Letters: Wednesday, July 25, 2007
At Least They Weren’t Drafted

To the editor: In reading your recent article concerning illegal immigrants finding a path to citizenship (“Pledging Life and Allegiance,” July 11, 2007), I got the distinct impression of a slant on the story implying that the U.S. armed services are taking advantage of these people, even though they will be fast-tracked toward citizenship.
I’ll have you know that in 1969 my friend (who was a citizen of the United Kingdom and graduated from a college here) was drafted into the U.S. Army and served a tour in Vietnam! He did not get to talk to a recruiter, nor was he able to refuse the Army’s most generous offer of world travel, as the illegals in your article can do.
Andy Schuck

Think Big Prairie
To the editor: It’s interesting that there is going to be about $150 million coming in gas drilling revenue from under the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge, that the money must be spent on parks, and that the center’s annual budget is about $400,000 (“Diamond in the Muck,” July 18, 2007). We have always proposed that the still-unprotected Fort Worth Prairie Park be the tall-grass prairie bookend to the Nature Center and that the two be connected with a hiking, mountain biking, and horseback trail. The Nature Center’s 3,600 acres protect representative areas of two out of three of Tarrant County’s signature ecosystems: Trinity River Bottomlands and Western Cross Timbers. Adding 2,000 acres of near-virgin tall-grass Fort Worth Prairie, which formally was the most dominant ecosystem of our area and is now almost all gone, would be profound for native wildlife and area residents in desperate need of wild open space.
Tarrant County has already committed the first $1 million toward acquisition of the Prairie Park, and a couple of private investors have said they will contribute if they can be sure the Prairie Park will become a reality. If the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge contributed funds from their gas revenues, and we unified the Refuge and the Prairie Park (and other Tarrant County wild lands) under a comprehensive Tarrant County Open Space Commission, we could lead the way in making sure we save some of the best of what’s left, before our living, breathing “prairie rainforest” — so rich in biodiversity that it mirrors tropical rainforests — is covered in concrete and we’ve lost our last chance for a healthy, livable city with clean waters and momentous horizons.
We also expect and hope that the gas companies would contribute to large-scale open-space protection here, since they have made such voluminous wealth off our prairie lands and been blessed with riches beyond the imagination of the common person. Giving back, working with municipalities and area nonprofits to create a substantial network of core wild land reserves and biological corridors will show the nation that business, government, and private entities can work together to lead the way into an ecological future.
Jarid Manos
Chief Executive, Great Plains Restoration Council
Fort Worth

Card This
To the editor: The latest changes in carding (“Put Down that Beer and Step Away from the Walker,” July 18, 2007) are clearly a violation of my right to privacy. There’s no reason why Wal-Mart needs to record my date of birth in their system. If the cashier is too stupid to calculate my age — 45 — then they need to be fired. What’s more outrageous is the attempt to record the same information because I wanted a can of spray paint to freshen up my old mailbox. I told them they could keep their goddamn paint; I’m not going to allow anyone to collect purchasing statistics on me for any purpose. I don’t drink, so I couldn’t care less about the alcohol, except for the fact that the practice is morally bankrupt.
I do hope the attorney general will slap some sense into these people. It’s not likely I’m going to do anything harmful with only one can of spray paint, and if I were, do they actually think carding me for the purchase would deter me in any way? It’s the most insane thought I’ve come across in the past few weeks.
Chris M. Waring
Statue for the Speaker?
To the editor: Jeff Prince’s journalism really paid tribute to our former Speaker of the House Jim Wright (“The Speaker in Winter,” July 3, 2007), a World War II vet and serviceman (literally) to the public.
He was a true pugilist for his country and home state during his Washington days. He retains power because he earned it and uses it to benefit all walks of life. As a TCU teacher and mentor to the “young pups” at college, he disseminates his knowledge straight from the direct experience he’s had with many subjects.
Jim Wright’s legacy will live on forever. No single individual has done and accomplished so much for Fort Worth. He is worthy of a statue honoring his service and benevolence to this city and its citizens. It would do him proud!
Teresa Johnson
Fort Worth

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