Raise Taxes Now

Plus: Fast and Dumb, Warped Criticism, Recycling Works

Raise Taxes Now

Costly but nice: Mary Poss, Ed Oakley and Alan Walne are just voting for and trying to better our city with costly but nice development projects ("Cain't Say No," June 13). The fact is that Dallas City Hall needs to raise our taxes, period. We now seem to be over budget and facing cutbacks and layoffs across the board. The problem lies with the budget itself. It is too low a budget to give us all what we really want in this city; the pain of a tax increase will ease as improvements increase. It is time to rewrite the budget to include a major tax increase so we can all get the better streets, services and great projects that all citizens of Dallas really want today. A greater and better city will have new developers begging to lease and build in our city without us being the ones to beg them to come and develop and give tax revenue away as an incentive. That will end all the finger-pointing and bickering at City Hall.

Russ Vandeveerdonk
Dallas

Fast and Dumb

Racing surface bar none: I must confess I was guilty of the same--drag racing on city streets--when I was younger ("Go Speed Racers," June 13). However, as an adult I do not condone such actions. I live in Ennis, and the Texas Motorplex is just down the road. Every Friday night, the Motorplex offers the kids the ability to run their cars in a safe and structured environment. I cannot believe the kids would not want to drive 30 minutes to one of the world's best racetracks where the fastest cars on earth run. The racing surface is bar none, and there is plenty of room to gather in the pits for socializing. One part of me thinks the kids may be afraid of the competition they will find there, and the other side of me thinks they are too dumb to know better.

Dwain Bobalek
Ennis

Warped Criticism

Had to be there: I would just like to say that I think Mikael Wood is a total idiot. Has he even been to Warped Tour (Out & About, June 27)? Was he there? Did he see the tons upon tons of people there? Nearly everyone who went had a blast. Warped Tour is an awesome chance to interact with your favorite bands and band members and just hang out and listen to some good tunes, even if you're 12 or an aging skate rat or whatever. Warped Tour piled in nearly all of Dallas' and Oklahoma's high schools together, and we all rocked together and just had a blast. I think that maybe next time Mikael should actually go and take in the good things going on around him.

Anonymous
Dallas

Recycling Works

New life for newsprint: I am writing regarding the article "Garbage In, Garbage Out" in the May 16 edition of the Dallas Observer. You stated in the article, "The city's curbside recycling program is a waste of time and money." While we don't argue that recovering recyclable material and reusing it in industry can be expensive, it is important to remember that recycling is about much more than saving landfill space. According to EPA studies, recycling saves more natural resources and prevents pollution. In fact, by 2005, recycling will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 48 million tons, the equivalent of the amount emitted by 36 million cars annually.

What you discussed in your article does not represent the range of thinking on recycling. According to the American Forest and Paper Association, 84 percent of all Americans are recycling used paper at curbside and recycling drop-off sites. Each and every day, Americans recover for reuse and recycling about 247 million pounds of paper. That means nearly 45 percent of all the paper Americans now use is recovered for recycling.

Abitibi-Consolidated is the largest recycler of old newspaper and magazines in North America. Our mill in Sheldon, Texas, manufactures 100 percent recycled newsprint that is used by The Dallas Morning News, the Houston Chronicle and many others. The Sheldon mill consumes 80 percent of the old newspapers and magazines recycled in the state of Texas. The newspapers the residents of Dallas put at the curb each week don't go to waste...we use them. Our business depends on recycling programs like the one in Dallas.

With the simple act of recycling every day, you provide jobs, reduce air emissions, save energy and supply valuable raw materials for Texas businesses. All of this helps to ensure the health of our planet and the community's future generations.

Frank Killoran
Area Manager, Abitibi-Consolidated, Recycling Division
Arlington

Forget Austin

Stale and overhyped: It is a shame that, with all the great music in Dallas, our local music scene is only truly represented by the Dallas Observer(Scene, Heard, June 6). Although I am grateful that you guys are on the beat, I think we all wish for something more. With only one outlet for reviews (real reviews), it is difficult for small up-and-coming bands to be reviewed regularly...if at all. There is so much great talent here. I moved from Austin two years ago, because as a musician Austin is not all it's cracked up to be. The scene there is stale at best.

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