You Said It: Toll Roads Really Taking a Toll

"Buzz," By Patrick Williams, March 4

Toll Fatigue

I am a fiscal conservative, and I am tired of the toll roads. People and politicians need to suck it up and completely revise the gasoline taxes. Instead of being per gallon, they need to be a percentage of the price. It is a simple fact that gasoline taxes (despite inflation) have not increased in approximately 20 years. By indexing the taxes to the price of fuel, it should reasonably keep pace with inflation and pay for our road and other transportation needs.

Tim Covington, via dallasobserver.com

"Hope Springs Eternal," By Richie Whitt, March 4, 2010

The F-Bomb

Great story, but one request. Couldn't you have found a word besides fu*&ed to use? I thought he was dead as well, so little information has gone out to contradict the near-death stage he was at in 2008. Hang in there, Springs family. Our prayers are with you.

Dan, via dallasobserver.com

I am an anesthesiologist in the Dallas area, and I wish to address some of the writer's and plaintiff's lawyer's assertions. While my heart goes out to the Springs family, doing a low-risk procedure on a high-risk patient is not without risk. It is common practice to call patients the night before surgery, however patients frequently do not answer the phone or return calls, meaning that for a 7:30 a.m. surgery start time, you may first see your patient at 7:25.

We are trained to rapidly assess patients and plan accordingly, but if the patient does not appear to have a difficult airway and no history is given (patients often fail to mention this, and most hospital computer charts will not have this readily available). As far as doing "regional anesthesia" in a patient who twice did not tolerate local anesthesia in a clinic setting and who desires to be "asleep," it would be appropriate to honor the patient. I feel that when a patient comes to me for a "minor" procedure in an OR setting, they're paying me the big bucks to be under anesthesia.

Also, there is widespread disagreement among anesthesiologists as to whether it is safer to do regional to avoid the difficult airway, or to secure the airway from the beginning (under anesthesia). What the expert witness failed to mention is what do you do if you've performed a regional block and either it fails or you have a complication such as a seizure or punctured lung (again, nothing is without risk) and now you've got a sedated, crashing patient with an unsecured airway.

As far as the anesthesiologist being inexperienced, after a total of eight years of medical and anesthesia [it is my opinion that] it was entirely appropriate to have Dr. Abraham on staff and doing this case.

Devin Trousdale, M.D., via dallasobserver.com

"Not Easy Being Greenville," By Jim Schutze, March 4

The Murky Middle

The basic problem is the city lacks any credibility on this issue. You cite Deep Ellum as a success story in the way special-use permits work, but has anybody been there lately?

Deep Ellum is a ghost town waiting for the developers to move in, mow down the historic structures, and give us all that Gap and CVS it seems no neighborhood can live without. I'm sure a bank or seven will make their way in there as well. That's the fear citizens of Lower Greenville have, particularly in light of the fire that destroyed Terrilli's, Mick's, GBG and Hurricane.

While I understand nobody down here signed up for a bunch of urinating pugilists in their neighborhood, neither did most of us sign up to watch unique businesses giving us a vibrant nightlife turn into just another street in the United States of Generica. A former city council member just got sentenced for taking kickbacks from developers, but we're supposed to trust that the current council and mayor are somehow on the up and up when they talk about changing Lower Greenville? Maybe I'm in the minority, but give me the drunks over yet another bland suburban landscape. Success lies somewhere in the middle, but damned if I trust this city's ability to find it.

Robert H. Dicks, via dallasobserver.com

 
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