Readers write: Oct. 10

World-class cities support their arts

A recent letter, “World-class cities keep sports teams” (Readers write, Sept. 19), argues in support of earmarking funds by the city of Atlanta to keep the Hawks, so that “Atlanta remains a world-class town that can have it all.” However, a genuine world-class city would provide a steady stream of support for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, which often struggles to maintain its deserved stellar reputation due to money woes. A truly world-class city would not let the splendid Georgia Shakespeare theater sink under a $343,000 debt and risk closing permanently.

This is small change compared to the hundreds of millions of dollars of Atlanta’s hotel-motel tax money earmarked for the Falcons. Progressive cities like Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Oklahoma City already generate public revenue to provide a steady stream of support for arts and culture. More important, Charlotte, N.C., our nearest competitor for attracting new businesses, will have a referendum on the Nov. 4 ballot to raise Mecklenburg County’s sales tax by a quarter penny for their arts organizations and libraries. Many of their civic leaders are promoting a “yes” vote because the arts add to the city’s quality of life and are good for business, as are their Carolina Panthers football team.

Atlanta’s corporate and elected leaders have achieved ambitious goals making Atlanta the business capital of the South. I call on them now to form a coalition with the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau and cultural leaders to explore ways to make it the arts capital of the South, so Atlanta will really “have it all.”


Ga. should accept same-sex marriage

It’s just a matter of time until the U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of same sex marriage. As with other inequality cases — desegregation in 1954, interracial marriage in 1967, and the 2003 legislation that dealt with same-sex relations — what was then “radical thinking” took time and some missteps before the court ruled. Same-sex marriage will be just the same. By choosing not to hear the seven petitions put before them this past Monday, I believe that the Supreme Court is merely waiting it out until there is more ground support. It would be very forward thinking for our great state of Georgia to be on the right side of history with this very important equality issue.


Georgians can trust their physicians

The article “Georgia OKs rejected docs” (News, Oct. 5) failed to point out that the vast majority of the 16,000 to 18,000 physicians who practice medicine in this state are focused on one primary mission, which is making their patients better. As the leading advocate for physicians in the state, the Medical Association of Georgia believes that any physician who violates their oath to “do no harm” should have their license revoked, while any member of society who does anything that is illegal should be prosecuted. While disturbing, the cases referenced in the article are isolated. Georgians should have peace of mind knowing they have access to some of the best, most compassionate physicians in the world — and that is a subject we should spend more time talking about.