By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Rolling in their graves: My money won't buy a Fred Baron full-page response, but here's my two cents' worth on "Absentee Minded" (August 30). Leave it to the Dallas Observer to mischaracterize a position that I have long held publicly and for which I speak clearly and LOUDLY, not in a clandestine whisper. I make these comments here in hopes that the seniors, their children--somebody--will start hollering and screaming.
Forget the money; campaigns spend more on yard signs than this process. It's just heinous that 284 senior citizens fought--and their forefathers died--to have the right to vote, only to have some political thug mark anyone else other than their choice. It's always sad to have dirty linen aired in the Observer, but I'm sure there are those turning over in their graves because of blacks elected to positions of trust who allow this to go on for their own political and personal financial gain while the others "not of our skin" dismiss this crime as tribal warfare. Did anyone pick up on the fact that Jan and Terrence Gore were able to time and coordinate their political efforts with the elections department--the Dallas County governmental oversight agency charged with ensuring fair and impartial elections that just so happens to be ruled by John Wiley Price, who publicly endorses candidates from the commissioners court and mails endorsement letters on stationery with the county seal? Does this sound like another Katherine Harris?
Only a few black people are culprits, and everyone knows who they are, but their names do not appear in the article, just like they are never prosecuted for their misconduct.
The moral commitment to make sure we "vote" our elderly evaporates when the only response we get from the blacks elected as agents for change is "as long as it's legal," there's nothing I can do about it.
The most factual observation in the article is that our seniors are proudly the largest bloc of loyal voters in the black community. And for what these folks had to go through just to have the mere right to vote, I wouldn't give a hoot if they want to vote "for their kind," or if they want to vote "as their pastor tells them," even if it's on an issue seemingly not in their best interest, or even vote for a "white man" or the arena. If that's what they want to do, let them do so.
I wish that every senior could have this article delivered to their doorstep. They may not have the strength to shout and holler and kick the government doors down for reform, but I hope that when they can open their doors and see the ballot brokers coming, they recognize the one thing they can do, and this is they can simply shut their own doors.
I mean slam their doors.
A voter education note to seniors: If anyone who is disabled or over the age of 65 wants to vote at home, they can call the Dallas County elections department and ask for a request form to be mailed to their voting address. If voters need assistance in voting their ballots, they can call the same number and someone will direct them how to complete the process over the phone.
And for the sorry new generation that does not care enough to vote, could you at least step in and help the senior voters? You never know--it could be your inheritance that your elderly loved ones may be signing away to some thug in the name of "voting."
Glad when they're gone: Your recent article on the trials and tribulations of Lucano Transports on Davis Street ("Vamoose," August 30) got a few items right, but the emphasis was all wrong. This wasn't Laura Miller's fight--it was the neighborhood's. Autry, Garza and David (not Ed) Spence all represent various constituencies that came together against this problem business. And Lucano (the business, not the widow) did avoid a major battle at the Board of Adjustment meeting in February by offering to move by July 31. Lucano cut the deal with the city of Dallas via its officers on the panel. I know--I was there and voted to accept it. And as a resident in the neighborhood, I'll be glad when Lucano is gone.
Paul W. Maute
A safety issue: I have lived in Winnetka Heights for 24 years by choice. I love the diversity of Oak Cliff and chose to raise a family here. I think that your article did not take into consideration the safety of those of us who drive past the bus station daily. If you look at the intersection, you can clearly see that a large bus is quite hazardous to all drivers as the street is heavily traveled and not designed to accommodate the quantity of traffic that the bus company has brought with it. I have on more than one occasion seen young children who have been waiting for the bus to arrive playing much too close to the street and even coming out into the street with oncoming traffic. For me, this is not a racial issue but rather a safety issue. I would not want to see anyone physically injured because of the traffic here.
Hack piece: My family really enjoyed the hate-mail piece titled "Vamoose." Who needs a well-balanced, two-sided discussion of issues of significance that face our communities when base personal attacks are so much more sensational? Loosely linking public officials to dramatic story lines with ephemeral plot twists and spicing it up with vulgarity always draws publicity and advertisement dollars. While reading the piece, we were waiting for Elvis' three-headed alien goat love child to somehow find its way into the plot for the inevitable coup de grace.
Unfortunately, we were left with simple threats to our community. We will gleefully await the next hack piece to ooze from the pages of your publication.