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Letters

Saipan's slaves
Thank you for running your article on the Saipan garment workers ["Our man in Saipan," February 19]. My wife and I live in Saipan as well and witnessed the horrific working and living conditions that exist there for these people. I, too, have been inside these barracks, and they are filthy. Thank you again for listening to Peggy Japko and the story that she has to tell. It is all true.

Ryan Smith
Via e-mail

Is it possible for the common citizen to request the psychological evaluation of a congressional leader? If so, I really feel House Majority Whip Tom DeLay needs one. Only a completely delusional sociopath would defend the deplorable labor conditions in Saipan by stating, "Stand firm. Resist evil. Remember that all truth and blessings emanate from our Creator." Maybe DeLay has been eating too much tainted beef lately. Or maybe he's just completely psychotic. Either way, I think the situation needs to be rectified.

I'm thankful the Dallas Observer brought to light this incredibly troubling story and exposed Tom DeLay and Dick Armey for the hypocritical scum they are.

Penny Hieb
Dallas

Thanks for a great expose on the scandal of the slave sewing shops in Saipan. That a U.S congressman from Texas would stand in the way of stopping this practice might be an even greater scandal.

Kudos to Peggy Japko of McKinney for speaking up on this issue. Where are the voices of the other Americans who have worked or are working on the island? If wanting to see the practice of indentured servitude banned gets me tagged as a "liberal radical," so be it. You can tattoo Liberal Rad on my forehead as we crusade to end economic imperialism on U.S. territories in the Pacific.

Great journalism, Dallas!
Guy Ben-Moshe
Bastrop, Texas

This is by far the most in-depth and even-handed reporting of the situation here in Saipan that I've read. Your reporter is to be commended.

S. Zuller
Via e-mail

I am a 7-year resident of Saipan and a fellow member of the Methodist church attended by Ms. [Peggy] Japko. We need more people like her. We somehow seem to get caught up in our own little lives and don't realize the problems directly under our our noses.

Robert Marple
Via e-mail

Thank you for the informative article about the Marianas Islands by Thomas Korosec. I had seen clothing tagged "Made in the Northern Marianas Islands, U.S.A.," but felt too suspicious to buy. I appreciate the clarification.

Sue Gibson
Dallas

Thanks for covering the situation in the Marianas. Peggy Japko is my sister-in-law. She usually doesn't complain much, but she is passionate about this subject. More people need to become aware of the human rights being ignored in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas. I am going to make more people aware in my area.

Susan Montana
Via e-mail

Black NFL coaches
Applause for Sherman Lewis! He wants to coach...not just stand on the sidelines ["Black out," February 26]. The coach of the Cowboys does not need a resume filled with accomplishments. Jerry Jones is probably not a racist, but he does want total control of the Cowboys. Could it be possible that Terry Donahue wanted enough money to make it worth his while to be "coach" in name only?

As we have found out, it's not talent on the field necessarily that will win, it is the way that talent is coached. How many losing seasons do you think it will take for Jerry to figure out the Cowboys need a real head coach? About as long as it takes to lose all the money he's willing to throw away. I wonder--is Gailey getting paid enough to make it worth his while to stand in Jerry's shadow?

Dean
Dallas

Home sweet dome
As a Dallas resident for many years, I strongly support Darrell Jordan's efforts to dome the Cotton Bowl ["Not as dome as you think," February 19]. This historic landmark needs to be saved and at the same time turned into a major sports and entertainment center for Dallas. I am convinced Darrell Jordan's plans for the Cotton Bowl will help revitalize the Fair Park area and provide economic growth for the city. I encourage everyone to do what they can to help save a key part of Dallas history. Building a dome for the Cotton Bowl will make it happen.

Al Taylor
Dallas

I thought it would interest you to know the identity of the woman on top of the bale of cotton holding the football in front of the Cotton Bowl. She is my mother, Joanne Hill. In honor of her having founded Dry Gulch Recycling Center, The Dallas Morning News dubbed her "The Queen of Trash." Since this picture was taken, she has had a prolific career in television, mothered five children, and is the grandmother of five. She is now vigorously involved in seeing that the Trinity River Corridor in Dallas is transformed into a great environmental and economic asset for Dallas.

Alisa Simon
Via e-mail

Teflon chief
I enjoyed the eye-opening feature about the Teflon chief ["Good cop, bad cop," February 12] and would like to add a couple of insights. The fact is that in spite of these lawsuits filed by ex-officers that have all been financially settled, there have been no investigations of chief [Willard] Rollins, nor has there been any disciplinary action taken. These officers have been enriched by some $2 million because of [alleged] retaliation and civil rights violations. Can these officers be all wrong, and chief Rollins right? You figure it out.

The final insight is that if City Attorney Sam Lindsay violated any state laws by paying these personal punitive judgments, then he in turn should be investigated, and chiefs Rollins and [Richard] Hatler should pay this money back to the city and the taxpayers. It's no wonder that Chief [Ben] Click has never solved the morale problem permeating the police department. He has no clue.

Roy Honeycutt
Dallas

Editor's note: Mr. Honeycutt is a member of the city's Police Review Board.

Failure to Yield
I am writing in regard to the ridiculous and inappropriate album review of Pearl Jam's Yield ["All rocked out," February 4]. The entire article was filled with personal attacks against the members of Pearl Jam. When I read an article in the Observer about an album review, I expect to see just that. This particular article sounded like an upset girlfriend letting off jealous steam against Eddie Vedder. Nobody cares if the writer of this article likes or dislikes Vedder and the rest of the band. Why did he waste so much space trying to smear Vedder by mocking him and accusing him of some artificial humility kick?

Where are the Observer's priorities? The only remarks about the musical quality of this album I can find are adjectives such as "confusing mush," "throwaway," "goof," etc. This article is not only lacking in substance, but also in purpose. This new album speaks to true Pearl Jam fans and is one of the most inspiring albums in a long while. I hope that future album reviews will contain a higher standard of journalism and will lack the first-grade mentality that this one had.

Thomas Lewis
Via e-mail


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