Ill wind blowing
I commend your paper on having the guts to bring to the attention of the public the hazards of the cement-kiln industry ["Ill wind blowing," June 12]. It has always amazed me how these filthy businesses could work and make money in a state that has the motto "Don't Mess with Texas!" What a joke!

They might as well say "Don't mess with Texas, unless you are a big industry that can buy people off!" It sickens me how smug and self-assured the cement companies are. Do they think they are above the laws of the state? Are they the new supremacists and not bound by the rules of society? It might make a difference to them if they are held personally accountable for all the damage these kilns cause, because it will be proved and it will be brought to light, no matter how much they try to bully and brainwash.

One day that large jellyfish we call a government is going to grow a spine and finally stand up for us and close these filthy businesses down!

Tracy Meisenbach
Via Internet

I just finished your article "Ill Wind Blowing" and am absolutely disgusted at what I've seen. I live in Cedar Hill, within sight of this plant, and have long suspected that it has been causing an abnormal amount of sinus/bronchial type problems within my family. I have a 10-year-old boy whom I want to protect against this type of illness and am greatly concerned about the toxins that are being released now and the increase that the TXI plant has requested. The only time we seem to have symptoms of the pollution is when the wind is blowing directly from the plant toward us.

In short, I would like to get involved in the fight against this, if it's not too late. I'm astonished that there wasn't widespread notification of these "hearings" in the past. How can I find out about any future meetings/hearings regarding this problem?

Michael Rumbaugh
Via Internet

Thank you for your article on TXI and Downwinders at Risk. We were impressed with your article and your hard work. And we were motivated by it.

Don Parker
Grayson Harper
Via Internet

Theater bug
Indeed black theater is important to the cultural development of our community ["Don't you dare call it the 'Chitlin Circuit,'" June 5]. It doesn't really matter what it's called. Gospel theater, chitlin circuit shows, Mama-on-a-couch plays, or legitimate theater, the goals are the same: audience development and a greater appreciation of a meaningful art form.

Perhaps for the first time a person was exposed to the wonderful world of theater by attending one of these plays. And once you have been bitten, you hunger for more. First a production at JBA or the South Dallas Cultural Center, then the Dallas Theater Center and the Shakespeare Festival. It's all good.

Right on to Shelly Garrett for creating a new and different voice in the black theater movement. Special thanks to Al Wash and "Dr." Curtis King for showcasing such a voice. And by all means, keep on singing, Rudy Eastman; we hear you loud and clear.

Equally important is the work of new and emerging theater organizations: Soul Rep Theater Company, Debra Lynn Woods Theater, Artist & Elaine Thorton Foundation for the Arts, Nommo, Afro-American Artists Alliance, Inc., and Reciprocity Arts.

The cultural arts movement continues, and we will win!
Charles Hillman
Southern Dallas Arts Coalition

I was a little disappointed in the tone of the "Chitlin Circuit" article published by the Dallas Observer. The idea that black theater is somehow too highbrow for the average black person is ludicrous. Anyone who's seen August Wilson's plays, any of them, knows that he writes directly from the black experience. Not the black intellectual's experience, but that of the working man.

After all, that is where Wilson came from--not a middle-class, black bourgeois family. The whole notion of "outsider art forms" is a white notion and, in my view, just one more attempt at pigeonholing the cultural products of black people. Like any other people, black people respond to media hype, and if nothing else, your article pointed out that one of the biggest differences between the success of Garrett's plays and that of Eastman's is money for media hype! August Wilson and George Wolfe (the producer/director of Bring in da Noise, Bring in da Funk) have been successful on Broadway because their works are receiving the promotional buck it takes to succeed.

Vicki Meek, Manager
South Dallas Cultural Center

A vote for Coco
Each week I anxiously dive into your publication for its great articles and interesting ads. You offer articles from which The Dallas Morning News shies away. And, I usually agree with your approach to a subject.

The restaurant review of Coco Pazzo by Mary Brown Malouf was certainly an exception to your normal standards ["A tentative seduction," June 12]. I read and re-read the review to hopefully get her point. Obviously she and/or Gene Street have an axe to grind with Pino Luongo.

