Letters: Wednesday, November 19, 2008
No Stewardship

No Stewardship
To the editor: Thanks for the article on our mountain (“Grinding Up Chalk Mountain,” Oct. 29, 2008). It was accurate and portrayed both sides fairly. Some points from the rock crusher’s side confound me, however, such as the comment that it is “his land” and that he has “property rights.”
He acquired his land not through struggle but as a result of an accident of birth: He inherited it. It’s no wonder that he sees no value in the land. He isn’t living on the land, he isn’t farming it, and he isn’t improving it for future generations. You would think that having inherited it from ancestors who toiled, tilled, and lived on the land would give him some respect for the land and that he would want to pass it on to future generations in a condition better than when he received it.
Not so; there’s no stewardship of this land we call Chalk Mountain. He’s not improving it for himself or his heirs. He’s not a good neighbor who recognizes the efforts surrounding landowners have made to create an environment of stewardship on their properties. Instead he is going to pass on an ecological dead zone to his heirs and for the rest of us to live with.
The article says that maybe 50 years from now, after he has sapped the life out of the property, he may build a subdivision there. That assertion would be laughable if the ramifications weren’t so dire.
The rock crusher who will be operating on this property wants to compare rock mining’s effects with those of gas wells and airplane strips that don’t go through endangered-species habitat. Rock mining destroys the land, with a total disregard for the environment. When gas pipelines were put in, the pipeline companies avoided the endangered-species habitat. They worked with wildlife biologists to minimize the impact on the environment.
When one neighbor built his airstrip, it was in concert with an overall land- management plan that considered all the wildlife on the property. Even Fort Hood has developed endangered-species habitat though proper management and consultation with wildlife biologists.
None of these careful steps have been taken here — rip and destroy is their order of the day. The 35 families that live within a mile are directly affected by these frivolous actions. We too have property rights, and his rights cease at his property line. Thankfully our state representative has done the right thing; he tried to find a reasonable solution, and when rebuffed, joined the “Save Chalk Mountain” position that the land should be preserved as a pristine area and that the permit to crush rock should be denied.
Darrell Best
Chalk Mountain Preservation Association
Somervell County
Hail the Red Suspenders
To the editor: Thank you for the article on Councilman Chuck Silcox’s death (Static, Nov. 5, 2008). Chuck and I were good friends. We had a lot in common, politically and in other ways. The Red Suspender Award is a fitting idea for honoring him. Whether you agreed with him or not, you knew where he stood on an issue. All will miss him.
Jack O. Lewis.
Former mayor, Haltom City
A Blight on the U.S.
To the editor: Thank you so much for writing such a thorough and comprehensive article on the current immigration situation (“Dealing with the Deluge,” Oct. 8, 2008). As one who is deeply concerned about the negativity that so many are showing toward these fellow human beings and their contributions to our country, you are to be congratulated for such a well-researched and informative story.
I’ve been involved with the T. Don Hutto Residential Center for almost two years, through my affiliation with Jay Johnson-Castro, the owner of Villa Del Rio, the bed and breakfast that I “innkeep” in Del Rio. Even with the ACLU lawsuit, we still cannot get the attention of the national press toward this blight on our country.
Sarah Boone
Del Rio

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