By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Rich man's welfare
Ms. [Laura] Miller, thank you for your informative article ["That giant sucking sound"] in the December 11 issue concerning Ross Perot Jr. and his arena scheme. I believe that the whole idea is a bad deal for the citizens of Dallas, but until I read your article, I didn't realize just how unscrupulous young Mr. Perot really is.
I find it very interesting that Mr. Perot Sr., who normally has the answers to everything, especially to the proper role of government in private enterprise, has been so uncharacteristically silent on this issue.
Trudy L. Hess
I want to comment on your arena tax myth article ["Get real," December 4]. What upsets me is, this tax is also going to be real hard on the hundreds of residents of those cheap hotels that everyone abhors. I have many friends who work day labor and hope to earn enough to eat and pay $24.99 for a room. It is not fair that even a little added on can mean less food. It is time for those who use the sporting facilities to pay for them instead of honest, hard-working citizens. Thank you for your objective reporting and not being afraid to approach an issue.
You go girl! Dallas needs someone like you who can cut through all the legal rambling and red tape to decipher right from wrong ["Mr. Mayor, meet your nightmare," December 18]. It's a simple truth, but it seems to be lost in politics. Dallas also needs someone like you who won't join the butt-sucking machine every time the rich man farts! Good luck in the election.
Cat fight II
Re: Gene Reitnauer and Texas Exotic Feline foundation.
First, the Observer (and Ann Zimmerman) is the only part of the media in the metroplex that has had the guts to dig into the horrors surrounding the ousted director, Gene Reitnauer, of the Texas Exotic Feline Foundation.
But in a recent article, ["The cats of war," November 20] I was somewhat misquoted, saying that "We all know Gene did mistakes." From that, one can get the impression that Gene Reitnauer did something seriously wrong. The only thing she did wrong was to underestimate her opponents.
We know that Gene should have spent more time on the books and taken care of technicalities (hence, less caretaking of the cats).
I have never even for the faintest moment believed that Gene did ever misuse or embezzle any of the foundation's money. In fact, she was even using the foundation money so wisely, she didn't receive a salary until 1995 for all her work. And that was a very meager amount. Also, instead of hiring a lot of "hands," Gene managed a very dedicated group of volunteers that spent both precious time and money to assist in taking care of the cats and the sanctuary (yard work, maintenance, etc.).
I have never met anyone so dedicated and committed to her cause--in this case saving these large felines. Gene has spent over 14 years of her life, dedicating her entire workday to these large, beautiful, and unfortunate cats.
What does she get for this?
Being permanently banned from ever seeing her cats again.
Being evicted from her home in Wise County.
Being harassed by a legal process that she has no money to defend herself from.
Being restricted in her freedom of speech (in this case it is called "contempt of court").
All volunteers who have had the guts to support Gene, morally and financially, have been permanently banned from the TEFF property. What kind of justice is that? Why don't our hard work, donated money, and views count in this case? The "system" is, in this case, only listening to the voices of a few wealthy benefactors with deep connections into the innards of the metroplex!
Some people say that this case does not interest anyone. On the contrary, I think that if someone had enough interest, money, and stamina to dig deep into this mess, there would be a very interesting case, blatantly displaying where the Texas legal system does not work--unless you have unlimited funds to hire both lawyers and investigators. Maybe there would also be a few very interesting details about certain metroplex profiles.
Conclusion is that with money in Texas, you can buy justice, the system, and the truth!
The TEFF situation is one of the saddest miscarriages of justice I have ever seen. I have been following this story for over a year now, and the atrocities keep on building up. We all make mistakes, but the treatment of Gene Reitnauer could be likened to being shot at dawn for speeding. This case also showcases the declining state of our legal system and ranks right up there with the OJ trial and the au pair case.
Big cats have occasionally hurt people over the years; that comes with their nature. However, the way some people treat their fellow man these days (as in the TEFF case) makes the cats look pretty benign!
Gene Reitnauer is the victim of two men's millions and their desire to do anything to bring her down. Oh, the tangled web they weave--with Gene as the fly caught in it! Since the outcome of her case, I have lost total faith in our justice system. If you don't have money, you don't stand a chance.