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Here's what I learn from your petty carping. With friends like the Dallas Observer, the USA Film Festival doesn't need enemies. If I were them, I wouldn't give you people the time of day, much less press passes. It all reminds me of something I learned in junior high: You don't hang around with people who keep telling you how much you suck.

Steve Holyer
Via e-mail

Men of integrity
I first met John Loza ["Whipping boy," April 8] at a neighborhood gathering here in the barrio. I didn't vote for him. I still cannot comprehend a man who is gay identifying himself as a Republican--a political party that builds on hate and the oppression of gay people.

But I will be voting for John Loza's re-election. Because I have found him to be a person of integrity. I have disagreed with John on many of his votes, including the arena and the Trinity River. I have seen him in action at City Hall. And he does care about affordable housing issues.

And he watches the gangsters and follows the bouncing ball. While he remains an enigma in many respects (gay and Republican), I must say that I have been very impressed by his attention to my neighborhood and affordable housing issues that are important to me. I intend to support him in his re-election, even though I didn't vote for him the first time.

I think he is a good man. I think he is honest. I admire his ability to focus on issues of importance, even though I may disagree with him. Perhaps I have reached an age when I can understand that reasonable people can be on both sides of an issue. That doesn't make them bad people. What a concept!

Don Maison
Via e-mail

Editor's note: Don Maison is executive director of AIDS Services of Dallas, a residential program for persons with AIDS.

As a resident of North Dallas, District 12, I take no position on the politics of District 2 or the upcoming city council election in that district. As a City Plan Commission member, however, I served with Rick Leggio for more than a year prior to his resignation. From personal experience, I find your characterization of Mr. Leggio's alleged sour temperament and irascible behavior both inaccurate and offensive.

As a commissioner, Mr. Leggio was thoughtful and judicious about all zoning cases. Representing District 2 in particular, he was always knowledgeable and prepared, asked incisive questions, treated all parties with respect, and articulated his reasoned decisions clearly.

The zoning case for a proposed Albertson's grocery store in Old East Dallas, by all accounts, including Councilman John Loza's, is complex, fiercely contested, and not an easy decision to make. The entire City Plan Commission spent months to fully understand the issues, reading materials and listening to the passionate arguments of both opponents and proponents. Mr. Leggio was deeply immersed, trying to forge a compromise solution recognizing merits of both sides of the debate.

Mr. Leggio had the courage of his convictions to vote his conscience. He agonized over the vote, well aware of his difference with Mr. Loza and the probable consequences for himself personally. He did not try to impose his will and encouraged his colleagues to vote our consciences. Based on land-use issues, the commission reached its recommendation to the city council not to support Albertson's proposal.

As district appointees acting in an advisory capacity, City Plan Commission members are charged to use their best judgment within the scope of zoning regulations and community input. The final decision rightfully rests with our elected officials.

Commission members most often share similar perspectives with their council member. At times we have our differences. Mr. Leggio's resignation was realistic rather than rash. It was a sad day for many on the City Plan Commission to lose such a competent colleague.

Ilene C. Perkett
Via e-mail

Biting justice
Don Crowder was more than a perfectionist; he was one effective lawyer ["Fatal perfection," March 25]. When he represented me, he came on late in the case. Never have I started at such a deficit and had things turned around so dramatically.

He sat next to me in court, breathing heavily, eyes darting around, spit coming out one side of his mouth like a rabid animal. My fear was that he would bite me, and I was his client. At the end of the hearing, my opponent had all she wanted of Don Crowder. He verbally knocked her and her lawyer all over the courtroom. The issue was settled quickly.

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