While their physical needs are being met, their emotional needs are not. Our hopes and prayers are for the long-term safety and happiness of these majestic creatures, our friends. These were the goals of the sanctuary.

Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson wrote: "Animals are, like us, endangered species on an endangered planet, and we are the ones who are endangering them, it, and ourselves. They are innocent sufferers in a hell of our making. We owe them, at the very least, to refrain from harming them further. If no more, we would leave them be."

Scott and Debra Sanford
Brandenton, Florida

All bills come due
The article "Thank you Ma'am" by Miriam Rozen in the December 26 issue of the Observer wrongly stated that "Parkland [Memorial Hospital] doesn't face the same cost issues as the other institutions." Indeed, that inappropriate editorial comment couldn't be further from the truth.

Parkland faces the same issues that private hospitals face, such as declining reimbursement from payers, restrictions mandated by managed care companies, market forces requiring us to become more efficient, and many others. Parkland has an added challenge of prudently managing funding for indigent care provided by Dallas County taxpayers. Some of our patients have private insurance or are members of managed care plans.

In the Division of Women and Children's Services, we have chosen to provide the same level of care to all our patients, regardless of their funding sources. The medical staff believes that it is best for mothers and babies to be medically ready to go home when discharged. That is why all of Parkland's OB patients have the option of staying for 48 hours after a vaginal delivery.

From a financial perspective, Parkland is able to allow mothers and babies to stay longer because we operate efficiently. In fact, we have analyzed the cost of our maternity services and found that it costs Parkland far less to provide care to OB patients than other hospitals in the area.

It is unfortunate that Rozen did not include this perspective in her article.

Paula Turicchi, Vice President
Women and Children's Services
Parkland Memorial Hospital

Hollywood deserves Flynt
Hmm. Michael Wilson gets blacklisted for writing a film--Salt of the Earth--about Mexican-American union members and consequently ends up being completely forgotten by Hollywood. Larry Flynt, on the other hand, throws a tantrum over his right to get rich publishing dirty pictures, and Hollywood consequently makes him a hero ["Bottoms up," December 26]. Gee, that seems fair.

Granted, anyone who has seen Jade or Basic Instinct can hardly blame Hollywood for not waxing self-righteous about pornography. But must Peter Rainer jump on the Larry Flynt bandwagon, too? (Talk about conga lines!)

And what's this garbage about Mars Attacks! being a better film than John Sayles' "bad novel" of a film, Lone Star? Being both Mexican-American and a longtime Tim Burton fan, I expected to like them both. Yet I found Mars Attacks! to be incredibly tedious and surprisingly predictable for such an expensive film. Yes, it had its moments, but one can only watch only so many scenes in which a self-righteous fat cat gets zapped by aliens after making a predictably long-winded speech before one starts waxing nostalgic for a relatively subtle film like Beetlejuice.

And is it too much to ask that a parody show at least some kind of imagination in its targets? I'm sorry, but I don't exactly consider trigger-happy generals an original target for satire. It's far easier to name the number of films in the last ten years that have not poked fun at them.

Rogelio Mendoza, Jr.

Shining a light
I want to thank the Dallas Observer and reporter Holly Mullen for the excellent article "Grateful Dead" [January 2].

The procedure which was used to decertify the six acres of Greenwood Cemetery land that included a five-acre pauper section was shady, to say the least.

Your paper is to be commended for bringing this situation to the attention of Dallas citizens. Without the Observer, certain controversial issues would never appear in print.

Thanks for being here.
Sandra Kincaid

Faddy food
With all due respect, a "pizza" with pineapple on it is not a "pizza" in the truest sense of the word ["Fashionable Dining," December 12]. There are no pineapple trees in Brooklyn, where my uncle Victor, a Babylon, New York pizzaman, insisted pizza originated. And I believe my uncle; after all, he made fresh pizzas for Captain Kangaroo. These food items that include toppings that would curdle Mama Leoni's blood should find a more appropriate nomenclature. Perhaps Fashion Food Fad Dishes.

Sheila McKay

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