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Letters to the Editor (2) - July 26 2006

'Into the shadows,' endorsements and Metro Man

OUT OF THE SHADOWS

I'm Barbara Killough, Wendy Whitaker's mother, and I wanted to thank you for the wonderful article (cover story, "Into the shadows," July 20). I have always been a little weary of the media, but you have given me reason to believe that reporters can and do make a difference in how the public sees things. I have gotten hate e-mails, and after your article I have gotten apologies. People see a face and read an article like this and it can change how they feel. Again, thanks.

-- Barbara Killough, Laurens, S.C.

WORKING FOR YOU

I just want to commend your publication and especially Scott Henry's work for the excellent coverage of the primary races (cover story, "Drink up: Our refreshing endorsements," July 6). This has been an extremely busy summer for me, and I did not have time to do my usual amount of candidate research. Thankfully, CL did the work for me. Of course, I didn't agree with all of CL's candidates: Jim Martin deserved the endorsement! But I really appreciate the help. And, my mother (the only Democrat in Dunwoody) benefited from CL's wisdom as well.

-- Stacey Ferdinands, Dunwoody

'TOWERING' INFERNO

"Crushing ambition" would have been a more appropriate title for Mr. Sugg's article "Towering ambition" (Metro Man, July 13). The article seemed more like a paid endorsement of Wayne Mason and his inappropriate, out-of-scale proposed development along Piedmont Park than an objective piece of journalism.

We live on Cresthill Avenue, the small residential street that is slated to serve as the main entry to Mr. Mason's proposed 38- and 39-story towers on Piedmont Park. Cresthill is a charming brick street lined with 1920s bungalows and duplexes. All Cresthillians take great pride in our wonderful street. We have a street newspaper, the Cresthill Chronicle and have street parties twice a year. We have baby showers for expecting mothers and organize potluck dinner deliveries whenever a new baby is brought home to our street. This past year, we started a new tradition and had a progressive New Year's Eve party and went from house to house to celebrate the new year.

We are writing this letter not as "neighborhood activists," but as residents of a charming, wonderful street who truly love where we live. We are insulted by Mr. Mason's arrogant and misguided statement that we oppose the towers and the development he has proposed for Amsterdam Walk because we "think Piedmont Park should be [our] private park." Nothing could be further from the truth.

What truly makes Piedmont Park special, and valued by the residents of Cresthill and other streets surrounding the park, is its role as Atlanta's best and most diverse urban park. We love that the park is enjoyed by all of the residents of Atlanta — regardless of race, sexual orientation, age or economic status. We love to enjoy the park with all the visitors to the Dogwood Festival, the Jazz Festival, Screen on the Green, and all of the other wonderful events in the park. Indeed, far from wanting Piedmont to be our "private park," we want the park to continue to be a gathering place for all of the residents of Atlanta. Mr. Mason's proposed development threatens all of this. Anyone who has ever attended an event in Piedmont Park can testify to the awful traffic jams and woefully inadequate parking that always accompany such events. The proposed 3,100 units Mr. Mason would like to build on the park would exponentially increase these problems and make all of these wonderful festivals impossible. In addition, these towers will choke the single-family homes surrounding the park out of existence.

Atlanta's wonderful, historic neighborhoods are what make Atlanta truly unique. What other city has neighborhoods with 1920s-era houses less than two miles from the main business district? Mr. Mason's proposed towers and development threaten all of this. It is important that all Atlanta residents realize that the Beltline is not dependent on Mr. Mason's out-of-scale, inappropriate development. The Beltline can, and will, happen without Wayne Mason. And if we all urge City Council to vote against Mr. Mason's rezoning applications, we can help to ensure that Piedmont Park, the Beltline, and Atlanta's wonderful intown neighborhoods will thrive for generations to come.

-- Jenifer and Drew Keenan, Atlanta