After reading this week's Best of the Triangle results (June 8), I have a suggestion for your Art Gallery category. You have grouped art galleries together with art museums and artist collectives, despite the fact that these are three very different types of institutions. In the current poll, the museums and collectives have an automatic advantage since they each have a large staff and/or membership who can easily vote en masse and sway the results. This seems self-evident in this year's poll, where all the winners are either museums or collectives.
It is also worth mentioning that the Triangle has enough art museums (NCMA, Nasher, Ackland, CAM, Gregg) for their own category. The same goes for artist collectives, of which there are too many to name. Your public may be interested in opinions on the 15–20 independent art galleries in the area, but, without their own category, it seems doubtful that they will ever show up in the survey. I also noticed that you have given the small group of Triangle comic book stores their own category, as opposed to including them with bookstores, so it would seem that a precedent has been set.
I enjoy this feature every year, and I appreciate you considering these changes in future polls.
Adam Cave Fine Art
Triangle art galleries are very different than museums, like apples and oranges. Galleries have their own distinct personalities and niches competing for and sharing clientele. Each of us represents different artists and often has monthly events year-round that foster a following. Most of us display local and national living artists. While a museum displays to a wider audience with greater media coverage, galleries exhibit art that helps promote the individual artist by introducing them to potential collectors and the community, working hard for an audience and loyal clientele in a competitive environment. It is a more intimate experience and really not comparable to visiting a museum.
Everyone I know has his or her favorite galleries! It would be fun to see who might be "Best of the Triangle."
Nicole's Studio & Art Gallery
Regarding the eugenics articles by Kevin Begos (May 18, May 25 and June 1): What's really scary is that, as stated, a sterilization law was passed in North Carolina in 1919 and historical texts claim that no sterilizations took place in N.C. between 1919 and 1933. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Johanna Schoen has shown us through her work that sterilizations were rampant in N.C. after 1933. However, between 1919 and 1933, sterilizations were extremely common—in particular in the Raleigh area. (I wrote a master's thesis at Duke University in Durham examining surgical procedures on the mentally ill.)
There was a surgical gynecologist, Dr. Hubert A. Royster, who was dean of the N.C. Medical College, head of surgeons at Dorothea Dix Hospital, chief surgeon at St. Agnes Hospital in Raleigh and chief surgeon at Rex Hospital in Raleigh during the 1920s and 1930s. Private medical records indicate hundreds of sterilizations (masked and recorded as "therapeutic sterilizations") just at Dorothea Dix Hospital alone. No telling how many hundreds of "therapeutic sterilizations" were performed at St. Agnes Hospital for Colored People.
It is incredible to think how many citizens of North Carolina, women in particular, were sterilized at the turn of the century.
As regular Independent Weekly readers, we are puzzled by Grayson Currin's column in the June 1 edition ("Suburban cowboy"). What was his message about the Town of Garner and Scotty McCreery? Clearly, Mr. Currin hasn't visited Garner and badly understates the town's spirit, quality of life and the wholesale pride we all share in Scotty's success.
We relocated to Garner from Upstate New York two years ago and are enthusiastic Garner boosters. Mr. Currin's characterizations couldn't be more off base. Garner is a community that has vibrant neighborhoods, strong civic organizations, good schools, welcoming churches and some of the best parks in Wake County. We are a citizenry that often shakes its collective head over the continual misrepresentation of Garner in the media and by those who don't know much about us—or take the time to find out.
To disparage the Town of Garner, and by reference disrespect our Scotty McCreery, reflects Mr. Currin's ignorance. He doesn't even know that Lake Benson Park (which he refers to as a field) is a wonderful community park with hiking trails, children's play areas and space for recreation, sports and special events. It was the location where 30,000 people of Garner and beyond came to celebrate Scotty's successes. Perhaps Mr. Currin would like to stop by the "field" on July 3rd to observe our traditional and well-attended Independence Day celebration, which features the North Carolina Symphony and spectacular fireworks.
We invite Mr. Currin to visit Garner and talk with its diverse residents and long-standing small business owners and see the many assets of this wonderful place. Or at least do what he should have done before writing his column—simply visit the town's website or seek out its monthly newsletter. Perhaps if he had done that, his piece would have reflected the real facts about Garner.
Jeffrey Swain and Nancy Anderson
In his June 1 Front Porch column titled "Suburban cowboy," Grayson Currin did what many lazy columnists do: He cobbled together some easy generalizations, eschewed any meaningful reporting and signed his name to the piece.
Garner is much more than "a series of businesses connected mostly by blacktop, with a service station and a country buffet always close at hand." We are a community of tightly knit neighborhoods with active civic and religious groups. We are a forward-looking town with hundreds of acres of parkland inside our municipal boundaries, an educational nature center that is LEED gold certified (the only such facility with that designation in the Carolinas) and a historic auditorium with year-round programming in a broad range of performing arts.
As for those "series of businesses" in our town, we're proud that both national chains and independents have chosen Garner, and we are grateful for what they give back to our community. A great example of their giving back was on May 14, when they footed the lion's share of the bill for our magnificent homecoming concert and parade with our American Idol, Scotty McCreery.
Garner boasts a strong sense of identity and a powerful undercurrent of civic pride that distinguishes it from many other towns in the Triangle and beyond. Anytime Currin wants to exercise his journalism muscles and find out what Garner is really like, he can look me up and I'll be happy to show him around.
Mayor, Town of Garner
I think a big problem with Garner is that years ago, they saw the 401 and 70 corridors with big shiny dollar signs in their eyes and thought that spreading their town limits and getting big box stores everywhere was the answer to all their problems. Meanwhile, their original town core was sorely neglected and decayed to what's now the saddest downtown in Wake County.
If only someone on their council would get a clue and realize there's more to a community's growth than sprawl and gigantic shopping centers, that town really could be something special. (Especially with the proximity to downtown Raleigh.) Perhaps if their leaders could spend some time in Hillsborough, Pittsboro or Carrboro they could learn better methods of growth.
Scotty's given Garner some temporary fame, but soon enough it'll be forgotten once again as just another sprawling suburb with no real identity. Unless something changes.