Malouf didn't clarify which Coco Pazzo she visited; so I don't know if she dined at the one on McKinney, as I have. My experience was extremely pleasant. The decor was appealing to everyone in my party. Our wait persons were attentive, but not overly so. The entire meal was terrific...the selection, preparation, and taste were very good. We have encouraged several friends to eat at Coco Pazzo.

My only complaint about our visit was the running-shorts-and-T-shirt-clad men and women who came in for a meal. I mean, really, has Dallas gone too far in its casual dining attire?

Hopefully, Malouf and Street will put away their axe and allow a newcomer a fair opportunity to succeed in Dallas.

Keep those hard-hitting articles coming.
John George

To the boneyard
If Ron Price, the new black member of the DISD Board of Trustees, matches his actions to his rhetoric, he just may be able to take on County Commissioner John Wiley Price when he comes up for reelection--and beat him ["His own man," May 29]. Ron Price has already begun by not attending the other Price's confrontation "conference" on the lawn of the DISD Administration Building. Not only the blacks are looking for someone who can resolve the racial strife that exists in Dallas, largely because of the "in-your-face" and racist style of commissioner Price and his "Warriors." John Wiley Price represents the old-guard practices of the Black Panthers who sought to maintain their political power by continually raising racial issues through threats and intimidation, rather than through the healing and conciliatory processes of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.

John Wiley Price is a dinosaur; he just yet doesn't realize that he and his kind are extinct.

Dr. Sydney Kay

Joe Bob's literati
Ever since I moved to the Dallas area, I have enjoyed your weekly alternative to The Dallas Morning News. Two of the reasons I enjoyed it were "The Straight Dope" by Cecil Adams and Joe Bob Briggs' humor!!

Well--first New Times, Inc. decided to drop Cecil's column, which was picked up by Empower Media (The Met, in case you have forgotten!!!). I could live with that---of course, I had to go out of my way to now pick up TWO weeklies to read both. But NOW New Times, Inc. has decided to reduce Joe Bob's column even FURTHER, actually eliminating it from the Dallas Observer altogether!!!

So, I would like to thank the persons responsible for such a decision. You have made my life MUCH EASIER, because now I only have to pick up ONE weekly to have both articles!! Plus Joe Bob is now back in all his glory!!!!!!

Hats off to the management decision at Empower Media for picking up the Joe Bob columns, as well as the earlier decision to pick up Cecil's column!! Also, now I don't have to worry about picking up the pages that fall out on the floor with the Observer!!! The Met utilizes a new tool--a STAPLER!!!

That's all--now that my life is easier, I can get back to my normal, mundane daily boring life!!!!

Ron Spigener
Via Internet

I just wanted to thank you for getting rid of Joe Bob Briggs. Now I have no reason to pick up your miserable rag, and I am grateful.

After years of rolling my eyes while skimming your screaming liberal stances, pompous, misguided entertainment reviews (how could anyone recommend the movie "Species"?), and less-than-factual tabloid "journalism," I can now happily read Joe Bob Briggs in The Met, an immensely enjoyable weekly lacking only your posturing.

Goodbye and good riddance to the Observer.
David Smith
Via Internet

Profits or pity
This is one of the few times in my life I will condescend to feel pity. I really feel sorry for Phyllis Estes and Colle Davis ["Profitable Mistakes," June 12].

I suppose because of their collective divorces, they have lost sight of what marriage is really about--friendship and communication. It seems they are trying to apply the corporate ideals of contract law and effective management to avoid the somewhat less clear requirements, both emotional and spiritual, of a relationship between two people. To be honest, they sound like little children: "You said you would. See, you wrote it down. I'm telling!"

Whether it is called marriage or a "Commitment Contract" the hurt from the dissolution of the relationship will remain the same. Given the "iffy" nature of this contract, the legal complications may be even worse.

I wish Estes and Davis the best. I hope for them that their relationship continues and grows until they understand that their contract is one between two hearts.

Sheila McKay

Moveable feasts
I loved the piece on Matt's Rancho Martinez [Dish, June 12]. The chile relleno is extraordinary. On the subject of moving restaurants, this weekend I went to an old favorite--Loma Luna--only to find that it is gone or moved.

Margaret Morris
Via Internet


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