Jeffrey Liles
Via Internet

Eroding credibility
I recently read the article "Slip Sliding Away" [July 24]. Please permit me a brief response to a few of the comments reported therein about Melton Barnes and the Woody Branch Creek erosion control project.

Dallas City Councilman Larry Duncan--knowing "the engineers" made a mistake in assigning construction priorities for the project but still not publicly acknowledging and seeking to rectify the mistake--says Barnes' "annoying tactics" and "pounding on them" doesn't help. I've always known Barnes to be a well-mannered, neighborly sort of person. Maybe he's changed now that he's in the seventh decade of his life, but I just don't think he's the sort of person who would go around annoying or pounding on anyone without good reason.

If Barnes has changed into some sort of addled nuisance monger, as some city employees seem to suggest in the article, maybe it's because of a runaround-brush-off,say one thing today, another tomorrow routine seemingly practiced by some city employees, and the rather snide, ill-informed, or deliberately obfuscating statements by some such employees.

If city engineer Steve Parker truly contends that "the city was forced to put the Barneses and their mom's [Lillie Gallatin's] property at the bottom of the priority list," I would suggest that he revisit history. Councilman Duncan states, "the engineers mistakenly overlooked the properties." At least one employee in engineer Parker's department has said about the same thing, and my guess is that others making an honest assessment of the situation would agree.

City Engineer Lloyd Denman might also want to revisit history and peruse a short study on the incurring of legal obligations, and he might want to review the dynamics and ramifications of aiming a large drainage pipe at a hill of dirt, and he might want to relate how forcefully (if at all) he enunciated his self-responsibility principle to Councilman Don Hicks when the councilman had property, his own included, put on the priority list ahead of other, more deserving property.

Melton Barnes may not be a perfect person, but I know he's tried to be a good neighbor and do the right thing; something I wish could be said about everybody else mentioned in your article.

James Ottinger
Anchorage, AK

Meet the Simpson
In order to set the record straight, I want to confirm that Bill Simpson did, in fact, work for Globe Mortgage Company as indicated, but then questioned, in your article ["Mr. Nobody," August 14]. I managed the Dallas office of Globe Mortgage Company from late 1988 to early 1992. I brought Bill in as a commercial loan officer in the fall of 1990. He stayed with the company for approximately one year. At that time, Globe Mortgage was headquartered in Hackensack, New Jersey, and the Dallas office was a regional branch office. Globe is no longer in the commercial mortgage banking field and may no longer be in business at all. I have had no contact with Globe since 1992.

I knew Bill from Boy Scouting. I was the Scoutmaster for Troop 72 at University Park United Methodist Church from 1986 to 1991. Bill joined the troop as an assistant scoutmaster in 1986 and, to my knowledge, is still an assistant scoutmaster there. In 1990, as Southmark was winding down, Bill was seeking employment, and I was pleased to offer him a position at Globe.

I consider Bill to be a friend. Having moved away from Dallas, I do not know exactly what he is doing; however, your article paints a negative picture that does not match the Bill Simpson that I have known for 11 years.

James F. Rice
Chicago, IL

Bad owners, bad!
It is sad that Sammy the dog died by lethal injection, as do tens of thousands of other animals in North Texas each year. ["Four legs and a funeral," August 7].

I love dogs; I own three. However, my dogs stay in the house, are housebroken, are neutered, and do not leave our yard to roam the streets.

Look at the statements in the Observer's article. Sammy apparently had a habit of getting out of the back yard and lying on the front porch waiting for the family to return home.

Most dogs are territory-protective. That territory can span for blocks, if not for miles. What did Sammy do while he was waiting? Why did Sammy need leg surgery? Had he been hit by a car? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to look at a dog coming at you to realize that you may be attacked or bitten.

Where were Sammy's collar and tags? A common excuse for dogs not wearing collar and tags is, "We just took them off to give the dog a bath." The city of Mesquite must have the cleanest dogs in the state: 85-90 percent of impounded animals are not wearing collars or tags.

How many innocent people have to be attacked, bitten, or harassed by loose dogs? How many traffic accidents have to happen because of loose dogs? I've seen hundreds of children lying in emergency rooms getting stitched up after being mauled by loose dogs. How many meter readers, letter carriers, joggers, etc., need to be attacked, mauled, or seriously injured by loose dogs before pet owners get the message to control and contain their pets?

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