Letters to the editor

Parking-plan insanity at the airport

I recently read in the Citizen-Times that the Asheville Regional Airport is getting a new parking deck, because it’s running out of parking space. Funny, I’ve been flying out of the airport at least once a week for the past three years, and I have never had trouble finding a parking place. Never.

What I have seen are people arriving late, with lots of bags, who can’t find a parking place within 20 feet of the terminal. I guess you could call that a problem, but I personally wouldn’t spend $8 million on these people.

According to the C-T article, the net gain in parking spaces will be 157 for a deck with an $8 million price tag. Let’s do a little math: That’s $50,955 per space. Where’s the money coming from? Sounds to me like Charles Taylor’s been at work on that federal transportation bill. Either that, or parking is going to become one heck of a lot more expensive at our airport. Regardless, it’s an incredible waste of money.

What’s the logic here? That more people will fly because they can park more easily? Let’s remember what’s on the other side of the terminal: planes to take people away. If anything, we need more seats on more aircraft. This $8 million parking deck is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve heard of in the past five years, since Asheville’s become a boom town.

— Sandi M. Childs

[Childs is eastern regional director of the National Association for PET Container Resources.]

Past and promise?

Nearly three weeks ago, at the Moonlight Over Downtown street festival, my fiancee and I were saddened and mortified to see that the Past and Promise statue at Pack Square had been defaced with graffiti.

It’s obvious that some very intelligent (ahem!) juvenile thought it would be fun to put his/her “mark” on the statue — and all over town for that matter! I’m prompted to write off the apparent ignorance in our youth today — ignorance that seems to shine through, as brightly as the street lamp on which some of the marks are painted.

In the June 10 issue of Mountain Xpress, you featured a cute picture of a little girl “waiting in line at the fountain” (which is part of the Past and Promise statue). The title of the article was “ATTENTION KIDS!” The picture was void of the graffiti, because we cared enough to remove it the day after we saw it. With mineral spirits and rags in hand, we scrubbed the statue clean of the vile marks that had been painted on the statue’s back and on the nearby lamppost.

The experience gave the title of the statue (Past and Promise) a new meaning for us. The child at the fountain symbolizes “the future.” Now, I say, what does our future hold if we allow such blatant acts of vandalism to take place right in front of our eyes?

Attention Kids: You may think that placing your “mark” upon our fair streets is “funny,” and, perhaps, even “cool.” But this is not Miami, and it’s not a playground for the ignorance that your parents obviously condone in your households. Vandalism is a crime, and it is neither funny nor cool.

Asheville has recently been named one of the top-10 cities to live in. If we allow such ignorance to rampantly ravage our streets, we will soon be among the top-10 cities NOT to live in. I am proud of Asheville and what it stands for. I believe that our city stands for individuality, artistic ability and beauty of the surrounding mountainsides. But it stands for so much more than that!

It is unfortunate that (some of) our city’s children cannot be educated to recognize and appreciate the value of living in such a fair place — a city where you can actually walk the streets at night and not worry about being accosted by some thug who wants to rob you of your money and, perhaps, even your life. That, in and of itself, is reason to rejoice.

I say, Attention Parents: Let us educate our children to value and appreciate this wonderful place. Take a look at the graffiti you see on our streets: You know your children; you’ve seen these marks before. Bang some heads together, mom and dad (figuratively speaking, of course!). Clean up our streets and our children’s values. Pay closer attention to what is happening around you — and most importantly, Care about what the future holds for us all in Asheville.

As I look around me today, I notice that the same mark that defaced the girl at the fountain defaces the electrical boxes, the storefront windows, and even the city police station and municipal buildings. We have vowed to clean up more of our streets; won’t you do the same? The elbow grease is a small price to pay, if we can demonstrate our dedication to keeping our city a place where we all can live freely and proudly.

— Kimberly Smith

Call the cavalry, please!

Oops! The word you were looking for [in Brenda Fullick’s June 3 article, “Union troops sack Asheville!”] is “cavalry,” a military unit operating on horseback.

“Calvary” — capitalized, of course — is the place where, according to the New Testament, Jesus of Nazareth was crucified.

Cavalcade, cavalier, the Spanish caballero — all having to do with men on horses — are derived from the Latin for horse: caballus. Think of caballero, and you won’t make the mistake again.

One slip can be a typo, but throughout the article does indicate — I’m sorry — illiteracy.

Everybody back to English 101!

Regarding your article: In 1965, during the centenary of the Civil War’s end, there was a story in the Asheville Citizen or the Times about a gold watch taken from an Ashevillean on the street by one of the feds, which had remained in [the Northerner’s] family. Through an inscription in the watch, his descendants located descendants of the original owner and made a trip to Asheville to return it!

[Also], Edward Sheary should be titled, “Director, Buncombe Libraries.”

— John Bridges

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