Ware must go
I want to commend the Dallas Observer and Laura Miller for the excellent coverage on this arena outrage ["Arena stonewalling," February 23] for which the taxpayers are being asked to subsidize the very rich trio of Ray Hunt, Don Carter, and Norm Green.

There is no way that I believe Cliff Keheley and John Ware were in the dark on this arena study. All of these efforts were directed by John Ware and implemented by Cliff Keheley, which is why John will not fire Mr. Keheley.

I have worked with Ted Benavides, and he is a hard-working, dedicated city employee. His only mistake was speaking the truth and engaging the full force of City Manager John Ware's anger and displeasure.

Hurrah for Paul Fielding in ordering [City Auditor] Dan Paul to ascertain the facts of this situation. Now all the City Council needs to do is find the guts to fire John Ware for ordering the arena study and his efforts to cover up the truth. Scapegoating his responsibility and blame onto the shoulders of Louise Elam does not speak well for his character or his macho image.

Linda Moore

Congratulations to Laura Miller, whose fine effort of investigative reporting over the past months has finally yielded some attention to the Dallas arena mess. Buried back on pages 37 and 43 of the February 12 Dallas Morning News is the article, "City official misled council, report says. He initiated 'secret' arena study, auditor finds." And the next day, the local Belo-owned Channel 8 leads with the story on the morning report, complete with quotes by at least one Dallas councilman calling for a criminal investigation by the District Attorney!

Of course, all of this official media furor just centers on one study report. Of course, it may all blow over as the fur flies and the fingers point and the powerful business interests directing the plans to demolish Reunion Arena and build a more expensive one still accomplish their goal.

But readers of the Observer have gotten a chance to see how real reporting can be done on an issue that would normally get buried in "business as usual." Laura Miller has devoted pages and pages of print to the details of the complex story, giving taxpayers a unique glimpse of the games being played with their money. This can't be done with 15-second sound bites or three column inches clipped from Associated Press news feeders.

Vindication, Laura! Have a ball, BeloWatch! Start tap-dancing, Keheley and Ware! It's about time.

Paul Nevill

Bambi killer
"Hall of Fame hunt" [February 2] should be called "Hall of Shame hunt." Now that Nolan Ryan and his buddies have gotten their sick kicks torturing and killing snakes, birds, and other helpless creatures, they should check into therapy.

Carla Bennett
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
Washington, D.C.

He may be crazy
As bassist for the Explosives, I performed and recorded with Roky Erickson from 1979 through 1982. Wilonsky's right: Roky may be crazy, but he ain't stupid ["Roky's road," February 2]. While his incoherence could not be denied, it never interfered with his performing or songwriting. It did cause everyone to wait on him hand and foot: "Roky, shall I tune your guitar for you?" When introduced to an obnoxious club owner, the Rok would shake hands, smile and say, "Kill ya later, man!" Voila! No further trouble from that guy...

Sonny Collie

Don't believe the hype
After reading the review concerning The Stone Roses ["Hip hype hooray," January 19], I asked myself, "Is Mr. Wilonsky laboring under a false impression as to who The Stone Roses are?" or "Has he just miscalculated his knowledge of what good music really exists to be?" After speculating about both questions, I realized the answer to both is "yes."

So Robert Wilonsky, please take these recommendations into consideration. Know your music before you write about it. To use a reference to Jesus Jones in a Stone Roses article has got to be the most uneducated analogy ever recorded. The Stone Roses are as much of a one-hit wonder as you are a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist.

Michael Cullen

Savior of American values
This letter is in response to "Brother" Beaumont's letter [Letters, February 23]. My response is not in opposition to his writing, but to the Observer for giving this self-appointed savior of American Values space in your publication. I read the Observer in order to spare myself the agony of ignorance expressed in the opinions of right-wing Christian conservatives such as Mr. Beaumont.

He rationalizes that his continued reading of the Observer is to gain knowledge of his "enemy." My guess is Thad Beaumont's narrow-minded ignorance is his own enemy--and ultimately his downfall. Sodom and Gomorrah were surely full of Thad Beaumont types and not one single Dallas Observerite.

Mark Sanders

Jailhouse rock
I'm writing this letter on behalf of many fans of ASKA in response to a recent article by Robert Wilonsky [Street Beat, February 2]. Where in the world did you pick up this piece of musical trash? He doesn't know a bit about great music. And I'm too nice to even write Mr. on these pages for him. He gains no respect from lots of people in the biz with his remarks about the local music scene.

ASKA is a very good band. They are endorsed by Jackson guitars. They toured with the U.S.O. twice in Saudi Arabia and once in Northern Europe. They have recently cut their second CD, and this bozo has the gall to say there are lucky to even be mentioned.

These guys have worked hard to receive the recognition they deserve. They didn't just spring up over night. I've known these talented musicians since '91 and they have kept me rockin' for a long time.

ASKA Fan Club
Gib Lewis Prison Unit

The real draft dodger
A few weeks ago, in a heated attack on the Speaker of the House, Molly Ivins said that Newt Gingrich was a draft dodger ["Cruelest cut," January 12]. I don't know if the statement is accurate since other sources report he was "4F." The difference is that a draft dodger does everything in his power to avoid military service, while a 4F is physically unfit for service. If Mr. Gingrich contrived to make it appear that he was physically unfit for service, he would deserve to be called a draft dodger.

However, Ms. Ivins' statement offers the opportunity to ask a question that is on all America's tongue: "What outfit were you in, Ms. Ivins?" Since the term draft dodger carries a moral judgment, the only persons with a legitimate right to make the judgment are those who have served. Unless Ms. Ivins accepted the obligation and performed the duty, she too is a draft dodger.

Of course, it is possible that the young men and women of Northampton, Massachusetts, and Houston, Texas, were so overwhelmed by patriotic fervor that recruiters could not find place for them all. Despite a burning zeal to do her bit, Ms. Ivins, a shrinking and shy individual not given to putting herself forward, may have been shoved to the back of the line so long that she became too old to go. Or, perhaps there were so many women in the service that the government had flat run out of uniforms when Ms. Ivins volunteered.

Tom Stewart-Gordon