Reefer madness
A recent article ["Just say maybe to nicotine," Buzz, November 7] described "a cop in Arlington" who was seen smoking a cigarette "in a spanking-new, tricked-up Ford Taurus emblazoned with the DARE logo." I am writing this letter on behalf of all the officers in the Arlington Police Department's DARE unit. I would like to make it clear to the public that the officer mentioned in the article was not one of our DARE officers, much less an officer of the Arlington Police Department. None of the DARE officers in Arlington smokes. Furthermore, the Arlington Police Department has never owned a Ford Taurus with the DARE logo.

Unfortunately, it is possible that the officer who was observed is a DARE officer from somewhere in the North Texas area. However, that officer was not presenting a positive role model, and before one accuses an agency of being hypocritical they should at least target the agency at fault. I am quite sure everyone who read that article now looks upon the Arlington Police Department DARE unit negatively. Though the article does not specifically identify the officer as an Arlington police officer, it is highly suggestive that he was.

Be assured, every DARE officer is aware of the dangers of using tobacco. As was stated in the article, nicotine is one of the most widely abused addictive drugs in this country. Tobacco is considered one of the four "gateway drugs" because it frequently leads to the use of other harmful and illegal drugs. Each year 434,000 Americans die because of smoking-related diseases. Without a doubt, tobacco kills.

Finally, none of us in the Arlington DARE unit thinks of our students as "would-be junkies." We take great pride in our work and in our students. DARE encompasses much more than simply a series of presentations to young people. In Arlington, we maintain a close rapport with our students for the entire year. During that time, we teach them not only how to say no to drugs, gangs, and violence, but how to deal with stress, influence from the media, and different types of pressures. We strive to give them crucial life skills needed to make educated decisions in all areas of their lives. This includes adolescence and adulthood. Our students are important to us, for they are our future.

Officer Michelle Shockley
DARE Instructor

Civilized pugilists
I enjoyed reading your article on boxing ["Babes in Boyland," November 7]. I'm a 28-year-old female who boxed for one and a half years. I have a few suggestions on how to improve the sport of boxing for women. First, there needs to be more boxing gyms. No one wants to drive to a gym 45 minutes away. It's hard to do three times week. Second, there needs to be a group trainer to teach the basics. Women like to talk to each other, even during a hard workout like boxing. Third, and most important, there needs to be a place to keep the kids. I had to stop boxing after I had my son. Now my garage is my boxing gym.

Judi Chesshir

Well said
Hey Dallasites, will you please relax? For folks who are supposed to be laid-back, you are more thin-lipped than a new England matriarch.

The polling on the fate of WRR and Donna Blumer ["Promise keeper?" October 24] was a joke. Tacky, perhaps. Certainly Observeresque. But a joke to make a point. And the Observer readers were more gentle than many seemed to presume. They voted overwhelmingly to keep WRR as a city institution and to ensure Blumer her right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

So get a grip, Dallas, and lighten up. You're going to give yourself heart failure.

Sheila McKay

Who's the mother?
In your recent article on Eddie Bernice Johnson ["U.S. Reprehensible," October 31], she is quoted as saying, "They say the Observer destroys black people." And on this count, I must most heartily agree.

On one of my all-too-infrequent trips downtown, I saw a shattered man. He was broken in every way, his parched lips shivering in the cold whipping wind. He had not the strength to stand, nor the will to live. He was the portrait of human misery.

"My God!" I said. "What happened to you?"
He could barely speak. "Dallas Observer...too many literary barbs...Laura Miller sarcasm..."

"No!" I shrieked in shocked dismay. "I read them all the time."
"Reporters..." I could see the faint flicker of a fire in his eyes. "They have reporters...asking questions..."

"Those fiends!" I wailed. "What can be done?"
"Must warn...Bernice Johnson..."
"It's too late," I gulped, swallowing back the heartbreak. "But don't tell me you used to work for her."

"Yes...got fired."
"You too? I must say I'm impressed with your amazing loyalty. But what did she fire you for?"

"Pregnant?" I gasped. "Well, didn't she know you were making medical history?"

"She said... 'You're pregnant if...I say you're pregnant.'"
At this I was moved to offer him some help, but he said he refused to be corrupted by the white man.

