By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Remember the passenger pigeon: In Charles Siderius' article about the grackles in Carrollton ("La Cage Aux Folles," June 21), Jack Moravits of Hoover Landscaping is quoted as saying, "To me, they are June bugs; there's plenty of them." That's what everyone thought about the passenger pigeon and the Carolina parakeet, too. Passenger pigeon flocks were so large it was incomprehensible that they could ever be wiped out, but one should never underestimate the destructive ability of man. If an animal species manages to cope with man's intrusion and, God forbid, actually flourishes, then we deem it a pest. If you want to liken something to an insect, a more accurate comparison would be man's similarity to the locust. We wipe out everything in our path. Too bad we can't throw a net around Moravits' house and the roosts of other people like him.
Educational neglect: Thank you to Jonathan Fox for writing "Separate and Unequal" (May 24). I gave my opinions on education in Dallas schools to everyone from principals to governors during the 1980s, and I continue to do so today. My main concerns were violence, curriculum and student needs not being addressed. The article released pure outrage. I was amazed and sickened by the disparity of money allotted to each school because of a 30-year-old court order. We paid so much in taxes--which DISD didn't mind collecting--but my children received a poor education for the money. My sons graduated from Sunset High School eight or nine years ago, and the emotion of the experience will not be easily forgotten.
Because of this court order, many students have been educationally neglected. Instead of tax dollars addressing the needs of all students, we have spent billions of additional tax dollars building prisons and offering schools/classes for dropouts.
This should not be a race issue--children of every race have been affected. This is a student issue, a taxpayer issue and a DISD issue--providing the best possible education for all children in the district, which is their responsibility using the millions of tax dollars already collected. When 50 percent of all seniors are dropping out, it's a student/taxpayer issue. It's a taxpayer/community issue when we pay taxes for education and have to pay taxes to build prisons. It's a DISD funding problem that needs to be rectified before more lives are destroyed when only some students are given an opportunity to receive an excellent education.
I urge any adult or student in Dallas who cares about children and the future of these students and our communities to stand up and speak so that all students receive an equal education opportunity. Write or e-mail your congressman, senator and the president and ask that this court order be rescinded immediately.
One-sided story: Regarding the cover story "Locked In" (May 3), your sensationalism is showing again and it's a lovely shade of yellow. I was able to use that article in my classroom to teach about propaganda techniques used to manipulate people's thinking.
My voluntary association with Trinity Works goes back more than 13 years, and I know just how distorted a picture your article represented. Filled with innuendo and sly inference, the article examined a tiny piece of Trinity Works that has little to do with its mammoth benefits to thousands of clients. Your picture of Pam Schaefer gave an outright false image of both who she is and what she does. And although your reporter interviewed many people who had very positive experiences with Trinity, nothing positive was said in the article. But then, I've noticed the Dallas Observer specializes in one-sided stories.
Figure it out: If someone in his 40s, with a college degree, has no job history and needs the help of an agency for the poor, there must be more to the story than simple bad luck. Having worked with many clients in dire need, I know how often there is a sense of entitlement among the "down and out." Receiving free rent, food, medical care and clothing does not solve a problem that took many years to develop. Unfortunately, the administration at Trinity Works cannot discuss clients' personal problems to fill you in on the whole story. Clients in need often get angry and frustrated when they can't have exactly what they want. Getting back on your feet is usually a painful process for anyone!
Other than sensationalism, did you have a point with this story? Are you offering to spend time of your own working with people who are in desperate need? I suggest the people responsible for this story be required to take a week and give their time as volunteers in any nonprofit agency that works with the poor. Then let's see what you have to say!
So full of yourselves: I picked up your "rag" on the way out of town and was amused that it is still being published--thank God for strip joints!
While in Dallas, I visited the Meadows Museum and enjoyed the whole banana--especially the Calatrava exhibit ("Bilbao Envy," May 17). I am always amazed at your writers who are so full of yourselves and have the forum to put down other people's efforts. What a bunch of drivel--"Bilbao Envy."
I am going to hang onto your article for a few years and read it again after time has passed. I suggest you do the same.