A kinder, gentler Albertson's
In response to Rose Farley's article on Albertson's ["It's Your Store (Like it or Not)," November 19], I would like to clarify many misconceptions regarding the construction of a new Albertson's on Live Oak at Collett. First, I'd like to reiterate Albertson's strong commitment to meeting the concerns and apprehensions of the East Dallas community. For the past 14 years, Albertson's has closely researched this neighborhood in hopes of serving this community. In recent weeks we have collected thousands of signatures and letters of support and are consistently met with positive feedback and enthusiasm from surrounding neighbors.

We understand the unique legacy and rich history of East Dallas and are determined to maintain the integrity and lineage of this neighborhood. Albertson's is extremely sensitive to residential accommodations and has no plans of developing any store that does not reflect the style and fabric of its neighborhoods. Tony Callaway, the principal architect for our proposed store, was chosen for his experience with historical preservation and his 15-year history in working with Albertson's around the country. (Callaway was one of the two architects who designed the Reception and Visitors Center at The Sixth Floor Museum.) Further, Albertson's has volunteered strict structural amenities for its store such as neighborhood-compatible architecture, extensive landscaping, down-lit lighting in the parking lot, and control of truck access to ensure the least amount of disruption to nearby residents.

This site was chosen because of its size, existing traffic patterns, and minimum impact on neighborhood residents. To the best of our knowledge, there is no other site in old East Dallas that is appropriate for a full-service Albertson's or does not contain a fatal flaw of some kind. Unfortunately, we will have to move a few people, but we are already well prepared to make their transition as smooth as possible. Apartments for displaced residents have already been identified, and Albertson's has agreed to place $30,000 in an account to defray moving expenses. A bilingual relocation specialist will be hired for the transition when zoning is approved.

Albertson's is one of the largest grocery chains in the United States. We have a solid history of success and an excellent reputation around the country. We do not quickly erect grocery stores for immediate financial returns, but invest in the future. This is an eight-million-dollar venture that East Dallas will be proud of, bringing employment, safety, and economic opportunities to local residents. Albertson's is proud to be an active member in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and is dedicated to the neighborhoods we serve.

Bob Rissing
Senior Real Estate Manager
Albertson's, Inc., Dallas

Back to Basics
Math is not the only subject that American students fall behind in ["Math wars," December 2]. And the problem isn't the teaching alone. The problem is society--how many parents take the time to go over homework with their children? How many parents are even around for the children to talk to? You can't expect a child to concentrate on math when he is more worried if mommy and daddy really love him.

The "new new" and "traditional" controversy is ridiculous. Why can't the factions see that the answer lies in a blended style of teaching? It is important to know the basics. At the same time, it is important to learn what math really can do for you--how do you balance your checkbook? How do you know if the politician is twisting the numbers around?

Give the kids a basic math foundation from which their creativity can flow (and then nurture and encourage their freethinking).

While I am lecturing, why don't we try setting goals that inspire children to do their best? The minimum levels and standards are a self-fulfilling prophecy. We tell children they only need to meet the minimum level. Being children, they believe grown-ups (still too young to know that grown-ups lie), and they don't even try to push the minimum. Then the grown-ups (who lie to everyone, including themselves) say, "See? It's a good thing we set the standard so low, or we might have demoralized these children into thinking they aren't smart."

Michelle White
Via e-mail

Kicking Balls
So Tony Dorsett gave his all for the Cowboys, and was so unselfish [Balls, November 26]? I guess you don't remember the time he demanded a new contract from the Cowboys, because his "financial advisers" had ruined him, and he was out of money. His fault, not the Cowboys', yet the Cowboys had to give him a new contract to keep him as one of their own. Oh yeah, he was real faithful to the team.

Richard Wilks
Via e-mail

How are you going to judge a man's faith in God by the way he dresses? Do you know Deion personally? Have you ever sat down with him and talked to him about God and his beliefs? Maybe Deion isn't for real, but that's not for you to judge. Just because Michael made some bad choices, you're going to mark him as a bad person forever. My point is, you have no right to judge anybody. I know some journalists write an honest opinion so that people can agree or disagree, and then there are people like you who say outlandish, boneheaded things so people will read just because they know how stupid you sound. If that's your objective, keep up the good work.

