Ill wind blowing
I commend your paper on having the guts to bring to the attention of the public the hazards of the cement-kiln industry ["Ill wind blowing," June 12]. It has always amazed me how these filthy businesses could work and make money in a state that has the motto "Don't Mess with Texas!" What a joke!

They might as well say "Don't mess with Texas, unless you are a big industry that can buy people off!" It sickens me how smug and self-assured the cement companies are. Do they think they are above the laws of the state? Are they the new supremacists and not bound by the rules of society? It might make a difference to them if they are held personally accountable for all the damage these kilns cause, because it will be proved and it will be brought to light, no matter how much they try to bully and brainwash.

One day that large jellyfish we call a government is going to grow a spine and finally stand up for us and close these filthy businesses down!

Tracy Meisenbach
Via Internet

I just finished your article "Ill Wind Blowing" and am absolutely disgusted at what I've seen. I live in Cedar Hill, within sight of this plant, and have long suspected that it has been causing an abnormal amount of sinus/bronchial type problems within my family. I have a 10-year-old boy whom I want to protect against this type of illness and am greatly concerned about the toxins that are being released now and the increase that the TXI plant has requested. The only time we seem to have symptoms of the pollution is when the wind is blowing directly from the plant toward us.

In short, I would like to get involved in the fight against this, if it's not too late. I'm astonished that there wasn't widespread notification of these "hearings" in the past. How can I find out about any future meetings/hearings regarding this problem?

Michael Rumbaugh
Via Internet

Thank you for your article on TXI and Downwinders at Risk. We were impressed with your article and your hard work. And we were motivated by it.

Don Parker
Grayson Harper
Via Internet

Theater bug
Indeed black theater is important to the cultural development of our community ["Don't you dare call it the 'Chitlin Circuit,'" June 5]. It doesn't really matter what it's called. Gospel theater, chitlin circuit shows, Mama-on-a-couch plays, or legitimate theater, the goals are the same: audience development and a greater appreciation of a meaningful art form.

Perhaps for the first time a person was exposed to the wonderful world of theater by attending one of these plays. And once you have been bitten, you hunger for more. First a production at JBA or the South Dallas Cultural Center, then the Dallas Theater Center and the Shakespeare Festival. It's all good.

Right on to Shelly Garrett for creating a new and different voice in the black theater movement. Special thanks to Al Wash and "Dr." Curtis King for showcasing such a voice. And by all means, keep on singing, Rudy Eastman; we hear you loud and clear.

Equally important is the work of new and emerging theater organizations: Soul Rep Theater Company, Debra Lynn Woods Theater, Artist & Elaine Thorton Foundation for the Arts, Nommo, Afro-American Artists Alliance, Inc., and Reciprocity Arts.

The cultural arts movement continues, and we will win!
Charles Hillman
Southern Dallas Arts Coalition

I was a little disappointed in the tone of the "Chitlin Circuit" article published by the Dallas Observer. The idea that black theater is somehow too highbrow for the average black person is ludicrous. Anyone who's seen August Wilson's plays, any of them, knows that he writes directly from the black experience. Not the black intellectual's experience, but that of the working man.

After all, that is where Wilson came from--not a middle-class, black bourgeois family. The whole notion of "outsider art forms" is a white notion and, in my view, just one more attempt at pigeonholing the cultural products of black people. Like any other people, black people respond to media hype, and if nothing else, your article pointed out that one of the biggest differences between the success of Garrett's plays and that of Eastman's is money for media hype! August Wilson and George Wolfe (the producer/director of Bring in da Noise, Bring in da Funk) have been successful on Broadway because their works are receiving the promotional buck it takes to succeed.

Vicki Meek, Manager
South Dallas Cultural Center

A vote for Coco
Each week I anxiously dive into your publication for its great articles and interesting ads. You offer articles from which The Dallas Morning News shies away. And, I usually agree with your approach to a subject.

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