A fine whine
I read Rose Farley's article ["Whine capital of Texas," July 16] with great interest today. She did an excellent job capturing the Grapevine Heritage Foundation story. I hope any doubts the public had about the foundation's motives have been clarified. I always thought the combination of P.W.'s [McCallum's] vision, Ron Emrich's historic preservation integrity and reputation, and the board's dedication and credibility was perfect for Grapevine's historic preservation efforts.

One correction I want to make is about the reference made about Mark Maness' Palace Theater contribution of $4,000. Mark and I both requested that our contributions to the Palace Theater be returned to us as we were not comfortable with the foundation's accounting practices while under the control of P.W. McCallum. Mark donated $1,500 and I donated $3,000 for a total of $4,500.

Thank you, Rose, for telling the whole story.
Marian R. Carpentier
Via e-mail

It was with great interest that I read Rose Farley's article on the "Whine capital of Texas." As a former resident of Grapevine, I think a follow-up article on the financial dealings of the Heritage Foundation could provide us with some interesting revelations.

During the wine referendum in Grapevine, I did extensive research on the history of Grapevine. In all of the material I read and people I talked to, I discovered that wine making was not a part of the heritage of Grapevine. Grapevine at one time was famous for its Cantaloupe Festival and would even crown a queen during those festivities. Of course, people can't get drunk on cantaloupe juice, so the city fathers never looked into reviving that tradition.

It was during that time that I helped form a political action committee called P.U.S.H. (People United to Save our Heritage) consisting mainly of ministers and a few activists. We felt that Grapevine should build its reputation on its beautiful lake, its exemplary schools, and its small-town charm. We warned the people that the city leaders had bigger plans than just authorizing the sale of wine. We were very aggressive in our efforts, but we lost. The Golden Rule prevailed (he who has the gold rules). We were outspent by 20 to 1.

Now the city leaders are adamant about building an alcohol theme park in Grapevine. I have great respect for Marion Brekken. She is a full-time community volunteer who has worked so hard for the betterment of Grapevine. Maybe her concerns about the direction of Grapevine can inspire a grassroots effort to convince the city leaders that wanting to be the Wine Capital of Texas is an elusive dream and that the city should return to its true historical heritage.

Roland Johnson

Hooray for Cheryl
As a long-term fan of Jim Schutze, dating back to his Dallas Times Herald and Houston Chronicle days, I read with interest his "Raw deal" feature [July 23]. Given my lack of knowledge on the issues, I can't comment on the city of Dallas' annexation plans in Kaufman County, though Jim raises some legitimate questions. However, I can comment on another aspect of his article--the demeaning comments about Cheryl Peterman.

As one of Dallas' "new generation inner-city developers" (to use Jim's term), I have worked closely with Cheryl and her fine staff in the city's Planning Department for more than a decade. They are efficient, professional, and committed to helping anyone work through complex issues, including real estate development in Dallas' inner city.

An example is the renaissance of the State-Thomas and Uptown neighborhoods. These neighborhoods would not be the residential and retail success they are today without Cheryl's yeoman efforts to guide us through a myriad of complex issues.

As to Cheryl's dedication to City Manager John Ware--this is another quality of hers that I admire. John Ware is in fact her boss, and therefore, she should act on his direction. This does not warrant writing about her in a gratuitous manner.

Post Properties' commitment to ongoing redevelopment of Dallas' inner city--including the recently completed American Beauty Mill Lofts in South Dallas, the Wilson Building renovation in downtown Dallas, and more than 1,000 new apartment homes in Uptown over the past two years--is in large part due to the expertise of our Dallas public-sector partners, including John Ware and Cheryl Peterman.

Robert L. Shaw
Post Properties, president, Western Division

Fishy facts
"Fish Story" [July 9] contains important factual errors and omissions about our campaign, "Give Swordfish a Break."

First, the "Give Swordfish a Break" campaign is a one-year break, not a boycott. Its purpose is to enlist chefs and consumers as advocates for the adoption of long-overdue recovery measures for this severely depleted fish.

Second, we have never alleged that North Atlantic swordfish is on the endangered-species list. It isn't. But even the most vigorous defenders of the industry do not dispute that the population is in serious trouble. And the evidence is overwhelming: According to the federal government, the population is at the lowest level ever recorded; the value of East Coast swordfish landings has declined by one-half since 1989; the U.S. recreational fishery for swordfish in the Atlantic is largely extinct because of the depletion of big swordfish, and two out of every three North Atlantic swordfish caught by U.S. fishermen are juvenile fish that have not had the chance to reproduce. Fisheries management on both the domestic and international levels has utterly failed to reverse, or even arrest, any of these alarming trends. That is why we have enlisted chefs, consumers, and others in an effort to persuade the federal government to take effective action at the domestic and international levels to restore swordfish.

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.