Via e-mail

Wilonsky must have Alzheimer's. The reason for North Dallas Forty was to point out the flaws of his heroes. The White House, Bob Hayes, Hollywood Henderson, etc., were all as culpable as today's "crybabies." The only difference is the salaries and coverage. Such an attitude as Robert's is indicative of small minds with selective memory. So to answer his question, Yes, today's heroes are as good as yesterday's...they're (flawed) humans.

Bret Bowman
Via e-mail

On the Other Hand...
Robert Wilonsky's column on sports heroes of yesterday being better than the present version was right on target. I, too, grew up watching Meredith, Hayes, Morton, Staubach, Lilly, Pearson, etc. They never charged for autographs; never wore sunglasses indoors for interviews; never went to games in chauffeured limousines; and you could go up to them on the streets and just talk. Wilonsky is especially on target about Sanders; I've been waiting for someone to call his bluff on this I-got-religion BS. Sanders cares about Sanders, first and foremost. The religion routine is just part of his act. And he does dress like a pimp.

There are a few Cowboys you can truly call heroes--Bates, Johnston, Aikman among them--but only a few on this team.

Via e-mail

Mohel Gouging
I really enjoyed Jimmy Fowler's article on Rabbi Rovinsky ["Prime cut," November 5]. Here is my experience with the mohels in Dallas: When my non-Jewish husband needed a mohel for his conversion to Judaism, we were told to contact Rabbi Michael Rovinsky. My husband only needed a mohel's certificate and had to go through the symbolic ceremony of taking a drop of blood, since he was already circumcised. Rabbi Rovinsky returned his call, and because of conflicting schedules, we were unable to use him and had to call Rabbi David Shawel instead. When my husband asked his rabbi at our temple how much this cost, our rabbi told us "whatever you can afford to pay." Rabbi Shawel told my husband up front that it would cost $200 to do this ceremony and take a drop of blood!

Rabbi Rovinsky even called my husband afterward to see how it went, and my husband told him what went on. Rovinsky informed him that the cost is "whatever you can pay," and people usually pay only $100 for a look-see, certificate, and a drop of blood. It looks like Rabbi Rovinsky cares about the individual, and Shawel is the one who is only in it for the money. Perhaps Rabbi Shawel should go back and review the history of payment for services by rabbis in the Talmudic studies. He may learn something.

Name Withheld
Via e-mail

The Issak Fan Club Writes In
I think the writer of the article [Music Listings, November 26] should have his or her ears cleaned. Chris Isaak is an outstanding singer and with the good looks to match. He is down-to-earth as no other singer I know of is and appreciates his fans very much. I love his music, as do many others, and always will.

Via e-mail

Obviously you're jealous of Chris' popularity. His music is much more listenable than the current alternative drivel out there, or the monotonous, brainless rap. Please give our homeboy a chance. His music remains forever unique.

Lynn Armstrong
Via e-mail

Unplanned obsolescence
OK, enough is enough. Do we really need any more articles by your "music writers" pointing out in their seemingly infinite wisdom how some washed-up band like Mstley CrYe [Music Listings, November 26] isn't cool or relevant anymore? Well, guess what--their brand of bimbo metal never was cool or relevant. However, just because you've passed puberty and find them ridiculous does not mean that they can't or shouldn't go on selling records and touring. Same goes for every other band that has been around for more than five years that you guys bitch about. For instance, to imply (as Zac Crain has in this same article) that The Stones should hang it up is absurd. What the hell else are they supposed to do? Should Keith Richards become a fry cook at a fish and chips dive because you don't like the new Stones as much as you like friggin' Corn Mo? As music journalists, shouldn't you be focusing on what you feel is exciting and relevant? Perhaps you should consider yourselves when determining what is or isn't obsolete.

Jeff Downing
Via e-mail


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