Letters: Wednesday, December 19, 2002
Fresh Air

To the editor: Thank you for your excellent article on “Toxic Town” (Dec. 5, 2002). It’s one of the most articulate and cogent explanations of this horrible situation that anyone in the media has dared to report. You obviously have done your homework and have brought to light the mind-boggling, deceptive tactics that have been used by these corporations at the expense of the health of Metroplex citizens. The amazing thing, as your article explains very well, is that the TCEQ, our supposed state “watchdog and monitoring agency,” is “in the pocket” of these companies and unwilling to do the job we the citizens pay them to do!

Thank you also for recognizing the very brave citizens who have worked so hard, on a volunteer basis, to try to remedy this situation. It’s a thankless task. The average citizen here has no concept of the enormous time, energy, resources, and, yes, money it takes for this David vs. Goliath battle. The corporate polluters have endless streams of money and attorneys at their disposal, and it’s a double insult when the very agency that’s supposedly protecting our rights not only fails to do so, but hands these polluters our precious money as well. Why aren’t they helping to pay our legal costs as well, since we’re having to do their job to protect the citizens’ health?

Last but not least, thanks for recognizing brave citizens and organizations like Downwinders At Risk and Blue Skies Alliance for the countless hours spent on digging up the truth, figuring the mind-numbing statistics, doing the research, and going to countless meetings and hearings to try to protect our health. For those of us who have made our voices heard at numerous hearings, meetings, etc., we appreciate the vigilance of such dedicated organizations. All the citizens of the Metroplex should say thank you by opening their wallets to make a generous contribution to help with their valiant efforts. After all, they seem to be the lone voices in the Texas environmental protection wilderness looking out for our best interests and health. Here’s to clean air soon!

Esther McElfish

Fort Worth

To the editor: What a wonderful article you have written! (“Toxic Town”) Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Becky Bornhorst

Downwinders at Risk


Eclectic Elephant

To the editor: This is in reply to “More Elephant Angst” (Letters, Dec. 5, 2002). Even though I feel for the patron who will miss Mary Crabb (an excellent bartender, I’m sure) and the “unique” atmosphere that he says the White Elephant Saloon had, I will now want to come visit the Stockyards because of the new saloon. I do not have any tattoos, and I am not prejudiced against either cowboys or Pink Floyd fans — I am one of those average Americans who can dress for any occasion. This is almost 2003, and there should be more to Fort Worth than a country bar on every street corner. Thank you, White Elephant Saloon. As for the ex-patron who loves his 20X Resistol Black Gold hat and the Gary P. Nunn song about “manly footwear” (“London Homesick Blues”), you should have no problem finding a honkytonk within a chip throw of where I will enjoy a few of my evenings. Please feel free to drop in sometime; every jukebox in Texas has plenty of country songs and you could throw $20 in.

Dan Suggs


Listening Up

To the editor: Just wanted to drop a line and tell you thanks so much for paying attention (Listen Up, “Seymoure Demos 00/01,” Nov. 28, 2002). Although it was a rough, emotional show for us, it was nice to read that someone cared enough to mention it.

Nothing but love, and happy holidays(one sick mind deserves another, especially during the holidays).

Steve Ryburn (Seymoure)


Reefer Gladness

To the editor: As we read your article (“Reefer Sadness,” Dec. 12, 2002) we were very grateful for your understanding and your presentation of the facts about the medical uses of marijuana. It seems like the Food and Drug Administration may be getting ready to kill some more Americans by what they said to you, i.e., “time for a review” of the medical marijuana program. But that is what we expect, so we are glad you got them to say it in what appeared to us to be such an openly hostile way. We thank you for an article that shows just how callous and overbearing government employees have become.

George and Margaret McMahon


To the editor: What a beautiful article on medical marijuana, one of the best I’ve read. The closing segment that transitions from Percodan-induced nausea to George McMahon buying dinner for his mother with a fake million-dollar bill was magnificent.

The current conflict between state and federal governments highlights several issues that demand resolution. If the DEA is correct in claiming marijuana is a dangerous and addictive substance with no medical value, then why has the federal government been growing and distributing it to sick and dying people like George McMahon for over 20 years? If the purpose of the federal marijuana program is research (as officials claim), then why hasn’t the government conducted and published longitudinal studies on these patients? If marijuana has legitimate medical applications, why does the federal government continue to criminalize sick people and arrest caregivers, violating fundamental principles of state autonomy in the process?

Thank you for having the integrity to research this issue thoroughly. As long as journalists remain dedicated to educating the public, there is a significant chance that sick Texans will one day, like George, have legal access to therapeutic cannabis.

Christopher Largen


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