Grow up, not out: Jim Schutze's article on the proposed comprehensive plan for the future of Dallas development ("Why Plan?", April 27) is a little misguided, if not just straight-up inflammatory. If Dallas is going to continue to grow (which is exactly what the predictions say), it has to start growing up instead of out. Jim misconstrues the idea of "mixed-use" as a gas station on the end of a block of single-family dwellings. As our population grows we are going to need more urban-style buildings, with commercial spaces sharing foundations with residences. Gas prices are going up, creating more of a need to be able to walk around town (believe me, Dallasites, it's not that hard). I know our little suburban neighborhoods are quaint, but get over it. They are bad for us as a growing city. They are wasteful (we use more water on our lawns than we drink), they further the sprawl of our fair metroplex and they're just plain outdated.
Throw it away: Mr. Jim Schutze quotes former Councilwoman Veletta Lill ("Why Plan?", April 27) as saying the comprehensive plan map isn't a map--"It's blobs of color on a page." Then let's throw it away. One thing City Hall doesn't need is another page with blobs of color.
There goes the neighborhood: Another great column. I fear the "plan" or any other from folks who believe you can force neighborhood development. Consider Abacoa in the northern part of Palm Beach County, Florida. I watched it literally spring from the dunes in a few years. It is very cute but very sterile.
Clark D. Thomas
Stabbed in the back, indeed: Know the true events before printing such a slanted article (Is This On?, by Sam Machkovech, April 27), especially when talking about someone such as Caron Barrett, who has put up with scummy Dallas musicians for so long. I spent 10 years there in Dallas and know all involved, and the only one who was honest was Mrs. Barrett, kind and generous to a fault. She was stabbed in the back by everyone she ever helped. Caron loves music and Dallas; the last thing that she would ever want to do would be close the studio. I cannot think of anyone else who has done more for the Deep Ellum music scene starting back in the late '80s and early '90s with Last Beat Records, the store, then the label and studio. How many people over the years did she give a hand to with jobs or free recording time for a demo or album? When one of them was in financial straits, she would help however she could. Mrs. Barrett was so kind to all for so long that these parasites came to expect it, and when she expected them to stand up and be accountable, they call it stabbing in the back. Finally, after all she has done for these people, when she could use at the very least a kind word from any of these letches, what did she get? Yep, stabbed in the back. She is the only one done wrong.
Great Falls, Montana
Editor's note: Caron Barrett had ample opportunity to tell her side of the story but never responded to e-mails and phone calls.
Voice of the Heathen
Random thoughts: "This is just the sort of situation that arises when people do foolish things like believe in God or trust one another." (Buzz, by Patrick Williams, April 27.) Patrick, is that really what you mean, that it is foolish to believe in G-d? Perhaps you were being sarcastic, and I failed to get it. If so, I'm sorry. I certainly agree that these religious disputes make us believers look pretty bad. It's enough to make you swear off "organized religion," a term I don't much care for. Still, if that is what you meant, I wish to say that I find nothing foolish about the quest to know and understand more about the spiritual forces we can't see. For me, it's the most important question of all. I see plenty of evidence for a Creator. I personally feel that it takes more faith than I have to decide that all of this that surrounds us is evidence of...nothing except randomness.
Enjoyed your column; it's an interesting story.
Illegal, Illegal, Illegal
Angry Americans: Jane Ledesma's remarks regarding "immigration rage" ("All the Rage," by Jesse Hyde, April 27) prove the point that Darrell Ankarlo and other angry Americans have been trying to make: She doesn't get it. This IS NOT about immigration. This IS ABOUT ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. America has laws. As citizens, we must abide by those laws or pay the consequences. Mexico's immigration laws are far more restrictive than America's, and yet Mexicans, Vicente Fox and ILLEGAL immigrants have the audacity to DEMAND America allow people to openly violate those laws. If someone walked into your house, stole your television and looked you in the face and laughed while doing it, knowing the police would do nothing to them, wouldn't you be a little upset? Jane Ledesma and people like her need a serious reality check. Maybe she should get a couch instead of a chair--it might help her find some common sense.