Letters to the Editor

INSURANCE ADJUSTMENT
To the Editor:
I am writing in regard to Anne C. Young's response to the articles "Exclusion No. 39" (RFT, Nov. 11) and "You're in Grabby Hands" (RFT, Dec. 2). Obviously she either works for an insurance company (maybe even Allstate) or plain old just doesn't get it.

What gives Allstate the right to be our judge and jury? (Editor's note: The writer and her husband were the subject of the "You're in Grabby Hands" piece.) They could have simply denied us months ago. Instead, they elected to drag it out for nine months, asking us to supply them with an extensive amount of paperwork that was totally unrelated to our claim, put us through a six-hour deposition and then denied us because we both have put ourselves through extensive schooling in order to better ourselves by becoming arsonists and thieves to gain $3,800? Where is the logic in that? On top of this, they will not even provide us with an explanation. In short, the "good hands" people have washed their hands.

In my research, I have found that there are class-action suits in Indiana, Texas, Oregon, Colorado, New York, Tennessee, Florida, Massachusetts, California, New Mexico, New Jersey, Washington, Georgia, Connecticut, Ohio and others. They are also under investigation by the state's attorney in many states as well. This is why I went to Jeannette Batz in the first place. If I would have had this information before we made a claim, I wouldn't have been insured by Allstate in the first place. By letting others know, then at least they have the option to research and decide for themselves. It should also be noted that even though Allstate has accused us of arson, theft, insurance fraud and the ever-present noncooperation, they continue to insure us.

My understanding is that an insurance company assesses risk and insures accordingly. That means that someone with a higher risk will pay higher premiums. All of this is calculated using probability statistics, which are based on facts such as where you live, crime statistics for the area, etc. Those that live in an area where a crime is more likely to occur will pay more and the insurance companies expect that the vast majority of those insured will not make a claim so that they can still afford to pay for those that do. That is my understanding of insurance and the basis for an insurance company being in business to make a profit. Unfortunately, the risk is there for the insurance company as well; crimes will occur and money will have to be paid out. That is the nature of their business. It is just plain bad business to make accusations that cannot be proven, and that is why I hope Allstate is going to be investigated in Missouri as well. That is why I have chosen to go public with my story, not for the welfare that Ms. Young suggests. If I wanted welfare, I wouldn't be working and paying my insurance premiums.

Kelly Mead

FETAL POSITION

To the Editor:
I was pleased to read the article regarding Planned Parenthood's desire to require insurance companies to cover contraceptives ("Fertile Ground") in the Dec. 2 issue of The Riverfront Times.

I am a single recent college graduate, and I am working for a well-known clothing-store chain in a local mall. I am just starting out and trying to make ends meet. My company talks of importance to family and special circumstances it would allow if I were to have a baby; however, the insurance plan they offer does not include insurance coverage. I am in no way ready to handle the life-changing experiences that come with having a baby. I am very excited about becoming a mother someday, but I want to have children when I am financially stable and able to provide for them in a loving marriage. I want to be responsible, but should I be forced to choose between paying my electric bill and buying birth control? One of the basic ways to improve upon society is to give individuals and families the ability to decide when to have children, and this is only possible when contraceptives are widely accessible. We will all be a lot healthier when children are born out of love and desire rather than out of unfortunate circumstances.

Christine Duffy

SHOCK TREATMENT

To the Editor:
I was shocked at your "Commentary" in The Riverfront Times regarding the deer problem in Town & Country ("Send in the Doe Boys," RFT, Nov. 25). You mock the citizens there because of their income. I should imagine yours is way higher than their average income, and nobody mocks your income.

The income has nothing to do with the deer problem. Deer are running wild throughout the country. There is a surplus, an overpopulation. Thus the deer are leaving their normal abode and are rampaging.

Forget the desecration of plants and flowers and bushes. Much more serious is the great increase in car crashes, plus the incidence of Lyme disease. Deer are carriers of Lyme disease, which is not a fun sickness.

I was equally shocked by the Dec. 2 "Mississippi Mud" ("Worry, Don't Be Happy"), in which William Stage mocked the symptoms of potential heart attacks and calls those who experience such symptoms potential hypochondriacs. Talk to any medical person -- doctor and nurse -- and they will be incredulous at Mr. Stage's apparently immature medical opinion. That article does a disservice to the community. I assume Mr. Stage is a very young man to write so foolishly about that which he knows nothing.

Justine Eiseman

FRANKLY CHARMING

To the Editor:
I only met Frank Moskus ("Frank Moskus: 1920-1998," RFT, Dec. 9) a few times. He was the oldest soul and the sweetest song I ever knew. That smile and that twinkle just made people feel warm and right. I think I'll sing to him, too.

Harry Liebman

RED CARD

To the Editor:
Regarding the morsel on soccer ("Sports," RFT, Dec. 2), just a little correction: MLS is not in Nashville, and though it is in Chicago, I think you meant to say St. Louis is a good spot for the A-League Pro-40 Team because the A-League is already in Nashville and Chicago (if Chicago's D3 team is promoted). Thus Midwestern routing will be easier in the A-League.

This is indeed a great prospect for St. Louis. I and many others have been waiting for quality outdoor soccer to return to St. Louis. The problem, as always, is the facility. You failed to mention the reason St. Louis is "seldom mentioned as a candidate in national circles" -- it's the facility. St. Louis hasn't one. Fenton has something of a soccer field, but St. Louis has nothing. That is the reason for no MLS. They would love to put a franchise here, but there is simply nowhere to play.

The best solution would be a 40,000-seat stadium in the city which MLS and SLU could share. The ideal location would be the Arena's spot. Barring that, renovating any of the many aging high-school facilities in town would be a fine solution. Soccer must be a city thing, and Fenton is the reason we're considered a test market for the A-League and not for MLS. But with a nice, central outdoor stadium we could host professional (outdoor) soccer and make a damn fine Olympic bid -- what with everything else located tightly in downtown.

In the meantime, thank you for your quality coverage of the news.
Tony Brasunas

CRITICAL ACCLAIM

To the Editor:
As The Riverfront Times is experiencing a change of ownership, I wanted to voice my great appreciation for your publication and its support of the arts. I am an avid reader and every Wednesday make a special trip to get my copy.

The RFT is the only paper in town that weekly offers local theater reviews. I often wondered if your staff realized the incredible impact that those reviews have. We not only read the reviews to see a measurement of theater performances, we read them to see what our community offers. Reviews of college productions, community theaters and special theatrical events such as playwrights' festivals give the readers exposure to the many opportunities available in our area. Even though it may be after the fact, we are reminded that we need to read your "Calendar" section religiously so that we don't miss the next one. Also, reviews of those shows/productions/organizations that are most likely operating in the red give much-needed notoriety to those theaters and entice those members to rush out to get your publication.

The impact of a Wilcox/Weber/Isaacson review is long-lasting. We use them as historical documents. Sometimes we display them in hallways, lobbies and picture frames. The unfavorable ones are still stuck safely away in scrapbooks. But in each and every case, the RFT name shows that our favorite community paper supports the entire theatrical community, regardless of funding or income. Keep up the good work. Thank you!

Linda Spall

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