Tom Stewart-Gordon

Your article about the giant sucking sound was so great. I think, however, that the sucking sound is coming from under Perot's desk (where Mayor Kirk is kneeling).

This is such graft, I can't stand it. I live in Garland, so I guess it's none of my affair, but I feel for the people of Dallas who are about to get screwed.

Randy Carnes
Via e-mail

This is really a note to Laura Miller. She has mentioned the DMN and its lack of objective coverage of the arena deal. In a recent article in the DMN on the front page of the business section, there was a glowing report about the new arena in Washington, D.C. It told how beautiful and lavish it was, and about the new wave in arenas, just like ours is going to be, etc. But it left out one major point. The arena in Washington was funded completely with private funds. It received no public subsidy. How could an article, particularly in the business section, leave out such an interesting point?

Joe Collins
Via e-mail

Reality check
Clearly, Laura Miller will go to any length to prove that she is a poor man's "public defender." In her article on the arena debate ["Get real," December 4], she profiles the "poor workin' folk" who will get hit with the car tax. She suggests that the city is misleading the public when it says that the majority of car renters are tourists. Well, by Ms. Miller's own mini-poll, the majority of renters are just that...out-of-towners. By her own calculations, 266 out of 1,306 renters were from the metroplex. That means 80 percent of renters were from out of town! Sure, there are some exceptions, but anyone can write the sob story of what amounts to the minority.

My suggestion to Laura Miller is to recognize that most readers of the Observer are not fooled by her transparent "champion of the people and exposer of corruption" role. She's just a no-talent hack who writes for a minor publication that, by the way, makes its money mostly by running ads from pornographic businesses (strip clubs and 1-800 numbers) and cigarette companies.

Oh, ye of such high moral standards.
Via e-mail

Once again Laura Miller is right on the mark. If John Loza thinks this is such a good deal, then why the rhetoric and hard sell? The powers that be are ignoring the people that have the facts, and the local Morning News refuses to print the truth. Now we come to the heart of this letter. If Laura Miller would like to retire for a short while from the reporting business, until, say, after the January vote, we can probably collect enough money here in Arlington to make it worth her while. Many in Arlington are pulling for Dallas to pass this thing and keep the albatross in Dallas. Remember, we already have the Ballpark at Arlington. So go Dallas, and pay no attention to this Miller person, or the cheering in Arlington.

Bob Spiegel
Via e-mail

What a fascinating tale Laura [Miller] has woven regarding the tourist-based arena tax. Let's see what it consisted of.

The tax is composed of two parts--hotel tax and rental car tax in the city of Dallas. On the one hand, she concedes that the hotel tax is generally paid for by tourists (or businessmen). On the other, she criticizes the rental car tax because she actually found a few people in Dallas who rented cars. Presumably, she tried the same with Dallas citizens using Dallas hotels but was shut out.

What she did not mention is that the hotel tax is the primary revenue generator; hence, she concedes that tourists will be picking up most, if not all, of the bill.

We should be ecstatic that people from other cities will be paying for us to build a modern arena in an environmentally and economically depressed area of our city. This arena will generate $6 billion dollars to the local economy over the next 30 years. This is money Joe Average Citizen will not pay in taxes.

Unless Laura has an economics degree, limit her commentary to DISD. We need more positive energy from our citizenry instead of the negative vibes Laura gives off. Peace.

Bill Radtke
Via e-mail

Laura Miller's article "Get real" was a solid follow-up to "Flying blind" [November 20], exposing the smoke and mirrors used to promote the illusion that the proposed arena deal won't cost Dallas taxpayers.

While I agree that the car-rental tax will surely cost Dallasites more, don't minimize the hit we will take because of the hotel tax. I'm sure that thousands of us have found more than enough justification in paying for a night away from the primary residence. Inclement weather, escape from an abusive relationship, romantic encounters (surely the politicians should understand that), and too much to drink at happy hour are all valid reasons to rent a room in town.

The real issue for me, however, is more basic. Taxpayers (low-income, middle-income, or wealthy) shouldn't be forced by their government, at any level, to provide financing for billionaires who choose to invest in sports franchises or anything else.

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