Letters: Wednesday, February 21, 2007
A Q.T. Tribute

To the editor: I am writing regarding the article Jeff Prince wrote (HearSay, Jan. 10, 2007) about my father, Q.T. Tubb, who passed away in January. When my daughter Blake was playing on the computer, she typed in my father’s name, and your article appeared. I was on the phone with my mother who lives in El Paso. When I began to read the article to her, I must say we both broke out into a heartbreaking cry. We were touched beyond belief. The story has been shared with about 40 of our close friends and family members. You see, we all thought my father was the most amazing, kind, talented, and loving person in the world. Your act of kindness to write about him will remain a legacy to my children and theirs to follow.

I would like to tell you one more thing I find to be of importance: I spent the first 12 years of my life in Fort Worth. I returned for my father’s funeral. I had a chance to go to Central Market, Starbucks, a shoe store, and a children’s clothing store. The people in Fort Worth are the most wonderful, warm, kind, and happy people in the world. Now I know why my father chose Fort Worth as the place he wanted to be laid to rest. Also, I now know where he got his philosophy of life: “Kill people with kindness.”

Thank you so much for the article. I will treasure it forever.

Dee Urke

Scottsdale, Ariz.

Editor’s note: Longtime Fort Worth insurance man Q.T. Tubb, author of “Waltz Across Texas” and nephew of Ernest Tubb, was buried Jan. 6 in his beloved Fort Worth


Five-Star Molly

To the editor: Thanks to Ellen Sweets for her endearing retrospective of Molly Ivins (“Mealtime with Molly,” Feb. 7, 2007).

Our revered political analyst writer has passed on, leaving a void in the opinion pages of more than 400 newspapers coast to coast. Molly, in her syndicated column, was a pugilist-journalist who took no prisoners. Her audience appreciated this true pioneer and the quips she coined. From a journalistic standpoint, she was five-star, legitimate to the bone, never capitulating to nor intimidated by those who criticized her for her crusade against many of President George W. Bush’s policies. She will be remembered for her political contributions for a long time.

The journalistic world has lost a crown jewel with the death of this witty, humorous, and fact-finding lady.

Delbert Cantrell

Fort Worth

River of No Return on


To the editor: The downtown Fort Worth revitalization program is well under way. The local politicians and lobbyists are in place. Now, taxpayers must pitch into the River of No Return — the Trinity River Vision project — tax dollars to replace the water.

I appreciate the article on lobbyists by Dan McGraw (“A Mighty Stream of Money,” Feb. 7, 2007). We have eight legislators whom we get for chicken feed, even though their total compensation package is very lucrative. Yet that does not compare to the millions we pay lobbyists for representing not the taxpayers, but a small minority of wealthy citizens connected with the River of No Return.

The taxpayers of Tarrant County and the nation must continue to sound off against this pork-barrel spending, regardless of what party they belong to.

Jack O. Lewis

Haltom City, Texas

To the editor: Let’s be honest: Trinity Uptown really is a visionary project and, if completed as advertised, would be a great enhancement to the city.

Let’s be honest about another point: Trinity Uptown is a classic example of using the public treasury to subsidize private development for the enrichment of a few influential and well-connected participants.

So it really isn’t about the vision at all, it’s about the process. It’s about manipulating the law to allow the use of eminent domain for economic development by the water district. It’s about using the water district’s flood control responsibility to pull in the Corps of Engineers and federal funds for a project that is 90 percent City of Fort Worth economic development. It’s about skirting the law to avoid thorough cleanup of known and unknown environmental hazards. It’s about putting the risk and liability on the backs of Fort Worth residents without giving them an opportunity to vote on its merits.

Why should residents pay a surcharge on their water bills to fix storm water problems that exist because of neglect by the city? Why should the city’s goal be to have no more than 13 percent of our streets in poor condition? Why are city funds being spent big-time on a few “corridors” when a block away from any of them there are streets without curbs or gutters? Why was the post office picked to be a new city hall when it was first briefed to the council as being the worst choice because of size and cost?

The answer to all these questions is simply that economic development has the highest priority for use of public funds. Trinity Uptown exacerbates an existing problem of not having enough money to take care of basics.

A 30-year tax abatement went to RadioShack, a 20-year tax abatement to Pier 1, and a similar good deal for Cabela’s, all in the name of creating jobs and building the economy. RadioShack has had problems that led to closing stores and layoffs, and they sold their tax-abated property to a third party. Pier 1 has had a decline in operations for about four years, and rumor has it that they will sell their new building. Cabela’s laid off 30 employees less than six months after opening.

The bottom line for thousands of small businesses that get no special favors from city hall and for the rest of the taxpayers is that there is no return on investment of public dollars to aid private development. It certainly isn’t abating traffic congestion on lousy roads or our increasingly high taxes and fees.

There might be some salvation for this lipstick-laden pig if the city would vote to cap its expenditure of public money at the level already committed — that is, $26 million from general revenue or bonds and $126 million from a tax-increment financing district. Another confidence-builder would be to have all those involved in the planning and political process sign an oath that they will not gain financially, now or in the future, from either direct or indirect involvement.

Whether that could happen is uncertain, but two things are certain: Trinity Uptown will not be built as advertised to the public, and the $435 million cost that proponents keep touting will escalate dramatically.

Clyde Picht

Fort Worth

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