Letters: Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Tapping Outrage

To the editor: As always, Jeff Prince has done an excellent job of investigative journalism on the “Water, Water ... Where?” article (Oct. 4, 2006). It is quite clear that the state of Texas continues to cater to the oil and gas industry, developers, and big money in general. Texas continues to rely on century-old law and supporting case law to the detriment of itself and its citizens. The state’s refusal to regulate growth and industry or hold it accountable comes at the expense of the common citizens of this state. What was particularly interesting is that, for quite some time, the drilling industry and the Railroad Commission have been insisting that the gas drillers are tapping into the Trinity aquifer, yet the observable evidence, notably neighboring domestic wells coming up dry, contradicted this claim. It is yet another glaring example of the lies that the industry and the Commission continue to propagate. It is also clear that more power needs to be granted to the county so that those of us who live outside city limits are not at the mercy of industries that operate without a conscience. With county commissioner seats up for re-election, it would be wise to look closely at the candidates’ positions on such vital issues as ground water, right of capture, and stronger county government.

Sharen Hyde

Tarrant County

To the editor: Here you are again trying to whip the citizens of Fort Worth into a frenzy about some impending disaster. Water? We don’t need no stinkin’ water here in Tarrant County. We are Texans.

So what if the wells are drying up? My yard is still green as a pasture in Ireland. Why would I care about some schmuck in Weatherford who’s dumb enough to still be farming? He should have sold out to the developers by now. Doesn’t he know that it’s 2006 and you can buy any vegetable you want in the grocery store? Even those peaches that Parker County is so proud of.

Anyway, I think it’s just some liberal, Democratic plot to get us all riled up at the gas drillers. Why, those nice drillers came into my neighborhood and gave us $300 for the right to drill, even offered us a pizza party for signing early. They promised that they won’t use any more water than my neighbor on the corner who waters every day.

Who am I going to trust? A man who wrote me out a check right on the spot for $300 (I was able to take my whole family out for dinner) or some Nervous Nelly like you guys who go out and talk to those environmentalists, farmers, and folks in the country? What do they know? You even quote some old guy who has lived through two other droughts. He’s probably getting now confused with some other time — you know how those old folks get.

Yep, everything is hunky-dory here in Tarrant County, if you ask me. They’re putting up all those really attractive drilling sites, and what with the lights going all night and the trucks, we’ve got to be safer from terrorists than before. So what if they pump out a little water? They return it. It may be a little saltier than before, but hey, we can use that to cook rice and potatoes. Well, we may not have potatoes because the farmers can’t plant, but there’s still corn. Wait, no, the corn crop was almost nonexistent this year. OK, there’s still those Parker County peaches. Oh, yeah, I forgot — the peach crop was pretty dismal also.

Never mind. I’m just going to take a folding chair and go sit on my beautifully green lawn next to my 40,000-gallon pool and listen to the whir of the gas rigs. Life is good here in Tarrant County.

Phyllis W. Allen

Fort Worth

More McNeely

To the editor: I enjoyed Dave McNeely’s recent article (“Governor Take All,” Oct. 4, 2006) about the Texas governor’s race. I have read him before in other publications and would like to read his work (here, locally) on a more regular basis. We pick up your paper when we are in town and enjoy it mucho.

Tom Niederauer


Understand the Art

To the editor: I am writing in reference to your Best Of 2006 (Sept. 20, 2006) award to Miabella of Crescent Moon Studio as Best Exotic Dancer.

As a former student of Miabella’s and a friend and colleague, I was appalled by the implication that her dancing is viewed as more erotic than exotic. I can understand your confusion, since her studio offers more than just belly-dance classes. However, it seems that there is a common misconception that a belly-dancer is a stripper. This is completely false, but your paragraph continues that myth.

We belly-dancers have struggled for years to overcome the stigma that we are no better than erotic dancers and to gain a fair wage from businesses where we perform. We work hard to maintain the integrity of the dance, not only as part of the Middle Eastern culture but also to make it a widely accepted art form, no different from ballet or tap.

I would encourage your staffers to seek out a belly-dancing studio and take a class or two, to learn the difference and understand our plight.

Amanda Hensley



In our Oct. 18, 2006, issue, in a story about Kinky Friedman’s music (“Why the Hell Not?”), it was reported that Friedman apologized to the NAACP for racial insensitivity in prior years. At a recent press conference, Friedman offered an explanation, but he did not call the NAACP to apologize.

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