Letters

Dea has also written many songs that I have recorded, including two on the new CD: "Who Stole The Marker From The Grave of Bonnie Parker?" and "Goodbye Priscilla." I have always been a family-oriented person, and I'm extremely proud of Dea and our sons, Steve, Shawn, and Dusty. Over the past 17 years, I have toured in various parts of the world at least 15 times, and Dea has always been by my side. Hopefully, we'll be doing the same thing 17 years from now.

Gene Summers
Garland

Worthy of office
Concerning your article "Executive Sweet" [July 31], I am compelled to ask you how much your office cost to have renovated when you have one to fix up? Is it not reasonable to expect money to be spent on a space to work in that is pleasing and safe?

DISD needs to spend some money on fixing up its real estate, and if you want to accuse Yvonne Gonzalez of anything, then accuse her of being overly careful in disclosing information that you are misconstruing.

As a parent with a child in DISD for several years, I can say that I'm glad we have someone in the superintendent's office who doesn't back down when challenged on the real issues of teaching our children. Everything else is mean, cruel, ugly, and useless exercises in getting attention diverted from educating our children. All this article does is divert even more attention from that goal.

So you go work as hard as Gonzalez is--and as many hours--and do it in the old office she had and see if you are as good and as productive as she has been. She has already changed my child's school for the better. I met our new principal today and can say he is very busy getting his priorities and our school ready for the school year. Way to go Yvonne.

Ona
Via e-mail

Rose by any name
Are there two Rose Farleys who write for your paper? Recently, Farley detailed how a large cement company with political access and deep pockets battled a group of concerned local citizens over the burning of hazardous waste ["Ill wind blowing," June 12]. She then analyzed the possible long-term health hazards from exposure to the waste emitted by the plant as well as some already apparent effects on a few of its neighbors ["Something in the air," June 19].

A couple of weeks later, Rose Farley writes in "O little town of Bethel-sham" [July 17] (Not too hard to figure out where her sentiments lie) that the town is "a ploy" by a few migrant suburbanites with "their bucolic visions, barbecue grills, and fancy cars" who recently have been buying land around the area and now want to deny some of the local farmers (by implication, the "true" custodians of the area) the right to sell their land at inflated prices to the North Texas Cement Company.

The rest of the article reads like a particularly vitriolic version of Green Acres as the two sides engage in a "good old country pissing match" even though the opponents have no realistic hope of stopping North Texas Cement Company from building.

While the article is cleverly written, it misses the most obvious point; common sense dictates that the people of Bethel should be concerned about the cement plant. The plant will produce huge amounts of particulate matter, which, as Farley points out in her TXI article, a recent Harvard Medical study tied to increases in respiratory illness such as asthma. Looming on the horizon--only a license away--is the specter of burning toxic waste.

In terms of land, it will be 50 percent larger than the TXI plant and have an estimated life span of well over a century. Furthermore, Farley misleadingly writes of Bethel as if it were located in a largely desolate area. Whitewright--one third the size of Midlothian--is actually only one mile away. There are a number of other towns in a six- to eight-mile radius from Bethel that would amount to a few more thousand with potentially a direct exposure to the plant's emissions. And the area is growing rapidly.

While one might debate some of the opponents' methods, can we question their motivation, namely concern that the proposed cement plant will reduce the quality of life for the vast majority of people who live in the area? Furthermore, these people do not have the financial resources to gain political access through the usual "respectable" methods of backdoor lobbying and lush campaign means to stop construction of the plant.

I regret that Farley chose to take such a smug and dismissive view of the events and participants behind the creation of Bethel. In doing so, the article fails to acknowledge an obvious point; the people who live in and near Bethel should be concerned about the building of the North Texas Cement Company plant, and they should not be ridiculed for seeking legal means to stop it. Somewhere in the two weeks between her TXI report and this one, Farley seems to have undergone quite a transformation...unless there are two Rose Farleys.

J.E. Hattis
Via Internet

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