A Spelunker's Universe

Week of March 20, 2002

Mar 20, 2002 at 4:00 am
A Spelunker's Universe
Lighting up a subterranean world: Tom Aley is, of course, one of my heroes [Jeannette Batz, "The Clan of the Cavesnail," March 6]. I'm a caver. Your article may well do more good than a pickup load of scientific journals. I spent this past weekend crawling through a cave counting bats and bugs that will generate data for an arcane publication that few will read. Your pencil is a light into my world.
Tim Harrison
St. Louis

That's Mr. Dingbat, god of all he sees: Extremely well-written, attention-holding, well-worded, entertaining article on the soon-to-be-extinct snail, its proponents and the dingbats who are attempting its proliferation. It's quite a challenge to play God, eh? Major kudos to you!
Ben Verhagen
via the Internet

Pulitzer Pudding
No, thank you: It is a joy to read the investigative reports in your paper. There is no other paper in the metropolitan area that one can rely on to research the subject matter and give an accurate depiction of all the facts. We get fed cow dung daily through the Post. I pity those who have forgotten how to think. Thank you.

via the Internet

Reflection of Courage
Thanks, but all we did was tell their story: To all those who underestimate the Riverfront Times, who say it is just liberal bantering, not to be taken seriously: Tell that to all the women who are now getting to split $47 million, instead of $12 million, from the chauvinists at Rent-A-Center [Geri L. Dreiling, "Hell Hath No Fury," March 13]. Bravo, RFT for uncovering the truth, for being the catalyst for change, for getting those guys to pay for their ignorance. The RFT and its fearlessness should be congratulated.
Christine K. Carter
St. Louis

Addicted to Tax Dollars
Don't give welfare to the Cardinals: An observation by Ross Perot was "To give elected senators and representatives tax money to spend is like giving a drug addict more drugs." He was certainly correct. State Sen. [Peter] Kinder [R-Cape Girardeau] is out of control and should be recalled, along with all of those who support his new bill and any other legislation to give tax revenue to the wealthy owners of the Cardinals [Ray Hartmann, "Giants' Lesson: Part 2," March 13]. They are proposing more tax spending than the original request. The reality is that he is using our tax money as a handout to the rural towns opposing this bill to encourage them to support it, thereby costing the taxpayers more tax dollars. I'm surprised so many Democrats support giving our tax money to the wealthy. It is irresponsible to propose this use of tax money to subsidize the wealthy when necessary programs that are important to the legitimate needs of our less fortunate citizens of Missouri are being cut. But Sen. Kinder and those who support the tax money for the wealthy are not concerned about them. Will the Cardinals leave St. Louis? There is always an American League team to replace them. The Rams came after the football Cardinals left and are definitely an improvement. The San Francisco Giants are an excellent example of success without tax money. When polls show 66 percent of the people do not want their tax money to go to the wealthy owners of the Cardinals, how can our senators and representatives vote against the wishes of the people they are suppose to be representing? The voters will remember this, and we won't need term limits to rid ourselves of those who spend our tax money irresponsibly.
Al Huther

A baseball boycott in a Cardinal-crazy town: Those of us who oppose public financing of a stadium for the Cardinals have been going about it in the wrong way. We may not have the political clout that the Cardinals have, but we do have financial clout, at least if there are as many of us as I think there are. We need to make it very clear to all concerned that not only will we never attend a game at a new stadium if it is built with public funds, but in order to show that we are serious, we need to boycott all Cardinals games until this request for public funding is retracted. We need to make it clear that not only will we never vote for any politician who in any way supports this boondoggle, we will boycott any Cardinals advertisers until this proposal is defeated and will permanently boycott any advertisers of the Cardinals if the stadium is built with public funds. If there are as many people opposed to this plan as I suspect, and if we all vow to follow these steps, and demonstrate our seriousness starting now, this proposal will be defeated.
James Yanni
via the Internet

Strangelove stadium questions: I am curious if anyone has considered how close the elevated I-64/U.S. 40 will be to the proposed new stadium and whether highway noise will be objectionable to fans and players. Given that the highway is elevated fairly high at that location, it seems to me there will be little the stadium walls can do to block noise. Also, does the proximity of the highway pose a security threat? Could a panel truck, à la Tim McVeigh, "break down," hovering next to the new ballpark? Who's to prevent it? With real estate, the first three rules are location, location, location. Who in their right mind would say, "Gee, let's build a baseball stadium 100 feet from an interstate highway loaded with noisy trucks and cars?" Just one or two more reasons why the deal stinks.
Bob Morley
St. Louis