Pathetic either way: Great story, with a very nuanced analysis ("Split Decision," by Matt Pulle, January 11). These Anglo parents should be ashamed of themselves. But DISD should have been spanked. Which is more pathetic: that they knew about this or that they did not?
Michael A. Olivas
Professor of Law, University of Houston
You ruined it for everyone: Congratulations to Ms. Santamaria and Ms. Gonzalez. Their efforts have effectively destroyed the very classes into which they sought admittance for their children. Now if they could just do something about the Anglo taxpayers who live in those garish mansions.
Get Over Deep Ellum
Music but no scene: We want quality: I totally agree with your assessment of the Dallas music scene ("Missing From the Dallas Scene: You," by Jonanna Widner, January 4). My band, Ben Zephyr, has experienced it firsthand, and we've yet to find a good solution. The challenge is no longer to rock out and impress a crowd of live music fans; it's simply to find or create the crowd itself! There seems to be a growing trend in live music away from Deep Ellum toward individual establishments like Firewater. I think the combination of difficult parking, a long drive (for most) and questionable sanitation/safety makes these sorts of venues more desirable.
However, if you've received any useful input on how to get a crowd down to Deep Ellum, I'm all ears!
Thanks for a kick in the pants: The "Missing From the Dallas Scene: You" article was great. As a member of a band in the DFW area, I think telling everyone to "Get over Deep Ellum" was needed. It has been burning in people's craws since the decline started. I'm guilty of feeling sore about the situation as well, but it is time to get proactive. There is plenty of talent here to make a great music scene. It doesn't matter if there was only one basement to play in or 30 venues open in Deep Ellum; if no one attends the shows, it's going to be rough on the live aspects of music that help a band grow/develop/create.
Thanks for the kick in the pants. 2007 is going to be a great year for the cut*off. At the end of this month we start recording a full-length follow-up to The Rorschach EP with Salim Nourallah at Pleasantry Lane. We'll keep you informed. Keep up the good work.
North Richland Hills
Field of Also-Rans
Wanted: triple-digit IQs: The main problem with Dallas isn't police protection in entertainment districts. I couldn't care less what happens in Deep Ellum on a Saturday night. The real problem is the outdated 14-1 council system and the fact that certain council districts continue to elect throwback politicians with marginal education and capability. Don Hill is a joke. He's a third-rate lawyer with a small-time legal practice who has no concept of finance or economics. His only claim to fame is getting elected in a district where no qualified candidate has surfaced. This assessment is independent of his tax problems and potential criminal activities, for which I will give him the benefit of the doubt. I don't care what ethnicity someone is, but if he or she is going to make the decisions required of a city council member, it would be nice if that person had a triple-digit IQ, a real education and successful experience in positions of responsibility. I want fiscally intelligent problem-solvers, and I don't care if they are brown or black or white. The problem is that they are few and far between in certain sections of our city, and until that problem is addressed, we will continue to have a city council populated by very small-time ward politicians.
If you eliminate politics and ethnicity, there is no comparison between Don Hill and Sam Coats ("Mr. Sunshine," by Jim Schutze, January 4). Nobody would hire Don Hill to run anything if Sam Coats was available. When will the voters wake up and stop living in the past? In the Northeast, ethnic used to mean Irish or Polish. We should be beyond that. If for some silly reason it is necessary to elect someone who is ethnically what used to be a minority in Dallas, at least elect someone who you would pick to run a big organization.
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Maybe the voters should reverse-think and ask themselves this question: Would I vote for this guy if he was an ethnicity other than I am? For example, if I'm a black person, would I vote for Don Hill if he was a white guy? If I'm a white guy, I should ask if I would vote for Sam Coats if he was a black person. You get the picture. You can fill in the blank with "gay," "female," "rich," "male" or whatever particular identifier you want.
Put in that perspective, some of the people we have on the council look pretty silly. I'm tired of my city being run by unaccomplished political hacks. In some districts the voters can only choose between multiple unaccomplished political hacks.