Small comfort: The article that you have written about the current situation with my family ("The Reluctant Witness," July 18) is nothing less than spectacular. You have been the only person in the press who has reached the public through the views of all of the family and friends who are searching for my mother. Your work is beautiful, and my mother would be proud. Even though you are just doing your job, your actions have given me a sense of comfort and more leverage to move on with my long journey. In conclusion, I thank you on behalf of my mother and my family and friends. Your work is very valuable.
Ron Davis II
The Giant Urinal
Kinda cool: Wow. To read an article by Mr. Schutze that culminates in the word "love" is inspiring ("Le Grand Pissoir," July 18). Musta been an off day! No, seriously--dealing with needy homeless or other pro panhandlers is a complex issue that deserves--and will ultimately require--contemplation. It would be easy to relegate these persons, irritating as they can be, to the closest refuge heap, but...civilization begs a better answer. It's kinda cool Mr. Schutze wrote a thought-provoking article instead of blowing them off. His dad's nurse is right.
Bum's rush: I have lived in Dallas for 18 years and have worked downtown off and on for the majority of those years. Mr. Schutze is correct in his ruffled feathers about the homeless situation. I am not sure City Hall's plan will fly with me.
Water on the brain: Living as close to the Trinity River as I do, I agree that the "mile-long loop" between Industrial and Corinth streets would make a beautiful park area (Letters, July 18). But have you all lost your minds? This is a flood-control area, which, just a few short months ago, was full to the brim! Developing this area would be a costly mistake--much more expensive than the boat ramp recently installed at Sylvan that is unusable after a "river rise" because it's covered with 8 inches of mud (great use of public funds, by the way).
Slashing city staff: According to Mayor Laura Miller, it would be terrible for us to ask council members to give some of their salaries back when they have only been making them for a short time. Why not have the council's salaries reduced as much as the civilian employees' ("Taxpayers, Arise!" July 11)? The latest budget update called for the mayor's and council office to cut secretaries and interns for a savings of $163,308. Yet this was too much for the council to stomach. There are no reductions planned for their staff. With salary and workweek reductions for civilian employees and increases in costs for health insurance, the reality of the overall reduction will be closer to 30 percent. Ask anybody if they enjoy being forced to give back one-third of their salaries. Mayor Pro Tem Don Hill says, "We're already making a sacrifice." How? By putting up with the rock-bottom morale of employees? He also says that cutting $100,000 for the council's lunch is purely symbolic. That $100,000 represents 2 1/2 people I had to lay off in public works. I don't think they believe it's just symbolic.
Lyrical justice: I was reading the issue of the Dallas Observer from the week of July 4 on the topic of Nas and Jay-Z's feud ("Ill at Ease"). It struck me as unintelligent for the writer to present the article in a biased form. It seems he or she liked Jay-Z more than Nas. Personally, I couldn't give a hoot that he liked Nas less than Jay-Z; I just think it's poor journalistic practice to write this article subjectively rather than objectively. Also, I wanna know how the heck you got your stats when you said, "...according to most listeners, Jay-Z got the better of Nas" on the lyrical wars between them? What songs were you listening to? Also, you mentioned that "Nas' delivery was more of an adolescent banter" concerning his attack on Jay-Z. If this is so, what the heck do you call Jay-Z starting the whole lyrical warfare by including Nas' name in his Blueprint album and saying, "Nas is garbage...Don't bother me, dude, go play." These Jay-Z lyrics referring to Nas are just as childish and as adolescent as what you say about Nas' lyrics. So don't give me your bullshit biased opinion about the Nas and Jay-Z lyrical warfare. If you ask me, you are just as stupid as your comments on their feud. I say go back to journalism school and learn how to really write articles--objectively, rather than based on your own immature opinion about who "won." Next time, if you don't have anything intelligent to write about two people that you do not know, put your pen down and take a long nap. Finally, if you do decide to write this kind of article next time, print in bold letters that this is your personal opinion rather than fact.
Real Thrill Ride
No dumbass: Don't mean to waste your time with an uncritical letter, but I appreciated Robert Wilonsky's review of Road to Perdition ("Graphic, Novel," July 11). I felt like he gave a good framework without building a pedestal for the movie to sit on when I see it. It was intelligent, and he hit all the points that were important--and all without using the words roller coaster, octane, edge of, powerhouse or thrill ride.
Anyway, thanks for not being a dumbass critic.