By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Neal R. Meissner
Sebring Capital Corporation
As I read "Slip sliding away" [July 24], I am appalled by the complacency and arrogance of our public officials--people who are paid by our tax dollars.
The article says that City Engineer Steve Parker "will ask for more flood control funds, [but] he doubts that any of it will go to the Barneses if it's approved."
Parker adds: "He's on the list. Will he get funded? Not likely." Has Parker unilaterally decided that the Barnes property is not worth the city's attention or money? Why?
It seems to me that Mr. Barnes, the homeowner whose back yard is slipping away, has gone through civilized and proper channels in his hope to get help from the city. It's a shame that the people at City Hall think of him as an annoyance because he keeps returning to them with more questions. Perhaps if they had a little courtesy and straight answers, Mr. Barnes would have been spared the frustration he has suffered.
My dad was the subject of the "Slip sliding away" article. Yes, he has made numerous trips to the city offices in search of answers. As you see other homes on the creek being fixed that are not in as bad of shape or that do not fit the priority list as defined to you, and your house is not even being considered, wouldn't you ask questions? As you see not just inches but yards of the property wash away, wouldn't you raise a question? And when city officials can't give you straight answers, wouldn't you keep asking?
The previous engineers and Councilman Larry Duncan told my dad that my grandmother's property should have been on the list and that it was overlooked on the original report. At the time of the report, the yard appeared stable, they said. But we have years of pictures to dispute that. After admitting a mistake had been made, they still seem unwilling to correct the situation. Engineer Lloyd Denman says it is the homeowners' responsibility to repair/protect their own property. If that was the case, why did the city repair 20 out of 25 homes on our street? Did those 20 homeowners protect their property?
This is not a case of sour grapes because my grandmother's property didn't get a wall and the neighbors' did. In fact, we are happy that they don't have to go through what my parents have been through! This is a case of the city telling my parents that a mistake was made, but that nothing can be done because there is no money. We are now on a list to possibly get something done in 2002. How much more damage will be done between now and then? How much property will be lost that could have been saved?
Missing in action
I formerly enjoyed the Dallas Observer each week...er...parts of it at least. But nowadays I don't get to see it much. You see, it's no longer made available in my downtown office building like it used to be every week. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that attorney Brian Loncar is in this building...ya think? I guess the property manager is more interested in keeping BL happy than in distributing the Observer. Go figure.
Congrats to Tim Schuller. His piece on the Holmes Brothers' new record, Promised Land, and his recapping of their career was pretty much right on target ["Holmes style," April 24]. It showed some real conscientious reporting.
Too few music writers take the time to get the history and facts right before sharing their point of view. The Holmes' music is a rich, distinctly American stew, and it was good to see its origins so comprehensively accounted for in print. I consider myself fortunate to have played a role in their unfolding career, and it's gratifying that folks in Dallas seem to have gotten a good representation of not only their stirring music, but their intriguing lives as well.
Again, glad to see an accurate piece about my friends...but about that "weepy" pedal steel and "tacked on" horn part...best regards.
Dreaming of Dea
Many thanks to Matt Weitz for the article he wrote about me ["A dream deferred," July 31]. However, during that interview there were a couple of things that we failed to discuss that I think should be known. My wife Deanna (Dea) has worked hand-in-hand with me over the past 36 years not only in music, but as a wage earner and provider. She had her own professional career as an executive secretary at Texas Instruments until she retired in 1991.