Letters: Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Passing on Gas

To the editor: Thanks to Peter Gorman for once again telling the truth about urban gas drilling and the dangers that threaten our safety and quality of life (“Hot Water,” Nov. 28, 2007). Imagine the world Chesapeake intends to create within our city — the toxic and explosive mix of chemicals, water, and gas flowing beneath our houses, including the fine homes in Berkeley, Ryan Place, and Mistletoe Heights. Three drilling sites on the Texas Christian University campus will affect roads and air quality in wealthy neighborhoods for miles around, where people are now cashing checks for leases far more lucrative than those signed in poorer neighborhoods.
Gas developers say they will need at least 15 injection wells in the next several years. Chesapeake’s only current disposal well can accommodate 25,000 gallons of wastewater a day. That’s 250 trucks a day if the city council approves the request that wastewater from other wells can be dumped into the toxic soup at the Eastside site. We who will live near urban gas wells face not only the environmental contamination from those wells but also the reality of injection wells all over town.
Kendall McCook
Fort Worth

Money Talks
To the editor: Dan McGraw’s column, “Building for the Rich” (Nov. 28, 2007), had one big sentence that summed it up: “So before Jones sells even one ticket, taxes and PSLs and suites will bring him about $2 billion.”
With all the Arlington corporate welfare that has gone to Jones and Hicks, I sure hope these two corporate citizens come to the plate and pay 100 percent of public transportation costs, especially since they will be the biggest benefactors.
Richard Weber

To the editor: The first rule of becoming and remaining a millionaire is to use one’s own money only when there is no alternative. This is as much a law of nature as heat rising and sound moving at 721 mph at sea level. When application of this rule touches on public money, warnings such as McGraw’s are a public service, especially if they lead to specific protective action. So it is fitting to note that the voters of Arlington capped the Jones Dome’s access to their money at $325 million, half the former estimate of $650 million (the current is $1 billion), thus creating the equivalent of a firebreak or storm shelter against this particular example of a natural law on a rampage.
Citizens for Taxpayer Rights is asking Fort Worth voters to sign the petition that is the first step in applying this same process to the Trinity River Vision project. Those wishing to obtain or return petition forms can contact Clyde Picht at 817-294-0396 or cpicht@landslideclyde.com.
George Vernon Chiles
Fort Worth

Woodhaven Wish List
To the editor: History is about to repeat itself in Woodhaven (“Fear and Loathing in Woodhaven,” Feb. 23, 2005). When the neighborhood was developed during the 1960s and ’70s, greed was the operating objective. As a result, almost every square inch was used for large homes and retail space, with a few apartments and stores in the center. In the following decade the balance was built as about 4,300 apartment units.
Times changed, and so did the makeup of the population and the values of the businesses. Lost were the Circle K, Woodcock, Steak and Ale, Bennigan’s, and Tom Thumb. After a withering campaign, the opportunity to “redevelop” Woodhaven was at hand, and a select group of homeowners worked with a consultant to plan what was “best” for Woodhaven.
This plan repeats all the mistakes that got us here in the first place: developing retail, adding small houses, and ignoring the aim of the campaign — less dense development.
A survey this fall gave homeowner five choices: a minimally developed park, a more developed park with play equipment, mixed-development retail and small homes, a community center, or an elementary school. The parks were the overwhelming winner. A park would be a breath of fresh air, a buffer, and a less-crowded look. New York City’s Central Park is larger than Monaco — in one of the most crowded cities in the world. Could you guess what developing that park would be worth in New York? But I don’t think you could get one vote to do that to Central Park.
Most developers today would add some parkland to a new development as a way to open it up and to increase the value of the entire community. So let’s think long and hard about what we all want — the redevelopment of Woodhaven as a repeat of the past or a fresh start before it’s too late?
Peter Fletcher
Fort Worth

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