that is hosting killer headliners, but it is imperative something be done regarding the alcohol policy and audience etiquette.

Abby Holmes


Contrary to the article, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has, in fact, established safe lead standards for public health. Gerdau Ameristeel works hard to ensure that we live up to those standards. Knox County air quality monitors have consistently shown that air quality near the Knoxville mill is well within the lead standards set by the EPA. In fact, every year for the past seven years, air quality has been 25 times better than the EPA standard.

The Gerdau Ameristeel Knoxville plant is in full compliance with local, state and federal regulations for air quality, particularly those related to standards for lead and dust. Additionally, Gerdau Ameristeel is dedicated to continuously monitoring our emission levels to ensure the company is in compliance.

In 2000, the Gerdau Ameristeel Knoxville mill installed a new melt shop with better emission control systems. Although production increased, ambient lead levels were reduced. We are committed to investing in technology to ensure that our environmental impact on the community is minimal.

A recent third-party survey gathered and analyzed monitor data from around the plant perimeter. Dust levels from operations around Gerdau Ameristeel’s Knoxville plant are also well below regulatory limits.

 Additionally, the article incorrectly stated that Gerdau Ameristeel had applied for a permit that would add over 100,000 tons per year of lead into the air. In fact, Gerdau Ameristeel applied for and has received a permit to increase steel production by 100,000 tons per year (from 500,000 to 600,000 tons). As part of approving that production increase, the Knox County Department of Air Quality management actually reduced the amount of lead that Gerdau Ameristeel is permitted to emit.

Thank you for allowing us to set the record straight.

Arlan Piepho

Guidelines for Incoming Mail