Letters: Wednesday, August 16, 2006
They Want Their DTV

To the editor: The story by Kay Mills (“Brave New Broadcasting World,” Aug. 2, 2006) was about as thoroughly researched and well-balanced an article as I have read on the DTV transition. As a former journalist myself, I just wanted you to know that I appreciate the amount of work that Kay put into this story.

Dennis Wharton

Senior Vice President

Corporate Communications

National Association of Broadcasters

Washington, D.C.

Editor’s note: Several readers have called to inquire about the availability of the analog-to-digital signal converter boxes mentioned in Kay Mills’ story. The boxes will not go into actual production for several months yet.

Parks in Reverse

To the editor: As a former assistant manager at Fort Parker State Park in Mexia, I can attest to the poor conditions of the state park system (“Parks in Peril,” Aug. 2, 2006). The year I was hired (1999), there was an influx of money for maintenance, repairs and equipment. We bought a color printer, a brush hog, and items for the nature center and interpretive program. Every one of the other employees said this was just temporary and that in the near future, the money would disappear. And it did.

The third year I was there, things were bad. There was little money for repairs to the roof of an historic building, bathrooms that were rusting, or water pumps that needed fixing almost daily. Needless to say, I left the park system because it wasn’t fun to show up to work without being able to teach the public about the natural environment they were in, but to just to keep things like the bathrooms and pump houses working.

While I was employed by the park system, the parks director talked about acquiring lands that were important to conserve and in certain ecosystems that were important. We are about to go backwards by selling important park land.

The park system is in severe disrepair, and it’s sad that our government, especially our governor, won’t give it sufficient funding. We need a governor and other state legislators who will give it sufficient funding and more. Kinky Friedman knows the importance of the park system. There are thousands of people who visit the parks who think they are important, and there are many species of plants and wildlife that depend on these natural areas for survival.

Thanks to Fort Worth Weekly and Dave McNeely for bringing this issue into the light. The people of Texas need to write their legislators and also to vote for Kinky for governor to save our parks.

John MacFarlane

Fort Worth

More Than a Whiff

To the editor: I have been reading Fort Worth Weekly for about five years now, and I am now ticked off enough to write. After reading “A Whiff of Payback” (July 26, 2006), I am sad to say that payback is exactly what it is. Tom Wilder will say whatever it takes to cover himself.

As a district clerk employee for eight years I never once voted for anyone until Pete Hinojosa ran against him. I was not going to give Tom Wilder my vote. We were to answer the phones by saying “Tom Wilder district clerk,” and I believe that was a way of campaigning for him, even though we were not allowed to use Tarrant County property to campaign for any delegates. I refused to answer the phones that way or to have the public write his name on checks for payments.

This man is not liked by anyone except those who don’t know him. Am I a disgruntled employee? I think not — just a smart one who got out before Mr. Wilder decided he was going to find some reason to get rid of me. By the way, I am Hispanic just like Pete Hinojosa and Cruz Hernandez. Have I ever felt like I have been discriminated against for anything in my life? Not until I worked at the district clerk’s office. Mr. Wilder, one day you will be voted out of office, and that is when I will come back to work at the Tarrant County District Clerk’s Office.

Rebeka McGill

Fort Worth

For What, Indeed

To the editor: I read your piece “Call Sign: HAVOC” (July 19, 2006) online in Fort Worth Weekly. It was spectacular.

I am a former Marine captain (combat engineer) who served two tours in Iraq. On my second tour I was stationed at TQ (Al Taqaddum Airbase). During the battle of Fallujah, my unit had an active role in taking the two bridges and trying to secure the peninsula.

I too know what it is like to go out the front gate of TQ and hang a right onto Michigan. Our first convoy out the front gate (a resupply run during the second battle of Fallujah, Nov. 10, 2004) we had seven IEDs blow and took small arms fire from both sides of the road when going through the village between TQ and the bottom of the peninsula. Amazingly, no one got hit on that one. But I did have four of my Marines get killed during the course of the battle. I asked myself the same question: For what?

Your piece brought me right back there. Great reporting. Thanks.

Chris Sheppard

Tempe, Ariz.

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