"A Bridge to Somewhere," by Sam Merten, August 27
Too Much for Too Little
It's very hard to say anything negative about a pseudo-charitable organization, but I am able to force my way through it.
I am more of a math guy: $7,000,000 in operating expenses this year...400 people helped this year. That means $17,500 per person helped. I will gladly take that $17,500 and help a person get back on their feet. And with the remaining $16,000 I will go buy two brand-new wave runners.
Good lord. That is a lot of money. Luckily, the taxpayers are paying the bills, so it doesn't matter. It reminds me of running for city council and one of the folks I was running against said he didn't care how much the hotel costs as long it helped one person find a job. We should have just given that one guy the 500 mil and called it a day.
Do the math. Seriously.
Is it good to help people? Absolutely. Do we need places like this? Absolutely. Should we try to do more? Absolutely. But if the taxpayers were not paying the bill we would get relatively the same results with less money.
The government can't do anything without spending way too much to do it. I am a huge Angela Hunt fan, but on this I think she should read the book The Law by Frederic Bastiat, and she may come to understand that there is a big difference between philanthropy and misplaced philanthropy.
I attended an event and gave a donation to the shelter; had I known how much I was already being charged, I might have reconsidered...
John Jay from Dallas, via dallasobserver.com
"Up the Sleazy River," by Jim Schutze, August 27
No one wants to admit it, but it all goes back to single-member districts. It's a lot easier to bribe one council person than an entire council, particularly when the council person doesn't have much of an income from a nonpolitical real job or business. Registering lobbyists won't do much. Taking zoning and other controls out of the hands of financially irresponsible single-member council people will.
Robin Phelan from Dallas, via dallasobserver.com
"Dead Man Coaching," by Richie Whitt, August 27
We're Never wrong
A lot of coaches in the NFL are on the hot seat. Being a Cowboy fan and an optimist—at the same time a realist—I think you should get off Wade Phillips' back. Granted, if they don't make the playoffs this year I agree that we should go in a different direction. You're being too critical of him; fire some of it at Mr. Jones, who brought in all the troublemakers. I still hope T.O. will become a team player, same is true for the rest of the crew that lost their jobs.
Remember a couple of years ago Tom Coughlin was in a lot of trouble in New York? He made a big change and allowed his leaders to take control, and the result was a Super Bowl victory. The Cowboys are certainly capable.
It's a hell of a lot better to be an optimist than a pessimist. You reporters should learn that. For the most part, all you get is dirty laundry from the media. Tons of people crave to hear some good news. Will you admit to everyone publicly that you were wrong if they make the playoffs and win?
Coach Nasche from Tyler, via dallasobserver.com
"Music of the Not," by Elaine Liner, August 27
I am so disappointed in the review, although it may be well-deserved. There have been many plays at Garland Civic that have been astounding. Unfortunately, your review indicates that this is not one of them. I do hope that corrections can be made so that audiences will grow and not decrease. Community theater is absolutely necessary to the emotional health of our city during a time of intense emotional and financial stress to families and individuals. A night at the theater at a convenient location is one way to relieve stress and to take a short "mental health" break. Please do not fail to come back and to write a well-deserved better review of future productions.
Dorothy from Garland, via dallasobserver.com
"Josh vs. Josh," By Richie Whitt, August 20
Race Matters, Religion too
I just wanted to take a moment to applaud you for your courage in standing up and being absolutely honest in this article. It would have been much easier to have taken a "holier than thou" approach to the issue, but instead you admitted your faults and still approached the issue properly.
I am a white man and a die-hard Mavericks fan, and I too have found myself down on Josh Howard for his antics of seasons past. Your article really makes me think about the reality of racism in myself, even though I have no issues keeping any race as company.
Anyway, thank you again for being an honest man and taking an approach that 999 out of 1,000 journalists would never dream of taking.
Michael Case, Fort Worth, Texas
If you think blaming it on racism is silly, then what do you blame it on? Josh Howard is a nice guy too. He does wonderful things for the community not only here but also in his hometown of Winston/Salem. It made me sick when J-Ho was crucified in the media. And it makes me sick that Hamilton is not. I think it's because of racism, and it's because the media doesn't want to criticize a Bible-thumping hypocrite. Oh my god...to say something bad about a guy who says he plays a sport for "God's glory"! Heaven forbid!
All I can say is at least Richie Witt admits his bias/racism. Maybe that's a start at least. I'm as white as Josh Hamilton, and I believe it's dead wrong that he gets a break because he's white or because he's religious. Just as it is dead wrong to crucify Josh Howard because he's black or because he doesn't wear his beliefs on his sleeve or shove his beliefs down people's throats.
Cynthia from Brownsboro, Texas, via dallasobserver.com
"Gay Panic in Cowtown," By Tom Korosec, August 20
Bad Cop, Good Cop
Good article, but wonder why Police Chief Halstead is being let so easily off the hook? He accepted the lies of his men without question that night with a Pollyanna gullibility. Isn't it the job of a police chief to question and investigate? I don't think anyone believes the statements of the police officers at this point that they were sexually molested—indeed, the statements of the witnesses clearly show that there was an atmosphere of fear that night generated by the officers who arrested bystanders who had even one drink or none at all.
This was harassment pure and simple. Halstead originally claimed his officers weren't even there—and the photos exposed that lie. Sure, it seems to be largely the antics of out-of-control TABC officers, but the Fort Worth police participated in this fiasco as well. Why is the attempted murder of a bar patron acceptable, just because the perps are in uniform? The very report the police handed in that night was a lie—claiming that the young man was injured from a fall outside the club, instead of from a contemptible pile-up of officers upon a kid, in a murderous frenzy.
Fort Worth is certainly in need of a clean-up. And it should start by taking a sharp look at Halstead's gullibility, inaction and disinterest in the crimes committed by his men and their colleagues at a newly opened gay bar that night. Criminal assailants are still law-breaking thugs, no matter what uniform they wear.
Jeremy from Miami, via dallasobserver.com
Living in Dallas but being very involved in Fort Worth where I went to school and still do business, I can tell you Jeff Halstead is not "off the hook," nor is he at all pleased with his officers and is still following up. I don't speak for him, but I agree with the tenor of the article, that Fort Worth sees itself as "minding its bidness with its own," and startled to see as much external blame as they're reading.
It's true, this has injured all of Fort Worth and as such it is newsworthy; business people of all stripes are still dealing with indirect repercussions and lost business as a result of this buffoonery.
I also think the TCU professor hit it on the head when he said many gays in Texas are in denial about their surroundings and neighbors; I'm sure that's not limited to any particular minority who works hard, settles in and contributes to the community only to find themselves singled out. TABC is still wiggling out of its own work, leaving the locals (FTWPD) to cope with its angry neighbors...Of course, I don't know what those ol' boys and gals are saying privately to Moncrief and Halstead. Oh, wait: I do. So look for some changes even if they're not as public as an apology.
Chevytexas from DFW, via dallasobserver.com