The Virgin Diaries

Say a little prayer: Great article on True Love Waits ("No Trespassing," by Michelle Martinez and Leah Gerchario, December 18). It shows the kids and the struggles that they deal with and how it affects them. I wish someone had been around to encourage me in that direction when I was a kid. And just a note of encouragement to Mallory: We all fall down, darlin'. Real growth begins when we stand back up and attempt anew to keep the commitment to which we first set our hearts. You are a matter of prayer for me now.

William A. Tomlinson
North Bend, Oregon

Schutze Scores

Huge impact: Thank God for Jim Schutze. It is absolutely scary to consider what the Dallas City Council would get away with if it weren't for him. I feel sorry for other cities that don't have someone willing to take the time to investigate City Hall like he does. The only thing lacking in his columns is a list of e-mails or telephone numbers we could call to ask these so-called representatives of the people if they really think the people of Dallas are that stupid. That's not to say I always agree with Jim, but I will say that his columns have a HUGE impact on how I vote. And I do vote.

I don't blame Jim Schutze for being delighted at having copies of that Dallas Police Department press release ("Moby DEA," December 25), both before and after acting Chief Randy Hampton blacked out the incriminating parts. Jim is absolutely right when he infers that the best thing Chief Hampton can give him for Christmas is a copy of page four of that audit with parts blackened out. Do you know why? EVIDENCE, as in INCRIMINATING, as in COVER-UP, as in OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE, etc. I guess a new requirement for police chief is being an absolute idiot, not to mention incredibly stupid and arrogant. Doesn't Mayor Laura Miller--or the Dallas City Council, for that matter--realize how scary it is to read Jim's articles and come to the conclusion that the DPD is being run by a bunch of criminals with a badge who think nothing about framing innocent people for money? I mean, every time I see a police cruiser near me, I get nervous. And that there are council members who are content to look the other way, just for the sake of politics? Doesn't Laura Miller realize that she won't be mayor forever, and one day she, too, might get pulled over by one of these same police officers? Or worse, her husband and/or her children? Is our town at the mercy of the DPD? Don't these people answer to anyone?

Reuben L. Owens

Share the blame: The Dallas City Council deserves some blame for the fake-drug scandal because they did not demand from former Chief Bolton an unredacted copy of the DEA's report. The council is the city's board of directors, and as such they should not allow executives to report to them the results of independent audits. We've seen the results of this recently in the corporate accounting scandals of many major companies. The council should not be surprised that Bolton took the opportunity they handed him to filter and interpret the report, hiding the most damaging details from them.

Name withheld

Build something beautiful: As I sat at a cafe in Oak Lawn and paged through your latest issue, watching countless angry cars zoom down the street, honking, filling the air with smog, I was absolutely heartbroken when I read "Spanish Fly" (by Jim Schutze, December 18). I have been a longtime defender, supporter and lover of Dallas and a person with high hopes for the city it can be. I've lived downtown for a year now and have loved what I've seen out of Dallas lately, especially with the DART rail and the latest downtown/South Dallas development. I had heard the rumors and secretly anticipated the day that I or at least my children would be able to visit "Dallas Central Park" or "Dallas Riverwalk."

After reading your article, a political activist arose within me. I understand that with any decision on this front sacrifices need to be made, and that business owners are worried, etc., but why not sacrifice yourself for something of greater purpose rather than sacrifice something of greater purpose for yourself?

I'd like to know what I can do, as a resident and citizen in Dallas, to at least let my voice be heard. What actions can I take to at least try and save the idea of the Dallas green refuge and give us a chance to have Calatrava bridges that are truly beautiful--not just for what they look like but for what they stand for? I'd much rather take a canoe or paddleboat under a beautiful bridge than drive across it.

Kari Altmann

Bad Hobbit

Frodo at 50: Your reviewer complains that Elijah Wood is too young for the role of Frodo ("Upper Middle Earth," by Gregory Weinkauf, December 18) based on his age in the book, which is approximately 50. Evidently your reviewer did not read the novel very carefully, or he would be aware that once Frodo came into possession of the Ring, he would cease aging, as had been the case with Bilbo, who acquired the Ring when well into adulthood. He received the Ring on his 33rd birthday, which is when hobbits come of age, so Frodo would still retain his youthfulness from that time--he would physically appear to be in his late teens or early 20s, as far as human standards go. Any responsible critic should always check to see if there are particular reasons for something being as it is when he is going to criticize a film for some particular detail with which he disagrees. If your critic had done so, he would have realized that in most respects Elijah Wood did possess the requisite physical traits for Frodo, even for a Frodo at age 50.

Michael W. Nisbett
Lincoln, Nebraska

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