Upon seeing he was adamant in his refusal, all I could do was sigh and say, "OK. Have it your way, Mayor Kirk."

Tim Kohler
Via the Internet

Being tough isn't wrong
I really liked your Eddie Bernice Johnson story ["U.S. Reprehensible," October 31]. You know, Johnson is pretty hard on people because she doesn't like "flopwork." A lot of people think they can sit under her and do nothing, but it ain't gonna happen. Whether pregnant or not, they have to work. Yes, she is tough, but who wants a weak congressperson? We put her in there because she gets things done. Now, some latter-day wannabes are upset because they can't curl Johnson around their little fingers. They want to be where she is. It's jealousy.

You may not publish this. But if you do, remember that if 50 staffers tell their side of the story, Johnson has hers. I remember when Johnson hardly had any support. Everybody was happy with her then. Now that she's prominent...well. She's not trying to be above the law or better than anyone, or to abuse staffers.

But she is not going to sit by and have them run her post into the ground.
Did someone pay the Observer to come out with this story? We like Johnson. We like you, too. We don't attack you because you promote homosexuality in your paper--that's your prerogative. Well, stop attacking Eddie. She's running her office as she sees fit--just like you! And she's doing a better job of it.

Bill "Courtney" Blassingham

If WRR's broke, fix it
Your recent article on WRR radio deeply disappointed me ["Static Quo," September 19]. I always have felt that the Observer had a feeling for all artistic venues.

WRR is the only outlet in this area that consistently plays classical music. Must we lose the only classical station to greed and the mighty buck? Sure, the station has some faults. Is the Observer without fault? It would seem that the Observer would support the underdog in this case.

In the great and vast wasteland of Dallas commercial radio, why shut off the only station that airs something different? If we are to be a truly cosmopolitan city, we have to have a diversity of the arts, even if the station is owned by the City of Dallas.

If the station is so valuable, why not hire some good salespeople and make it really profitable? They certainly would not be taking business away from the other stations. Just a few thoughts on my part, since I felt your story was so unfair.

John Legrand

Our crown of thorns
As a classical music buff, I thoroughly enjoyed your article ["Promise keeper," October 24]. For this I say thanks.

Everything you say about WRR is correct. Obviously, because of space limitations, you couldn't talk about the Jesus freaks that take over the station early every Sunday morning for what is in reality a massaging of the ecclesiastical ego. Then Bruce Certes and friend make inane commentary involving such observations as whether a certain soprano actually hit a high C, above C, or was merely clearing her throat. This is followed by arts calendar--all of which prompts one to ponder as to just where, on the radio dial, you turn!

I am in favor of broadcasting the Dallas City Council meetings, permitting a listener to ascertain just who the bigger nitwits on the council might be.

As for Donna Blumer's assertion that WRR "is the city's crowning jewel, its most stellar asset," she had to be referring to a crown of thorns that was dive-bombed by an irate pigeon. If WRR is the city's most "stellar asset" then the city is bankrupt beyond one's wildest imagination.

Let's look at Houston. They have two classical radio stations and neither would ever entertain the idea of selling Sunday to religions (organized or unorganized) or pseudo-classical music jockeys.

Ed Frick

Spoiled Ron
Mayor Ron Kirk exhibited the behavior of a spoiled child who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar ["Tough choices," October 10]. Kirk had committed to be the keynote speaker months in advance. He did not buy a ticket, promise to attend, and then decide at the last minute not to. Mayor Kirk had been prominently featured on the invitation.

Kirk exhibits his lobbyist personality when he says yes to anyone who will wine and dine him in style. His behavior was not only inappropriate but unprofessional. The citizens of Dallas had better keep close watch on Kirk or we may find ourselves being sold down the river to the highest bidder.

I voted for him in the last election, but I will not be making that mistake again. I am tired of his petty politics with the council members and his private side deals on everything from the arena to the North Park zoning case.

Linda Moore

Just rewards
It is a shame that Bryan Wilson Taylor seems to be getting away with his con game ["The Ice Man," November 14]. However, these people are less victims of Taylor than of their own foolishness and greed.

Sheila McKay

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.