Perhaps I should feel pity, but I don't, and I don't feel bad because I don't feel pity. I'd like to be able to go downtown and not be accosted by a panhandler who follows me for a block trying to spare-change me with a pitch that borders on being aggressive and abusive.

We know the problem exists. Now come up with some ideas to fix it.
Tony Williams

The real buzz
I was taken aback by the Observer's flippant dismissal of the recent Week Without Violence effort (Buzz, November 30). While the crime numbers for that week were up from the same period last year, it is myopic to evaluate the undertaking on the basis of those numbers alone. A week free of violence certainly was a primary goal, but no one involved in planning the event expected the criminal element to cooperate by taking a seven-day sabbatical. What was expected, and, I believe, achieved, was dissemination of a powerful message of nonviolence through such places as schools, businesses, churches, government offices, neighborhood associations, private homes, and the like. As this message is taken to heart, particularly by the young who were a central focus of the effort, we can realistically expect long-term crime rates to continue to decline.

One week's crime statistics are not a true measure of the effectiveness of this project. A tremendous amount of thought, time, and toil by people deeply concerned about our city went into the Week Without Violence and their efforts accomplished a great deal. It is regrettable that the Observer cynically chose not to convey that to its readers.

Chesley L Williams

Recycle this letter
Bravo to Laura Miller! I have been disgusted with this city's lack of initiative with regard to a recycling program for years. A city of this size and importance should be a leader and an example for other cities in Texas. I received the notice on my door earlier this summer from the city of Dallas attempting to explain its curbside pickup. Let me stress the word "attempting"! It was like trying to read Greek; it was confusing and difficult. The basic idea was for a household to purchase special blue bags to be used for recyclables. Easy enough. Except the notice read that these special bags would be available at all major grocery stores for purchase. I went to Kroger at Mockingbird and Greenville and the Tom Thumb at Mockingbird at Abrams and could find no such bags for sale.

I recycle glass, paper, and aluminum. I take these to igloos located at a church not far from my house. I hope that one day I will be able to not only have a curbside program that is user-friendly, but one that will include more products.

Go get 'em, Laura!
C.L. Green

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