By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Yellow-bellied story: Are you proud of your cover story, Adam Pitluk? ("Marked man," November 2.) You told me many times when we spoke that you had no opinion, that you just wanted to be fair. So, I would have to then assume that this one-sided, yellow-bellied excuse for a story is your idea of fair and impartial. You disappoint me, Adam Pitluk.
The police department wouldn't speak to you as you "researched" this story. So how could it be anything but biased and one-sided? You impugned the reputations of good officers, to whom you never spoke. You changed my own words, after I had spoken to you, and added things I did not give you permission to use. You expressed a great deal of concern about my reaction to what I would read, and yet didn't have the human kindness to warn me of the graphic descriptions of my husband's condition immediately following the accident.
My reaction to the story, Adam Pitluk? After I stopped throwing up, it was white-hot fury.
During the 18 years I knew my husband, he tried to teach me to be a bit more cynical, less trusting and naïve. He was a good police officer, caring and professional. But he was also a realist. He knew not to believe people without corroborating their stories from other sources. He knew to look at all sides of an issue before making a judgment. He tried to teach me these things.
I wanted to believe this would be a fair story. I wanted to believe you, but your many protestations made me uneasy. I have finally learned a lesson my husband and his fellow officers had not been able to convince me of: You can't trust the press. You were a good teacher. Are you proud, Adam Pitluk?
Editor Julie Lyons responds: I respect Ms. Baird's right to criticize Adam Pitluk's story, but she has also made a serious allegation: that the writer misquoted her and printed information that she did not give permission to use. I have personally reviewed the interview with Ms. Baird, the widow of Dallas police Senior Cpl. Harold Baird Jr., and have found that she is quoted accurately. No agreement was made to keep the information private.
Sandy's "great" work: Sandy Kress ("The Resurrection of Sandy Kress," October 19) has a lot in common with George W. Bush. Their "involvement" with education reform has nothing to do with children and everything to do with their own personal agendas. Both men continually misrepresent or distort the truth even when confronted with the cold, hard facts.
Sandy's "accountability" measures created a system that gave principals and teachers the green light to falsify and cheat on test scores and attendance records. Giving bonus money to teachers and principals for doing what they were hired to do rings similar to the parenting rule that you should not reward a child for what he is obligated to do because such bribes will never instill in the child a sense of responsibility.
And what did DISD have to show for all of Sandy's "great" work? Hispanic dropouts and pushouts, low graduation and retention rates, soaring truancy, and the saddest result of all...illiterate graduates who tested well on TAAS!
Mr. Kress and Governor Bush are in the self-promotion business, and their "reforms" are only concerned with programs that they can later use on a résumé or political ad. Unfortunately, while Sandy is off lobbying in Washington or Austin and the governor is off campaigning in Michigan, it is the Dallas children and Texas children who suffer the consequences of these educational reform scams.
Hungry player: As a Stars fan, and as a fan of Brenden Morrow, thank you for your article ("Boys to Men," November 2). He is hard-working, a hungry player, and one who should prove to be an NHL leader in years to come.
To be where he is at his age is a statement to his ambition, discipline, commitment, and yes, raw talent. One should not question Bob Gainey and Ken Hitchcock's ability to find players with this talent and potential.
Last year it was not meant to be, but I look forward to the day when Morrow's name is on the Stanley Cup along with his Dallas teammates!
Not protected but violated: Oh, the phrase "to protect and serve." Police officers proudly operate under this banner. However, in Leonard Mitchell's case ("Hell Is a Nuisance," October 26), how was he served? The answer is, he was not. He exercised his legal rights when he asked the officers the appropriate legal queries concerning the necessity of presenting his i.d. As a result, Mr. Mitchell was cuffed and brutally forced into the back seat of a patrol car. This man was not protected but violated. Well, I take my hat off to those officers involved with the situation. They are definitely protecting and serving the community. Is that the way it should be?
Jerry D. Lee III