Letters: Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Gas Well Hearing

To the editor: It has recently come to my attention that my small town of Dalworthington Gardens, which is surrounded by Arlington, is considering an ordinance that would allow drilling as close as 200 feet from an elementary school. The potential drilling site is inside of our park in the wildscape area. After reading your article “Drilling Through Peace and Property” (Nov. 29, 2006), I am concerned not only about safety but also about the impact on home values. I live a short distance from the school.

Our city is holding a public hearing on Dec. 14, and, as required by law, the public announcement has been made. However, it was placed in the Commercial Register, so very few of the residents know what is coming.

Trace Ledbetter

Dalworthington Gardens

In the Eyes of the


To the editor: “If you don’t want to be around smoke, don’t go to places where smoking is allowed.” — Perry Tong, owner of Pop’s Safari Cigars, Fine Wines and Bistro, as quoted in Fort Worth Weekly, “The Butts Stop Here,” (Nov. 21, 2006).

I agree wholeheartedly, Mr. Tong! In fact, wouldn’t it be great for business in Fort Worth if every non-smoker refused to go to places where smoking is allowed?

The arguments against a total smoking ban are mostly silly and short-sighted, but some (such as Mr. Tong’s comment) are downright childish. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone in the industry say “People want to enjoy a smoke when they’re out at a bar.” Bullshit. People who smoke may want that, but I as a non-smoker damn sure don’t. My choice to go out to a bar or lounge for a beer and/or dinner doesn’t mean that I also choose to smoke, even secondhand.

California, Ireland, France, and many other places have banned smoking in bars and restaurants. None of these places has experienced declines in sales or patronage of their establishments. In fact, all of those places experienced increases in sales after the ban. Eighteen months after a ban on smoking in public went into effect in Pueblo, Colo., hospital admissions for heart attacks dropped by 27 percent. Admissions in neighboring towns with no bans showed no change. Why haven’t facts like these been included in any of the articles in the Weekly?

Here’s my prediction: For every smoker who’s too lazy to walk outside to smoke and stops going to public places because of a ban, there will be two asthmatics, non-smokers, or people with smoke allergies (and/or their significant others) who start coming out instead of staying home.

To paraphrase some Libertarians I know, “Your right to smoke ends at my nose.” It’s amazing to me that in spite of overwhelming proof that secondhand smoke can harm and even kill non-smokers, the minority of people in this country who smoke still assume that they deserve preferential treatment in legislative actions like this, or are the first to holler about their rights being trampled.

Mr. Tong, it’s not because I like smoking that I go out to bars and restaurants. It’s because I enjoy beer or wine, or eating dinner out of the house, or meeting friends, or watching the game with a group, or just being out in this great sea of humanity that is Fort Worth. Is smoking while sitting in your chair instead of going out to a heated patio or, God forbid, standing on the sidewalk, more important than all of those things? I suppose I might think so, if I owned a smoke shop, too.

Pete Wann

Fort Worth

Hip Boots at City Hall

To the editor: I hope that Jeff Prince donned hip boots while wading through the river of deceit, nepotism, and avarice that runs through Fort Worth City Hall.

His latest journalistic exposé, about Chief Big Dog Mayor Mike Moncrief had a most appropriate title: “The Gasfather” (Nov. 22, 2006).

Incumbency has its privileges, and the mayor has soaked them up, reaping his profits for too long. By not recusing himself voluntarily from “conflicts of interest,” he has manifested his true self — interested only in bulging his pockets with dollars by being the beneficiary of those who contribute to his avarice.

He needs to be voted out!

Dee Taylor

Fort Worth

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