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Adventures in waste
I read with interest your article "The Trashing of Ferris, Texas" [November 10] and noted several similarities between Ferris' experiences with Waste Management and that of the City of Garland.

During 1993, while I was a member of the city council, Waste Management attempted to reopen negotiations with the city over waste hauling. The stated objective was to provide better service to our citizens. I believe the real objective was to get control of Garland's municipally owned landfill. At Garland's current usage, our landfill has a projected life of over 40 years. A company like Waste Management would greatly profit if it had control of this asset.

Like the situation in Ferris, Waste Management hired a former mayor of our city to act as a "consultant" to guide their campaign. Unfortunately for Waste Management, they forgot to change their mailing address for the former mayor and mailed their action plan to city hall. Several of their objectives were arguably illegal. In addition, local charitable organizations and the Chamber of Commerce also have benefited from their generosity. Their participation in these activities is in line with their action plan.

While hard evidence has yet to be uncovered to substantiate bribes or payoffs, anecdotal evidence suggests their practices vary little from that in Ferris. A couple of examples: an employee taking a ski trip with a current councilman who lives modestly; and record expenditures by that same councilman in his re-election campaign through personal "loans." Perhaps the FBI could direct its investigation northward when they are completed in Ferris.

In 1993, their efforts of obtaining control were not successful. However, the new mayor and several councilmen are more inclined to deal with them after receiving their support. Currently, they are in negotiations. As was demonstrated in Ferris, if obtaining control of Garland's landfill is their corporate goal, I doubt they will stop at anything to make it happen.

Bruce Todd

Slam dunk
What a slam dunk! Could Mary Malouf not find ONE nice thing to say about The Terrace Bar & Grill on Travis Street ["Mall food al fresco," November 3]? From the first line to the end, it was one continuous slam after another. Is it possible for a "professional" journalist to write with such a vicious underlying tone as if there is some personal vendetta?

I have visited the Terrace on several occasions, and although not every new restaurant starts out with perfection, I have had good experiences and great food. I find it much more appealing than the "mall food court" any day.

Jeff Pierce

Out of touch
It's funny how a local rag like the Dallas Observer is so out of touch with the local music scene. I'm talking about Robert Wilonsky's consistently boring "Street Beat" articles, which have been getting worse and worse.

Oh yes, he writes about local bands--or should I say band--but hearing about the Toadies over and over again gets pretty boring. There's a whole shitload of bands in Dallas and Fort Worth; you would think a person who gets paid for writing about the local music scene would get out a bit more. And with Robert's latest full-page article ["Idol worship," November 10] about some old fart who mingled with Bing Crosby and Bob Hope--and then in the corner a little mention about a few local bands--I'd say maybe it's time to look for a new music editor.

Hell, buzzmonger, a nonprofit local fanzine put out by Colleen Bradford, is way more informative and has definite passion to report about not just the same bands all the time, but a lot of unknown bands. Maybe Robert should get together with Colleen and go out to other clubs besides Trees and Club Dada. It might help a very clique-oriented music scene.

Robert Cox

Last week's Dish column--"Taster's choice"--incorrectly identified the nationality of vintner Manfred Esser. Esser is a native of Cologne, Germany, who lives in California.

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