By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Polygamy's victims: I read your piece on the polygamists in Eldorado, Texas ("The Polygamists Are Coming," by John MacCormack, May 20). I found it interesting and right on the money. I am one of the apostates from the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints Church. I left when I was 19. I now live in Plano. My older brother lives in Dallas. He is one of the many who are being driven out to make room for the elite to take multiple wives. He is now in a halfway house for the mentally disabled as a direct result of a lack of education, basic survival skills and low self-esteem, which are common for boys like him and me. Many boys driven out end up on the streets--or as junkies and jailbirds. Worse, some are suicidal.
One thing is certain--this is a problem that isn't going away any time soon unless law enforcement officials take a stand and enforce existing laws concerning child abuse, welfare fraud and polygamy. You can look forward to many future articles on it and should resign yourself to becoming an expert on the subject.
Major props to Strange Fruit: I am so glad to see these guys get this recognition ("In Their Groove," by Jeff Wade, May 20); they are by far one of the brightest up-and-coming artists in hip-hop to come along in a long time. They bring such positive energy and spiritual enlightenment, which we have missed for a while. Major props to Strange Fruit; keep pushing forward, brothers! Peace and God bless.
Keep on bitchin': I've been a longtime reader of the Dallas Observer, and, as a musician, I've seen music editors come and go. Well, Sarah, it's time for you to go. I was annoyed when I read your most recent piece requiring you to shove out from behind your desk to broaden your music horizons ("20 Bands, 7 Days," by Sarah Hepola, May 13). True, these bands were no Burden Brothers or Pleasant Grove, but that was all the more reason to go and see them. First, it was ridiculous for you to have bands compete for your invitation only for you to berate them for wanting to be mentioned in the paper. Then, not only did you forget to see some of the promised bands, but when you did hear some new music, you forgot to leave your ego at the club doors. As a music editor, you should be somewhat passionate about umm...let me think...oh, yeah, music. It's your job to go see bands. It's your job to review the local booming music scene. It's your job to be at the clubs at 9 p.m. when they open and stay till last call. It's your job to be open-minded to the creative artists and their work. And, above all, being the Observer's music editor, you should want to do all this. To act like this article was a chore and you should be applauded for the hard work sickens me. There are many people in Dallas who see more bands in half the time you did, so give us all a break. I feel sorry for the artists you did see, because none of them received the praise they deserve. The only "limp" words in your review were your own. But please do yourself and the Dallas music scene a favor...and quit. If not, then keep bitching about local music that you so-call support and we'll keep writing to tell you how you're not doing your job.
We like diversity: Regarding Glenna Whitley's article "Tossed Out" (May 13) about businesses in Little Ethiopia getting evicted, it is indeed unfortunate that the business owners in the Villas of Vickery were asked to move out so abruptly. We regret that the business owners were not given more time to plan their moves. We sincerely hope that these entrepreneurs will be able to find another place within Vickery Meadow to relocate their businesses. It was difficult for DISD to find sufficient workable land in a community as dense and developed as Vickery Meadow, so they had to acquire occupied properties, which sadly requires some relocations.
Please do not lose sight of the many benefits that this and other changes will bring to Vickery Meadow. The Vickery Meadow Improvement District (VMID) Board of Trustees and countless other volunteers, residents, property owners, management companies, churches and business owners have worked for many years to make Vickery Meadow a better place for families to call home. It is simply unfair and inaccurate for anyone to assume that decisions were made and businesses were evicted because of the ethnic backgrounds of the owners. The VMID board and others wholly embrace the ethnic diversity of the community and, in fact, have made it a priority to provide affordable housing and other resources for all of our residents.
The seeds of change have been planted in Vickery Meadow, thanks to the 2002 DISD bond package and the many public and private entities committed to creating a model urban community. With new schools, all the children of Vickery Meadow will be safer, better educated and will have brighter futures. New schools bring more safe zones, where the neighborhood children are more protected from the drug dealing, violence and prostitution that plague areas of Dallas. New schools bring new playgrounds, healthy activities, new vitality and a sense of pride to a community.