By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Turn the dial, dummy: Why was the article "Race Riot" written? The author simply threw stones at a very popular radio program and offered no definitive answer about what should be done about the "racist" nature of the show. I can understand the author writing a scathing article about something that offends him, but he even mentioned that he liked the show "most of the time." Well, buddy, the old cop-out of changing channels still applies. You can turn it to K-one-oh-fo if you'd like, or to whatever station doesn't offend you.Why anyone would allow their panties to get in a wad over a simple radio show is beyond me. Perhaps they have been victims of the "man."
It is satire, Mr. Gonzalez. You don't have to like it, but I do.
David W. Dealy
Crummy city parks: I am writing in response to Lisa Singh's July 13 article, "Mean Green," about Southeast Dallas' struggle to fix parks. I have recently moved to PLAN's district and have joined the board of directors. I have been shocked and outraged at the poor conditions of both Parkdale and Lawnview Parks.Parkdale Park, an ideal place to sell drugs, has too much light over the big green expanse and literally nothing in terms of lighting over the parking lot. Members of PLAN found the money that we needed to fix the parks, and our elected representative took it away and claimed credit! This is something that every citizen in Dallas should be concerned with, considering the thought that anyone could be next. If you think your neighborhood is crime-free now, think again. Any member of our city council can change that by taking money for your parks and placing it elsewhere. Our area has the lowest crime rate in Dallas right now. If Councilman Leo Chaney continues to take away our means of keeping our area safe and crime-free, then it should serve as a wake-up call to any area of Dallas that we may not be as safe as we all think we are.
Enterprising reporter: Wow, what a concept! A positive, a very positive, story about the Dallas public school system ("Public Defenders," August 3). You realize, of course, that you are breaking new ground here. Like Kirk, Picard, and Janeway before you, you may be going where no one has gone before. The trek will be worth it, though. There are many, many more stories like this one that are worth telling.Thank you, Mr. [Jonathan] Fox and thank you, Dallas Observer.
White flight: At first I thought the article was a joke and was reading with a smile on my face till I realized you were serious. If there is a word of fact in it, people will soon flee Plano, Allen, etc., sell their homes, and buy there in Dallas where their kids can experience DISD. They will find the diversity refreshing. I found it so refreshing in 1970 that I moved to Ellis County, where I still live.
Gridlocked: Anyone who has sat in the Los Angeles I-405-type traffic we have on 635 can attest to the fact that traffic is most certainly getting worse here. Eleven years ago, I lived in Hurst. I could leave the house at 7 a.m. and get to Belt Line and Midway at 7:30. Today, that would be a 90-minute trip.Dallas is not unique in this. Atlanta is a great example of an attempt to alleviate traffic with a 10-year project to improve Interstate 75-85 through town. When it was completed, it still did not solve the traffic problems because the population had exploded by then.
Anyone who has been to Germany, Holland, or Switzerland is struck by how efficient the trains are, how the timing for connections is well planned, how you seem to be able to get just about anywhere by train, bus, boat, or tram. This efficiency didn't happen overnight. It took those countries more than 50 years to develop the rail networks they have. It took commitment and a little practical motivation, i.e., $4-a-gallon gasoline.
And most important, these public transportation systems are not profitable. They require constant public funding to keep them alive. But they are absolutely necessary to the economic survival of the regions they service because of the population density.
Recently, John Stossel did a "give me a break" segment on TV that was pretty much anti-rail. The discussion was on the underground built in L.A. It went on about the cost overruns, the problems with streets collapsing as they tunneled, and the lack of ridership once the single, short rail segment came on line. The issue he did not take a look at was how much further L.A. has to go to make the rail system practical and useful for a majority of L.A. residents. Nor did he address that L.A. has no other choice short of banning cars and allowing only bicycles for transport.
Dallas is in the same position today. We have several small rail segments that are nice and useful to a small percentage of the population. But to reach the majority and to have impact on traffic problems, we have a long way to go.