Letters: Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Letters to the Editor

Simple Majorities

To the editor: The League of Women Voters of Tarrant County wants an amendment to the city charter that “would require voter approval before any portion of a park could be converted to public right of way.”

Hopefully, approval will be required by more than a simple majority. A simple majority in Arlington took land away from homeowners and gave it to a football team whose owner didn’t need the charity. Simple majorities have recently elected an idiot to the presidensity. Twice.

Matt Sacks

Fort Worth

Below the Surface

of Gas Drilling

To the editor: Once again, I have to say thank you to Jeff Prince for his coverage of the gas drilling frenzy (Metropolis, “High, Dry, and Hot Under the Collar,” Dec. 14, 2005). In the meantime, the City of Fort Worth appears to be in denial. The city has assembled a task force to study gas drilling within the city limits. The voting body of this so-called task force is heavily weighted toward the drilling industry and its legal representatives, with little opportunity for input from concerned citizens. Have pity on the poor surface owners, for the energy industry, aided and abetted by the state of Texas, has been given free rein to desecrate and pillage the land that individuals once thought they owned. Every citizen in this state should look at what has happened in Palo Pinto County, for we have been forewarned of what is to come. A quick web search will reveal that blowouts, accidents, and water contamination are not quite as rare as the industry would like us to believe. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the fatality rate for the oil and gas industry is one fatality every 4.3 days, more than 8.5 times the average for all other U.S. industries. And there it is, right in your very own backyard, right where your children play. A bigger explosion will come, but it will not be from a gas well — it will be from the many surface owners like Danna Harper who must live with the unconscionable actions of an industry that is built upon greed and deception and a state that smiles upon those that can suck money out of the ground with no accountability for their actions.

Sharen Hyde

Fort Worth

Building Up the Arts

To the editor: You know my high regard of Fort Worth Weekly under its current editorial guidance. The feature articles never fail to interest and inform. Without your commitment to speak for the voiceless, the people in Tarrant County would remain ignorant of real problems and real successes.

I want to say thanks to you and all the writers who also support and inform the public about the arts. I realize that hundreds of events occur simultaneously in Fort Worth, and I appreciate such thoughtful articles as the excellent feature on poet William Bryan Massey. So I was perplexed to read the rather provincial and dismissive “Hearsay” comments in the Dec. 14, 2005 issue.

“Hearsay’s” column spoke of “various arts disciplines intermingled in one venue.” “Hearsay” might have said an art gallery and spoken word performances joined the music, or, perhaps the art and spoken word performances might have been covered by another writer.

The event itself proved another step forward in the development of a healthy and successful Fort Worth arts community. Such smug disclaimers as “giving Cowtown a touch of Dentonian hipness” and referring to the Axis as “square footage on which to get all arty farty,” bespeak a lack of appreciation for “intermingled” arts events. The Fort Worth Arts Consortium is a group of varied artists who provide venues for artists as well as “expand people’s minds,” dude. I was one of the spoken word performers who very much enjoyed two evenings with fellow and sister artists.

Special kudos to F.W.A.C. for their hard work to help the poets, artists, and musicians who raised funds for the Women’s Center of Fort Worth. Remember, the arts provide the foundation for any viable civil society.

Kendall McCook

Fort Worth


A story in the Dec. 21, 2005, issue (“Taser Times 25”) said that TASER International has changed its description of the Taser weapon from non-lethal to less-lethal. That is incorrect, and Fort Worth Weekly regrets the error. It is the Fort Worth Police Department, not the company, that now refers to the weapons as “less lethal.”

On its web site, TASER International includes language that a company representative described as an “update to training practices,” not a warning: “The stress and exertion of extensive repeated, prolonged, or continuous applications of the Taser device may contribute to ... medical risks. Severe exhaustion ... drug intoxication, use of restraint devices etc. may result in serious injury or death.”

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