Withering under denial: What an interesting contrast that Carlton Stowers painted between Gina Cotroneo and her rapist, Gary Faison ("Likely Suspect," October 31). It seems a classic case study in how one's actions exhibit one's character, and how people choose the lives they lead based upon the circumstances they've been given. Faison, on one hand, in every case denies or discounts strong evidence against him--including the irrefutable DNA evidence (300 million to one?)--as a conspiracy, a setup or a simple case of wrong place, wrong time. Ms. Cotroneo, on the other hand, would appear to be quietly turning his despicable acts against her and other women into a positive for others. Her courage in saving his semen and spitting it into a plastic bag is remarkable, but more important, her efforts to help others through speaking, writing and championing peace are the kinds of things that make the world a better place. Though their paths might have shared similarities several years ago, it seems clear they've chosen exactly who and where they are now: Ms. Cotroneo a "rising phoenix," and Mr. Faison withering under a life of denial in a prison cell. So, as actions exhibit one's true character: Ms. Cotroneo is the real one in 300 million; guys like Faison are a dime a dozen!
Holding down the mud beat: Thanks for Carlton Stowers. He has always been my favorite writer and continues to be one of America's best. Carlton could write about mud and it would be interesting!
Got a beef with Gonzalez: So things are unfair for women sports writers ("What a Boob," October 31)? So they don't get the respect they feel they're entitled to while interviewing male athletes in the men's locker room? I have four questions for John Gonzalez: 1. Have you ever interviewed a nude female athlete in the women's locker room? 2. Have you ever been in the women's locker room while naked female athletes were present? 3. Has any male sports writer anywhere in this country ever interviewed a nude female athlete in the women's locker room? 4. Has any male sports writer anywhere in this country ever been in the women's locker room while naked female athletes were present? I'd be willing to wager that the answer to each of these questions is "no." OK, so let's just acknowledge that all this whining about a double standard is grossly misdirected. Also, Mr. Gonzalez's article-ending reference to a male athlete's "man-meat" was pretty crude. I'm willing to press my bets even further. I'll bet that Mr. Gonzalez would never dare to refer to a woman athlete's exposed "woman-meat," and, if he did, no woman staffer at the Dallas Observer would ever allow it to be printed. How about a story on that double standard?
Demise of The Chicket: Thank you so much for your column ("Hot Air," October 31). I was one of those listeners to the new women's radio station who was so disappointed when it folded. I wanted to know what happened. The worst part about this is, now investors can claim there is no support for an all-women radio station.
So sad: Thanks so much for your piece on the demise of Cafe 990. I was so mad when they went off the air--it was a fantastic concept, and they were doing such a great job. So sad. Thanks for letting the public know what happened (and for your "men are dumb" line).
Eloquence and empathy: Thank you so much for your "bottom-line" eloquence, your candor, your interest and evident empathy shown in the column you wrote about Cafe 990. You did a great job, and I appreciate your talent!
I can't drive 55: A few weeks ago reporter Jim Schutze took the time and effort to visit the police officers parking at various substations and noted the high-dollar cars parked there ("Those Poor Starvin' Cops," October 10). Mr. Schutze was very critical of finding several Lexuses, Mercedes and BMWs parked there. He no doubt thought that we police officers are rich and famous, and he has exposed our great wealth. I have been a police officer for 32 years and am presently a detective at the Northeast substation, and I drive a Lexus LS 400. My wife was successful in her business field, and we have been able to enjoy a few of the nicer things in life.
When I came to Dallas 32 years ago from Louisiana, I had only $200 to my name and was waiting for my first paycheck from the city to buy groceries for my wife and small child. My wife and I worked very hard through the years to give our two girls the best, since we came from very modest surroundings. I served my country as an infantryman with the 101st Airborne division in Vietnam in 1968 and 1969 and was wounded in combat. I don't think I have to justify to the Dallas Observer or Mr. Schutze what type of vehicle I drive and what type of lawn mower I cut my yard with. I believe that in Communist countries this may happen.
If he has the guts, Mr. Schutze should apologize to the entire Dallas Police Department for this crude and cowardly conduct.
Temper tantrum: Jim Schutze has done it again. This week's column ("Law? What Law?" November 7) is excellent.
Before this column, I thought that the police officers were just being rude when they walked out of a city council meeting just as Mayor Laura Miller started to respond to their complaints. I didn't understand why they behaved like spoiled 2-year-olds having a temper tantrum.
Now I do. These police officers were mad that their orders for increased pay were not being complied with. So since they couldn't put handcuffs on Mayor Miller and the council, they walked out.
I always thought that police officers served the public, but obviously there are some in the department who believe that the citizens of Dallas are to obey no matter what.
There are many in the police department who are no doubt doing an excellent job, but it is time that the rules be applied equally to both the police and to the citizens of Dallas. Dallas obviously has a police culture where the mayor and the city council are supposed to meet each and every one of their demands, whether they are reasonable or not.
Moral compass: Week after week, month after month, year after year Jim Schutze confronts us with the ugly realities of Dallas. More than any political leader, any clergy, any ethicist, any academic, any anyone, Schutze serves as a conscience and moral compass of this city. He is not always right, but who is? Jim Schutze is a true community treasure, and we are better because of him. And I am grateful.
Hello: Big Bob Wilonsky, I enjoyed the Nirvana article ("Number One With a Bullet," October 31) immensely and found out a lot of stuff I didn't know. Being a person that loves an intelligent conversation, I would love to discuss it further. This being the best I can do for now, I have a question about the Vines reference. A friend of mine has a Vines record (I would never purchase such overrated swill), so I looked to see if they gave Cobain credit. No such luck, which leads me to believe that I am confused and misunderstood your reference. Did Cobain in fact write that "Get Free" song or one like it? The same question applies to "Highly Evolved." If so, we may be looking at lining Love's pockets with even more money with which hopefully she will use on a heroin binge that results in her eventual demise. Straighten me out one way or the other.
Editor's note: The article was a gag.
Still a fan: I have been a fan of Mark Stepnoski since he started in the NFL. I have followed him from Dallas to Houston to Tennessee and back to Dallas. I was very surprised by this story. I am still a fan, but what will the kids think that look up to someone like Mark and want to follow in his footsteps? Do we really want the kids thinking it is OK to smoke pot and function in the adult world?