Blowing smoke
David Pasztor's article on Texas Industries' participation in the WFAA-TV "Companies Who Care" program ["Companies that whore," August 15] bought into our opponents' ongoing misinformation campaign about our operations in Midlothian.

Pasztor did call me to ask about the television spots. However, he didn't ask about our operations or any of the information he included about our Midlothian plant. If he had, he would know that he included many errors. Here are a few:

While TXI is the largest manufacturing facility in North Texas, our opponents know that the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Texas Department of Health have all exhaustively studied the Midlothian plant and surrounding area. In the past year, each has issued an independent study concluding that our operations are safe and pose no threat to anyone--by air, soil, or water.

The Resource Recovery Program mentioned in our television spots has reduced emissions from our plant by up to 68 percent. Most people would agree that a reduction in emissions is positive for the environment.

We have applied for a new Part B permit. However, our present permit allows us to burn fuel that is 100 percent waste-derived. It's hard to believe we can increase above 100 percent.

TXI is proud of its environmental programs and its efforts to improve the communities in which it operates. We are confident that as people become more informed about our activities on behalf of the environment, it will become clear that TXI truly is a "Company Who Cares."

Harold Green
TXI Director of Communications

Thanks so much for David Pasztor's article on the TXI/Channel 8 "Companies Who Care" campaign controversy. It's nice to know there is still a venue for these kinds of legitimate gripes from the grass roots, which don't seem to be sexy enough for TV or the dailies these days.

However, Pasztor gave me quite a promotion. I'm not the "head" of Downwinders At Risk, merely its staff organizer. I work for an all-volunteer board that includes Realtors, ranchers, accountants, PTA presidents, and homemakers. These folks, representing the thousands of people who have written letters, attended meetings, or signed petitions against TXI's hazardous waste burning, are the true leaders of the group. I'm just their employee.

Jim Schermbeck

Natural selection, II
It amazes me how quick people are to blame others for their own mistakes ["Honky-tonk from hell," August 8]. Part of the problem with the American justice system is people's tendency and eagerness to sue a company because those people: 1) spill coffee on themselves while cruising in a car; 2) slip on a patch of ice in front of a building; 3) have an automobile accident while driving under the influence of alcohol, and/or; 4) get dropped on the head while dancing with a man they supposedly did not want to dance with.

It may sound harsh, but I am relieved that none of the people in your article actually received a settlement, simply because it may prompt those people to be more responsible in the future. I do have compassion for the innocent victims of these accidents, but the article doesn't mention them. I have, on occasion, had a bit too much to drink. If I were so foolish as to try to drive when I was intoxicated, it would never even occur to me to blame someone else if I had an accident, especially a business from which I willingly purchased the alcohol. You would be shocked how sober a drunk person can seem when it comes to ordering another drink.

What amazes me even more is that Thomas Korosec actually seems to sympathize and agree with these "supposed" victims of negligence. Maybe, just maybe, I mistook objectivity for sympathy, but after reading the article, I was fairly annoyed. There's a very specific reason that a jury is not sympathetic to someone who claims the bartender made him drunk, because the bartender didn't.

Gerald McBride

Piling on
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. Those of us who suffered the wrath of Ceslie Armstrong when we were not in a position to defend ourselves finally get to see her get her comeuppance ["Vary messy business," August 1].

Steve Cox deserves kudos for exposing Armstrong for who she is. We would like to know with whom in this city Armstrong has a "good name." Certainly not with anyone who was ever in her employ.

As proof that karma really does exist, when Cox undertakes future pickets against Armstrong, he can think of the countless others using Armstrong's name in vain. For all of us who put up with her emotional torment, the entertainment value of her public humiliation is priceless.

The former employees of Emergency
Networks Inc.

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