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Your recent two-part series on the construction of Reunion Arena ["Arena wars," October 13 and October 20] confirms my worst fears about the city of Dallas. Our city managers who presided over this fiasco were either too behind to see the obvious or crooked. They should be sued for gross incompetence for damages owed the taxpayers of Dallas.

Perhaps the title of the article should have read "How Ray Hunt raped the city of Dallas and no one had a clue." The taxpayers of the city of Dallas should immediately write, call, or fax their council members to prevent this happening again.

Stan Aten

Just awful
Well, Molly Ivins' article "'Awful' in the alley" [October 20] on the bureaucracy inherent in the city government of Chicago is a typical example of the insipid nature of city controllers everywhere. I feel confident that precious little time need be spent in the pursuit of local examples that more than represent our government as the self-serving and petty institution it is. In my experience, I am continually impressed by the abusive thinly veiled corruption that is the modus operandi of city governments.

Take for example the article on the new sports facility proposed for the downtown area ["Arena wars," October 13 and October 20]. It smacks so heavily of political pandering, influence peddling, and questionable ethical behavior that I could throw up. To think that we in the working segment of society allow this is unfortunate. The system is so laden with the "good enough for government work" mentality that people who are the "doers" in society are suffocated should we attempt to influence the process.

H. Ker Thomson

Texas' mental health
With reference to your article "Scared bent" [October 13], it is unfortunate that we were not afforded the opportunity to provide direction in the story about services provided for people like Marcus Denby.

Dallas County MHMR Center and other community centers in the state operate by contract with the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation (TXMHMR). The Center is the mental health and mental retardation authority for Dallas County and serves more than 16,000 people who face those challenges. While Dallas County MHMR is subject to the regulations of TXMHMR, there is an extensive latitude for local control of governance and operations. The Center interfaces with TXMHMR facilities to provide a continuity of care, but certainly has no jurisdiction over the actions of the Department, per se. The important distinction of the Center's relationship to TXMHMR was not made clear by the generic reference of "MHMR" throughout your story.

We acknowledge that the unavailability of services for Marcus Denby and others like him is a tragedy. However, the larger story that was completely missed is the fact that Texas ranks 37th in the nation in funding for mental retardation services ($31.81 per capita), and 46th among the 50 states in expenditures for mental health services ($22.72 per capita). For example, the number of persons who have requested and are waiting for mental retardation services in Dallas County as of August 31, 1994, exceeds 1,100. Marcus Denby is not alone.

Don Gilbert, CEO, Dallas MHMRCenter

KERA again
Whether a station chooses to program every song to sound like Journey or Nirvana or on the other hand to be mostly singer-songwriter, it's still called a lack of variety. And for KERA ["Middle of the road," October 6] to then turn around and try to call this eclectic! Well, it's almost as laughable as all the "classic rock" stations who act like their woefully limited, conservative playlists are the last word on hip '60s and '70s music.

Would you like to know what's wrong with having a station for "college-educated and moderate-to-upper-income grownups?" Well actually, I'd like to have more than one, but being a college-educated, moderate-to-upper-income grownup myself, I don't know that a predominantly folk format is the exact answer for creative adult radio.

Thomas D. Smith

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